Ogemaw County Sheriff’s Deputy Will Stand Trial in Excessive Force Case

An Ogemaw County Sheriff’s Deputy who is accused of assaulting an autistic man and not reporting the use of force to supervisors will go to trial, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Tuesday.

A preliminary examination for Deputy Matthew Viviano, 48, was held at an Ogemaw County court. He was bound over on charges of misconduct in office, a five-year felony, and one count of assault and battery.

According to the Attorney General’s Office, Deputy Matthew Viviano allegedly used excessive force against an autistic adult resident of the Premier Care Assisted Living Home in Alger on Sept. 8, 2021.

On that date, the sheriff’s office responded to an emergency call regarding a 27-year-old autistic resident at Premier Care. The victim was alleged to have assaulted one of the care takers and was reported to be “out of control.”

The Attorney General Office says Deputy Viviano engaged with the victim to force him into a seated position, agitating and upsetting him. Allegedly, Deputy Viviano did this repeatedly, pushing or forcing him to sit down. When the victim did not comply, Deputy Viviano allegedly physically assaulted him. Trooper Lee intervened to deescalate the situation. Once the assault ended, Deputy Viviano and the victim were separated, and Deputy Viviano was taken outside. The victim was transported to the local hospital by Deputy O’Dell for evaluation.

Viviano waived his arraignment and a pretrial is scheduled for Nov. 8 in Ogemaw County.