Tri-State police officer fired after he’s arrested for OWI on duty month after he’s sworn in

Published: Jul. 22, 2022 at 5:57 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 22, 2022 at 12:38 PM EDT
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VEVAY, Indiana (WXIX) - A Tri-State police officer was fired after he was arrested on a charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated on duty less than a month after he was sworn in.

Christopher Pellant, 39, of Vevay, “has been relieved of his duties as an officer with the Vevay Police Department,” Police Chief David Wolf wrote in a statement Friday to FOX19 NOW

The chief commended his officers for “immediately” responding Thursday night once it was brought to their attention that Pellant may be intoxicated on duty, “standing up to the rule of law” and “doing what is right.

“Last night’s actions of one of our officers tarnished our department and betrayed the public trust of our community. I strive to maintain a high moral and ethical police department and expect nothing less from those officers that serve under me. No one is exempt from prosecution if they choose to disregard the laws of the state of Indiana or rules of our department.

Pellant was just sworn into the Vevay Police Department as a police officer on June 9, according to the chief’s June 10 Facebook post.

“I want to congratulate Officer Chris Pellant and Officer Anthon Ayler for getting sworn in yesterday, these two have been working hard and will begin the FTO (Field Training) process today! Congrats men,” the chief wrote.

Switzerland County dispatchers confirmed to FOX19 NOW early Friday that the Switzerland County Sheriff’s Office arrested a law enforcement officer on an OWI charge Thursday night.

It happened in Vevay at 8:49 p.m Thursday., they said, declining to provide the location of the arrest or other circumstances leading up to it.

Pellant was booked into the Switzerland County jail at 10:19 p.m. Thursday on charges of OWI and official misconduct, according to Officer Brody Splain at the jail.

Pellant was held at the jail overnight in lieu of a $605 bond.

Court records show his next court date is Oct.17.

The OWI charge is a misdemeanor but the official misconduct count is a felony that, upon conviction, would prevent Pellant from being a police officer anywhere in America.

Vevay’s chief didn’t say where the offense occurred and no body camera footage will be released now due to the ongoing investigation, he said.

Pellant was a new hire and this was the only incident in his short employment with the Vevay Police Department, according to the chief.

“Officer Chris Pellant was on-duty at the time it was brought to the attention of other officers that he may be intoxicated,” the chief said in his statement.

“Officers with the Vevay Police Department responded immediately and found Officer Pellant was higher than the legal limit of blood alcohol content. Deputies with Switzerland County Sheriff’s Office placed Mr. Pellant under arrest and lodged him in the Switzerland County Jail where he awaits his initial hearing.

“The Switzerland County Sheriff’s Office is conducting the investigation and no further details are being given at this time.

“While I cannot go into detail on this criminal investigation, I want to assure the people of our community that these kinds of actions will not go unpunished. I consider law enforcement to be an honorable profession and take my position seriously. We hold our officers to a high standard and if they fall below that standard, appropriate actions will be taken.”

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