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Ogemaw County Sheriff’s Deputy Will Stand Trial for Using Excessive Force

LANSING – An Ogemaw County Sheriff’s Deputy accused of assaulting a man with autism and not reporting the use of force to supervisors will go to trial, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced today. 

A preliminary examination for Deputy Matthew Viviano, 48, was held at 82nd District Court in West Branch. He was bound over on charges of misconduct in office, a five-year felony, and one count of assault and battery.

In September 2021, Deputy Viviano and a second deputy responded to an emergency call at Premier Care Assisted Living that a resident with autism, 27, was assaulting a male caretaker. Three Michigan State Police troopers also responded to the call to assist the deputies. The evidence presented at the preliminary examination showed that while the responding officers were calming the situation, Deputy Viviano forcefully pushed the resident down to the couch twice and then utilized unnecessary defensive techniques against the resident. The Michigan State troopers who were on scene testified at the preliminary exam that this display of force was unwarranted and unreasonable.

“Officers who violate the law erode the public’s trust in law enforcement,” said Nessel. “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 November 8 at 2 p.m. in Ogemaw County. 

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