Newcomerstown police officer admits to shooting self, making up story
TUSCARAWAS COUNTY, Ohio (WTOV) - Last Tuesday, Newcomerstown Police Officer Bryan Eubanks said he was shot during a traffic stop in which he also saw evidence of a mobile meth lab.
A week later, a news conference was held in New Philadelphia in which Tuscarawas County Sheriff Orvis Campbell and Newcomerstown Police Chief Gary Holland said Eubanks made the whole story up and actually shot himself in a suicide attempt.
“The outcome of the case is not as we had hoped,” Campbell said.
Eubanks confessed the entire story was a fabrication.
“He indicated that the injury was self-inflicted,” Campbell said.
“The officer confessed today that he had been struggling emotionally with some things since he recently worked on a very serious felony case – it happened to be a murder – and he stated he had been having some health issues since then,” Campbell said.
He cooperated, saying his intention was to harm himself the entire time, according to Campbell.
The case will move to the prosecutor’s office, but Cambell said he fully expects Eubanks – who has not been jailed - will be charged with a crime. (He mentioned inducing panic, or claiming a work-related injury as possibilities.)
Here’s how the investigation went down.
Law enforcement officials had some questions as to the incident and how it took place but wanted to keep an open mind. They tracked down many leads, but Campbell said the more evidence they tracked down, “the more it didn’t look good for us.”
Members of the media swarmed the area, helping get the word out about a vehicle that was stopped, as well as any other part of the investigation they could.
At one point, working on one of many leads, investigators had tactical teams positioned around a Coshocton County home.
Meanwhile, the license plate reader on the cruiser read each license plate that drove past at the time of the alleged traffic stop.
Officers checked that, hoping to get a better clue and, actually, to alleviate their very early suspicions that things didn’t seem right in the case.
They contacted those drivers, who helped conclude there was no other vehicle there but Eubanks’ at the time of the stop.
On Tuesday, Eubanks was called into Holland’s office and said he made the whole thing up.
It was especially troubling, Campbell said, given the “gigantic” response from other officers looking to help. More than 100 took part.
Campbell said officers from the Guernsey County Sheriff’s Office, Coshocton County Sheriff’s Office, the Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s Office, Newcomerstown, Uhrichsville, Ohio State Highway Patrol, the FBI, ATF and the U.S. Marshals Service helped.