Sheriff’s deputy to stand trial for excessive force against man with autism

Generic and blurry police lights from a cruiser vehicle and car headlights behind yellow crime...
Generic and blurry police lights from a cruiser vehicle and car headlights behind yellow crime scene do not cross caution tape at night.(Ajax9 | Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 3:15 PM EDT
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OGEMAW, Mich. (WNEM) - A deputy with the Ogemaw County Sheriff’s Office will stand trial for allegedly assaulting a man with autism and not reporting the use of force to supervisors.

The Attorney General’s Office made the announcement about 48-year-old Matthew Viviano on Tuesday. Viviano has been charged with misconduct in office, which is a five-year felony, and one count of assault and battery.

The Attorney General’s office said Viviano and a second deputy responded to Premier Care Assisted Living in September 2021 for reports that a 27-year-old resident with autism was assaulting a caretaker.

Evidence shows while officers tried to calm the situation, Viviano forcefully pushed the resident down twice and used defensive techniques, the Attorney General’s Office said. State Police troopers who also responded to the scene said the use of force was unnecessary.

“Officers who violate the law erode the public’s trust in law enforcement,” Attorney General Dana Nessel said. “I commend the Michigan State Police troopers for reporting this incident and working with my department to hold accountable an officer who violated the law.”

Viviano waived his arraignment and a pretrial is scheduled for Nov. 8 at 2 p.m.