Cleveland Officer Michael Brelo Arrested In Brawl With Brother 4 Days After Acquittal In Killing of Unarmed Black Couple

Officer Michael Brelo, 31, was released on his own recognizance.
Officer Michael Brelo, 31, was released on his own recognizance.

Cleveland police Officer Michael Brelo allegedly engaged in a fight with his twin brother during a night of drinking just four days after Brelo’s acquittal in a black couple’s killing, authorities said.

Michael Brelo and his brother, Mark, each facing assault charges, voluntarily surrendered Wednesday, police said.

Michael Brelo, 31, was released on his own recognizance, and his arraignment was scheduled for June 10, authorities said.

Mark Brelo of Brunswick, Ohio, also was released, police said.

The Brelo brothers and their attorneys couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.

The fight between the twins occurred at Michael Brelo’s home after 4 a.m. on May 27, according to police in Bay Village, Ohio.

The reason for the fight isn’t stated in the police report.

An agitated Mark Brelo “banged” on a woman’s home door at 4:28 a.m. and “stated he needed help because of an incident with his brother,” the Bay Village police report said.

When police responded, “Mark Brelow was intoxicated and had marks that indicated he had been in a physical confrontation,” a police press release said. “Mark Brelo stated he was involved in an incident with his brother, Michael Brelo.

“The investigation determined that both brothers had been drinking at Michael Brelo’s residence and had gotten into a physical fight with each other. Both Brelos had observable injuries and admitted to being in a physical altercation. No weapons were involved in the assault,” police said.

Bay Village Police Chief Mark Spaetzel said the case was reviewed by the city prosecutor, who couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.

“Based on the facts, it was determined that assault charges against both were appropriate and warranted. This determination was made independent of the recent criminal court case involving Michael Brelo,” the police chief said in a statement.

In 2012, Michael Brelo, who’s white, stood on a car and shot the unarmed black occupants 15 times just after officers first riddled it with bullets.

On May 23, Judge John P. O’Donnell found Brelo not guilty of voluntary manslaughter and felonious assault in the 2012 deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams following a 22-mile car chase.

Among the judge’s reasons was how Brelo reasonably believed he was in danger. Neither Russell, 43, nor Williams, 30, were armed.

Brelo and 12 other officers fired more than 100 times in eight seconds at the car, authorities said. Brelo remains on unpaid suspension until a police review committee completes its investigation, Cleveland police said.

“The Division of Police is aware of Mr. Brelo’s current charge and the integrity control section will monitor this pending case,” police Sgt. Ali Pillow said in a statement.

On the day of Brelo’s acquittal, the U.S. Justice Department announced it will review the 2012 police shooting of the couple. The acquittal ignited protests in Cleveland.

SOURCE: CNN – Michael Martinez, Sonia Moghe, Kevin Conlin

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