(WASHINGTON) - Washington Police Ptl. Barry Hudson was formally charged Tuesday in Daviess County Superior Court for the battery of a man he had arrested.
Andrea McCann, of the Washington Times Herald reports, Hudson, 27, turned himself in to authorities at noon, had his initial court appearance at 1 p.m. and was released on $2,500 bond. A jury trial has tentatively been scheduled for Oct. 23-26.
During the initial hearing, Superior Court Judge Dean A. Sobecki recused himself from the case. The parties now will select a special judge to hear the case.
Indiana State Police began a criminal investigation Jan. 26 into the incident in question, which occurred Dec. 24, 2011. According to the probable cause affidavit, Hudson and another officer responded to a call at Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church, where they found Kenneth Anderson, who appeared to be intoxicated and was not supposed to be in the church.
The affidavit states Anderson became belligerent and threatened the officers, so they placed him under arrest. Hudson transported Anderson to the Daviess County Security Center, during which time the detainee allegedly continued his threats.
However, Hudson gave the other officer no indication there was a possibility of resistance or violence upon arrival at the jail. According to the probable cause, when Anderson, whose hands were cuffed behind his back, exited the police car, Hudson shoved him. Anderson's face hit the car and concrete floor as he fell, causing a large cut to his forehead, two chipped teeth and a loose filling.
In a written report, Hudson stated when Anderson got out of the car, he moved in as if to head-butt Hudson and was so close he could feel beads of saliva hitting his face. Hudson said he used an academy-taught redirection technique to divert Anderson's body away from his.
As a result of the investigation, ISP detectives established enough probable cause for an arrest warrant charging Hudson with battery resulting in bodily injury, a Class A misdemeanor, and official misconduct, a Class D felony. The warrant was issued June 19. Martin County Prosecuting Attorney Mike Steiner, who is presenting the state's case, explained he made arrangements through Hudson's attorney for Hudson to turn himself in prior to his initial hearing.
Hudson originally was suspended without pay by WPD Chief Mike Healy for five days, but was then reinstated with pay. Beyond the five-day suspension the chief legally can give an officer, discipline must be taken by the Board of Public Works and Safety. By mutual agreement between the board and Hudson's attorney, Edward Merchant, Hudson was then suspended without pay in February.
"The unpaid administrative leave was by agreement when they became aware of the criminal investigation," said city attorney Tim Dant.
He'll remain on unpaid leave, Dant said, until the charges are disposed of one way or another. Any further decisions about Hudson's employment status will be made following the resolution of the criminal action.
"At that point in time, the board will meet again and decide how his employment will be handled," said Mayor Joe Wellman, who sits on the Board of Public Works and Safety.
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