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Linton Police Take Wrong Man To Jail

Last updated on Wednesday, July 25, 2012

(LINTON) - Several emotions flooded P.J. Myers as her husband was arrested last week, including embarrassment, confusion, and - mostly - fear.

Sabrina Westfall of the Greene County Daily World reports that Steven Myers, 61, of Linton, was wrongly arrested by the Linton Police Department on a warrant July 17 in a class D felony intimidation case filed in Greene Superior Court.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Greene County Sheriff's Department Deputy David Miller responded to a verbal dispute in Switz City on May 26.

The victim, Dale Hasket, identified the suspect as Steven Myers, the uncle to his child's mother.

Miller wrote in the probable cause he tried on several occasions to visit the residence of Steven Myers, 61, of Linton, but there was no answer, and the vehicle described in the incident was not at the residence.

On July 17, a late-night knock on the door at the Myers' residence incited fear as P.J. Myers tried to explain her husband's - Steven Myers - condition.

"The very first thing that happened is we were going to bed around 11 p.m. on the (July) 17 ... my husband was already in bed, I was in my pajamas heading to bed and my father-in-law was in his room ... and there was a knock on the door," P.J. Myers recalled.
Her father-in-law, Dale Myers, answered the door, and came to her to say the police were at the door, and they wanted to see Steven Myers.

"The officers wanted to go back to his room and get him and I said, 'No. He can't bend and I have to get him dressed'," Myers said.

He is limited physically due to Stage 4B Colorectal Cancer that had recently started to spread.

Myers said Linton Police Department Officers Debbie McDonald-Miller, Thomas Jerrels and Michael Watts took Steven Myers to the front porch to speak with him in private.

Her first emotions were pure embarrassment as the officers had shown up at her home close to the middle of the night in more than one cruiser.

"There were three squad cars to get my husband, who weighs about 115 pounds," Myers recalled.

The feelings quickly turned to fear when she realized her husband was being transported to the Greene County Jail on the intimidation charge.

She noted not only did they not own the vehicle described in the report, but Steven had been unable to drive for approximately two years.

Her fears increased when she realized the amount of germs fostered in a jail cell. She knew her husband's diminished immune system - resulting from recent chemotherapy treatments - could mean infections would not only make him sick, but could potentially kill him.

She begged the officers not to place her husband in a jail cell due to his immunity issues, and warned of his physical limitations.

"He is in a very weakened state, and walks with a cane. If he falls he could easily break something ... I think they were pretty gentle with him," Myers said.

She felt horrible for her husband as he had to be cuffed with his hands in front of him because of his physical issues - even worse as he tried to get into the car and could not slide in because of the pain.

"He had to ride in Debbie's (McDonald-Miller) car because it was the only one without dog hair in it," Myers said, referring to the K-9 units.

Just before midnight P.J. Myers had to rush to the Greene County Jail in order to post the $4,000 bond so he would not have to be placed in a jail cell.

Myers said it could not have been worse timing, considering her father-in-law, Dale, just came home that day from suffering a heart attack Sunday, July 15, and being rushed to the Bloomington Emergency Room.

"Dale had to have surgery to clear three blocked arteries. He had another blockage, but doctors were not able to get it cleaned out as well," she explained. "That's the last thing he needed - he is almost 88 - was all the stress of this."

Myers said despite her husband's normal calm, peaceful demeanor, his health has since declined.

"(The arrest has) been a humiliation. There have been some people we had to tell, like my boss. And stress is not good for your immune system. That is one thing that concerns me," Myers added.

She said she gets one of three reactions when someone finds out which Steven Myers was arrested.

"They either laugh because they don't believe, their eyes get huge from shock, or they get extremely mad," Myers explained. "He is a wonderful, very moral, law abiding citizen."
Steven missed his cancer treatment, north of Chicago, due to being out on bond, and P.J. said they have also faced a financial burden.

"We have been spending so much money out-of-pocket with Steve's treatment ... having to hire an attorney has been a financial hardship for us," P.J. added.
Now, she is left wondering how many other people have been arrested when they were actually innocent.

"I just want the citizens of Linton, Greene County, wherever, I want them treated with respect, and for the police to make sure when they arrest someone they get the right person," P.J. stressed. "I hope other people who have this same experience will have the bravery to come forward, because if we have a problem we need to fix it in this town."

Steven Myers' case has been dismissed, and the Greene County Prosecutor's Office will be taking time to re-evaluate the case.

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