GREENWOOD, Ind. — Some good instincts by a Greenwood police officer led to the arrest of a man wanted for murder in Marion county.
Greenwood police were called to White Glove Towing along US 31 for a disturbance on Tuesday.
While on scene, a Greenwood police officer noticed one man acting suspicious. Police say the man was hunched over in the passenger seat of a car and an officer asked for his name.
“In this case his body language indicated he wanted nothing to do with police. He didn’t want to make eye contact or anything, which is unusual,” said Greenwood assistant chief Matt Fillenwarth.
Assistant chief Fillenwarth says the suspect, 26-year-old Christopher Rawlings lied about his name, but police couldn’t demand to see his identification, until the suspect flicked a cigarette.
“The act of throwing a cigarette on the ground was an infraction, which is littering,” said Fillenwarth. “When he threw the cigarette butt down, the officer gave him the chance to identify himself or be arrested.”
A police report claims the officer began to write Rawlings a ticket, but because he was unable to verify the correct name, the suspect was arrested as a John Doe for failing to provide a correct identity.
Only after being taken to jail did officers learn that Rawlings was wanted for a murder at a home on Brill Road on Indy’s near south side.
On August 29th, IMPD found a man named Aaron Flora with a fatal stab wound to the neck.
An affidavit unsealed Thursday claims multiple witnesses identified Rawlings as the killer and home surveillance cameras showed him fleeing the scene of the murder.
The Greenwood officer who made the arrest, Patrick Hersman, has been recommended for commendation for his diligence.
“We truly praise him for what he did. He took a dangerous individual off the street,” said Fillenwarth. “Officer Hersman pushed. He applied the law because he knew something was up with this individual.”
The suspect is now being held without bond on the murder charge. He also had a second warrant for a breaking and entering case in Marion County from last year.