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WMMS host Rover indicted, calls charges "trumped up"

1:45 PM, Oct 3, 2013   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- A grand jury has indicted WMMS radio host, Shane "Rover" French on 13 charges in connection with an arrest in July. Now the radio host is responding and says he was the victim that night.

Police arrested the radio personality early on the morning of July 5 after an alleged altercation with an off-duty Cleveland police officer on Whiskey Island.

The grand jury returned indictments against French on 13 counts including inducing panic, attempted felonious assault, assault, vandalism, criminal damaging, resisting arrest and illegal fireworks.

Another man arrested with Rover, Michael Toomey, faces similar charges.

The allegations stem around an incident in which an officer claimed to have heard fireworks coming from French's boat and asked him to stop.

Rover, 37, and Toomey, 28, were reported to be highly intoxicated and refused. That's when they allegedly started shooting fireworks at the officer, almost hitting him.

The officer then walked to the men, putting out a fuse used to light the fireworks.

The men then allegedly got into a shoving match with the officer as he stated he was a Cleveland police officer, showing his badge.

French's friends then grabbed the two and said they would take them in for the night. The officer then turned to walk away.

French reportedly ran behind the officer and pushed him, saying, "I don't believe you're an officer."

The officer turned around and arrested him. French got free and ran to his boat with Toomey.

More officers showed up to the boat and both men were taken into custody.

Rover took to the airwaves the Monday after his July arrest and made a statement regarding the incident. In part he said:  "The allegations are absolutely absurd, ridiculous and not based in fact whatsoever. In fact, if these charges weren't so serious, it would be comical. But it is very serious and I'm taking the matter very seriously.

As soon as I'm able to talk about it more, I will.
I know it's difficult. People form opinions after you hear one side of the story or after an initial report. Human nature is to say, "Well, OK, that must have been the way that things went down." But I will urge you to resist that temptation until all the facts are out there."

French talked about the indictment  today (Ocotber 3) on his radio show.  He described the charges as being "trumped up" and says he believes they are in retaliation of his intent to file a complaint against the off-duty officer.  French says he is confident the facts of the case will prove his innocence.

You can watch his full statement on the indictment below.

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