A Mogadore police officer was arrested and jailed Tuesday, charged with pulling a gun on a fellow officer while drinking at an off-duty party at a Virgil Street residence on New Years Day.
Mark E. Halliwill, 43, is charged with one count each of felonious assault, a second-degree felony, and having weapons while intoxicated, a first-degree misdemeanor. Arraigned Wednesday in Portage County Municipal Court, Halliwill was ordered held in the Portage County jail on 10 percent of $40,000 bond. Conditions of his release include no consumption or possession of alcohol or drugs, according to court records.
Halliwill allegedly pointed a semiautomatic handgun at John M. Josef, another Mogadore police officer, during a party at Halliwill's residence. Both men were off duty and were socializing, according to Mogadore police Lt. Todd Higgins. Alcohol also was involved, he said.
No shots were fired, and there were no injuries, Higgins said. He said he believed only one other person was present during the incident.
He said there was "some type of altercation" that led to Halliwill allegedly brandishing the weapon. Higgins also said his department immediately contacted the Portage County Sheriff's Office to conduct the criminal investigation, while Mogadore police conduct an administrative inquiry. Halliwill is on administrative leave pending the completion of both investigations and the resolution of the criminal charges, Higgins said.
Mogadore straddles the border of western Portage and eastern Summit counties, and criminal cases filed based on crimes committed on the Portage side often are heard in Portage County courts. Portage County sheriff's detective Lt. Greg Johnson referred all questions to Mogadore police.
Higgins said Mogadore police believed it would be "advantageous" to have another agency conduct an independent criminal investigation into the incident to prevent the appearance of favoritism.
A preliminary hearing on the charges against Halliwill is set in Judge Mark Fankhauser's courtroom on Jan. 11, according to Portage County court records. Additional charges may be filed after evidence is heard by a Portage County grand jury.
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