Battery Investigation Involves Whitley County Sheriff

By Scott Sarvay
By John W. Davis

July 21, 2011 Updated Jul 21, 2011 at 6:16 PM EDT

WHITLEY COUNTY, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - The Indiana State Police and Whitley County Prosecutor's Office investigated an alleged battery incident involving Whitley County Sheriff Mark Hodges.

Indiana's NewsCenter has confirmed Hodges was involved in the alleged incident.

However, we have not uncovered who was at fault or if any charges will be filed.

The Whitley County Prosecutor's Office will be forwarding the incident to a special prosecuting attorney to determine whether criminal charges will be filed against Sheriff Hodges or his estranged wife Laurell Hodges.

Meanwhile, the alleged battery incident took place at Hodges' mother's home on West Cleveland Road in South Whitley.

According to police, they received a 911 call that reported a possible battery around 12:45 p.m., Tuesday, July 19.

Indiana's NewsCenter gained access to the scanner conversation that took place between the Whitley County Sheriff's Office Dispatcher and Whitley County Sheriff Deputies when the incident was called in to 911.

Dispatch: Whitley County units, we have a battery in progress. 5809 Cleveland Road.
Officer: Dispatch, what's the address again and what's the last name?
Dispatch: 5809 West Cleveland Road. Hodges.
Officer: Clear. Would that be the Sheriff's mother's house?

Meanwhile, an officer later told all units, "do not need to run hot to this, respond, but do not run hot."

Indiana's NewsCenter asked Whitley County Chief Deputy Marcus Gatton what the instruction of "do not run hot" meant.

Gatton told us that, "do not run hot" meant that at that point, it was a non-life threatening emergency.

Therefore, officers were told they did not need to speed, with lights flashing and sirens blaring but they were still supposed to make their way to scene.

The Indiana State Police was in charge of the investigation.

Gatton said it would have been an obvious conflict of interest for the Whitley County Sheriff's Department to handle an investigation that involves Whitley County Sheriff Mark Hodges.

Indiana's NewsCenter will continue investigating this story.

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