Euclid OH March 25 2020
Former Euclid Police Officer Todd Gauntner came to the Euclid Police Department lobby at 3 a.m., March 23, and committed suicide, the department announced in a news release.
He made no attempt to hurt anyone other than himself and no one else was injured, the release stated.
Gauntner resigned from the police department in 2018 after encountering legal difficulties.
On Aug. 24, 2018, Gauntner was involved in a fight outside a Downtown Willoughby bar in which he brandished a gun. He was eventually sentenced in Willoughby Municipal Court to five days in Lake County Jail.
Gauntner was a decorated police officer and is a U.S. Marine veteran who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan. He had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a previous News-Herald article.
His attorney had asked that the case be moved to Lake County’s Mental Health Court but that was rejected. Gauntner apologized for the incident.
Gauntner also had a prior arrest involving a gun. He was arrested on Thanksgiving 2015 after firing a gun into Lake Erie at Sims Park in Euclid while off duty. A Euclid Municipal Court judge fined him $235 and ordered him to attend counseling. The Euclid Police Department also suspended him for 90 days.
In the same month he was arrested in a bar fight, Gauntner was honored at the annual Silver & Gold, Inc. awards for saving the life of a man shot 16 times.
The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office and Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation are conducting the investigation, and no further details will be shared at this time, the release stated.
Grief counselors are available at the department for anyone in need of assistance.