Broken ankle sidelines deputy

Cary Ashby • Oct 29, 2015 at 11:57 AM

Huron County Sheriff's Cpl. Jeff Kerber is getting some time off. But it's not because he wants it.

The deputy will be getting a cast today for a broken ankle he sustained during a scuffle Friday night at South Central High School.

"They told me the injury is six weeks," Kerber said Monday.

Kerber and Deputy Steve Shupp were providing security for the South Central-Crestview football game before Kerber's altercation with a 17-year-old North Fairfield boy. Deputies typically cover home basketball and football games for area schools.

Major Greg Englund said the principal asked the deputies to patrol the parking lot Friday because he "got information people were drinking in their vehicles."

About 9:15 p.m., the two deputies saw three subjects walking into the wooded area beside the school near the parking lot. Englund said the trio ran off and Shupp was able to detain one of them. That person wasn't arrested or charged.

"The other two took off," Englund said. "They were unable to get the other two."

A few minutes later, Kerber saw the third suspect in the parking lot.

When Kerber began questioning the North Fairfield boy, he became uncooperative, belligerent and disorderly. The deputy, who attempted to arrest the suspect on an unruliness charge, grabbed the boy by the shoulder when he began to run, Englund explained.

"When he pulled him back, a struggle ensued, causing both subjects to go to the ground," said Englund, adding the boy didn't give any violent indications beforehand.

"I went to place a cuff on him. We spun and I heard (my ankle) snap," Kerber said. "I knew I broke it because I heard it."

Shupp arrived to assist Kerber in a couple minutes and put the North Fairfield boy into custody. He was released to his father on an unruliness charge. The county prosecutor's office is reviewing the case.

Although it is the first time Kerber has broken his ankle, it's not the first time he has been out of commission.

On Sept. 9, 2006, he wrenched his back near New Haven while struggling with a theft suspect wanted in connection with an all-terrain vehicle stolen from Townline Road 12. Deputy Todd Corbin arrived while the pair were wrestling on the ground and used the Taser on the suspect, who stopped resisting arrest.

Kerber was off work for two or three days.

He admits to being frustrated with the recent injury. "I'd rather be working than sitting," Kerber said.

The deputy will be taking sick time while he is out six to eight weeks. Worker's compensation is expected to take care of Kerber's medical expenses.

Kerber isn't the only officer off the road. Sgt. Mike Cooksey has been off work with undisclosed medical issues for the last three weeks. Two to three deputies are on patrol for each shift.

"We'll have to adjust the work schedule to accommodate the deficiency," Sheriff Richard Sutherland said.

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