Former Butler Twp. sergeant sentenced to probation in assault outside McDonald’s

A former Butler Twp. police sergeant who was found guilty of assault for his actions while arresting a woman outside a McDonald’s has been sentenced.

Vandalia Municipal Court Judge James A. Brogan sentenced Todd Stanley, 53, on Friday to two years of probation and 60 days of electronic home detention.

Stanley also was fined $500. The maximum sentence was six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The case stemmed from an incident on Jan. 16 where Butler Twp. police were called to the McDonald’s at 3411 York Commons Blvd. on a report of a disorderly customer.

When Stanley arrived with officer Tim Zellers, Laticka Hancock told them she had an argument with McDonald’s employees over a charge for extra cheese on a Big Mac.

Footage from the police body cameras showed officers explain the restaurant asked them to trespass Hancock. When police asked for her identification, Hancock refused.

As the situation became more heated between Hancock and the officers, Zellers decided to arrest her.

Hancock can be heard saying “No, I’m not” and “I don’t want to” after officers told her she was under arrest and to put her hands behind her back. The body camera footage showed Hancock and police struggling with each other as she identified herself and says, “OK, I’m saying OK.”

Police then tell her to put her hands behind her back or they would use a Taser on her. Stanley can be seen on the body camera footage striking Hancock on the side of her face.

He described it as an “open palm strike” in the arrest report. Hancock was bleeding from the mouth and a medic who cleaned the wound said it was superficial, according to the report.

Police learned Hancock did not have a valid license and she reportedly had an open container of alcohol in the front seat of her vehicle.

She was charged with driving under suspension, open container in a motor vehicle, resisting arrest and failure to disclose personal information in Vandalia Municipal Court. The case is still pending.

Butler Twp. police Chief John Porter said Stanley was placed on paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation. Stanley has not been with the police department since April.

The chief also previously noted officers attempted to calm Hancock and said police are taught de-escalation tactics.

“Sometimes in certain instances, you cannot de-escalate, and I’m not talking about this incident, but in some cases, you can’t de-escalate and an arrest has to be made,” Porter said.

During a press conference with the NAACP and attorney Michael Wright, of Wright & Schulte LLC, earlier this year, Hancock said she went into the fast-food restaurant with good intentions and either wanted a new sandwich or her money back.

She said she went out to the parking lot to decompress.

“I made sure that I at least tried to show that my demeanor wasn’t threatening,” Hancock said.

Staff writer Daniel Susco contributed to this report.

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