Cop escorted, resident jailed

It’s a tale of two women in one township. Perkins police gave one a ride home, the other a ride to jail. The difference? The first was a Perkins cop, the second was an average person.  
Emil Whitis
Dec 8, 2012

Thursday morning, Perkins police hauled an alleged drunken driver off to jail. Her arrest came just moments after officers received a tip from a Taco Bell employee, who said the driver was possibly intoxicated.

Click here to take the poll: Should the police department release the report?

Two weeks earlier, Perkins police received a similar tip from a Taco Bell employee, who said a woman was passed out in her car at the drive-through. When officers went to investigate, they found Perkins Officer Kate Barker in her silver Toyota nearby, according to police.

Officers provided Barker a ride home, according to sources outside the township. A test administered hours later at the hospital put Barker's blood-alcohol content at 0.139 percent, according to a police report.

Barker was never charged with a crime.

The other woman remains in jail on more than $5,000 bond.

Meanwhile, Perkins Township trustees, the police chief and the township's attorney, John Coppeler, have refused to release an internal investigative report detailing the alleged incident involving Barker.

The report involving Thursday's alleged drunken driver was released within hours.

To read more on this story, pick up Saturday's Register.



Westerhold and the newspaper are only citizens like everyone else, there are no special priviliges that come with being a reporter, Westerhold needs to understand that. The investigation will be released when it is finished, according to the law. If Westerhold or anyone else thinks Perkins is violated open records law they should file a complaint. The bottom line is the information will be released according to law, when it is finnished and Westerhold has no more right to the informaition than I do. I would think they could find a better use for their ink and quit making those thinly veiled threats and implications.

Diane Schaefer

'Thinly veiled threats and implications' - You are so right about that. When I didn't release the cell phone numbers for the PD and FD immediately (upon advise of counsel) I was told by Sara Weber that if I didn't they (SR) would be forced to write yet another article about my violation of the public records act.

Dont Worry Be Happy

This is my opinion....Most people think what officer Barker did is wrong, I for one feel that way. I also feel her getting a ride home was wrong. Now the Chief and trustees are dealing with the FOP union and if anybody knows how unions are they are going to fight like you know what to make sure officer Barker keeps her job. Any little thing that gets out by the twp could hurt the chances of her not being fired. So why should the SR want to hurt their chances???? This is something I will never understand. Let it go SR she is not working right now so she can't hurt anyone please stop trying to make the people trying to do there jobs look bad.When the investigation is done I'm sure the Chief and trustees will have made the right decision.

G George I du kno

Yes, PPD should have released what they could have and ommitted what was protected as part of the public record law. But I think Mr. Westerhold would get a lot farther if he used some tact when he requested things instead of demanding things. Secondly, the township attorney should atleast return calls and explain why he won't release the records so we don't have to keep seeing these articles. You can't blame Klamar for doing what the township attorney told him to do. They have their public meeting tonight so I think this will all be put to rest and Mr. Westerhold will get what he wants.

Diane Schaefer

Public Meetings are 2nd & 4th Tuesdays at 6:00 pm. Not tonight.

Julie R.

I can't speak for all attorneys --- and neither can I speak for this attorney John Coppeler --- but I sure can speak for the ones I DO know and I'm here to say that attorneys are the biggest LIARS on the face of this earth. Attorneys also make-up flat-out LIES about the laws.

I wouldn't believe an attorney if God Himself told me to.

Julie R.

Everybody complains about the double-standard with the police departments but what about the illegal double-standards in your corrupt Erie County court system?