Nick McWilliams reporting – A man who attempted to attack officers with two knives in March received a three-year prison sentence Friday.

Ryan Leeper was apprehended after Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s Office Detective Cole Morris tried to arrest him on an outstanding warrant from Summit County.

Leeper ran from deputies, brandishing two knives and threatening self-harm before charging officers, with Morris utilizing non-lethal beanbag rounds from his shotgun and the New Philadelphia K-9 unit using a dog to subdue him.

He appeared via video for sentencing Friday, having to be quieted by Judge Michael Ernest while Morris’ report was read by Tuscarawas County Assistant Prosecutor Scott Deedrick.

Despite the brief interjection, Leeper sat mostly quiet for the sentencing, with Ernest saying that he should be thanking Morris for his actions, which ultimately prevented someone from losing their life.

“This sentence is not about you, in any way, getting a break. It’s the appropriate sentence. But if you did get a break anywhere, it’s because the officer that you encountered that day was Cole Morris. And he used a beanbag to stop you and not a bullet. That’s the break that you got in life. I know you’ve had some bad breaks. Everybody does. But you got, clearly, an opportunity here because of the officer and the restraint that he showed.”

Leeper, who is currently incarcerated on other charges in the Tuscarawas County Justice Center, received a three-year term in prison for the felonious assault charge.

He started that sentence officially on Friday, which runs concurrent to his previous conviction.

Deedrick expressed concerns about Leeper, who he says has been showing a pattern of more violent behavior with little to no remorse.

The three-year term carries a one and a half year tail under the Reagan Tokes Act, and he will be under parole for no less than 18 months, up to three years after his sentence has been served.

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