A former Ohio police officer is facing multiple charges, including inducing panic, forgery and workers’ compensation fraud, after claiming and later recanting that he was shot in the arm during a traffic stop, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced this week.
A Tuscarawas County grand jury indicted Bryan Eubanks, 37, of Cumberland, Ohio, on June 29. It charged the fired 14-year veteran of the Newcomerstown Police Department with the following:
- One count of inducing panic, a felony of the fifth degree;
- One count of making false alarms, a felony of the fifth degree;
- Two counts of tampering with evidence, felonies of the third degree;
- One count of forgery, a felony of the fifth degree, and
- One count of workers’ compensation fraud, a misdemeanor of the first degree.
The charges of inducing panic and making false alarms each carry two firearm specifications.
An investigation conducted by the Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s Office found that on April 11, 2017, then-Officer Eubanks shot himself while on duty, but claimed he was shot by a man in a vehicle after stopping the car for a traffic violation.
“The fictional story that this defendant is accused of concocting led to a response involving local, state, and federal authorities, and an Ohio Blue Alert was issued to put the entire state on alert,” said Attorney General DeWine. “Considerable resources were used to investigate the claims, and there must be consequences for needlessly causing such serious alarm.”
Additionally, an investigation by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation found that Eubanks forged workers’ compensation documents to apply for benefits related to his injury.
According to the TimesReporter.com, Eubanks told investigators he made up the story to cover up a failed suicide attempt. He said he had been struggling emotionally following a murder investigation last year.
Eubanks’ arraignment is scheduled for July 17.