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.

Comments

Julie R.

You mean they actually have double-standards in Erie County? Why, who would have ever thought!

Phil Packer

So who is the "other" woman? Why can't you print her name in this article?

MrSandusky

Did they witness one driving, and the other not driving. Were both of the vehicles in drive and in motion?

How can you charge someone with a DUI if the officer does not witness the vehicle in motion? Public intox would be more applicable.

Diane Schaefer

If you read the print version it says that the officer followed both, turn on the overhead lights, and the driver pulled over. That is presuming that the SR account is correct.

jon491

.

deertracker

REALLY? LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Curtis

The Supreme Court of the State of Ohio has carved out an exception to the requirement that a peace officer must actually witness the misdemeanor occur. The law now states the peace officer need only have "reasonable grounds to believe a crime has been committed" to arrest for a misdemeanor not witnessed.

DEEPsix's picture
DEEPsix

ANYONE, EVEN IF NOT DRIVING,BUT IN CONTROL OF THE KEYS, AND IS SUSPECTED OF BEING OR HAS BEEN DRIVING CAN BE CHARGED,,, IT HAS TO DO WITH "CONTROL"

princedenny

By law, you can be charged with OMVI (DUI) if you are in a parked car, with the engine off and your keys in your pocket.

jimmydecant

That is 100 percent false.

princedenny

So, I guess the judges who have imposed a sentence for this in the past didn't know what they were doing.

DEEPsix's picture
DEEPsix

YOU ARE RIGHT, IT ISNT DUI, BUT....... CONTROL, AND A LESSER INCLUDED OFFENSE.

Curtis

True, but that usually results, depending upon the circumstances, in a charge of being in physical control of a motor vehicle wile under the influence, a much less serious crime with no mandatory jail sentence.

Randy_Marsh

Under Ohio law, there are factors that can determine if a person had physical control of a vehicle:

1) The person was in the driver's seat
2) The person was in possession of the ignition key and
3) The person was either under the influence of alcohol or they tested over the legal limit.
http://www.lawyersand.com/Ohio-O...
Under the law if the key is is the ignition and the car is running you are within the limits of OVI/DUI, It does not matter it the car was moving or not.

Blowfish

Car does not have to be running.

Randy_Marsh

The reason I mentioned a running car as the one instance in Taco Bell drive through had to be running or how would it have made it there, It strengthens the case for a OVI/DUI charge that as we have seen was ignored.

DEEPsix's picture
DEEPsix

SOMEONE has to collect evidence in this case, and it appears, that
evidence isnt going to make it into muni court, and as such, FELONY CORRUPTION CHARGES MUST BE ISSUED. NOW, IF LYNN GAST, OR PERKINS PPL, DO NOT CHARHE THIS COP/////
WE ARE PREPARED TO TAKE IT TO FBI/CLEVELAND AND DOJ FOR CHARGES ACROSS THE BOARD, INCLUDING, COPS, TRUSTEES, COUNTY OFFICIALS, AND BAXTER.SOMEONE BETTER TELL THEIR PALS, CORRUPT ONES, THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR.... ET AL.

Perkins2060

*These rules do not apply to cops in Perkins Township*

Cowboy

4) was the person a brother in blue or a regular citizen?

deertracker

I think the cop was a brother in blue!!!

Blowfish

Back to the article.... was it the same officer responding to same call? We need to stop painting all law enforcement with a broad brush. I choose to believe a different Perkins officer in the same situation would have made a better call.

G George I du kno

I am not a cop and a Perkins Officer gave me a ride home one time instead of arresting me. I think they do this more often than people think just to make sure they get home safe.

Kilroy

And when was this? Last I heard their insurance policy would not cover ride homes and I heard this a long, long time ago.

richrs

Read the police log in the print version of the SR, PPD gives a decnt amount of people a ride home, not just for DUI's.

Blowfish

Really PPD give drunk drivers a ride home? What is the criteria for such special treatment?

richrs

@ Blowfish
your guess on that is as good as mine. I do know I have seen more ride homes for other reason, broke down,..., than DUI's.

G George I du kno

This was a few years ago but I know they give people rides home after accidents and stuff as well so I am sure their insurance covers it.

Pastor Ron

This might get pretty interesting. Wasn't an officer dispatched there and didn't that officer claim that they didn't find anything? Not only that but this officer saw fit to neglect his job responsibilities and provide a cab ride? Sounds like there should be a couple of resignations in the future.

Swamp Fox

I am sure that the management of this newspaper longs for the "ethical" standards of the ex-chief of Perkins, convicted felon that was described by the editor as the best law enforcement officer he met.

allrhetoricanyway

Yes, the felon was admired by the one with the axe to grind! Forgive his hubris, after all it's only an axe!

Unabasho

Slam dunk

islandjo

Remind me not to stop at Taco Bell on the way home from the bar.

44846GWP

Anyone surprised by this story? All cops are not "hero's", some are just "want a be's".

Cowboy

It appears that Perkins needs to clean out the ones who feel they are above the law again.

safecracker2

Why didn't the SR print this womans name? Better yet, if the SR has a copy of the report that was readily available to them, attach it to the article in a PDF and let's all read it. Emil, wiredmama already explained to Matt in another article why Perkins isn't releasing the information. Maybe you're still upset from when you broke the law driving on a closed road?

