Naked man shot by officers after charging at them with sword avoids jail time

The man who was shot by Dayton police officers after charging at them with a sword while naked will not face prison time for the incident.

David Showalter, 34, avoided prison time and was sentenced to five years of community control on Friday.

>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Police chief IDs man with sword, officers that shot, injured him in Dayton

Showalter entered into a plea agreement at the end of January and pleaded guilty to one count of assault of peace officer from his original indictment and one count of attempt to commit felonious assault from a bill of information. As part of his plea agreement, one count of felonious assault of a peace officer and obstructing official business were dismissed.

News Center 7 was the only news outlet in the courtroom Friday morning as Showalter learned his sentence. Dayton police officer John Griffin gave a victim impact statement.

“This was a traumatic event that changed my life,” Griffin said.

As reported on News Center 7 at 5:00 p.m., Griffin was one of two officers who shot Showalter as he charged at them with a sword.

Body camera video shared by Dayton police last year showed a naked man, later identified as Showalter, running down the sidewalk toward a Dayton officer with a sword in his hands. Griffin and another responding officer fired multiple shots at him, hitting him in his lower extremities after he raised the sword in an “aggressive manner.”

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In court, Griffin emphasized that Showalter chose not to take his medication and chose to use marijuana. He also urged the judge to impose a maximum sentence.

“Anything less would send the wrong signal to Montgomery County residents,” Griffin said.

Showalter and his lawyers had a much different view. His lawyer insisted Showalter was suffering a mental health crisis brought on by untreated bipolar disorder.

“I am not a criminal,” Showalter told the court. “If I didn’t struggle with mental health, it would not have happened.”

Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Angelina Jackson appeared to agree, calling that a mitigating factor. She said she felt Showalter’s only goal was to hurt himself and gave him no time behind bars. Instead, she placed him on community control and 60 days of electronic home monitoring.

If he doesn’t comply with the terms and requirements of his sentence, including complying with counseling and substance testing requirements, he could serve prison time.

A dozen Dayton officers were in court for the sentencing on Friday. Among them was Major Brian Johns, who called the sentencing a “very disappointing outcome.”

“In my personal opinion, with the impact on officers and community, probation just wasn’t enough,” Johns said.

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After the sentencing, News Center 7 went back to the area on Suman Avenue where the incident happened last May and spoke to the community, who was shocked and surprised about the sentencing.

“I’m very upset over that, it’s not right,” Diane Smith said.

Smith made one of the 911 calls after Showalter started yelling at her granddaughter and another little girl while naked and holding a samurai sword. She said he also tried to force his way into a neighbor’s house before charging at the officers.

Smith also didn’t know that Showalter had been out on house arrest at his parents’ house since he recovered from being shot.

“That is not right. To me, he’s a sex offender. To me, he’s done just as much damage as these sex offenders that have to register to live in the neighborhood,” she said. “He should have to register, he was in his yard naked.”