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Trooper's Gun Recovered from Juvenile During Chase



July 01, 2002

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Trooper's Gun Recovered from Juvenile During Chase

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Officer, Assigned to Guard Patton, Didn't Know Weapon was Missing

by Tom Loftus, The Courier-Journal

FRANKFORT, Ky. - A handgun issued to one of Gov. Paul Patton's security guards was recovered from a juvenile during an assault on a Covington police officer last week.

The guard, a member of the Kentucky State Police, asked for and was given a transfer from the governor's security detail to the state police post in Bowling Green.

Covington police officers were chasing two suspects through a wooded area along Interstate 75 late on June 18 when one, a 16-year-old boy, threw a handgun at an officer, striking him in the hand, according to police reports.

After the 16-year-old and his 19-year-old companion were arrested, police found that the gun - a Smith & Wesson 10mm Model 1076 - had been issued to a state police officer.

The gun had not been reported stolen, said Assistant Covington Police Chief Jim Liles, who said police were "surprised and concerned."

The next day state police officials determined that the gun had been issued to Trooper William Herald, 39, a 17-year department veteran. Two months ago Herald was assigned to the Executive Security Detail, which provides protection for the governor and his family.

"This matter is the subject of an internal-affairs inquiry looking to determine if any standards of conduct were violated," Lt. Lisa Rudzinski, head of public affairs for the state police, said yesterday.

Rudzinski said Herald did not know until he was told by his superiors that his gun was missing. He was issued two guns by the state police. On the day he was questioned by his supervisor, he had the gun he carries when he works in plainclothes.

Rudzinski said Herald told investigators that he had two guests who stayed overnight at his Lexington home on June 17. Herald also discovered that a second gun, which was personally owned, was missing.

Rudzinski said because of the internal inquiry and an investigation into the apparent theft from Herald's home, she would not identify Herald's two overnight guests. Nor would she say whether the guests were the two charged by Covington police the following night.

No personnel action has been taken regarding Herald, Rudzinski said. "From what we know now, this weapon was secured in Trooper Herald's home. Even troopers have things taken from their residence."

Since the incident, Rudzinski said Herald has requested and been granted a transfer from guarding the governor to the Bowling Green post. Rudzinski said the move would mean a reduction in pay from an annual salary of $51,733 as part of the security detail, but she did not know the amount.

Herald was not at his new assignment in Bowling Green yesterday and could not be reached for comment by telephone at his home.

On the night of June 18, Covington police received a call reporting two youths near I-75, one of whom was reported to be carrying a handgun, Liles said.

According to reports, the two ran into a wooded area when police arrived.

According to the arrest report, "Officers attempted to stop (the 16-yearold) subject at which time he threw a S&W handgun at officer." Liles said the gun was loaded, but no cartridge was in the firing chamber.

Because the gun struck the Covington officer and bruised his right hand, the juvenile was charged with thirddegree assault, Liles said.

Covington police used a dog to track down the juvenile's companion, whom the police report identified as Frank Catterton, 19, of Covington. Catterton, who was bitten on an arm by the dog, was charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

Catterton has been released from the Kenton County Jail and could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Liles said that both the juvenile, who was not identified by police, and Catterton had criminal records.

The record of the juvenile, like that of all juvenile offenders, is private.

According to records of the Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts, as an adult Catterton has been convicted of charges that include third-degree burglary, public intoxication and third-degree unlawful transaction with a minor.




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