More than 60 guns, including submachine gun, seized from Cleveland cop charged with raping girlfriend

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Authorities seized more than 60 firearms, including 50 pistols, five assault rifles and a submachine gun, from a Cleveland police officer charged with raping and pistol-whipping his live-in girlfriend, records say.

Tommie Griffin III, 51, remained behind bars Thursday after a Cuyahoga County judge continued a $250,000 bond at a video arraignment in Common Pleas Court.

A grand jury on Monday handed up charges including rape, felonious assault, kidnapping and domestic violence against the patrolman in Cleveland’s First District.

Griffin is also charged with pandering obscenity. The nature of that charge was not described in court documents or initial reports about Griffin’s arrest.

He has remained jailed since North Royalton Police arrested him at gunpoint Jan. 14 at a Royalton Road tavern.

Judge John P. O’Donnell on Thursday continued the bond set at Griffin’s appearance in Parma Municipal Court, and ordered him to have no contact with the woman, who has moved out of the home, and be tested for HIV, a standard procedure in cases involving rape charges.

Prosecutors had asked O’Donnell to double Griffin’s bond to $500,000, citing “mental health issues” and concern for the safety of both the victim and Griffin.

“The victim is in complete fear and this police officer used his gun to commit his crimes,” Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Anna Faraglia said.

Faraglia said a search after Griffin’s arrest at an address associated with him turned up 70 guns.

Court records show police seized 67 guns, including 50 handguns of different calibers, five assault rifles including an AK47, an Israeli 9mm Uzi submachine gun, seven long rifles and four shotguns.

Griffin’s lawyer, Patrick Leary, said Griffin poses no flight risk and has ties to the community. Leary asked for $100,000 bond.

Griffin’s case was randomly assigned to Judge Maureen Clancy’s courtroom.

Griffin found his 42-year-old girlfriend with another man on Jan. 13, court reports said. Griffin called police. The other man told Parma officers the woman had invited him over for the weekend. The man voluntarily left, police reports said.

A little after midnight the next day, Griffin attacked his girlfriend as she slept in her State Road home, police said.

Griffin pistol-whipped her and punched her in the face several times, police said. He fired two shots into the mattress, inches from her head, court records said.The woman was not hit by the bullets, police said.

He ordered the woman to take a shower, than forced her to the basement of the home and pointed the gun at her again, according to court records. Griffin then forced her to perform a sex act on him at gunpoint, police said.

Griffin drove away from the home. A family member of the woman called Parma police after being unable to reach her by phone. The relative asked police to check on her.

The relative told police the woman and Griffin had a “volatile relationship,” according to police reports.

Parma police went to the home on State Road and found it in “in disarray,” police said. The woman had suffered “severe” facial injuries, Lt. Kevin Riley of the Parma police said. She was taken to MetroHealth for treatment.

Parma police tracked Griffin’s phone and found him about 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Park Tavern in North Royalton, where he was taken into custody and booked into Parma’s city jail.

Griffin was hired as a Cleveland police officer in 1994. He was awarded the department’s distinguished service medal in 2009.

He has been placed on unpaid leave until his court case is settled.

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