Greenup man charged with assault on police officer

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 2, 2023

PORTSMOUTH — A Greenup, Kentucky man was charged with felonious assault on a police officer, after  Scioto County Sheriff David Thoroughman said there was an incident in the jail during video arraignments on Thursday.

Thoroughman said deputies were attempting to take Michael A. Swords, 42, out of the video arraignment room and he refused.  

He said deputies gave Swords multiple verbal commands, yet he still refused. As the deputies were attempting to remove Swords from the room, moving him towards the booking area, he continued to refuse and resist.  

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Swords then assaulted the two deputies, punching them both in the face, Thoroughman said. 

The sheriff said the deputies were taken to Southern Ohio Medical Center to be treated for their injuries, which included a broken nose for one deputy, lacerations to lips and face, a hand injury and possible concussions. Both deputies were treated and released for these injuries.

Detectives responded to the jail and the hospital to investigate the incident, conducting interviews and the collecting evidence. Thoroughman stated the investigation resulted in the Swords receiving additional charges — two counts of felonious assault on a police officer, a first degree felony.

Swords was already being held on burglary, a second felony, two counts of tampering with evidence, a third degree felony, theft of firearms, a third degree felony, having weapons under disability, a third degree felony, breaking and entering, a fifth degree felony, grand theft auto, a fourth degree felony, theft, a fifth degree felony, and making a false report, a fifth degree felony. 

Swords is currently being held in the Scioto County jail on a $160,000,00 bond. He appeared in Portsmouth Municipal Court on Friday for the new charges.

The sheriff’s office had arrested Swords on Monday, following what they described as a “crime spree” in Ohio.

The sheriff said 911 received a call on Saturday, Aug. 26 from Mike’s Auto Sales, located at 8001 Ohio River Rd. in Wheelersburg. The caller said that someone had broken into the business and stolen several items, to include cash, titles, keys and a 2011 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck. 

Thoroughman stated that a deputy responded and gathered evidence and information for a report. Deputies and detectives, working jointly, were able to identify a Swords as a suspect. 

Thoroughman said on Sunday, Swords contacted 911, wanting to report his truck stolen from a job site located at 1087 Coriell Rd. in Portsmouth. A deputy responded and completed a stolen vehicle report. 

Swords was detained and brought to the sheriff’s office for an interview. During the interview, the sheriff said Swords admitted that his truck had not been stolen. 

Swords admitted that he had taken it, leaving it running, and parked it along the Ohio River on the Kentucky side. The suspect then admitted to breaking into Mike’s Auto Sales and stealing the truck, the sheriff said. 

During the investigation, deputies and detectives were able to recover more than 300 stolen titles and an assortment of vehicle keys. One of the keys belonged to the truck, which was reported stolen from Mike’s Auto Sales. The truck was located hidden in a wooded area at Swords’ house, located at 2930 Smith Branch Road in Greenup.   

On Monday, detectives learned of a burglary which had occurred on Aug. 26 on State Route 125 in Otway, in which firearms were stolen.   

The sheriff said, while reviewing the evidence, detectives were able to determine that the suspect was the same suspect from the theft at Mike’s Auto Sales. Swords showed detectives the location of the stolen firearms, taking them to Pond Lick Road off State Route 125. 

Detectives recovered the stolen firearms, buried at that location.