INDIANAPOLIS — "I don't want to take you to jail tonight,” said Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper J. Garner to an off-duty IMPD officer back in November.
In the body cam video, you see the trooper talking to IMPD Sgt. Peter Fekkes, who is handcuffed and in the back of a police cruiser during a drunk driving stop.
The stop took place in Fairborn, Ohio. Wright State University police told Garner they found Fekkes slumped over the wheel of a crashed blue Jeep station wagon.
The trooper’s body cam video shows an unnamed male officer saying, “We knocked on the window, and he wasn't waking up...refusing to get out of the car.”
A male and female officer both told the trooper they found a vodka bottle inside Fekkes' Jeep.
“It’s big enough where it covered the seat and the floor,” said the female officer.
IMPD sent out a statement that Fekkes reported the incident to his supervisor, and Chief Randal Taylor was notified on Nov. 17. That same statement said Fekkes was placed on administrative duty while the investigation was underway.
Fekkes joined the department in February 2002. IMPD reports he has been disciplined in the past. IMPD is still working to release Fekkes' disciplinary report to 13 Investigates. The department said he also received praise, and a 13News article from 2016 showed he received a certificate of commendation.
Over the last 20 years, Fekkes was tasked with upholding Indiana laws, including drunk driving rules — laws he’s now accused of violating in one state over.
An unnamed male officer stated Fekkes was being uncooperative by not answering questions.
“Hey bud, we talked about this earlier,” the officer said. “When [trooper] got here, you were going to cooperate. I know you wasn’t with me, but you’re going to with him.”
In the video, you hear Fekkes resist answering some questions and refuse to exit the police vehicle. He did give troopers his phone and his wife’s phone number.
“I don’t want to take you to jail tonight, OK,” Garner said. “But if you’re going to push my buttons, we’ll go straight to jail.”
“I’m not pushing your buttons,” Fekkes said in response. “I’m not pushing your buttons.”
Shortly after that exchange, the IMPD sergeant stepped out of the police car and walked to the trooper’s cruiser.
On the video, you see a flashlight is shined in Fekkes eyes as the trooper checks them and starts to conduct a field sobriety test. The video and his summons both show he refused the test.
The veteran officer now faces three misdemeanor charges. His next hearing is scheduled for January at the Fairborn Municipal Court.
If convicted, he could face discipline with IMPD, but he will likely be able to continue to serve as a police officer.
A 2021 law says an officer can lose their certification if convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor "that would cause a reasonable person to believe that the officer is dangerous or violent." Decertification is also on the line if the officer "has a demonstrated propensity to violate the law."