Jeffersonville Police officers accused in beating cleared
JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (WAVE) - No criminal charges - that's the decision Thursday from Clark County Prosecutor Steve Stewart in the case of two off-duty Jeffersonville Police officers accused of beating a man inside a restaurant.
There are two very different stories about what happened inside the Lighthouse Restaurant and Lounge November 24.
"We exchanged words and the next thing you know, I'm on the ground and he's holding me down," explained Lucas Wohleb in November, And some dude, that I have no clue who he is, is punching me in my face."
Wohleb showed us his black eye and busted lip.
He maintains he was beaten for spilling a drink on off-duty Jeffersonville Police officers Toby Deaton and Major Ken Kavanaugh.
The officers said Wohleb was wasted and threatened to cut them several times while they were eating pizza with their wives.
The Clark County Prosecutor agreed with the officers, "He was basically being an obnoxious drunk," Stewart said of Wohleb.
Stewart came to that conclusion after examining the Indiana State Police investigation that included interviews with 17 witnesses at the restaurant. He also reviewed the initial reports from Jeffersonville Police.
Stewart said just because Wohleb was on the losing end of the fight, his injuries don't prove anything. "It's not always the loser that is the victim," Stewart said, "And in this case, from a criminal law standpoint, I don't think there's any question that he (Wohleb) was not the victim."
Larry Wilder, the attorney representing the police officers told us, "Officer Deaton and Major Kavanaugh are very pleased and happy that they have been deemed truthful and honest about what occurred that night."
Wilder says while the officers are relieved, he still doesn't understand why Mayor Mike Moore asked Indiana State Police to get involved when the prosecutor has always evaluated police investigations in Jeffersonville.
He says it has raised questions among the rank and file.
Wilder asked, "Are we going to be second guessed and is the State Police going to be called each and every time we make a decision?"
The Mayor and Police Chief have said they believed Indiana State Police should have investigated because their own officers were involved.
The two officers could still face an internal investigation.
WAVE 3 News tried to contact Lucas Wohleb several times but, we weren't able to reach him.
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