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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, January 13, 2018 1:00 am

No charges in deputy chief's midnight spat with teenager

JAMIE DUFFY | The Journal Gazette

No charges will be filed after an investigation into a November skirmish involving a Fort Wayne deputy police chief and a 17-year-old.

The Allen County prosecutor's office said Friday there is not enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt a crime was committed “due to the degree of discrepancy in all of the witness statements obtained.”

The dispute started at the roundabout at Auburn and Union Chapel roads around midnight Nov. 4. According to a report from the Allen County Sheriff's Department, a gold Chrysler 300 driven by Adrian Lowe, 18, came up from behind Deputy Chief Derrick Westfield's GMC Yukon at high speed, flashing its lights at him.

Westfield, 50, at that time off duty and driving with Tamecca Chapman in the passenger seat, brake-checked, a term for slowing down quickly, until the Chrysler passed his car on Auburn Road, the report said.

Both drivers pulled into the Falcon Creek addition where Westfield and Lowe's passenger, Ethan Gonzales, 17, both live. When Lowe's vehicle pulled into the Gonzales home on Millennium Crossing, Westfield pulled up as well.

According to the report, Westfield said he parked his car to talk to the two teens when they came up on Westfield yelling, “Why did you cut me off?”

Westfield said the situation became aggressive and Gonzales punched him on the right side of the face, the report said. Gonzales said Westfield shoved Lowe, so he punched Westfield in the face.

A responding officer noted that Westfield's cheek was slightly swollen.

During the altercation, Gonzales' father, John, came out and announced he was a Parkview Hospital police officer. Police were called to the Gonzales home on a report of a battery. Ethan Gonzales said he had injuries to his nose, the back of his head and his left hand, the police report said.

Ethan Gonzales told officers that he smelled alcohol on Westfield's breath, but the responding county police officer said he did not detect an odor of alcohol on Westfield, the police report said.

Police Chief Steve Reed is reviewing the case to decide if any disciplinary action will be taken against Westfield, according to Michael Joyner, Fort Wayne Police Department public information officer. Westfield was not taken off duty because of the case, Joyner added.

jduffy@jg.net