Joker

An explanation for not releasing the report does not mean it is legal. Ohio's sunshine laws and the FoIA have no teeth. Maybe we need to make failing to release public records a felony.

richrs

Just what we need, more laws to satisfy peoples need for nothing.

Joker

An explanation for not releasing the report does not mean it is legal. Ohio's sunshine laws and the FoIA have no teeth. Maybe we need to make failing to release public records a felony.

asweetnessabove

There is an ongoing investigation! Don't get me wrong, I don't agree with what's happened, but reports should not be released until an investigation is done to make sure that people are not being wrongly accused.

eightballcuet1

"To read more on this story, pick up Saturday's Register." This is written at the end of this story What appears on the SR website is an abbreviated version of the story. If you want to read the entire story you can purchase a copy of the paper or subscribe to the e-paper which is an online copy of the entire print paper. The other persons name does appear in the article in the print paper.

safecracker2

Shocker.... why I don't buy it.

deertracker

BUSTED!!! Plain and simple! LOL!

dontcare

One was driving the other wasn't. Perhaps one did not have a sober party to be released to. One investigation is done the other is not. The alcohol test was given hours later which means that drinking could have occured at a later time. Every situation is different.

The inequity in your reporting is the real tragedy. The police officer may very well be charged, in addition loose her job. The other lady who was picked up has been charged, it is highly unlikely she will lose her job or face the wrath of the SR.

While I agree there are many problems in LE in Erie County, your spin and bias contribute to the problem and doesn't help. I'm sure you see yourself as some type of watchdog but I think you need a dose of self awareness.

jimmydecant

Well stated.

Joker

I guarantee the officer won't be charged. There is no evidence, no video, no breathalyzer etc... The alcohol content performed by PPD was already deemed inadmissible because the PPD had no jurisdiction when she was picked up at her home. I agree that the SR has a clear bias against law enforcement, especially against SPD, but this is one of those situations that the police clearly botched. And with the department and township continuing to refuse to release the report, it only adds to the debauchery. We need to know that our government will openly share that which the law says they must share. By withholding the report they are only feeding the fire.

SRnewsless

They sure do have a bias against local law enforcement. Just like when they publish a story about the police dispatcher who bit someone's ear at putinbay but nothing on the hundreds of other fights that happen every Saturday night over there. Whatever happened to her anyway? Why was there no follow up on her discipline or status of her assault charges? I am guessing the Sandusky register made a bigger deal out of that story than it actually was. I get the impression that Matt wants to publish lots of anti police stories, but never does any follow up to let us know if they are found not guilty and he was wrong. Now they want to make a big deal out of this Perkins officer and poor Matty is upset they won't issue a press release and his "best newspaper in Ohio" might actually have to do some reporting.

heaven-leigh

RE:Dontcare-- Nice of you to let the SR know what "they need." You, my friend, need a dictionary.

dontcare

Apparently I do, I have no idea what you're talking about.

luvblues2

Lose instead of loose is what she is talking about. Minor infraction.

dontcare

Guilty as charged, I appreciate Heavenly's insight, and substantive posting. Judging from her writing style, I assume she writes for the SR.

heaven-leigh

.

SurroundedByMorons

Touche.

yellitoutloud

What about the video from taco bell? Maybe when you Emil go into work tonight at taco bell you can get a copy of that tape.

yellitoutloud

Emil got a ticket for driving on a closed road? Why wasn't that in the paper? It is public record is it not? That news made this article. To which Emil didn't write. Maybe that's what did the trick.

safecracker2

Yes, he did. Back in the summer. Do a search. You will find it.

luvblues2

apples, oranges and kiwi fruit...

SandTownBry

They where both driveing..ONCE AGAIN..JUST SHOWS YA PERKINS PD GIVES SANDUSKY A BAD NAME..and its the god honest truth..

luvblues2

Heh. When you type, it gives you a bad name, STB. :)

SandTownBry

YOUR TO KIND!! THANKS

richrs

Sandusky gives itself a bad name. No murders here in the Township.

SandTownBry

hmm...u might be right about that but along the lines of scandles and shady cops PERKINS TAKES THE CAKE!! wtf is there even a police dept n perkins anyways if its just a township..ohhh wait i know why to waist more of the tax money. if they are met for perkins township then ur cops should stay n there township. im sorry it comes down to the fact that half of perkins is nothing but uptight B***hes and the other half are drunks or cheaters..so i guess ill take ur comment with a grain of salt atleast are officers are honest and dont sweep stuff under the rug or try to cover for each other when there n the wronge and if they do it always comes out.but thanks

Diane Schaefer

You shouldn't be so fast to judge. The Township has had their share of murders. Maybe not as many or as recent, but we have had our share.

