Clarksville firefighter, police officer accused of pepper sprayi - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Clarksville firefighter, police officer accused of pepper spraying baby is off both jobs

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Charles Edelen Charles Edelen
JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- Authorities say an infant was pepper sprayed after being caught in the middle of a chaotic love triangle.

On Monday, investigators released new information on the arrest of a man who was both a Clarksville firefighter and a police officer, including how police say the two-month-old ended up being pepper sprayed.

Charles Edelen emerged from Court with no words. Newly released records say his two-month-old step-daughter's face was burned so badly by pepper spray, her eyes swelled shut.

She was rushed to Kosair Children's Hospital with potential respiratory problems.

"It wasn't his intent to hurt the child," said Larry Wilder, Edelen's attorney. "What you got to understand is this: when you use pepper spray, it fills a room...and the effects are going to be felt upon by lots of people who are there."

Edelen's estranged wife, Samantha, had a child with another man while they were separated. Attorneys say the couple reconciled, but last week, the girl's father, Darius Henderson, came to the Edelen's Jeffersonville home to talk about custody -- and tempers flared.

"The boyfriend showed up and there was dispute that Mr. Edelen had with his wife over the fact that she wouldn't' put pants on," Wilder said. "She was in a tank top -- no bra and panties -- and he took offense."

Edelen is accused of pepper spraying his wife and her ex-boyfriend while he was holding the baby -- but Wilder says it may have happened differently.

"Don't know that he was holding a baby when that happened," Wilder said. "We'll find out in discovery...exactly what was going on."

Wilder says Edelen only used pepper spray to protect his home.

"It's preferred over guns, obviously, and that was his choice to try and remove someone from his home, when they refused," Wilder said.

A neighbor called 911 when the fight spilled out of the Edelens' home. They say the Clarksville firefighter and reserve police officer was threatening to harm himself with a gun.

Edelen has been suspended from the fire department without pay and has resigned from his reserve position with police.

As for his marriage, measures are being taken to end it.

"We filed a motion for trial on the divorce this morning," Wilder said.

Edelen pleaded not guilty to three counts of battery on Monday. He's free on bond with a trial date set for October.

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