Officers deny man's account of alleged beating - News, Weather & Sports

Officers deny man's account of alleged beating

JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (WAVE) - The attorney for the two Jeffersonville police officers accused of beating a man says the man's claims are not true.

The man, whose name was stated as Lucas Wohlleb in police reports, said the incident happened early on the morning of November 24 at the Lighthouse Restaurant and Lounge when he tripped into off-duty Jeffersonville Officer Toby Deaton and Major Ken Kavanaugh.

"We exchanged words and the next thing you know, I'm on the ground and he's holding me down and some dude that I have no clue who he is, is over there punching me in my face," said Wohlleb. Wohlleb said another man with the officers was also holding him down.

Wohlleb has pictures showing a busted lip, a black eye and several marks on his head.

The officers' attorney, Larry Wilder, said on Tuesday that Wohlleb's story couldn't be further from the truth.

"This individual actually confronted Officer Kavanaugh and Officer Deaton in the line waiting to go to the bathroom," Wilder said.

According to the officers in police summaries, Wohlleb was extremely intoxicated and aggressive toward them.

Kavanaugh said at one point, he grabbed Wohlleb and put him in a wrist lock to try to settle him down.  In his statement, Kavanaugh said he went back to his table where his wife, Deaton and his wife and another couple were waiting but Wohlleb kept coming back, cursing at them and telling them he ran the bar.

"This individual threatened Officer Deaton to cut his ear off, and they were just there for the purpose of having pizza," Wilder said.

In his statement, Officer Deaton said he thought the man was going to stab Major Kavanaugh, so Deaton hit him in the head to try to control him and ended up hitting him several times.

Wilder said it was the officers who called police. "Two police officers arrived and took a report, and they indicated clearly in their report that this alleged victim was extremely intoxicated," Wilder continued. "The alleged victim was actually more concerned about returning to the bar to continue to drink."

Wilder said he is troubled that Jeffersonville's mayor asked Indiana State Police to investigate.  He said it shows no confidence in the two officers who were called to the restaurant to make the report and in the prosecutors office, which was given the report.

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