Bisard remains in jail after new DUI charges
Suspended Indianapolis Metro Police Officer David Bisard remains in the Marion County Jail, after he was formally charged Monday in connection with a crash that occurred over the weekend.
The Marion County prosecutor's office said Monday afternoon that Bisard was charged with Operating a Motor Vehicle While Intoxicated and Operating a Motor Vehicle with a BAC 0.15 grams or greater, both Class A Misdemeanors.
A blood test at Wishard Hospital determined that Bisard's blood alcohol content was .22. That's higher than the .17 he reportedly blew on a portable Breathalyzer test at the scene of the crash.
Bisard freely admitted to drinking and driving over the weekend and is facing two serious charges and his bail for both charges could be pulled at any minute
For his safety, Bisard is being kept in a special area of the jail with another police officer who accused of criminal behavior. "Right now, he is in a six-person cell block with another gentleman," said Marion County Sheriff John Layton.
New court documents obtained by Eyewitness News reveal what Bisard said to police after a crash that took down a speed limit sign, tested the strength of a guard rail and brought the neighbors out to see what happened.
Bisard told police on the scene, "I made my bed and I'll lie in it," while pleading with officers to let him go.
"I just wish I could make this DUI go away," he told police at the scene.
Police also found an open bottle of vodka in the vehicle Bisard was driving Saturday.
Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry called the arrest "incomprehensible."
"To say I was shocked was an understatement," Curry said.
In response to the .22 BAC result, Curry said, "Certainly that is significantly higher than we would see in most cases."
Marion County prosecutors are asking to have Bisard's bond revoked to keep him behind bars. That decision will come from Allen County Court.
Allen County Judge John Surbeck hopes to hold a hearing on the matter this week. If bond is revoked, Allen County Sheriff Ken Fries says he's been warned of the possibility that Bisard might be ordered held in the County Jail until the October trial. Anytime a police officer is incarcerated, it raises concerns about his safety being at risk. Fries won't discuss the matter until it's settled where Bisard will be held.
"We believe that he is a danger to the community given the circumstances that occurred on two occasions," Curry said.
When asked if Curry was concerned that if Bisard is not in jail that he would drive drunk again, he responded, "That is certainly implicit in our representation."
A source tells Eyewitness News that Bisard will go to community corrections for a monitoring device unless prosecutors are successful convincing the judge to keep him detained.
If Bisard is ordered to stay in jail, he will not be put with common criminals, Layton said.
"For this particular inmate, or any inmate, that would never happen, because of his profession," the sheriff said.
After making statements at Saturday's crash scene that "his life is over," officers are even more concerned.
The Fraternal Order of Police, which has paid Bisard's legal fees for the 2010 crash he is accused of causing that killed motorcyclist Eric Wells and seriously injured two others is not offering legal assistance to Bisard for the latest incident. Based upon the facts, he is ineligible to receive it.
The Indianapolis FOP issued this statement about Bisard's arrest:
"The Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge #86 was disappointed to learn of the recent arrest and allegations concerning David Bisard. The Indianapolis FOP holds a strong belief in due process for anyone accused of a crime, whether a citizen, an elected official, or a police officer, including David Bisard. A fair and impartial review of alleged criminal activity is critical to our system of justice. The two alleged crimes against David Bisard filed by the Marion County Prosecutor's Office are separate and distinct. With that said, David Bisard will not receive legal assistance from the Indianapolis FOP for the latest incident. Based upon the facts, he is ineligible to receive it."
The FOP says its board will meet this week to review the current case "to determine any impact this may have on any previous obligations the FOP has with David Bisard as a member of this Lodge."
Bisard was pulled over in Lawrence on Saturday afternoon after crashing a Ford pickup truck into a guardrail and knocking over a speed limit sign. He reportedly blew a .17 on a portable Breathalyzer test after the crash. Bisard allegedly admitted that he "drove drunk and messed up."
David Bisard is the officer charged with driving drunk when he crashed into a group of motorcyclists who were stopped at a red light in August 2010. Botched procedures led to the DUI charges being thrown out, then reinstated, and problems with the storage of blood evidence - along with the handling of the case itself - led to an overhaul at IMPD. Eric Wells died in the 2010 crash and Kurt Weekly and Mary Mills had life-changing injuries. Bisard's trial for that crash is scheduled for October 2013.
After Saturday's crash, which did not involve any other vehicles, Lawrence Police say Bisard's face was red, his balance was unsteady and his movements were slow when they responded to the crash scene. The responding officer also noted Bisard's eyes were bloodshot and glassy.
Probable cause affidavit
The probable cause affidavit says that Bisard made statements like "I made my bed and I'll lie in it" and "I wish I could make this DUI go away," as the Lawrence Police officer drove him to Wishard Hospital for the blood draw.
During the blood draw, Bisard said to one of the detectives, "There will be alcohol in there."
A search warrant was executed so police could search the truck Bisard was driving. Police found a bottle of vodka in the truck underneath a flip seat.
Bisard's stepfather is the owner of the truck Bisard was driving. The stepfather told police he doesn't drink alcohol and that he did not place the vodka bottle in the truck.
A witness at the scene told police she thought she had heard a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed and then a multi-car crash. It turned out to be Bisard, who had struck the guardrail in the truck. He was attempting to dislodge the vehicle from the guardrail when two witnesses came out of their homes to see what was going on.
After Bisard asked them if they had called police and they said yes, Bisard got back into the truck and placed some chewing tobacco in his mouth. The affidavit says that's commonly used to mask the odor of alcohol.
"If you guys can cut me a break, I promise I will never drink again."
When officers first arrived at the scene, Bisard denied being drunk. The officer told him, "Honesty goes a long way," and it would be in Bisard's best interest to be honest. Bisard then admitted to drinking alcohol that day, but when asked how many drinks he'd had, Bisard said, "I'm not really sure. I've been drinking since noon and I'm not gonna say I've had two like everyone else does."
According to the police report, Bisard also said, "I know you know who I am. I messed up today. If you guys can cut me a break, I promise I will never drink again."
Bisard pleaded with the officer to let him go, saying that if he went to jail, his life would be over. He offered to pay for the damage he had caused if they would let him go.
The Lawrence police officer says Bisard struggled to find his registration, leafing through documents in the glove compartment for several minutes and never finding it.
After the Breathalyzer test showed Bisard's blood alcohol content to be .17, which is over twice the legal limit to drive, Bisard was handcuffed and placed in the back seat of the Lawrence officer's patrol car. The officer says Bisard smelled strongly of alcohol.
Bisard told the officer he was "guilty" of driving drunk that day and would fully admit to that, but said he wasn't drunk in the August 2010 crash. He continued to say he'd never drink again if they would let him go, and that he had a wife and children and his life would be over if he went to prison.
Bisard asked if there was anything he could do to change the outcome of his arrest, and the officer told him there was nothing to be done. According to the report, Bisard said he would refuse the DUI process and any further testing.
It turns out that another Lawrence police officer had followed Bisard's pickup after someone reported it for erratic driving. The officer said he didn't note anything out of the ordinary so he didn't do a traffic stop.
The pickup truck Bisard was driving was impounded.
Bisard is scheduled for a court appearance Monday after spending the weekend at the Marion County Jail. He'll also appear in court May 1st. Bond was set at $25,000.