Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Appeal Dropped by Officer Holden Cited for Hit and Run

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Appeal Dropped by Officer Holden Cited for Hit and Run

Article excerpt

The Evansville police officer accused of crashing his personal vehicle and leaving the scene in December withdrew his request Tuesday for an appeal hearing before the Police Merit Commission of his 30-day unpaid suspension. Police Chief Billy Bolin, speaking Tuesday for the first time regarding Officer Raymond Holden's wreck, said Holden would have been arrested that night had officers been able to locate him.

Police tried but couldn't find him, the chief said, so they cited him for misdemeanor hit-and-run.

Holden, according to a police report, told investigators he fled the scene of the Dec. 11 wreck because he was concerned about his blood alcohol level being over the legal limit.

According to disciplinary documents obtained by the Courier & Press, Holden was off-duty about 3:15 a.m. Dec. 11 when he crashed into a fence at 301 N. Barker Ave. He fled the scene on foot, leaving his handgun, two magazines for the weapon, handcuffs and badge in his unlocked 2010 Ford Explorer.

"I'm extremely disappointed in Officer Holden," Bolin said. "He clearly broke the law. He embarrassed our department. And the unfortunate thing for all of our officers who go out here day in and day out and do a great job is we can do a thousand good things and then we have one officer go out and do something stupid like this and it puts all of us in a bad light."

Holden was not at Tuesday's meeting but was represented by attorney Charles Berger, who was accompanied by Larry Nelson, president of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 73, and Alan Yeager, FOP trustee chairman.

"There won't need to be a hearing date," Berger told the merit commission, adding, "but I will make this public statement: The actions of this board in giving him an additional 15 days violate the Indiana Constitution and the federal Constitution. We won't have that to-do in this matter because he's not going to appeal. …

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