A now-former Fort Wayne Police Department officer has admitted to punching a suspect at the Allen County Jail earlier this year.
Charles Smith, 28, pleaded guilty this week in Allen Superior Court to misdemeanor battery.
According to an Indiana State Police report, on March 23, Smith was involved in an investigation into a driving while impaired suspect at the jail. The suspect was taken to the jail for a certified breath test, police said.
State police said the suspect refused the test, and Smith secured a search warrant to draw the man’s blood instead. He refused that test, as well, police said.
When Smith went to handcuff the suspect, he reportedly pulled away. That’s when state police said Smith punched the male three times.
The suspect was left with a visible cut and swelling to the man’s forehead.
Smith has since resigned from the police department.
Police Chief Steve Reed issued the following statement:
As Chief of Police I am very disappointed regarding the incident that sparked this investigation. Once we learned of this incident we took immediate steps to launch a thorough and fair investigation. The Indiana State Police investigated this matter, at our request, and the Allen County Prosecutor’s office determined from that investigation charges were appropriate. We have proceeded swiftly but fairly in this matter. Charles Smith has resigned from our department. We recognize the necessity of having a community that is trusting, engaged, and respectful. We have made great strides and taken many positive steps to foster this type of relationship with our community. As Chief, I promise you we will continue to work hard to improve what we have built.
Smith must pay $210 in court costs and fees, according to court records. A collection hearing has been scheduled for July 17.