FWPD Probes Why Cuffs Were Taken Off Suspect, Prior To Violent Skirmish

By Jeff Neumeyer

September 10, 2010 Updated Sep 10, 2010 at 5:28 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- Fort Wayne Police commanders want to know why handcuffs were removed from a suspect before a skirmish broke out that injured an officer and the man he was trying to arrest.

It has sparked an internal affairs probe that's trying to find out what, if anything, went wrong about the handling of a domestic battery case.

When the dust cleared, a city patrol officer suffered bite wounds to the face, and the battery suspect got a trip to the hospital for treatment of facial injuries.

Four city officers in total converged on the 900 block of East Washington Boulevard about 3 a.m. on September 1st, responding to a 911 hang up call.

Upon arriving at the apartment, two officers went directly upstairs to tend to two female domestic battery victims, while two other officers stayed downstairs and placed 37-year old Terrell Brown in cuffs.

Police Chief Rusty York says at some point Brown's handcuffs were taken off, before trouble erupted.

Chief Rusty York/Fort Wayne Police Department: " We're looking into why that was, if there was an adjustment being made with handcuffs, or how he came to be in a position to attack the officers the way he did."

York right now believes Brown initiated the attack, because that was indicated in the written reports filed by the two officers, who we are choosing not to name at this time.

The suspect, who was subjected to pepper spray during the scuffle, has not been interviewed yet.

All the current criminal charges filed against Terrell Brown relate to the domestic battery incident itself.

Preliminary charges of resisting law enforcement and battery to police officers were dismissed September 8th.

York says that's because authorities want to interview the two officers under oath, hoping to nail down what really happened, and whether any violations of departmental policy might have occurred in the case.

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