Former Ohio State swimming & diving coach and current ASCA CEO Bill Wadley owns the Columbus, Ohio home where police shot and killed an unarmed Black man last month.
Columbus police have taken heavy criticism for the death of Andre Hill. Two officers at the scene failed to activate their body-worn cameras and failed to quickly provide first aid to Hill before he died after an officer shot him multiple times. The officer who shot and killed Hill was terminated two days later.
The property has also been the subject of nine 911 calls since September of 2019, police records show, occasionally referencing a “Bill” or “Billy.” The calls appeared to make no reference to Hill.
Early on the morning of December 22nd, Columbus police responded to a non-emergency disturbance call made by a neighbor on the 1000 block of Oberlin Drive. The caller reported a man sitting in an SUV for an extended time and turning the car on and off, according to The Columbus Dispatch. Police found an open garage door at a home on the block and 47-year-old Andre Hill inside the garage. Hill walked towards the officers with a cell phone in his left hand and his right hand in the pocket of a winter coat, and police officer Adam Coy shot and killed Hill. No weapons were recovered at the scene.
The killing comes at the end of a 2020 year that has been marked by widespread protests against police killings, especially killings of Black men.
The 44-year-old Coy, who is white, had an extensive history of complaints and excessive force violations during his 19 years as a police officer, according to The Dispatch. In 2012, Coy stopped a man for drunken driving and was caught on a cruiser camera banging the man’s head into the hood of a car four times. Coy was suspended for 160 hours, and the incident forced the city to pay a $45,000 settlement with the man. The Dispatch reports that Coy had nine complaints filed against him in 2003 alone, with four of them coming within the span of a single month.
In the Hill shooting, Coy and another responding officer failed to activate their body-worn cameras until after Hill was shot. The cameras have a 60-second ‘lookback’ function that captures only video, but not audio, for 60 seconds before the camera is activated. The city of Columbus released unedited bodycam footage the day after the shooting, which you can see here. The first minute of footage, which doesn’t have any audio, was captured before Coy activated his camera. Coy shoots Hill in that first minute, before the camera was activated.
The footage also shows a significant delay in rendering first aid to Hill after the shooting. According to The Dispatch, at least six minutes pass before aid is rendered to Hill. When the camera is first activated and audio begins, Coy complains that he can’t see Hill’s hand as Hill lies groaning on the garage floor. Coy approaches about thirty seconds after the shooting and rolls the wounded Hill onto his back, cursing as the bodycam footage appears to show no weapon near Hill.
Coy was terminated two days later. Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan said in a December 31 statement that Coy’s “violations of policy and standards were so clear-cut, and so egregious… his termination could not wait.” Quinlan also says other officers at the scene are under investigation for failing to administer first aid to Hill, who was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Both Quinlan and Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther criticized Coy and the other officers for failing to activate their body-worn cameras.
“It is unacceptable to me and to the community, that the officers did not turn on their cameras,” Ginther said in an ABC6 report. “Let me be clear. If you are not going to turn on your body-worn camera you cannot serve and protect the people of Columbus.”
Former OSU Coach Owns Home
The Dispatch quotes a neighbor, who says the home where the shooting occurred was owned by former Ohio State University swimming & diving coach Bill Wadley. Franklin County records confirm that Wadley and his wife have owned the home at 1062 Oberlin Drive since 1989. Per the Dispatch report, the neighbor said Wadley’s adult niece lived with him there.
The neighbor said Wadley had told her his niece expected an acquaintance of hers to stop by the house early Tuesday, dropping off money to buy Christmas presents for her kids.
We’ve reached out to Wadley for more information, but have not yet received a response. Wadley retired from his post as head coach at Ohio State back in 2017. He’s currently the CEO of the American Swimming Coaches Association, or ASCA. It’s also not clear if he currently lives in Ohio full-time. After retiring from Ohio State, Wadley was named the director of the youth competitive swimming program for the YMCA of Greater Des Moines in Iowa.
Nine Calls To 911 In Past 17 Months
SwimSwam’s public records request to the Columbus Police Department revealed at least nine different 911 calls from the 1062 Oberlin Drive residence since September of 2019.
Several of the calls have alleged domestic violence. In a January 4, 2020 call, a female caller accuses a man of putting his hands on her, choking her and pulling her hair. A male voice says he would “never do anything like this.” In a June 15, 2020 call, a woman accuses a man of pushing her down the stairs, saying he broke her arm and her jaw. The male voice said he was sleeping when she fell down the stairs. In a November 4, 2020 call, a woman accuses her live-in boyfriend “Bill” of putting his hands on her, according to the 911 transcript. The very next day, another female caller accused live-in boyfriend “Bill Ladley” of hitting her.
Several call transcripts show that police were dispatched to the house on multiple occasions, but no one answered the door.
Some of the transcripts have also suggested intoxication or mental disturbance. The June 4th call about choking and hair pulling mentions that the caller “sounds possibly a little intoxicated.” In an October 12th call, a woman reports that she left the house with the doors unlocked, and things had been moved around inside when she returned, but was “very evasive” when asked questions. The transcript notes that the call “sounds like a 16B.” In the city’s official Ten Code, a 10-16B refers to “disturbance/mental,” according to the city’s documents.
The police transcripts also record several different names given by the callers. One call came from a “Natalie” and two others from a “Destiny.” Several other calls don’t include a name for the caller.
None of the calls appear to reference Andre Hill.
We’ve reached out to Wadley for more information, but have not yet received a response.