Euclid police officer fired after Willoughby bar fight arrest

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The former officer reportedly pointed a gun at a man’s head during the physical altercation

EUCLID, OH (WOIO) - Euclid police officer Todd Gauntner has been terminated from the department on Sept. 17 after being arrested for using weapons while intoxicated at a Willoughby bar.

The Willoughby Police Department says Gauntner was at Frank & Tony’s Place on Second Street when a fight broke out at 1:19 a.m. on Aug. 24.

A bartender reportedly called police for five men fighting, going behind the bar and breaking bottles when one of them pulled a gun out and held it to another patron’s head.

Willoughby Police confirm Gauntner received injuries to his face and head as a result of the fight, but none of the employees were injured.

Upon investigation, Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail says Gauntner initiated the incident with two men that are allegedly Hells Angels members by making disparaging comments to them. Gauntner reportedly had the opportunity to remove himself from the situation, but failed to do so.

The Mayor also says Gauntner admitted having a loaded weapon in a bar while consuming alcohol, pointed the weapon at numerous people and came close to losing his weapon in the subsequent disturbance.

Euclid Police Chief Scott Meyer reportedly imposed a 15-day suspension on Gauntner on Sept. 10 for violating Euclid Police Department rules, unbecoming conduct, neglect of duty, use of alcohol off duty, use of weapons, and unsatisfactory conduct.


A pre-disciplinary conference was reportedly held on Sept. 13, after which the Mayor agreed with the Chief’s list of violations and recommendation of disciplinary action and terminated Gauntner from the department on Sept. 17.

In the Mayor’s termination letter to Gauntner, Holzheimer Gail states:

"You put yourself and many bar patrons at significant risk of substantial harm due to your reckless behavior.

You are to conduct yourself at all times, both on and off duty, in a manner that reflects favorably on the EPD and uphold the laws and Constitution of the State of Ohio and City of Euclid. You have not done so in this situation.

I no longer have confidence that you can perform successfully as a member of the Euclid Police department."

Gauntner’s pre-trial continuance is set for Nov. 1.

According to Willoughby Municipal Court documents, Gauntner was also charged with speeding three times in 2006 and once in 2005. Willoughby Municipal Court reports also confirm he was charged with an OVI along with eluding/fleeing an officer in 2006.

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