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

HBK

I will agree with you on Todd Corbin. I grew up with him, went to school with him, and follow both of his careers. Not only has Sgt. Corbin done this county a service, but also our country. As for like, Like I have stated earlier, I do not reside in Norwalk, so i do not know enough about Chief Light, but his inability to control his officers and discipline them could be a costly mistake for his own career. I hope the people of Norwalk, Ohio will ask for his resignation as well after all this is over and done with.

Kottage Kat

HBK,
He can't "babysit " his adult officers. Dave is doing his job and your statement was/is way off course
I have an excellent crow recipe
Kat

HBK

We all know he can't "babysit' his officers, looks like Vogel ended stumbling onto that job. But to do nothing once it's out in the open? Come on!!!

arnmcrmn

Hey HBK.....you know all the details but you do not live in Norwalk? You have some axe to grind and its apparent. Without the facts and until they all come out, nothing you or anyone else say on here matters. Chief Light is an excellent man and officer, and I know this as a fact.

jennytalia

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal information.

HBK

LOL, reminds me of a certain WPD officer that graduated back in 1993 in Willard. he was a nerd back then, and he's a nerd with a fake @ss badge now.

jennytalia

What does a NPD sergeant tell a girl with two black eyes............nothing, he already told her twice.

Delazia

Lol

THEORY86

You are just hilarious *cough*

Norwalkmomof2

New article shows a man "allegedly" smacks his girlfriend and guess what??? He got arrested!! Plus, it shows his picture and his name! Where's the fair treatment at? Guess you have to have a badge!

HBK

I have been a victim of bogus DV claims years ago when I was in a dysfunctional marriage. Even though my experience was in Crawford County, Ohio law remains the same. My then-wife would call the police and tell them I would threaten her or had hit her just to get them there. Well, one night she did it because I came home drinking (hey I was 26 yrs old @ the time), and we argued. She calls CCSO, they show up. Even though there was no marks on her (because I never touched her) they take me to CCJ. Even though my shirt was torn, and a very visible hand print across my face they take me. I told them I wanted to press charges as well, but they refused to take my statement till I was back at the station in Bucyrus. Was it because I was the male in the situation? This was back in '99 you know. Was it because I had been drinking (even though I had not drove and I was of age, and in my own home). Who knows, but they wanted to charge it as a felony because she had pulled this before when I was 21 in Willard. I was young at the time, so I pleaded no-contest, and found guilty, even though the truth came out and this woman in question was charged with falsification for filing a false report with WPD. To this day, I hate woman beaters because of that situation. Now we have cops doing it, and getting away with it? What happened to the ORC? They told me that night back in '99 that since they got a call and showed up someone had to goto jail. Luckily I have a very supportive family that knew my then-wife and what she would do when she didn't get her way. I was entitled to a jury trial, and guess what? After they reviewed the reports they not only dropped my case, but asked me if I still would like to file charges on my then-wife. We had two small children, and one on the way so I declined for the greater good. My point is, even though it cost me thousands of dollars, and my name drug thru the mud in the papers & society, but because this guy is a local cop the Reflector doesn't have the balls to call him out by name, but they will with Hainline. My advice to you Mr. Handline, fight this case to the very end and ask the jury why you have to be put on trial, but law enforcement doesn't have to. I don't know your case Mr. Hainline, but good luck. This county can be very corrupt.

jas

There is absolutely nothing in the ORC that requires that an arrest be made when the police arrive at the scene of a domestic violence complaint or any other complaint for that matter. Unfortunately, it's frequently Dept. policy to do so but it's not a requirement in the ORC.

Ralph Wiggum

Does anyone know if there's enough room in the Police station lobby for a Sunglass Hut?

HBK

Not sure, but maybe this loser might get promoted to LT now. Looks like he has the Chief in his hip pocket

UseYourHeadNumbNuts

The amount of blatant dumbness in these comments is almost intolerable. The vast majority of you become detectives and conspiracy theorist the moment you read a newspaper article. This isn't CSI people. For our chief to be entirely surprised if his sergeant were to be charged", than there must be some pretty good evidence in the sergeants favor. But hey, what do I know? I'm still waiting for the government to plant a computer in my brain.

onegirlarmy

I agree with your opinion and in the words of the chief ..."surprised" probably means a big hellno!
One question I have...
How do y'all know it was Seth and not Montana?

HBK

i know, because we have already talked to the victim. I won't state her name here because I have nothing but respect for this woman, and The Reflector will just remove the comment in their attempt to keep a lid on this as well.

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).

THEORY86

I really wish someone would talk to her x-husband and former boyfriends to see how many times she has pulled this crap. Im pretty sure your "respect" would diminish quickly. Not to be mean, but have you ever heard of a sheep in wolves clothing? That may be what this is...

THEORY86

Excuse me...a wolf in sheeps clothing! haha

nikki6279

A pretty candy coated shell... hiding a ugly evil soul from hell...

HBK

I don't even think she is that pretty

HBK

You are correct. By reading my other post you can see why I would agree with this. By respect, I mean that she has always been nice and friendly to me. I know she has dirt, we all know that. If she treats me with respect, than I will return it. That's all I was applying here

betrump

There have been rumors for YEARS about the accused getting rough with women. I once discussed it with an ex-girlfriend of his. Not saying he's guilty, but this is not the first time he's been accused.

Youwishhyouknewme's picture
Youwishhyouknewme

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal information.

BlueAngel

NO it isn't CSI.... It's Criminal Minds!!!

luvblues2

UseYourHeadNumbNuts.... ummm yeah...pull your's out. It's just past the "taint" area. You know, the stinky part?

onegirlarmy

OMG!
Hahahaaa

THEORY86

Do your parents know you are on here??

justcurious

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

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