FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Records released Monday by the Fort Wayne Police Department show the officer who fatally hit a pedestrian while driving in downtown Fort Wayne had a history of crashes in squad cars.
Since being hired in 1999, Sgt. Joshua Hartup has been involved in four other crashes in a squad car– in 2000, 2005, 2007, and 2019, according to records that show Hartup’s disciplinary history. Hartup was suspended after the 2007 crash, and the other three resulted in letters of reprimand.
The officer released a statement to WANE 15 on Monday:
On Wednesday, April 19th 2023, I was on duty working as a Vice and Narcotics Supervisor/Sergeant. I left the POC parking garage to assist GVCU serve a warrant in SE Fort Wayne. I was southbound on Calhoun St in an unmarked city vehicle (no emergency equipment or computer) approaching Main St. with a green light. Traffic was clear (northbound Calhoun St) and I began my turn onto eastbound Main St. As I was completing my turn I struck a pedestrian. I immediately stopped my vehicle, grabbed my radio, and started aid to the pedestrian, and called dispatch to send medics.Sgt. Joshua Hartup, Fort Wayne Police Department
The pedestrian, Henry Najdeski, has died, according to a statement Sunday from Barrett Legal Briefs.
The crash happened Wednesday, April 19 just before 7:30 p.m. It’s still unclear who had the right of way.
The disciplinary records also included several commendations for Hartup, including a Letter of Commendation and two Community Service Citations in 2022, and Awards of Excellence in 2021 and 2001.
Public Information Officer Sgt. Jeremy Webb said any citations or charges against Hartup will not be known until the investigation is complete. The investigation will also reveal whether Hartup was on his phone or computer while driving.
Hartup has returned to work and it will not be known if he will be given any disciplinary time off until the investigation is complete, Webb said.
FWPD is working with the Indiana State Police to complete the investigation, and ISP has agreed to review all the evidence in the case.