GREENDALE, Ind. (FOX19) - A pair of officers with the Greendale Police Department are facing several charges after an investigation by the Indiana State Police (ISP), according to Dearborn County Prosecutor Lynn Deddens.
Deddens says the Dearborn County Dispatch Center got a call around 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 26, 2019, from someone claiming “a cop put a bunch of teenagers in a car” and the officer was “doing burnouts all over the parking lot” near the boat docks.
According to Prosecutor Deddens, Greendale Police Officer Dustin Hatfield and Officer Clinton Putnam were at the dock with two teenage foreign exchange students and a sister of one of the officers.
Officers and sheriff’s deputies responded to the 911 call which resulted in the officers reporting the events to Greendale Police Sgt. Kevin Turner.
Hatfield called Sgt. Turner later that night to explain the teens wanted to see a police car. Hatfield, who was off duty that night, called Clinton and asked him to meet them at the boat dock.
The prosecutor says Hatfield told Sgt. Turner, Clinton allowed the teens into his police car and started the emergency lights.
During Hatfield’s discussion with the sergeant, he said the teenagers got out of the police car before he started doing “J-turns” in Clinton’s vehicle, Deddens explains.
Clinton also called Sgt. Turner that night and confirmed to him the teens were not in the police car during the “J-turns.”
After speaking with Clinton, Sgt. Turner told him to remove SD card from his police vehicle’s in-car camera system and leave it at the department, says Deddens.
According to the prosecutor, in the early morning hours of Dec. 27, another Greendale officer called Sgt. Turner to tell him about a possible cover-up attempt being made by Hatfield.
Deddens says Sgt. Turner was told by this officer, Hatfield called him and asked him to go into the sergeant’s office and swap the SD card left by Clinton with a “fried” one.
A “fried” SD card would prevent anyone from being to lift any data from it, Deddens says.
The officer refused to help Hatfield and instead called Sgt. Turner, the prosecutor says.
Since the sergeant was now aware of the possible swap, Deddens says, he went to the department to get the SD card left on his desk.
Deddens says the card should have at least contained eight incidents from Clinton’s in-car system between Dec. 19-21.
What was on the card, according to Deddens, was one single short video from Dec. 26 which showed Hatfield sitting in the back seat of Clinton’s squad car.
On the night of Dec. 26 when dispatch got a 911 call, Greendale PD officers responded to the scene at the docks, Deddens says.
While at the scene one of the officers overheard heard Hatfield tell Clinton they “needed to find a new SD card,” the prosecutor says.
Deddens says the officer told investigators he also heard them say they would “wipe the SD card and swap the card.”
While investigating, the ISP detective found out Clinton’s brother, Bradley Putnam, might have helped to manipulate or destroy the SD card, says Deddens.
According to the prosecutor, Bradley denied seeing and talking to his brother and Hatfield about the SD card but obtained records told a different story.
Those records showed Bradley searched online for ways to manipulate or destroy an SD on the night of Dec. 26 and into the following morning, the prosecutor says.
GPS tracking also showed all three of the men were together at Bradley’s home during the times of the online search, Deddens says.
Clinton and Hatfield are facing charges of Obstruction of Justice and Official Misconduct, according to the prosecutor.
Deddens says Bradley is facing an Obstruction of Justice charge.