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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

[OH] "Fortunate" North Canton police Lt. avoids gun felony and domestic violence charge in plea deal - and leaves policing

...According to the police report, [North Canton police Lt. Scott] Denniss fired his .9mm gun at the ground and at an officer... The report listed Denniss' wife and a responding officer as victims... Denniss originally was charged with felonious assault, a first-degree felony; domestic violence, a first-degree misdemeanor; and discharging firearms, a fourth-degree misdemeanor...  despondent North Canton police officer [Scott F. Denniss] who fired a gun several times outside his home avoided a grand jury review and any potential trial by pleading guilty Wednesday to a reduced charge [inducing panic]... “You are fortunate that you did what you did in North Canton... that the police officers that responded knew you”... The judge lifted a no-contact order, allowing Denniss to move back in with his wife...

Deniss can seek expungement of the misdemeanor a year after his probation is ended. His domestic violence charge is never explained.

If this case found justice, then this kind of compassion needs to be extended to all those who are "distraught", not just officers. Deniss was fortunate indeed, because the rest of us most likely would have been shot dead.

I do commend Deniss for calling a fellow officer for help - late, but he called - instead of killing someone or himself. Since this family's choice is to stay together, I pray that healing happens.

NEWS EXCERPTS FROM FEB 2012 THRU MARCH 29, 2012:

POLICE: OFF-DUTY NORTH CANTON OFFICER FIRES SHOTS, ARRESTED
newsnet5.com
By: Jen Steer
Posted: 02/13/2012
[Excerpts] A North Canton police officer has been arrested after a bizarre incident where police say he fired his gun several times. North Canton officers were called to the 200 block of Weber Avenue NE just before 7 p.m. on Jan. 29 for a report that Lt. Scott F. Denniss, 46, was distraught... According to the police report, Denniss fired his .9mm gun at the ground and at an officer... “When this incident occurred he was off duty and not conducting himself in any kind of official manner. He has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation being conducted into his actions that evening,” the North Canton Police Department said in a news release on Monday... “He has been a loyal and dedicated police officer throughout his service to the community,” the department said. [Full article here]

NORTH CANTON OFFICER JAILED
CantonRep.com staff report
Posted Feb 13, 2012 @ 05:31 PM
[Excerpt] A city police officer is in the Stark County Jail because of charges filed following a Jan. 29 incident. Lt. Scott F. Denniss, 46, was served with charges on Monday after he was released from Aultman Hospital, where he has been since the incident. He is charged with felonious assault, domestic violence and improperly discharging a firearm. Bond is sent at $110,000, according to court records. Police went to Denniss’ residence on Weber Avenue NE just before 7 p.m. after Denniss called a fellow officer and said he was distraught... [Full article here]


FORMER NORTH CANTON POLICE OFFICER PLEADS GUILTY TO INCIDENT WHERE he acted distraught, fired shots

NewsNet5.com
By: Mike Waterhouse
Posted: 03/28/2012
[Excerpt] A former North Canton police officer admitted in court he was involved in a bizarre incident where he fired his gun several times. Lt. Scott Denniss, 46, pleaded guilty to one count of inducing panic, a first-degree misdemeanor. He was initially also charged with domestic violence and felonious assault. The Stark County judge hearing the case accepted his plea, suspended the sentence and order him to two years probation. Denniss also must surrender his Ohio police officer certification and cannot own, possess, discharge or have any contact with guns during his probationary period... [Full article here]

FORMER NORTH CANTON POLICE OFFICER PLEADS GUILTY TO INDUCING PANIC
CantonRep.com
By Dave Sereno
Mar 28, 2012
[Excerpts] A despondent North Canton police officer [Scott F. Denniss] who fired a gun several times outside his home avoided a grand jury review and any potential trial by pleading guilty Wednesday to a reduced charge... Judge Charles E. Brown Jr. suspended a six-month jail term and put Denniss on probation for two years. He also barred him from having firearms and ordered him to get rid of any he currently own... Inducing panic was the proper charge when considering all of the evidence, including the fact that the shots were fired into the ground and not at anyone, [Assistant Stark County prosecutor Dennis] Barr said. “You know better than anyone else how close you came to either hurting someone or yourself,” Brown told the defendant. “You are fortunate that you did what you did in North Canton... that the police officers that responded knew you”... The judge lifted a no-contact order, allowing Denniss to move back in with his wife after being on house arrest for 60 days. She also appeared at the hearing. “I let the stress get to me. It was the worst day of my life ...,” he said after his court hearing. “Unfortunately, it’s cost me a lot ... I’m looking forward to rebuilding my life.” [Full article here]

FORMER OFFICER PLEADS GUILTY AFTER FIRING GUN OFF DUTY: Scott F. Denniss pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of inducing panic, a first-degree misdemeanor, when he appeared before Judge Charles Brown in Stark County Common Pleas Court
northcanton.patch
By Morgan Day
March 29, 2012
[Excerpts] A former North Canton police lieutenant will spend the next two years on probation after becoming distraught and firing his gun off duty in January. Scott F. Denniss pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of inducing panic, a first-degree misdemeanor, when he appeared before Judge Charles Brown in Stark County Common Pleas Court, according to a news release from the North Canton Police Department. The judge had suspended a six-month jail term for two years' probation. “I let the stress get to me. It was the worst day of my life ...,” Denniss said in the Canton Repository. “Unfortunately, it’s cost me a lot ... I’m looking forward to rebuilding my life.” Denniss originally was charged with felonious assault, a first-degree felony; domestic violence, a first-degree misdemeanor; and discharging firearms, a fourth-degree misdemeanor. According to a police report, Denniss, 46, had fired a 9 mm handgun into the ground outside his home in the 200 block of Weber Avenue. He was off duty at that time, just before 7 p.m. Jan. 29. When police arrived, he fired two more shots into the ground, according to the police report. The report listed Denniss' wife and a responding officer as victims... [Full article here]
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