Police officer who was arrested in OWI case investigated Beech Grove Walmart fight

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Jill Liter

JOHNSON COUNTY (June 15, 2015) – An officer with the Beech Grove Police Department is on administrative leave pending investigation after being arrested in a drunk driving case in Johnson County Sunday night.

Police were called to 6100 W. Smith Valley Rd. around 10 p.m. Sunday after someone called to report a driver who appeared to be intoxicated. When investigators with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office arrived, they found Jill Liter, 40, Indianapolis, in the driver’s seat of a Chevy Denali parked outside a Speedway gas station.

Liter was off-duty at the time and in her personal vehicle, according to the report from the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office. Liter was off-duty at the time and in her personal vehicle, according to the report from the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office. She was one of the officers who investigated the fight at the Beech Grove Walmart from June 4, a case in which officers made an arrest Friday.

Deputies spoke to a worker inside the store, who told them he didn’t see the car in motion but noticed several items fall out of the vehicle when Liter opened the door. She then got out of the driver’s side and picked them up. When she entered the store, the employee said she smelled of alcohol and “had trouble walking straight.” The employee said Liter had trouble with the card reader and “kept fumbling (with) her card.” Surveillance video viewed later in the case corroborated the employee’s account, the report said.

When police talked to Liter, they detected the odor of alcohol and said her eyes were “red and glossy, and her speech was slurred.” She admitted to having “a few beers prior to leaving a friend’s house,” the report said. She declined to participate in field sobriety tests and indicated she was an officer with the Beech Grove Police Department.

According to the report, Liter became “increasingly abusive” while deputies questioned her. According to the report, “it was obvious that (Liter) expected to be let go rather than us investigate her for OWI.” She refused to take a certified chemical test, investigators said. When police tried to put her in handcuffs, she tried to walk away, the report said. Deputies “mildly restrained her” so they could put her in cuffs.

While being taken to the Johnson County Jail, Liter “continued to be abusive” and demanded deputies call her supervisor. Police took her to the jail and then to Johnson Memorial Hospital for a blood draw after obtaining a search warrant. Deputies said she “continued to have an abusive and uncooperative attitude” throughout but eventually calmed down. She was arrested on a charge of operating while intoxicated.

The Beech Grove Police Department issued the following statement:

We are aware of the arrest of Officer Jill Liter. At this time she has been placed on administrative leave pending further investigation. Officer Liter has an exemplary police record and is an asset to the Beech Grove Police Department. It should be noted that she was in her personal vehicle and off duty at the time of her arrest. This is also an isolated incident involving one of our officers and not indicative of the behavior and high standards we have for our officers. We do not condone Officer Liter’s actions but need to let the judicial process proceed. We will have no further comment at this time.

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