Bond set for man shot by Fairfield police officer

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

The Fairfield man shot by a police officer earlier this month had a $250,000 bond set Monday in court.

Rodolfo Molina-Hernandez, 36, of West Hicks Boulevard, is charged with aggravated menacing, a fifth-degree felony, almost a week after an officer shot him in the 3300 block of Port Union Road.

Molina-Hernandez was arraigned in Fairfield Municipal Court on Monday using crutches. He will be back in court at 8:30 a.m. Thursday after having Teresa Cunningham, a court-appointed attorney, assigned to his case. His bond is a 10% surety bond, where he could post $25,000 for his release.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

He is currently being held in the Butler County Jail.

Molina-Hernandez was hospitalized until his release on June 9 when he was arrested and charged by police. Rookie Fairfield police Officer Nick Davis has been on administrative leave while the shooting is investigated by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations.

When arrested last week, Molina-Hernandez was also served with an outstanding contempt of court warrant through Fairfield Municipal Court.

The incident started when an unidentified man called 911 around 3:45 p.m. on June 5 and said there was “a guy with a gun.” The dispatcher had difficulty understanding the caller with a thick accent. The dispatcher asked him to repeat himself but disconnected.

The dispatcher requested an officer check out the 911 hang-up and Davis responded to Port Union Road.

Upon arrival, Davis attempted to talk with Molina-Hernandez, who was standing in the road.

The rookie officer ordered Molina-Hernandez several times to drop the weapon. Davis reported on radio traffic provided by the Fairfield Police Department that “it appears he has a gun in his hand.”

Molina-Hernandez had taken up a “shooting stance,” according to police. A moment after hearing Davis saying Molina-Hernandez had a weapon, dispatchers called for backup. Davis then could be heard saying with a distressed tone “shots fired.” The dispatcher repeated the “shots fired” call.

After the shooting, a wellness check of the officer was requested and Davis could be heard saying he was okay and “apparently it was just a toy gun but he was pointing it at me.”

Police said the observation that the weapon was a “toy” took place after the shooting. At the time of the shooting, police said Davis believed the weapon as it was pointed at him was real. BCI confirmed it was a real weapon.

Other officers arriving on the scene began life-saving measures and called for paramedics. Molina-Hernandez was transported to an area hospital, where he was still located, police confirmed Tuesday. Charges against Molina-Hernandez are pending.

No officers were injured during the incident.

It’s uncertain how long the BCI investigation will take to complete, and when Davis’ body-worn camera footage will be released. This is the third officer-involved shooting since 2016 when the department began utilizing body-worn cameras. Police said the incident where a man standing on Port Union Road on Sunday afternoon was shot by a Fairfield officer was recorded.

Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser’s standing policy since taking office has been to present all officer-involved shootings to a grand jury. The prosecutor told the Journal-News the case will be presented to a grand jury “as soon as BCI completes its investigation.”

Gmoser said he believes BCI’s investigation could wrap up this week. Fairfield police said the BCI investigation was still ongoing as of Monday.

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