KEY WEST, Fla. – Key West officers arrested an Ohio police chief early Friday morning after they accused him of attacking a homeless man near Duval Street.
Chad McArdle, 40, who leads the police force in Boston Heights, was booked into the Monroe County Jail just before 3 a.m. on a misdemeanor battery charge, according to jail records.
Boston Heights is a village of about 1,400 people, located about 20 miles southeast of Cleveland.
Police said McArdle told them an apparently bogus story claiming he was the one who had been attacked before officers found the actual victim.
According to a report from the Key West Police Department, authorities responded to Southard and Duval streets just after 1 a.m. after a taxi driver called 911 to report that a man, later identified as McArdle, was banging on his door and telling him that “some people wanted to kill him and that he got stabbed in the face and chest.”
The taxi driver told police that McArdle was then “lying on the sidewalk and crying.”
Police responded and said the “stressed out” and apparently “lost” McArdle couldn’t give a clear story about the supposed attack or attackers and had no injuries that were consistent with being stabbed, just a few minor scratches.
He claimed he had gotten pushed and dragged into a vehicle outside Durty Harry’s bar, located at 202 Duval St., by two white men, then was stabbed with a stick. McArdle told authorities he then stabbed one of the alleged attackers with the stick, likely killing him, the report states.
McArdle claimed the attackers then dragged him to an alleyway on Southard Street and told police he kept fighting with the men, but couldn’t describe what happened next. He also reported losing his blue “Hey Dude” shoes, police said.
The report states that police checked surveillance footage and couldn’t find any video evidence that matched McArdle’s statements.
They did, however, find a homeless man, who told them that McArdle had kicked him in the back in the alleyway, then kicked him several more times after he fell to the ground, police said.
An officer wrote in a watch report that the attack happened for “no apparent reason.”
Officers took the victim over to their cruiser and shined the spotlight in McArdle’s face, at which point the man identified McArdle as the suspect.
They then took the Buckeye State lawman into custody. Police ended up finding McArdle’s shoes in the alleyway, they said.
Local 10 News contacted the village of Boston Heights seeking comment on McArdle’s arrest and employment status, but had not received a response as of early Friday afternoon.
The Boston Heights Police Department told Cleveland ABC affiliate WEWS that it had no comment on McArdle’s arrest.
He was being held on a $2,500 bond and was set to be arraigned in Monroe County court on Aug. 17, according to jail records.