MUNCIE — Three officers and a sergeant with the Muncie Police Department will face additional charges of excessive force and obstruction after a grand jury returned a 17-count superseding indictment, acting U.S. Attorney John Childress announced Wednesday.
Officers Joseph Chase Winkle, Jeremy Gibson and Corey Posey, along with Sgt. Joseph Kresja, were indicted. The superseding indictment charges Winkle with 11 felonies, Gibson with three felonies, Kresja with two felonies and Posey with one felony.
Winkle is charged with five counts of deprivation of rights associated with excessive force and six counts of writing false reports. He allegedly wrote false reports about his use of force against five people he arrested, along with two others arrested by Muncie Police officers.
"According to the superseding indictment, Winkle's actions included kicking, punching, knee striking, and using a taser on arrestees without justification, and resulted in bodily injury to the arrestees," the release said.
Gibson faces two counts of deprivation of rights associated with excessive force and one count of writing a false report against a person he arrested.
"The superseding indictment said Gibson punched, stomped and struck the knees of people he arrested without justification and caused injuries to both," the release said.
Krejsa was charged with two counts of writing false reports about two of Winkle's alleged excessive force incidents, according to court documents.
"According to the superseding indictment, on one occasion, Krejsa minimized the level of force used by Winkle during one arrest, and, on another occasion, falsely represented that a different Muncie Police Department sergeant cleared Winkle of his use of force when it was actually Krejsa who conducted that review," the release said.
Posey faces one count of writing a false report about one of Winkle's alleged excessive force incidents.
"According to the superseding indictment, Posey’s use of force report misrepresented the arrestee’s behavior, and mischaracterized and omitted Winkle’s unlawful use of force during the incident," the release said.
Winkle, Gibson and Krejsa were previously charged in a 12-count indictment with civil rights and obstruction offenses related to five of the six incidents charged in the superseding indictment, which adds excessive force and false report charges against Winkle and Gibson related to a sixth incident.
Posey was not charged in the initial indictment.
Two new cases were included in the superseding indictment that were not previously listed in the initial indictment.
In the first, Posey is charged with allegedly falsifying a report in which he did not write that Winkle struck a person's head and neck area, causing him serious injuries.
The indictment alleges that after the person, identified in court documents as L.G., said something to Posey, Winkle "intentionally used his knee to strike L.G.'s head and neck area and did not 'attempt to place [his] knee on [L.G.'s] upper back to control his movement.'"
It also alleges the force used by Winkle was not needed to arrest L.G. and ensure officer safety and Winkle's use of force rose to the level of deadly force.
In a second case, Winkle and Gibson are alleged to have "used hand strikes and knee strikes" against another person's head. It also alleges Winkle falsified a resistance form about the arrest of the person identified as E.M. by not mentioning he used hand and knee strikes.
Gibson also allegedly falsified the resistance form by writing he took E.M. to the ground because E.M. was not complying and noting he only used a "low level of force." Gibson did not mention he used his knee to strike E.M.'s face and head.
The maximum penalty for deprivation of rights offenses is 10 years in prison and 20 years for false report charges.
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