Officer allegedly abuses wife

Rickie Riggs is on paid leave following claims of domestic violence.
Courtney Astolfi
Jan 25, 2014


A Vermilion police officer was placed on administrative leave Thursday night after deputies served him a protection order and seized his weapons following an alleged domestic violence incident with his wife.

Rickie Riggs, 55, is now on paid leave pending the outcome of the civil protection order case, Vermilion police Chief Chris Hartung said.

Erie County deputies first responded to Riggs’ Vermilion Township home Thursday morning after his wife filed for a protection order because Riggs had allegedly attacked her the night prior, according to court documents.

Riggs allegedly pushed and hit his wife Wednesday night during an argument about Riggs seeing another woman, according to an Erie County deputy’s report.

The couple’s adult son said Riggs’ outburst was “like someone flipped a switch” the report stated.    When deputies went to the home Thursday morning, Riggs was not there. He later returned after deputies left, however, prompting his wife to call 911, the report said.

When deputies returned to the home, Riggs denied the allegations of domestic violence. He told deputies his wife started the argument, there was no physical violence and he did not threaten her.

“Rickie was nonchalant about the matter,” the report stated.

Riggs’ wife did not say why she failed to call authorities Wednesday night and declined to pursue criminal charges. In the petition for a protection order, filed Thursday, she alleged ongoing physical and verbal abuse from Riggs, calling attention to concerns about his mental health.

She cited Riggs’ “large temper” and “big ego” and described how he has pushed, shoved and hit her, documents stated.

“I am afraid he will totally lose control,” she wrote in the petition.

Riggs’ wife also mentioned instances of sexual aggression.

Deputies ultimately served the protection order at 8 p.m. Thursday, seizing multiple weapons from Riggs’ home, including his service weapon, Hartung said.

Once Riggs’ police-issued gun is released by deputies, it will likely be given back to Vermilion police, as it is city property.

Hartung said he’s had no disciplinary issues with Riggs in the 25 years he has worked at the Vermilion Police Department.

“I can’t vouch for what happens at home, but I have seen no decline in his work-related performance,” Hartung said.

Waiting for a civil issue to conclude before pursuing an internal police investigation is standard protocol, Hartung said, and Riggs’ case will be no different.

In the meantime, Riggs must stay 500 feet away from his wife, and he is barred from any sort of contact with her.

The protection order hearing is slated for late January, Hartung said, at which point Riggs can refute any of the allegations.


Julie R.

The Vermilion police chief sure did jump on these allegations quick. Of course, that's more than likely because of the uproar going on in Sandusky County. Makes Erie County look a little better.


Responding quick is a good thing

Julie R.

I agree that responding quick is a good thing but the truth of the matter is --- Erie County is just as corrupt, if not more so, than Sandusky County.


With all undue respect JulieR: when was the last time a murder went without TRULLY being investigated in Erie County? When was the last time ECSO deputies flash banged and shot a sleeping/drunk man to death? When was the last time LE in Erie County failed to collect ALL the evidence in a suspicious death scene? When was the last time the Erie County coroner pronounced a shooting death as "Accidental Suicide" without even taking into consideration all the facts at hand? Idk, but it sounds to me like you have a not-so-hidden agenda against Erie County LE, if not all LE.... What happened? Couldn't get out of that ticket you were issued once upon a time and are still holding a grudge? Move on, see the facts, read the "News" and see that the bit of trouble some LE have gotten into in Erie County in the past is literally small potatoes in comparison. IMHO

Julie R.

With all undue respect, Onemanforce, I wasn't referring to the Erie County LE when I said Erie County is just as corrupt, if not more so, than Sandusky County. I was referring to the county public officials, including the county judges and the prosecutor's office.


Why do cops always abuse the person that worries about them on the job?


you might as well ask why some men abuse women period but in this case it may be just that she's mad because he was stepping out. you don't know if she worried about him on the job or if she just doesn't trust him. it's one of those he said, she said situations that will most likely end up in divorce. she filed the protection order so now it goes from there.


If I read the story correctly, it appears their son backed up her story so I don't think it's just retribution for his stepping out.


Some get a free pass in OHIO.
"ELYRIA -- A Highway Patrol trooper is accused of threatening his wife's life, and she took out a protection order against him Wednesday, according to Lorain County Common Pleas Court records."


"Trooper back on duty after domestic probe"

Truth or Dare

Going to the link "behindthebluewall" and reading about the family members killed by one of their own, one they had a protection order against, or one where the power of the courts was used to grant custody of children to the abuser and excuses made such as it was "a he said, she said situation" and the children ending up murdered and the abuser committing suicide.......heartbreaking! It's all heartbreaking. Unless your heart is made of stone. Beyond shameful a hand of help wasn't extended to protect the innocent!


Why would you want to read that? I would just stop reading it, seems easier than bitching about it :-)

Truth or Dare

This is bitching, pick up your wet towels, dirty clothes, put the toilet seat down, if you're going too cook do the dishes.......Rather odd such incidents aren't more forthcoming, unless someone exposes it. Nothing wrong with learning about the truth, as sad and sick as it may be. I'm a big girl now, and well aware there are far too many that prefer and are far to willing to play ostrich, w/good reason! By the way, I did stop after reading about the children that were murdered by their LE Father, who was given custody by a judge. That judge used the same "he said, she said" excuse, and is only more proof that protection comes from the bench and not for the innocent involved!