Mower County deputy charged with assault in January incident

Published 8:50 am Wednesday, September 4, 2019

A Mower County deputy has been charged with four misdemeanors in connection to an incident that took place in January of this year.

Ryan Matthew Chrz, 34, was charged with two misdemeanor counts including assault in the fifth degree – inflict or attempt bodily harm and assault in the fifth degree – fear or bodily harm or death.

He’s also been charged with two gross misdemeanors, which include misconduct public officer/employee-injure person and misconduct public officer/employee – exceed authority.

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According to the court complaint, Austin police officers and Chrz responded to McDonald’s at around 11:15 a.m. on Jan. 16, 2019, after receiving a report of “an unruly black male.” Upon arrival officers saw the male juvenile in question walking away from McDonald’s and took him into custody.

The juvenile was handcuffed while leaning against Chrz’s squad car, when he noticed people filming the scene and became agitated. He began to squirm away from Chrz and was eventually wrestled to the ground by Chrz and the two officers. He was then shoved into the back of the Chrz’s squad car.

According to the complaint, the juvenile continued to struggle and kicked, striking Chrz in the groin.

As he was being shoved back into the car, the juvenile reportedly said, “I’m done, I’m done, I’m done.”

It was as the juvenile was being pushed back into the car that Chrz allegedly punched him in the face with a closed fist. This was followed by the juvenile being sprayed with pepper spray by an Austin police officer.

The report goes on to say that the juvenile began complaining that the pepper spray was causing his face to burn, but Chrz said he was fine and that his eyes were open. At that point the back window of the door opened and a stream of liquid was sprayed on the juvenile, who tried laying down to get out of the way. Chrz reportedly told the juvenile to stop kicking the door.

According to Chrz, who was first on the scene, the juvenile lunged at officers when he was detained. Chrz said in the court report that he thought the juvenile was trying to attack them. When putting him in the back of the car, Chrz said he was kicked in the pelvis and groin region.

Chrz thought the juvenile was going to kick him again after seeing his leg go back again, and punched him once across the cheek with a closed fist.

Chrz said in the report that he thought the punch was an appropriate amount of force that stopped the juvenile from kicking. He also allegedly admitted to spraying the juvenile two to three more times with pepper spray after warning the juvenile to stop kicking in the back seat.

Rice County is handling the investigation and Chrz is due in court for a first appearance on Sept. 23.