Pike County Man Arrested For Battering One Year Old Son

A Pike County Man was taken into custody Thursday afternoon after a criminal investigation revealed he allegedly battered his one-year-old son last month.

Indiana State Police say back on August 19th an ISP detective initiated a criminal investigation after receiving information a one-year-old boy had severe bruising on the side of his face.

Police say on August 15th the child’s father, 29-year old David Huffer of Velpen was watching his son at Huffer Mughome and was playing video games while his son was taking a nap. They say Huffer allegedly battered his son after he woke up and started crying. Police say the childís mother was not at home at the time of the alleged incident.

Now after reviewing the investigation the Pike County Prosecutor’s Office decided to issued an arrest warrant for Huffer who was arrested by without incident by a state trooper and a Pike County Sheriff’s deputy around 4 o’clock Thursday afternoon.

He was taken to and booked into the Pike County Jail on Level 5 Felonies of Neglect of a Dependent and Battery on a Person less than 14 years of age and a Level 6 Felony of Neglect of a Dependent. He is currently being held on bond.

Washington Man Caught With Meth, Tries To Sneak Away From Authorities    

A Washington man was arrested in Loogootee on multiple drug charges yesterday for possessing methamphetamine and other narcotics after trying to sneak around a State Trooper and dispose of the drugs.

Indiana State Police say around 1:10 Thursday afternoon a trooper pulled into the Marathon gas station Smith's Drugsparking lot in Loogootee and observed a male walking away from the property, but continuing to watch the trooper.

Police say the trooper observed the male continue to watch him, until the male suddenly sprinted behind a parked semi trailer. They say the trooper could see the male bend down under the trailer, stand back up, and sprint back to his original location.

Smith MugConcerned that the activity was suspicious, the trooper approached the man who identified himself as 55-year old Joseph Smith of  Washington. The trooper walked with Smith back to the semi trailer, where he found a pill bottle hidden by Smith containing methamphetamine, hydrocodone, and marijuana.

Smith was arrested and lodged without incident in the Martin County Jail.

He faces charges of Possession of Methamphetamine a Level 6 Felony, Possession of a Schedule II Controlled Substance a Class A Misdemeanor and a Class B Misdemeanor of Possession of Marijuana

Martin County Shooting

Martin County authorities are trying to sort out the details of an apparent homicide that took place earlier today.

Martin County Prosecutor Mike Steiner says an elderly male was the victim of an apparent shooting in an area north of Shoals.

Steiner says the body was discovered around 9:30 this morning (WED) at a residence north of Dover Hill near Trinity Springs.

Now a suspect identified as Nathan Baker has been captured. Baker was reported to have lead authorities in a chase that started in Willams and ended along State Road 158 west of Bedford around 2:30 this afternoon. Baker at that time was taken into custody without incident.

As a result of the shooting officials in both the Shoals and Loogootee school corporations decided to put their schools on lockdown at around 12:30.

This a a developing story we’ll have more on the WBDC News once more details have been released.

Phony Twenties Showing In Ferdinand

Officials with the Town of Ferdinand say they have been informed by the Ferdinand Police Department that a number of local businesses in recent days have  received counterfeit bills.

In a release Ferdinand Town Manager Chris James says area banks have caught at least a couple of the phony $20 bills when they were turned in with normal business deposits.

James says officers have been notifying other businesses to be extra vigilant in examining currency when handling transactions and strongly encourage the use of special marking pens as a precautionary measure.

First Operation Double Trouble Sentence Handed Down

The Dubois County Prosecutor’s office says the first   sentence has been handed down for a defendant of Operation Double Trouble.

Of course on June 4th local law enforcement officers began serving arrest warrants for drug dealing offenses stemming from the investigation which resulted in authorities serving 18 individuals with arrest warrants as part of 2 rounds of arrests for drug dealing charges in Dubois and Spencer Counties.

The prosecutor’s office says 24-year old Bryce Sadler of Jasper, was the first Operation Double Trouble defendant to enter into a plea agreement and was sentenced yesterday in the Dubois County Superior Court.

Sadler Mug

Bryce Sadler

Sadler entered into an agreement with prosecutors  that called for him to plead guilty to Dealing in Methamphetamine, a Level 5 felony, and serve 2 years at the Indiana Department of Correction.

The agreement called for this sentence to run consecutively to a 180 day sentence that Sadler is currently serving at the Dubois County Security Center for Possession of Paraphernalia and Carrying a Handgun Without a License, both Class A misdemeanors.

Chief Deputy Prosecutor Beth Sermersheim stated that this Operation will differ in the length of jail sentences that will be handed down to the defendants.

Thus far, defendants of Operation Big Brother have received a total of 141 years in sentences, with 113 of those years served in jail.

34-year old Ryan Groeschen of Ferdinand, is the most recent Operation Big Brother defendant to enter into a plea agreement.

Groeschen Mug

Ryan Groeschen

Last Tuesday August the 11th, Groeschen entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors that called for him to plead guilty to Dealing in a Schedule III Controlled Substance, a Class B felony, and be sentenced to 12 years, with the first 8 served at the Indiana Department of Correction, followed by the last 4 on Work Release.

Sermersheim says that due to changes in the Indiana Criminal Code in July 2014, drug dealing offenses are punished much less harshly. Many of the offenses charged as part of Operation Double Trouble are Level 5 felonies, which are only punishable by a sentence of 1 to 6 years.

Under the old criminal code, most dealing offenses were classified as Class B felonies, which were punishable by a sentence of 6 to 20 years. Sermersheim stated that it’s unfortunate that they are longer able to hand down lengthy sentences for drug dealing offenses.

House Fire Damages Mentor Home

A pair of local volunteer fire departments were called into action this morning to battle a house fire near Mentor.

Just before 9:30 am Schnellville firefighters were called to a home belonging to Ron Wiseman along the 9200 block of East State Road 64.

Schnellville Fire Chief Mark Fischer says a truck driver who was passing by the residence saw flames through the home’s front living room window.  Fischer says the truck driver contacted Wiseman a fellow trucker and the home’s owner who was just a few miles away. The two alerted authorities before running a garden hose through a door and were able to knock most of the fire out before the first crews arrived on the scene.       

Fischer says Weisman’s wife and two children were also away from the home when the blaze broke out however the family dog and two cats were still inside.  Firefighters entered the residence and were able to bring the pets out of the house safely.    

Fischer says damage from the fire was confined to the the home’s living room by the TV and entertainment center. He also noted that the rest of the house sustained heat and smoke damage and that it is temporarily uninhabitable.

There were no injuries.

Damage to the home is estimated at 10-thousand dollars.

Schnellville fire department sent 10 men and 4 trucks to the scene. They along with 8 men and a pair of trucks from Birdseye were on the scene for 90 minutes.    

Jasper Boil Order

Officials with the Jasper Municipal Water Department are letting their customers and the general public be aware that due to multiple water leaks along Second Avenue and Riverside Drive a boil order has been issued.

Water officials say the area affected is east on Second Avenue beginning at Hillside Drive which includes Hillside and Riverside Drives as well as Sherri Lane.  They say this is the only portion of The city of Jasper that is affected.

Officials also note that this boil order will remain in effect for a minimum of 48 hours.  The Jasper Municipal Water Department says they will notify local media once the boil order is lifted but again it will remain in place for at least a 48 hour period.

In the meantime areas affected are advised to boil their water for human and pet consumption for a minimum of 5 minutes.

Any further questions can be directed to the Jasper Water Department.  Their number is 812-482-5252.