LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Floyd County grand jury has indicted a New Albany Police officer for misdemeanor battery and official misconduct, a Level 6 Felony, in connection with an alleged incident that took place in October 2016.
The indictment was handed up Wednesday night, according to a news release from Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson's office.
New Albany Police Chief Todd Bailey says Indiana State Police are conducting an independent investigation and an internal review is ongoing.
"It is the policy of the New Albany Police Department to fully investigate all employee misconduct allegations and does not disclose specifics of personnel matters," Bailey said in a news release.
Bailey says Cpl. John Hall has been with the New Albany Police Department for approximately 21 years.
According to New Albany Police, the investigation centers on the conduct of Hall during an incident on Oct. 7, 2016. Based on the indictment, Hall intentionally struck Jereme D. Koch, a shoplifting suspect, in the “midsection of his body”, resulting in bruising and pain.
“The allegation is that Cpl. Hall battered an in-custody prisoner,” explained Bailey. “Obviously, this is for a court to decide in the future. And I can’t comment on the specifics of that allegation.”
Hall's assignment at the time of the alleged incident was 3rd Shift Patrol Division Supervisor. And Bailey explained the alleged misconduct happened after Koch was detained.
The original incident in question that resulted in Koch being detained, according to a probable cause affidavit, happened just before 11:30 p.m. at a New Albany Kroger. Police say an officer was called to the scene on a report of a shoplifter. Koch had allegedly stolen merchandise before driving away in a green Toyota Camry.
Police say they ultimately found Koch's vehicle near the intersection of Graybrook Lane and Bono Road. When they tried to stop him, he allegedly led them on a pursuit down State Street and onto I-265 and I-64. According to court documents, police deployed stop sticks and a road block to stop Koch before he crossed the bridge into Kentucky -- but not before Koch damaged three police vehicles.
When police stopped Koch, they allegedly had to break his driver's side window to get to him. He then allegedly told officers, "I give up, you all got me," but officers had to pry his hands from the steering wheel. Police say he continued to resist, and had to be tazed before officers were able to put his hands behind his back.
According to court documents, Koch admitted to stealing the merchandise, and said he didn't stop for police because he had an active warrant. Police say they found over $450 worth of stolen merchandise in his trunk.
In regards to the indictment against Hall, Bailey said, "We at the New Albany Police Department hold our staff to an extraordinarily high ethical standard. And the actions alleged in this case will never be condoned by this administration."
Hall was placed on paid administrative leave in October 2016, after the incident with Koch. In light of the indictment, Bailey said Hall has been placed on an unpaid suspension.Copyright 2017 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.