The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Cops, courts and fires

May 14, 2014

Anderson cop disciplined after Hancher standoff

SWAT incident ended safely April 2

ANDERSON, Ind. — ANDERSON — A veteran Anderson police officer has been disciplined in connection to a standoff where SWAT team members scuffled with one another.

The disciplinary action against Officer Joseph Garrett followed an internal investigation by the city's police department into a standoff at the apartment of Kent Hancher on April 2. Garrett has served on the department for 29 years.

The disciplinary action was confirmed Wednesday by police officials to The Herald Bulletin.

Details surrounding the internal investigation and subsequent punishment were not disclosed because the matter is a personnel issue, said Detective Joel Sandefur, a public information officer at the Anderson Police Department.

Garrett will have 48 hours to appeal action taken against him, Sandefur said. If Garrett chooses to appeal the decision by the police department, the matter will go before the city's Board of Public Safety and become public information.

Internal investigation

On Tuesday, Police Chief Larry Crenshaw said there was an internal investigation regarding a 90-minute police standoff with Hancher.

Witnesses say the incident began when Hancher, 56, discharged a shotgun into the air from his front doorway in the 300 block of West Sixth Street. When officers arrived, he allegedly pointed the firearm at them.

Hancher specifically requested Garrett’s presence during the standoff. Garrett arrived and helped Hancher surrender. A scuffle then ensued between the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team members and Garrett, according to witnesses who spoke to The Herald Bulletin.

Hancher faces felony counts of pointing a firearm at another person, criminal recklessness and unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. He is in the Madison County Jail awaiting a jury trial scheduled for June 24.

Bryan Williams, a court-appointed attorney for Hancher, said he filed a notice of defense motion citing insanity on behalf of his client. Williams said he does not believe the internal investigation or disciplinary action taken against Garrett would be relevant to Hancher’s defense.

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