Police chief 'would be entirely surprised' if sergeant is charged

When alleged victim is asked about bruising around eye, "that's when you get five different stories," chief says
Cary Ashby
May 2, 2013

Norwalk Police Chief Dave Light said Tuesday he would be surprised if one of his sergeants is charged in connection with his girlfriend, a local corrections officer, having a black eye.

"From what I see, I would be entirely surprised if he's charged with anything," said Light, who stressed there are "too many twists and turns" to the case.

The sergeant, who isn't being named because he hasn't been charged, has declined to comment. Light has prohibited the suspect from having any contact with his girlfriend or her daughter until the case is resolved.

"He certainly didn't put his hands or fists on her," Light said.

Light explained why the officer remains on active duty. He said he didn't want to pull the suspect off the street when his accuser apparently provided "five different stories" when she was interviewed.

"It's hard to take it seriously when there are so many stories about a black eye," Light said.

Also, the chief said he is waiting to get all the information from the Huron County Sheriff's Office about the interview with the girlfriend until he and Capt. Mike Conney sit down with the suspect.

The woman returned from sick leave April 16 after being off work at the Huron County Jail for about a week.

Chief Deputy Ted Patrick has said Lt. Chris Stanfield, the woman's supervisor, asked her if her sick leave was related to having a black eye. Detective Kayla Zander was present and took notes on the interview.

"When he (Stanfield) asked her about the black eye, she said she was assaulted by (the Norwalk officer)," Patrick said.

Light and Conney went to the sheriff's office April 16 and discussed the matter with Patrick, Stanfield and Sheriff Dane Howard.

"They informed us of the (allegations) and the investigation," Light said.

He and Conney received the written report April 23, but they're still waiting to receive the audio/video recording of the interview. Light said only he, Conney and Norwalk Law Director Stuart O'Hara have seen the report and they won't talk to the suspect until they have the audio/video component of Stanfield's interview.

"For us to do an internal investigation, we have to have all the information," Light said. "Anytime something like this happens, we will do that."

Conney, a non-union officer, will be overseeing Norwalk's pending internal investigation.

Deputy John Vogel uncovered the abuse allegations when he responded to an unruly juvenile complaint at the corrections officer's home April 13. Patrick has referred to the complaint as "a disturbance call" related an unruly juvenile complaint. He said the deputy noticed the woman had a black eye that "appeared to be a week old."

"The other eye looked like it was about to turn black," he said.

The woman had a "bruised (and) swollen right eye," according to Vogel's report, which is listed as a domestic violence complaint. The report states the woman accused her boyfriend, a "former co-habitant," of hitting her right eye with a "full 20-ounce bottle of Diet Coke during a domestic dispute" when they were returning from an unspecified trip.

"She didn't want to comment on it. ... The daughter stepped up and she said (her mother) got hit by a Norwalk officer she's dating," Patrick said.

Upon returning from the call, Vogel reported what he saw and heard to his commanding officers.

Light said deputies determined the woman received one of the black eyes from a family member.

"That family member was removed from her house. It's not our employee," he said.

When Stanfield asked the woman about the "faint, yellow bruising" around her eye, "that's when you get five different stories," Light said.

"It's my understanding she never made a complaint about this," the chief added.

The woman reported "wrecking her car" -- a story she reportedly added after her previous explanations for her injury, Light said.

"That came out later," he said.

Richland County Sheriff's Capt. Eric Bosko opened an investigation Friday because the suspected incident involving one of the black eyes happened in his jurisdiction.

"We've done the interviews. We're in the initial stages," said Bosko, who has declined to say what's left do with his investigation.

Once the probe is completed, Bosko will forward his findings to the Mansfield law director for review and the consideration of charges.

"I've already been in touch with (prosecutors)," Bosko said Sunday.

Light said he's skeptical about the allegations because the woman never made an abuse complaint against his sergeant.

"I'm not going to go after the employee with all that," he said.

"I want to hear the whole context of the interview," Light said. "You can't pick things out of there."

The chief also doesn't want to take any action against the sergeant because of the ongoing Richland County investigation.

"We don't want to compromise their investigation," Light said.

When asked if the officer could be fired, Light said it would depend if there was a conviction. He also said he would be making a decision on the suspect's fate once he has all the information from both sheriff's offices and Conney's internal investigation.

"The mayor has the final say," Light said.

Comments

four

The benefit of the doubt should go to the recipient of the abuse,not some cop.If the chief don't want to do his job maybe they should look for someone that will.

HBK

Yes, I couldn't agree with you more four. Why is this Chief protecting a woman beater? I am not a citizen of Norwalk, but I sure hope the people of Norwalk remembers Chief Lights actions on this case. This Sgt. should have been immedetly taken off the force and his badge & gun turned over to his superiors. Now, did I read this right? It looks like he's leaving the decision of this violent cops career in the hands of the mayor? Being an elected official, I sure hope he does the right thing. He should also get rid of his Chief as well. So sad, we trust these people to protect us from crime, but they are not held accountable for there own crimes.

Kottage Kat

There was NO domestic call, just the remark by the unruly teen.
5 different stories does not add to the validity of her statement
Don't rag out the chief for wanting to do it right.
There is also a jurisdiction consideration
IMHO.

Firelandsobserver

Another "Officer Johnson" case.

Ralph Wiggum

How unprofessional for the Chief to speak already on the subject with an apparent bias. He's waiting for more information and interviews? Why didn't he just say that he won't do a thing? As more time passes, the more opportunities for information to be sanitized happens. There is only 2 ways a cop like this will ever lose his job, he quits or he retires. Just take a look at Cleveland if you still can't figure out how this will end. They had 10+ cops pump 130+ rounds of ammunition into a car where nobody had a gun back in November and they're still dragging their feet on any type of punishments or accountability. How much of a chance for punishment would happen for 2 black eyes?

HBK

Yes, when will these police officers be accountable for their actions?

former local

I'm still waiting to find out why the paper doesn't name the officer before charges are filed, but they were more then willing to name the Norwalk teacher before charges were filed.

Kottage Kat

OK so the cross is built and just waiting for the crucifixion
Please re-read the article and take notes if necessary for comprehension
Thank you
Kat

SoldOnAcorns

If only she would have listened the first time then she wouldn't have come down with a case of raccoon syndrome.

nikki6279

I love that she is "in a relationship" with this guy. I hope they stay together for ever... and he does to her every day what he may... or may not have done... with that 20 oz coke bottle everyday...

arnmcrmn

So if her stories do not add up and he is found not guilty...will you all apologize?

betrump

Just stop. You're wrong ALL THE TIME, and yet you never apologize.

arnmcrmn

Figures my forum stalker had to post something. Proof that Im wrong all the time? Please oh pretty please my little stalker...provide some proof.

betrump

You said something. That, anymore, is proof enough.

Delazia

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal information.

onegirlarmy

LMAOOO

Hidden Face

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal information.

nikki6279

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

HBK

How did she ruin his marriage? Because he couldn't keep his pants up? Just another example of him not be accountable for what he does. I was in a very bad marriage once upon a time, but at least i could keep it in my pants. It does take two, ya know. Just like it takes two in an assault case. A victim, and an aggressor.

nikki6279

Im sure she had trouble keeping her pants up too... but you are right about his being accountable... using bad judgment and all... You would have to be a low life scum to be involved with her...

thirtysomething

Ok, think about this for a minute. You are in a relationship with a Norwalk Police officer. You work with county law officers (probably a tight knit group). He beats on you... would you believe that his fellow officers (who are most likely his good friends)are for one second going to believe you over him? You also know that this could cause him to lose his job. You are afraid of him. You don't think anyone will believe you anyway. You also don't want to be the one responsible for him losing his job/career... Just saying, that battered women may think this way.

HBK

Yes, you are 100% on point. I think she was afraid to let anyone know. Let's all remember, the person in question is a NPD Sgt., she is not. She is a CORRECTIONS OFFICER, that's it! Look what happened. It got out, his boss is trying to sweep it under the rug anyways. This is probably the very reason she didn't want to come forward to begin with. I think that it's awesome that the public is crying out for justice here. Makes you wonder what things go on that doesn't reach the paper (or they refuse to print), ya know? Let's face it, I like the woman, but she has plenty of dirt on herself too that she prob doesn't want to get out as well. She will become a target of the NPD if anything happens to this guys career.

doc5798a

I have lost all respect for Dave Light, and I have always been a strong supporter of his. I am just shocked at the way he is handling this situation. Never did I think he would stoop to cronyism, especially with an officer who is a problem child anyway.

doc5798a

Other women don't ruin a mans marriage, but it is just another issue regarding his character. Thanks for the insight.

HBK

Thank you doc5798a!!! It's all about his character. He's real fast to arrest someone on a bogus DV, but can't man-up when he commits the crime. He's not a man, he's a coward. He knows what would happen to him if he hit a man with a coke bottle, he hit me with one he will need an eninma to get it out, Bet!!

THEORY86

It regards BOTH their characters..Obviously she is a cheating liar as well..After reading both articles its clear the kid gave her the one black eye...whats to say she didnt give her the first one? And will it ever come out mixed into the 5 different stories the "victim" has gave??

nikki6279

Yes I agree... That he would be involved with someone like her shows he definitely is a scumbag.

nikki6279

Yes I agree... That he would be involved with someone like her shows he definitely is a scumbag.

Sitting In The ...

Blue Wall of Silence.....

KURTje

Light & Corbin are both class acts. L.E. needs more like them.

Pages