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

happyfeet64

In my opinion, whether he did it or not is a moot point. At the very beginning he should have been placed on admin. leave until the investigation is complete, And although I'm not sure this is the right one, a number of years back, there was a female C.O. at the jail who had met an inmate and after his period of incarceration was in a relationship with him.Never did find out what happened in that matter because even though it was common knowledge, it just disappeared and never became public.

Richard Cranium

The commentors here are like a lynch mob....wait till everything is said an done before you crucify the man. He may not be liked, but wait until it is all said and done before you put the noose around his neck and slap the horse.

Remember, this was an allegation the victim's daughter initiated after being called out for unruliness. Let the dust settle...you will probably see a more clear picture of what happened.

UseYourHeadNumbNuts

I completely agree with you Richard. In my opinion, if we took the average IQ of the people making these comments it probably wouldn't be much higher than 80(Minus a few outliers of course). To serve as a comparison for those of you that are too dumb to know what that means, Forrest Gump had an IQ of 75.

THEORY86

HA!!! Love it!! And I agree with Richard also

HBK

I can see your point with that, but why not put him on leave until we figure all this out? Why won't the Reflector name him? Yeah, your right let's not crucify him, but could we at least have a trial and find out the truth? I'm not afraid to call these lames out, I'm a tax payer, so in my eyes they works for US!!

arnmcrmn

why should they put him on leave? He's not arrested or been charged. Your point is invalid at this time.

earlduck

I punch my woman in belly and twist her arm,no marks,goes to work next day,
we need the money because I'm unemployed

dontcare

Arrest are only made if it can be determined there was some form of violence and then the primary aggressor is arrested. This apparently was reported only after a vindictive child made a comment while she was being investigated. I dont like the sgt. who is the focus of this story, however there is zero evidence against him. Her daughter blackened her one eye and she was in a car accident causing the other black eye. The easy thing for Light to do would be to suspend the guy, he didn't do the easy thing, it looks to me as though he is doing the right thing and his actions are drawing the venom of the people that want to hammer a cop, even though he may be fat and arrogant it doesn't make him a woman beater.

HBK

Well, I wonder why I was arrested then, because I sure wasn't the aggressor, Hell I even had a fresh hand print on my face. Must had been since I had beer on my breath, and I was the male in the situation. DV's are bullshit cases. let's just be fair, on a domestic call let's just start taking both of the party's to jail then, and stop stereo typing. Woman hit men because they know if they get checked they can always pick up the phone and call 911

THEORY86

You were arrested bcause you were THERE. And yeah it was BS...but the unruly child WAS arrested. The fact she named the sgt is just a twist in the story. She could have said Joe Blow hit her mom in the other eye. They cant just go arrest someone bcause a juvenile delinquent in a rage blurts that out. But yeah your whole situation is insane. Im telling you I know women like that! And they seem to know how to play the system and come out smelling like a damn rose JUST bcause they are female! Disgusting!

BlueAngel

funny...there is another article right under this one where a guy was arrested for "allegedly" slapping a woman... wow...guess its who you know around norwalk or who you are!

BlueAngel

correction...sorry...it is above this article..not below!

HBK

I believe Hainline was charged, where our good Sgt. was not.

Cliff Cannon

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal information.

nikki6279

Well said. Unfortunately the "apple" fell from the "Tree".

Kottage Kat

CliFF
Thank you for being the voice of reason
Well said and what I was trying to say, not eloquently.
The only thing left is lynching on the courthouse square.
Kat

art dew...

What r the facts I say??? What r the facts ??????

THEORY86

2 Black eyes...one by the teen...the other...well depends on which of the 5 stories you believe. Those are the facts. NEXT

Kottage Kat

I think calling this LE officer a violent criminal without all facts presented and asking for the chiefs resignation is not only radical it tells me you do NOT know Dave Light.
He is not only a good chief, is a good person
Please do not judge him on your standards, wait till the facts are ALL presented.
When you said " we have interviewed" does that infer that you are LE and biased?
Having read your comments elsewhere I find you to be opposed to those who disagree with your opinions.
Please reread the article and note the inconsistancies (sp). In fairness to all.
Thank you
Kat

doc5798a

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal information.

THEORY86

It doesnt matter if we don't know him. We are commenting in regard to the facts in the paper. A jury wouldn't know him either...

HBK

Exactly, why don't we charge him like everyone else and have a "fair & unbiased" trial right here in good 'ol Norwalk? It will never happen

dontcare

We don't just charge people and subject them to trial unless there is probable cause, which there is not. I would not want to be subjected to a trial based solely on a week old allegation especially after giving 5 different stories.

Kottage Kat

Jumping to conclusions must be your only form of exercise.

Kat

Kottage Kat

HBK
" we " don't charge people. It is not up to me, I am neither judge nor jury. I will leave that to the folks whose job it is to do that
Don't always agree with things, in this case too many things not adding up
Richland county has prosecution juristicton.
If the alleged " victem" can't get her story straight, on what evidence should the alleged perpertratior be charged,and with what?
You "hang em high" mentality makes me giggle.

Kat

Kottage Kat

Oops double post

dontcare

I think Light is doing the right thing. The easy thing for him to do would be to suspend him until the end of the investigation. However, he believes the guy is innocent, so he is standing up for him, even at the cost of being villianized by the public. This is the kind of boss I would want. Integrity is doing the right thing even at great personal cost.

Cliff Cannon

@ dontcare: I for one believe the cliché that "character shows in opinion" after reading this comment. I for one believe you to be a class act.


Thanks for the wisdom. Particularly " Integrity is doing the right thing even at great personal cost " that quote belongs in Bartlett's book of quotes.


Great day to you

Im just sayin

An average citizen gets their name and photo printed in the paper, and as long as they use the word "allegedly" in front of the allegation, the story is good to go. However, for this particular case there appears to be an "alleged" double standard.

four

NPD.Just some good ole boys.

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