PEVELY, Mo. ( -- Two Pevely police officers have been fired and one is now facing assault charges.

Ryan Watson

Corporal Ryan Watson

Corporal Ryan Watson and Officer Wayne Casey were removed from the force Wednesday. Watson had been with the Pevely Police Department two years and Casey around one year.

The department has not released why Casey was fired. 

Watson’s firing, and the charges of fourth-degree assault, stem from a reported assault of a suspect, which was captured on video on April 23, 2019.

Suspect Ryan Bossum told News 4 he was choked, body slammed and thrown into a cell last month by Watson.

Bossum, who has a long criminal record and who'd been arrested in April for violating a protection order, said Watson became angry with him.

According to the Jefferson County Prosecutor's Office, Watson choked Bossum, there was a scuffle, and then Watson pushed him into a jail cell.

Video shows Watson walking up behind Bossum and wrapping his hands around his neck. Watson then forcefully pushes Bossum onto a bench.

After a struggle, video shows Watson grabbing Bossum, putting him in a chokehold and dragging him across the floor.

Watson then shoves him into the jail cell and slams the door.

Court documents state that Watson believed his actions were justifiable and were a direct result of Bossum not listening to his verbal commands. 

Mayor Stephanie Haas said she and the board moved quickly to address the situation.

"Upon review of the facts the board actually made the decision that it warranted immediate termination,” she said.

The firings are the latest in a string of troubles for the department.

In March a protest was held outside City Hall after allegations of domestic abuse by former chief Tony Moutray came to light.

He agreed to resign his position, and Wednesday’s firings mean three officers have left in three months.

"I don't think our police department is bad. I don’t think it's in a state of turmoil. I do believe that we have good officers there handling the business for the city," Haas said.

Haas said the force has a lot of young officers and the hope is to find a chief to guide them.

Copyright 2019 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved


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