AUSTIN — A Mower County Sheriff's deputy is facing misconduct and assault charges after he allegedly punched and pepper sprayed a juvenile male in January, according to court documents.
Ryan Matthew Chrz, 34, is charged with two counts of gross misdemeanor misconduct by a public officer and two counts of misdemeanor fifth-degree assault, according to court records.
The Rice County Attorney's Office is handling the prosecution of the case. Chrz was originally scheduled to make his first appearance on the charges on Thursday but it was reset by the Court to Sept. 23, according to court records.
Chrz is on administrative leave, according to Mower County officials.
The charges stem from a Jan. 16 incident when Austin police officers and Chrz responded to a report around 11:15 a.m. of an "unruly" male at a McDonalds in Austin, according to the criminal complaint written by a Rice County Sheriff's lieutenant. The complaint was filed on July 30.
Chrz took the juvenile into custody shortly after arrival. The juvenile's age is not listed in court records.
"At approximately 11:20 a.m., the juvenile was handcuffed and leaning against the defendant's squad until he saw someone across the street video recording his arrest," the complaint reads. "At that point, the juvenile became agitated and began squirming away from the defendant. The defendant and two Austin Police Officers wrestled juvenile to the ground and then picked him up and shoved the juvenile into the back seat of the defendant's squad car."
Court records state that the juvenile struggled and Chrz said he was kicked in the groin. Handcuffed, the juvenile "continued to struggle and kick" while officers were trying to get him into the back of the squad.
"At 11:21:40, the juvenile screamed while being pushed into the squad. The defendant punched the juvenile in the face with a closed fist," the complaint reads. Court records indicate the juvenile was sprayed with pepper spray at least two times by the officers who responded.
In June, a sergeant with the Rice County Sheriff's Office spoke with the juvenile and took down his version of the event. A day later, the same sergeant who took the juvenile's report spoke with Chrz.