Ind. veteran dismissed from department after alleged scandal
While teaching a class about combat, the officer allegedly grabbed a boy by the groin
By Brandon Bartlett
EVANSVILLE, Ind. — A 30-year veteran has been dismissed from the Evansville Police Force.
Last month, Corporal Mike Winters was accused of inappropriately grabbing a student while working off-duty for the EVSC.
On Monday night, the Police Merit Commission voted to terminate Winters after hearing five hours of testimony.
A lot of ground was covered in that hearing by both sides.15 witnesses took the stand, including Winters.
Council for the police department says that Winter's action speaks for itself. They say back in May, at the Academy of Innovative Studies, Winters grabbed a student by his testicle's while talking to them about fighting.
The commission heard from a teacher who was in the room at the time, who testified that she heard five male students react to something and then heard the victim say he was grabbed.
But when Winters took the stand, he said he didn't grab the student's groin, that he grabbed his pants in an effort to teaching the student a lesson about fighting. A lesson he admitted on the stand was a mistake.
"So, I was not there to hurt him. I was there to teach him because sometimes, especially these types of kids and a lot of kids, you can tell them something, don't do this, don't do this, but sometimes you've got to show them," Winters said.
"We were expecting an apology. We never received that apology. We dropped charges. We did not charge this gentleman. The police officers, the police system did this. Our upsetness was when it came to talking about our grandson as one of these people, one of those kids," said Cheryl Snoke, the victim's grandmother.
Snoke says her grandson will be going to a different school next year.
Winters did not want to comment. His wife also wouldn't comment, saying she didn't approve of the coverage.
Reprinted with permission from 14news.com