Fort Wayne Police sergeant on paid leave after arrest stemming from fight with wife

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — A Fort Wayne Police sergeant is set to appear in court Thursday on charges of strangulation and domestic battery.

Officers arrested Boyce J. Ballinger, 48, after an incident on Saturday, October 17 that allegedly started after a gathering with neighbors.

The Probable Cause Affidavit shows Ballinger’s wife addressed him after arriving home about the amount he had been drinking. She said Ballinger got angry with her and then charged at her. Ballinger then put both hands around her neck and pushed her into a wall near the stairs. The wife said this was only for a couple of seconds. Once Ballinger took his hands off of her, she then ran upstairs into the bedroom and locked the door.

Ballinger then followed his wife and proceeded to bang on the door. She said it was, “like he was breaking the door”. Shortly after that, he stopped hitting the door. Ballinger’s wife then texted another member of the Fort Wayne Police Department about what happened. Police arrived at the home and talked with both Ballinger and his wife. Court documents show she had complaints of neck pain along with redness and abrasions to her neck.

Back in 2016, Ballinger was put in a medically induced coma after Justin D. Pease, 32, pushed him and two other officers through a home during a separate police investigation. Pease was sentenced to 26 years in prison and four years of probation.

Police spokeswoman Sgt. Sofia Rosales-Scatena said Ballinger has been “relieved of duty and is on paid leave” until the city’s Board of Safety meets next. The board will consider Chief Steve Reed’s request to take away Ballinger’s pay.

Ballinger was hired in 2003 as a lateral hire and serves as a C-shift sergeant. His personnel file includes five suspensions, including three for vehicle crashes, as well as three letters of reprimand – all for crashes.

He’s received five commendations, including three letters of commendation. He also received a Purple Heart and a honor for Distinguished Service Citation for Valor in 2016.

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