The civil lawsuit filed by the estate of Fred Wild, who was killed by police officers March 21, 2023, in Brookfield, against officers of four local police departments, has been moved to federal court.

The wrongful death suit was filed Oct. 17 in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court. Because the suit alleges violations of Wild’s civil rights, attorneys for Vienna police officers Shane Smith and Jarett Pishotti had it transferred to the U.S. District Court, Cleveland. Federal courts have “original jurisdiction” over constitutional issues, the attorneys said in their Feb. 14 filing.

Other defendants are Brookfield Sgt. Cody Dean, Ohio Highway Patrol Sgt. Jason Bonar and Trumbull County Deputy Sheriff Dennis Garito.

The Trumbull County Prosecutor’s Office is reviewing an investigation into Wild’s death by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and is awaiting additional information, said Guy Vogrin, public information officer for the prosecutor’s office.

Wild was wanted on warrants from police in Liberty and Lake County when a 911 call brought authorities to property on Route 7 between Warren Sharon Road and Yankee Lake. Police approached Wild and he jumped out of a window of a cabin into a stolen vehicle, a pickup with a snow plow, the state patrol said. Wild “failed to comply with verbal commands, then charged at officers with the stolen vehicle,” patrol said.

“Multiple officers then fired their duty weapons striking the suspect,” the release said.

Wild was pronounced dead at the scene.

Wild was a “social guest” of the property in Brookfield when he was killed, the civil suit says. He was “unarmed” and the police officers’ “use of deadly force was not at all necessary to prevent his escape and make the arrest,” the suit says.

In his answer to the suit, Dean denied the allegations and said he “acted pursuant to a valid warrant signed by a judicial officer and/or based on probable cause.” Dean also alleged he is immune to all or part of the suit because he was on duty, and that Wild’s death “was proximately caused by the sole or contributory or comparative negligence of plaintiff.”

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