Four days after being acquitted in the shooting deaths of two unarmed people, Cleveland police Officer Michael Brelo was involved in a violent fight with his brother, court documents show.
Brelo and twin brother Mark, both 31, had been drinking at Michael Brelo's home around 4:30 a.m. on May 27, police say, when they got into a fight. The brothers began "striking/punching" each other, according to court records filed Wednesday with the Rocky River Municipal Court, and both sustained visible injuries. No weapons were used, police said.
Police say Mark Brelo was arrested on suspicion of intoxication, and a misdemeanor citation for disorderly conduct says Mark Brelo was knocking on several doors in the neighborhood and "wearing only cargo shorts and carrying one shoe."
One resident called police to report an "agitated and intoxicated" man outside her door had requested she contact the authorities.
The brothers are being charged with one count each of misdemeanor assault, according to court records. Police say both men turned themselves in Wednesday, and were later released. They are due back in court June 10.
In a statement, Bay Village Police Chief Mark Spaetzel said the incident between the brothers was "thoroughly investigated and reviewed with the city prosecutor" before officials decided to bring the assault charges.
"This determination was made independent of the recent criminal court case involving Michael Brelo," Spaetzel said.
On May 23, a judge found Michael Brelo not guilty in the shooting deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams, who were unarmed when Brelo jumped on the hood of their car after a wild car chase and fired 15 times at point-blank range. Of the 137 rounds fired by police during the chase, Brelo shot 49.
Stephen Loomis, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Assn., called the altercation a "family matter."
"It's a couple of brothers getting into it, there were no vehicles, no driving," Loomis told The Times Wednesday. "The entire family has been under an immense amount of pressure."
Ali Pillow, a spokesman for the Cleveland Police Department, said Brelo is still on unpaid administrative leave from the previous case. The department is “aware of this current charge,” Pillow told The Times, and internal affairs investigators will be monitoring the assault case.
Loomis said Officer Brelo's disciplinary review is still pending.
Times staff writer James Queally contributed to this report.
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