An Ohio police officer was fired after an internal investigation discovered he had abused his power after pulling over and detaining his daughter and her boyfriend without cause.
John Kovach Jr., a 26-year veteran, was fired after the Lorain Police Department found the traffic stop was an “abuse of power.”
Dashcam footage from the patrolman’s cruiser showed the officer pulling over a silver car on April 16, the Chronicle-Telegram reported. The car contained three passengers: Katlyn Kovach, 18, his daughter; Makai Coleman, 18, her boyfriend and a friend. The footage showed that Kovach did not tell dispatch that he pulled over a car.
Kovach told Coleman to step out of the vehicle because “he’s going to jail.” When Coleman asked why the officer said, “Have a seat in my car. We’ll make [expletive] up as we go.” The teenager proceeds to sit in the back of the cruiser.
The patrolman was able to locate Coleman’s car after tracing his daughter’s computer to a friend’s home, FOX 8 reported. Kovach threatened to give the friend, who was in the car, a ticket for failing to wear her seatbelt.
The girl’s mother saw the incident when she ran out of the home and said she was calling the police. At the time, dispatchers were trying to contact Kovach about a road rage incident but he did not respond.
Kovach did not realize his daughter was also in the car at the time of the traffic stop, investigators said. Once he saw she was there, he also demanded her to step out of the vehicle.
The teenager was seen yelling at her father for “using his badge and uniform to intimidate her and her boyfriend,” FOX 8 reported.
In an off-camera exchange between Kovach and his daughter, she is heard saying he couldn’t take her because she was 18.
“You have to give me a reason, by law. Daddy, why are pushing me? Why are you [expletive] pushing me? Why are you doing this?” she is heard saying.
The investigation also discovered that Kovach lied to his supervisors about the traffic stop. He told investigators he did not approve of his daughter’s relationship with Coleman, but didn’t give a reason.
He said he would appeal his termination.