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Former Muncie officer pleads guilty to 11 civil rights, obstruction charges

Winkle admitted knowing his use of force was excessive at the time and then made the false reports to influence any investigations into them.

INDIANAPOLIS — A former Muncie Police Department officer pleaded guilty to 11 civil rights and obstruction charges.

The civil rights charges Chase Winkle admitted to include assaulting arrestees. The obstruction charges come from filing false reports to cover up what he did.

NOTE: The above video is from a previous report on the plea agreement.

Winkle admitted knowing his use of force was excessive at the time and then made the false reports to influence any investigations into what he had done. Winkle will be sentenced in March 2023. He has been released until his sentencing.

The plea agreement Winkle received details what happened during six arrests between 2018 and 2019.

March 2018

The first documented incident happened in late March 2018, when Winkle kicked a man multiple times as he was following Winkle's commands to get on the ground. 

May 2018

A few months later in May, documents say Winkle put a man in handcuffs then hit him and used a pain compliance technique on him. 

June 2018

The next documented incident was on June 5, 2018, when Winkle and Dalton Kurtz were arresting two juveniles. Kurtz had one of the juveniles on the ground and, as Kurtz approached the boy, Winkle ran up and kicked the boy in the head and punched him multiple times. 

When Winkle and Kurtz caught up with the other juvenile, Winkle hit and kicked the boy multiple times. 

In August 2021, Kurtz pleaded guilty to one count of misprision of felony for concealing and failing to report Winkle's excessive use of force in this case. 

August 2018

In early August, Winkle and Corey Posey were making an arrest. The man being arrested was on the ground, following their commands. But, documents say, when the man insulted the then-officers, Winkle lifted his knee and dropped his body weight onto the man's head and neck area. The man screamed "he crushed my face" and pulled his hands toward his face. 

Then, documents say, Posey didn't handcuff the man. Instead, he held the man's hands and said "give me your hands." He did this until the man pulled his arms away. That's when Winkle signaled to Posey that he was going to tase the man. Posey got off the man and Winkle tased him. 

In the plea agreement, Winkle admitted that his use of force caused severe bodily injury to the man, including multiple facial fractures that required surgery.


February 2019

The plea agreement also details an incident in February when Winkle responded to a traffic stop for a minor infraction. Documents say he came up with a bogus excuse to get the man out of the car. When the man tried to get out, he got caught in his seatbelt. As the man was getting out of his seatbelt, documents say Winkle punched the man. He also kneed him multiple times while throwing him to the ground. 

May 2019

In May 2019, Winkle, Posey and then-officer Corey Gibson were all at the scene of an incident in which, documents say Winkle and Gibson punched and kicked a man after he started recording them on his phone.

Other officer indictments

Winkle is one of four Muncie officers indicted in April 2021 for their role in excessive force used against an arrestee or attempting to cover it up.

One of those officers already entered a guilty plea and two others are scheduled to stand trial in January 2023.

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