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Indiana police officer charged with OWI after crashing patrol car

According to court documents, officer Douglas Rutoskey was escorted out of a bar — twice — before he crashed into a pickup truck and left the scene.

INDIANAPOLIS — A central Indiana police officer is now facing multiple charges after being accused of crashing his police car into another vehicle and leaving the scene while he was drunk.

Court documents outline the reasons that, just over a week ago, police arrested one of their own, Stinesville officer Douglas Rutoskey.

Court documents say they saw a marked police car with its light bar on on West Southport Road near South Belmont Avenue. The police car had heavy front-end damage and the airbag was deployed. It had crashed into a concrete barrier wall. Another vehicle, a Dodge Ram pickup truck, had heavy rear-end damage.

While at the scene, police say two men came up and told them the police car was the same one that rear-ended their truck at a stop light earlier that night and left the scene without providing information. 

The driver of the pickup truck said he was waiting at a red light at the intersection of U.S. 37 and Southport Road when the police car rear-ended them. According to the men, when that happened, the driver jumped out of the police car and told them, "I didn't do nothing," before taking off on Southport Road.

Those same two men then told investigators that just a few minutes later, they saw the same police car again. This time, it had crashed into a concrete barrier with the driver nowhere to be found.

When police ran the car's license plate, they found out it was registered to the Stinesville Police Department. Inside the car, they found an iPhone on the floor of the passenger side and a 9 mm Glock on the floor of the driver's side.

Witnesses at the scene told investigators they saw the driver crash and get out and run from the scene. Another witness told police he recognized the man as his neighbor.

Credit: IMPD
Douglas Rutoskey

When police went to the address of the house that the witness gave them, four kids answered the door. The kids told police their father is a Stinesville officer and drives the car. Officers asked to go inside the home, and went with one of the kids to Rutoskey's bedroom where he was in bed.

The room had a heavy odor of alcohol, according to the probable cause affidavit. When officers spoke to Rutoskey, they said his speech was slurred and he wasn't making sense.

Rutoskey admitted to driving the police car and told officers he had drank alcohol the previous night until 10 p.m. He agreed to have blood taken which revealed he had a blood alcohol level of .164. On the way to the hospital for that blood draw, police say Rutoskey told them he'd been drinking earlier at Robby's Pub on the south side of Indianapolis.

Police showed the bar manager at Robby's Pub Rutoskey's picture. According to investigators, the manager told them Rutoskey had to be removed by security twice after harassing women inside the bar.

Investigators say when they looked at surveillance video from the bar, it showed Rutoskey stumbling through the parking lot outside, before he walked across the street to Kroger. Cameras there showed Rutoskey getting in his car and sitting there for three minutes before "driving west through the Kroger parking lot without the headlights on."

Rutoskey has been charged with four misdemeanors:

  • Operating a vehicle with intoxicated endangering a person
  • Operating a vehicle with alcohol concentration equivalent to .15 or more
  • Leaving the scene of an accident
  • Operating a vehicle while intoxicated

He is scheduled for an initial hearing Dec. 13.

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