Police officer makes death threat, racist remarks

ELYRIA An off-duty reserve Wakeman police officer was arrested Friday after allegedly assaulting and
Cory Frolik
May 24, 2010

ELYRIA

An off-duty reserve Wakeman police officer was arrested Friday after allegedly assaulting and screaming racist remarks at his estranged wife's roommate.

Wakeman police officer William Hodge, 35, of Sheffield Township, is accused of punching and threatening a 26-year-old Lorain man outside an elementary school Friday morning.

During the attack, Hodge, who is white, allegedly shouted "you're (a) dead nigger," and "it's over nigger, it's done today," a police report states.

Hodge was arrested by Lorain County Sheriff's deputies and charged with assault, aggravated menacing and criminal damaging. He appeared in Lorain Municipal Court on Monday morning.

The incident took place at about 8:50 a.m. Friday at VincentElementary School in Lorain where Hodge's 32-year-old wife, Dawn Hodge, and her roommate, Byron Hendon, were dropping off Hodge's children and several children Dawn baby-sits, a police report states.

Hodge saw the van, approached it and threw his police uniform and badge at his wife, allegedly saying, "I'm already going to jail, so you should take these."

He then pointed at Hendon and said "you're (a) dead nigger," the police report states.

Climbing into the van, Hodge grabbed Hendon's shirt and tried to punch him, the roommate told police.

With Dawn's help, they were able to get Hodge out of the van, but then he tried to climb in through the driver's side window, the report said.

Hendon took off with Hodge hanging out of the window and then Hendon jumped out of the van and ran, later telling deputies he was scared that Hodge had a gun.

In his statement, Hendon said Hodge had assaulted him before and "because he is a police officer and carries a handgun off duty, (he is scared) Mr. Hodge will eventually kill him or his children," the police report states.

Hodge was not carrying a weapon at the time of the incident and denied carrying one when not on duty.

Dawn told authorities her husband, whom she is divorcing, is mentally unstable and has become dangerous.

According to her statement to police, Hodge has asked her to take his gun and put a bullet in his skull.

"I think this has been an ongoing husband-and-wife dispute, and I don't know if there was any actual cause that set it off to this degree. I just know there's been ongoing problems," said Lorain County Sheriff's Sgt. Donald Barker.

Wakeman police Chief Tim Hunker was not available for comment Monday afternoon, but has told other news outlets that Hodge is resigning.