Police officer fights sacking after detaining daughter's boyfriend

A former police officer is protesting his department’s decision to fire him after he was filmed detaining his daughter’s boyfriend without cause.

John Kovach Jr, a police officer who served in Ohio, pulled over 18-year-old Makai Coleman on April 16 and told him he was “going to jail”, according to the Chronicle-Telegram.

In the dash camera footage, Mr Coleman can be heard asking why he is being detained.  

Mr Kovach replies: “You’re going to jail. Have a seat in my car. We’ll make s*** up as we go.”

John Kovach Jr leads Malakai Coleman away from his car informing him he’s going to jail. Source: YouTube/ The Chronicle Telegram

He was looking for his daughter, Katlyn, 18, whom he did not know was in the back seat of Mr Coleman’s car.

Also in the vehicle were Gloria Morales’s two children.

Mr Coleman had been pulled over in front of Ms Morales’s home, where Mr Kovach had tracked his daughter’s laptop location. 

Katlyn had been caught engaging in a sexual act with Mr Coleman by her mother, Mr Kovach’s ex-wife, a week prior to the incident.

When Mr Coleman was asked to leave, Katlyn said: “If I can’t be with him, I don’t want to be here anymore”, which the father took to be a suicide threat.

Mr Kovach later said he was looking for Katlyn so he could take her to the hospital. 

Mr Coleman sits in the back of a police car. Source: YouTube/ The Chronicle Telegram

In the video, Mr Kovach confronts Ms Morales and informs her he wants to search her home for his daughter and her laptop, to which she says he will have to return with a warrant. 

Mr Kovach threatens to write Ms Morales’s daughter a US$300 ticket for not wearing a seatbelt.

When Ms Morales says she is going to call 911, he threatens to take her to jail as well.

It is then Mr Kovach sees his daughter in the backseat of the car.

Eventually, he releases Mr Coleman and gets his daughter into his cruiser.

Mr Kovach’s daughter, Katlyn, screams from the backseat of his patrol car. Source: YouTube/ The Chronicle Telegram

During the incident, dispatch can be heard calling Mr Kovach to a road rage incident, which he ignores. 

Mr Kovach, who has been a police officer since 1992, was fired on May 11.  

Safety-Service Director Dan Given said the former police officer’s actions “are not acceptable for members of our police department”.

“We felt it warranted immediate dismissal,” he said.