Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Police Chief Promises Inquiry into Incident with Officer, Teens

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Police Chief Promises Inquiry into Incident with Officer, Teens

Article excerpt

Was Officer Mike Stotler intoxicated and did he pull a pistol when he confronted four carloads of teen-agers outside his house seven weeks ago while off-duty?

The teen-agers and their parents say yes. Bellefontaine Neighbors officials aren't saying much. Police Chief David Erker assured parents that the incident would be investigated fully and that a recommendation for discipline would be given to Mayor Marty Rudloff.

Relatives of the teens involved in the confrontation with Stotler showed up at a City Council meeting last week to demand answers. "Don't tell me it's an internal investigation and you can't talk about it, because we deserve to know," said Cathy Menke, whose son was one of the eight teen-agers involved. City officials are releasing few details. Stotler could not be reached for comment. Here is what is known from what Menke and other witnesses said happened on March 28. Connie Ballard had a birthday party for her 10-year-old son at her home on Calumet Drive. At the party were Ballard's sisters, Cheryl O'Keefe, Cindy Slynn and Menke and their children. Eight teens left the party about 9:30 p.m. in four cars. Five of the teens are related. They drove to the end of the block, where Calumet intersects with Ludlow Drive. There, they stopped to wait for another teen-ager to meet them. Stotler, who lives on Ludlow at Calumet, came out of his house with a pistol tucked into his pants, the teens say. He began quarreling with one of the teens and was alleged to have pulled his weapon and begun shouting obscenities. A few minutes later, four police officers arrived. They took Stotler's pistol and walked him to the front porch of his house. At the time of the confrontation, one of the teen-agers left the scene and ran to the home of her grandfather, Bill Achter, who lives on Calumet. …

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