September 10, 2014

IMPD Officers Arrested for Battery

IMPD Officers Arrested for Battery

Two Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers were arrested for a bar altercation last month.

Sixteen year veteran John Serban faces and 15 year veteran Michael Reiger are accused of beating and choking a man at Mikie’s Pub on the city’s southside.

Serben, 40, faces two charges of battery and Reiger, 46, faces one.

The officers were trying to calm down a man who was allegedly drunk and being rude.

But, IMPD Chief Rick Hite says they "overstepped their bounds."

"It's not the majority of our police department, but it is important to know that we will not tolerate that type of violence on our community," said Hite.  "We saw some things happening in that investigation that were very disturbing."

The officers allegedly punched the man in the face and choked him unconscious then dragged his body about 20 feet outside the bar.

The man reported bruising around his eye and cuts and scrapes to his elbows and knees.

The charges come just days after the city county council approved a tax increase that will result in $29 million more for public safety, with most going to pay for hiring more police.

Hite doesn’t think this incident will result in a loss of public trust.

"When they do cross the line we have a responsibility to those same tax payers to make sure we hold them accountable," he said.  "I think the tax payers, by in large, understand the need for good policing. They trust us to be able to put a good team on the field and we'll continue to do that.  We promise you that."

Both officers are on unpaid leave and Hite says the department is considering firing them.  


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