A Decatur County sheriff’s deputy has been placed on administrative leave after being arrested in eastern Bartholomew County.
Douglas N. Pittman, 38, of 6251 W. State Road 46, Greensburg — a Decatur County K-9 officer — had a blood-alcohol level of .16 percent, twice the legal limit, when taken into custody early Wednesday, according to Maj. Todd Noblitt, Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department spokesman.
Pittman, who became a deputy in 2011, was booked into the Bartholomew County Jail at 2:37 a.m. Wednesday on charges of operating a vehicle with a blood-alcohol level of .15 percent or more, leaving the scene of an accident and public intoxication, according to jail records.
At 12:13 a.m., deputies were sent to check on a report of a suspicious vehicle in the area of East Base Road and State Road 46.
When they arrived, they found Pittman in his damaged Dodge Ram pickup, parked in the roadway, Noblitt said.
After Pittman’s blood alcohol was tested, deputies learned he had been involved in an accident two miles northeast of where he was found, Noblitt said.
Incident logs show Columbus police were dispatched at 12:23 a.m. to the accident site south of Newbern in the vicinity of County Road 50N and County Road 850E.
They later were joined by sheriff’s personnel from both Bartholomew and Decatur counties, including Decatur County Sheriff Gregory Allen, Noblitt said.
A bumper from Pittman’s truck was located at the accident site, Noblitt said.
While an investigation turned up minor damage to public property, including a traffic sign, Noblitt said no other vehicles, buildings or people were involved when Pittman ran his truck off the rural road.
Allen told Bartholomew County authorities that Pittman was not on duty and the truck was the deputy’s personal property, Noblitt said.
While a firearm was located inside Pittman’s truck, Noblitt said he’s not sure if it had been issued to him as his service weapon.
The firearm was handed over to Allen at the scene.
“This was an unpleasant and uncomfortable situation,” Noblitt said.
“But law enforcement officers aren’t above the law. If they violate it, they must be held accountable like everyone else.”
After spending more than seven hours in the Bartholomew County Jail, Pittman was released at 10 a.m. Wednesday on $11,000 bond.
All of the arrest charges are misdemeanors, Noblitt said. It will be up to Bartholomew County Prosecutor Bill Nash to determine what charges, if any, will be filed in the case.
Pittman will remain on leave until Sheriff Allen concludes his own investigation, according to a Decatur County sheriff’s spokesman.
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