A state trooper stands next to her car as the Ohio State Highway Patrol
A state trooper stands next to her car as the Ohio State Highway Patrol begins the task of shutting down a 20-mile stretch of the southern part of Interstate 270, from the intersection of I-70 East to I-70 West, December 6, 2003. Reuters/Ronnie Bianco

An American police officer has been fired for detaining his daughter’s boyfriend without cause and threatening to jail him on bogus charges. Following an internal investigation, Ohio patrolman John Kovach Jr was relieved from service when he threatened jail time for 18-year-old Makai Coleman and warned a mother not to call the emergency service in the US.

The 10-minute footage, obtained by the Chronicle Telegram (see video below), was filmed on April 16 in Lorain in Ohio. It shows Kovach pulling over Coleman, telling to get out. “You’re going to jail,” Kovach can be heard saying.

“Go have a seat in my car. We’ll make s--- up as we go,” the 26-year veteran tells Coleman when he asks for an explanation.

Lorain police said Kovach was looking for his daughter. He had traced her computer to a friend’s home in the neighbourhood and he threatened to give the friend a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt. The friend was a passenger in Coleman’s car.

The friend’s mother, Gloria Morales, is seen in the video approaching the seen. Kovach then argues with her, demanding to know if his daughter is in her nearby house.

“If I check in and you’re lying to me, you’re going to jail,” Kovach says in the video. Morales says she’s going to call 911, the emergency hotline for the US, but Kovach threatens her for allegedly planning to make a non-emergency call.

According to investigators, Kovach did not realise at first that his daughter was a passenger in the backseat of Coleman’s vehicle. When he finally saw her, he let everyone else go and ordered her out of the car, pushing her into the backseat of his patrol car. His 18-year-old daughter argued about him using his position as police to intimidate her and her boyfriend.

Morales reported the incident to police. Investigators said Kovach objected to his daughter’s relationship with Coleman because he didn’t think her boyfriend was a good person.

Apart from abusing his power when he detained Coleman and threatened Morales, Kovach also did not respond to dispatchers trying to send him to a road rage incident. The investigation also concluded that he lied to his supervisors about what happened.

He was fired on May 11. He will contest his case through the arbitration process. His hearing is scheduled for September, Morning Journal reports.