Previous arrest not known involving 911 dispatcher
SELLERSBURG, IN (WAVE) - A 911 dispatcher faces charges for allegedly following a teenage girl and impersonating a police officer.
William Leach worked at the Clark County Office of Emergency Communications. We were told Friday, the department did not know Leach had also been arrested in September, 2017 and charged with Operating While Intoxicated.
"I feel like the luckiest girl in the world right now to still be here," Alyssa Tyree, 16, told WAVE 3 News.
She had just gotten off work Wednesday when she noticed a car following her every move.
"I kind of freaked out," Tyree said.
She called her parents who waited for her in their front yard. Her step father shined a flashlight into the car's window when it pulled up next to the teen's.
"He holds a badge up and I'm like, why would an officer do that?" Tyree's mother, Shawna Middleton told us.
The man drove off, but not before her step father followed him, and jotted down his license plate number.
Deputies later tracked the vehicle down on Utica Street in Sellersburg, according to Clark County Sheriff Jamey Noel.
They found William Leach, 49, behind the wheel. He is a 911 dispatcher in Clark County.
The news about his job surprised Middleton.
"You're supposed to have compassion and caring and here you are flashing a fake badge," she said.
Leach told deputies the badge belonged to his late father.
Police also say Leach was drunk.
After some digging, we found out that in September Leach had also been arrested and charged in Crawford County for driving while intoxicated. The department told us they learned of that arrest during the course of the most recent investigation. They said police dictates that if an employee is arrested, they are automatically suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.
"If no one had been at this house, I don't know what I would have done," Tyree told us.
Police say another man also reported being followed by Leach.
The first complaint came from a driver who said Leach had followed closely behind him and flashed his bright lights. He said Leach pulled his vehicle over, displayed a badge, said he was a police officer, then drove off. That man was also able to give authorities Leach's license plate number.
Middleton hopes their story will make other parents and teens aware.
"If you feel uncomfortable, make the phone call. You know don't risk your life by just trusting, you know, people."
Deputies found a portable police radio and a police badge in Leach's car. Officers said he admitted to showing the badge to someone after he had been drinking.
Leach was charged with impersonating a public servant, Operating While Intoxicated and refusal to submit to a chemical test.
Per policy, the Clark County Office of Emergency Communications told us Leach was suspended indefinitely without pay. They said the future of his employment will be determined at a later date.
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