YouDon'tSay

SR - if you're going to print a story, print all the facts. You neglected to mention that the lady arrested also had 5-6 prior OVI's and a warrant for her arrest. That's why she's in jail and not Officer Barker. Stop bashing LE that protects you on a daily bases. Let it go!

safecracker2

Ohhhh, makes so much sense now. See! Can't even compare apples to apples in your own story. Explains why they didn't list her name. Seemed odd to me that someone was still in jail since Thursday for a DUI. What a joke this paper is.

YouDon'tSay

It's funny they leave it out when all you have to do is check a public source and find the name. Anything to make a penny.

lifetimeresident

If Taco Bell is going to keep calling the police on every late night customer, which are probably drunk, maybe the people should boycott them and go to Burger King.

richrs

Taco Bell is garbage anyway. Though BK and the rest aren't much better.

2cents's picture
2cents

When they legalize pot, Ryan's will be the new hot place :)

SandTownBry

Ryans or Bufflo wild wings. :-)

Swamp Fox

This newspaper does appear to have a agenda against certain law enforcement agencies, they have a right to print these articles and law enforcement officer should be held to a higher standard. But doesn't these same media people who report on others have the same higher standards? Its very informative to use the public search of the local court and find the name of some these same media people and how they fail to obey the law or their financial responsibilities, a well informed public should know all the facts on all public individuals, both government and media employees to judge their credibility and any agenda..

camero

If the keys are in the ignition u can get a dui

2cents's picture
2cents

AH! Have a friend that was in the house, came out to knock on the door and got a DUI brecause the officer was parked and saw him pull into his driveway?

starryeyes83

Um... is there a need for AA in your local police departments? Starting to sound like it.

2cents's picture
2cents

Step 1 ?

worddrow811

What may be missing is this, if the officer had not escaped detection as she was trying to do, she may have killed someone in her official capacity while on her way to work, at work, or driving back home after work.

The second woman, could have done the same, but she was not wearing a police uniform and was treated entirely different because of that detail.

The code of conduct for the 'brother/sisterhood' is not supposed to be about breaking the law and getting away with it because your fellow officers close ranks to keep the unlawful behavior a secret!

It reinforces the distrust that we the people have for those who are supposed to protect and serve, not hide and seek when it it's one of them!

YouDon'tSay

The officer and the other lady shouldn't even be compared in the same story! SHE HAD PRIOR OVI'S AND A WARRANT!! That's why she was arrested! As someone else stated, stop stirring the pot SR!

Randy_Marsh

So if the off duty officer had killed someone she should have been treated different because it was her first? That is a stupid argument.

YouDon'tSay

I'm sure if either one of them killed someone they would've got dealt with properly. They're comparing apples to oranges. They make it sound like the officer got off the hook and the other lady didn't, but they failed to mention the rest of the details.

Randy_Marsh

Not really. Drunk driving is drunk driving, End of story. Officers who enfore our laws should be held to a higher standard anyways, Everyone knows drunk driving is illegal a Officer should especially stick to that law. Is there a case against the officer yet?

richrs

There probably won't be one. It's been a lot of years since I had to remember this but there is some kind of time limit on getting a BAC test done in order to issue a citation. I can't remember what it is though.

Randy_Marsh

If there were no charges placed on the officer for sitting in a car passed out drunk after being to the bar and her blook alcohol lever was still above the legal limit the next morning when the test was administered she "Got off the hook" for drunk driving by knowing someone. Drunk driving is against the law, Period.

luvblues2

" blook alcohol lever"...Don't drink and type. :/

Randy_Marsh

simple typo, I wish i had a drink though. Does that count?

luvblues2

Yeah man, I'll let it slide. :) It was out of character as far as I know you in these comment sections, though.

queenjhb

How many alcoholics in the PPD? Recovering? or in denial? Seems like there is possibly a really big problem not being addressed here. Perhaps this should be seriously looked into. A police department is only as sick as it is allowed to be. Is this the case here? Im not sure this issue has been truly dealt with in a really indepth way . Whats the reality here?

queenjhb

How many alcoholics in the PPD? Recovering? or in denial? Seems like there is possibly a really big problem not being addressed here. Perhaps this should be seriously looked into. A police department is only as sick as it is allowed to be. Is this the case here? Im not sure this issue has been truly dealt with in a really indepth way . Whats the reality here?

richrs

What PD doesn't have some that drink to much. Look at some of the problems SPD has had. ie: The Showalter incident downtown to name just one. Alcohol is a problem that any PD needs to address. The OSP trooper with the gun who got into an accident.

Kilroy

I say we all get drunk and march over to PPD and get a ride home. And maybe if they are nice we'll stop at taco bell too.

24productions

...of course they arrested the citizen... doesn't affect the force now, does it?

Julie R.

Matt Westerhold has an excellent article in today's paper. I hope some of you negative commenters that are so critical of the SR took the time to read it because it's right on target.

Westerhold asks: "Is it appropriate for a public official to refuse to respond to legitimate inquiries from a member of the public?" He also says: "When a public official has the audacity to blow off a member of the public whose employer buys ink by the tanker, what chance does the average person have at getting reasonable responses to legitimate questions?"

Considering how the shoe also fits there with your other public officials, I think I'm going to cut that out and address it to the two courts on the 2nd floor of the Erie County courthouse and Kevin Baxter.

dontcare

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?