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Fight between police, resident leads to charges

Two felony charges against Clif Stewart, of Middletown, were sent to a Butler County grand jury after Stewart’s preliminary hearing Monday in Middletown Municipal Court.
Two felony charges against Clif Stewart, of Middletown, were sent to a Butler County grand jury after Stewart’s preliminary hearing Monday in Middletown Municipal Court.

Minutes after Middletown police responded to an apartment for a noise complaint, a “fight ensured” between police and a resident, two officers testified, and a man was charged with two counts of assault on a police officer.

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The fourth-degree felony charges against Clif Stewart, 43, of Middletown, were sent to a Butler County grand jury Monday after Middletown Municipal Court Judges James Sherron found probable case. Stewart’s bond remained at $30,000, Sherron said.

Two Middletown police officers, Ryan Rogers and Christopher Fugate, testified during the preliminary hearing.

They said officers were called Nov. 17 to the apartment in the 3900 block of Helton Drive, just as they were the night before. Police said on Nov. 16, a male resident refused to answer the door, screaming: “Fake cops. Go Home!”

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On Nov. 17, Stewart allegedly refused to answer the door, then police said they heard him securing a chain on the door. He slightly opened the door and allegedly sprayed an unknown liquid substance into Fugate’s face and right eye. Additional police officers and Middletown paramedics were called to the apartment, police testified.

Police forced entry into the apartment and Stewart allegedly refused officer commands and he was shocked by a Taser, according to police. The Taser had no effect on Stewart, police said.

Stewart and Rogers grabbed each other and ended up on the living room floor, Rogers testified. Stewart then reached for an officer’s duty weapon. It took about eight officers to place Stewart in handcuffs, according to police.

When questioned, Stewart told officers the spray was garlic cloves and dried aloe leaves.