The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Cops, courts and fires

January 15, 2010

Experts: APD officer was within norms

Dawson had no cause to search detainment

ANDERSON — The Anderson police officer who let a man drive away without checking his driving record Tuesday just before the man struck a school bus made a valid decision, according to national and state experts.

“There are extenuating circumstances in this case; I would say the officer was right,” said Andy Mournighan, the director of governmental affairs at the National Association of Police Organizations.

Officer Mark Dawson, a seasoned Anderson officer, responded to a call that a man was passed out in a car at 22nd and Locust streets at about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday. After paramedics and the officer assessed Shane T. Owens, 28, Dawson released him. Minutes later, Owens drove head-on into a school bus.

Later, officers learned that Owens’ driver’s license had been suspended, he had a warrant in Henry County and marijuana in the vehicle.

Anderson Police Department has not responded to questions about how long the officer was on the scene and details about any field tests performed.

However, experts say Dawson acted within officer discretionary procedures that allow officers to factor in what they see and hear at a scene, and determine whether further investigation is needed. It’s the same protocol that allows officers to give warnings during traffic stops.

“In terms of releasing him, I don’t think there’s much question that he had to,” said Steve Johnson, of the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Counsel. “Whether he would ask for a license, it’s up to the officer.”

Johnson also said the presence of paramedics when the officer arrived adds more reason to why he wouldn’t have suspected substance use.

“I think most officers would rely on the paramedics,” he said.

Toxicology tests are pending, according to an Anderson Police Department accident report.

Dave Cravens, deputy chief for the Anderson Fire Department, said Thursday that the paramedics arrived before police. They checked Owens’ vitals, pupils and skin, and all were clear, he said.

Text Only
Cops, courts and fires
  • County doctor arrested on drug charges

    A Fishers doctor with ties to Pendleton was arrested Friday in a Drug Enforcement Administration raid of numerous doctor’s office in central Indiana.

    July 25, 2014

  • Arrest Log: July 25 Arrests made by Madison County law enforcement on Wednesday and Thursday, based on Madison County Jail records.

    July 25, 2014

  • Accident.jpg Second person dies following Ind. 9 accident

    A second person has died from injuries following an accident Wednesday on Ind. 9. Clayton Crumley, 21, died at IU Health Methodist Hospital, officials said Thursday.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brown awarded $25,200 settlement A federal jury issued a split verdict in the discrimination case filed by Jack Brown against the city of Anderson that alleged violations of his free speech rights and the American Disabilities Act.

    July 24, 2014

  • Arrest Log: July 24 Arrests made by Madison County law enforcement on Tuesday and Wednesday, based on Madison County Jail records.

    July 24, 2014

  • Appeals Court: Pendleton prison worker harassed Indiana's prison agency forced a former female employee to work in a hostile environment at the Pendleton Correctional Facility, a federal appeals court in Chicago has ruled.

    July 23, 2014

  • NWS - HB0724 - Messersmith, Justin Man arrested at fair after witnesses say he battered his son A father was arrested at the Madison County 4-H Fair Tuesday night after witnesses said he went too far in disciplining his 4-year-old son.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arrest Log: July 23

    Arrests made by Madison County law enforcement on Monday and Tuesday, based on Madison County Jail records.

    July 23, 2014

  • Ratliff, Jaron Man in violation of probation, new charges A man involved in a May 20 incident where he allegedly eluded police and tried to grab a stun gun from one officer could get up to nine years on a separate suspended charge.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arrest Log: July 22 Arrests made by Madison County law enforcement on Sunday and Monday, based on Madison County Jail records.

    July 21, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide