Posted on 12/19/2018

Defendant: Robert Wells

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said, “When a police officer uses excessive force against a suspect, it undermines the public’s trust in our officers, and those officers will be held accountable for their actions.”  Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien announced that former Franklin Township Police Officer Robert Wells, age 49, plead guilty today to one count of Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law.  On May 1st, 2018 while acting in his then official capacity as a Franklin Township Police Officer, Wells was on patrol and made a traffic stop.  The driver fled, struck numerous parked cars, drove through several yards, and was eventually stopped after a high-speed chase.  Wells removed a passenger from the stopped car and placed her in his cruiser while another officer put the driver, Anthony R. Foster, age 18 on the ground and was handcuffing him.  While Foster was on the ground, Wells was recorded kicking Foster in the head.  That action deprived the victim of his Constitutional right to be free from the use of unreasonable force by a law enforcement officer and resulted in bodily injury to Foster.  Wells also made misleading and false statements in his report with regard to the arrest and injury of Foster in order to cover up the excessive force he used.  The plea today was handled by Kenneth Parker, Criminal Chief, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien, who has been designated as a Special Assistant United States Attorney.Wells will be sentenced after a pre-sentence investigation.  Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law is a federal crime that is punishable by up to 10 years in prison when it results in bodily injury.