INDIANAPOLIS — A suspended Indianapolis police officer who was arrested on drunken driving charges a few weeks ago must remain in jail while he awaits trial on similar charges in a fatal 2010 crash, a judge ruled Thursday.
Allen County Judge Allen Surbeck ordered David Bisard to be held without bond during a hearing in Fort Wayne, where the fatal crash case was moved because of extensive publicity in central Indiana. Bisard was at the Marion County Jail since he was arrested following an April 27 crash in Indianapolis, but was moved to Allen County Jail last week.
"I think we showed by convincing evidence that this latest arrest showed not only disdain for the court, but that he is a danger to the community," Deputy Prosecutor Denise Robinson told reporters outside the courthouse in Fort Wayne.
Bisard's attorney, John Kautzman, had no comment. And Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry had no official comment, spokeswoman Peg McLeish said.
Bisard, 39, is scheduled to go to trial in October for the 2010 crash in which his patrol car hit two stopped motorcycles, killing one man and seriously injuring two other people. He is charged with reckless homicide, drunken driving and other charges. If convicted on those charges, Bisard could face 20 or more years in prison.
Bisard's case has had a three-year delay due to legal wrangling over admission of blood tests that showed he had a blood-alcohol level more than twice the legal limit. The Indiana Supreme Court ruled in December that the blood tests could be admitted into evidence.
Bisard had been free on bond and was allowed to keep his driver's license while awaiting trial. He was arrested last month on misdemeanor drunken driving charges after a pickup truck he was driving ran into a guard rail along a winding, narrow road through a wooded area in the northeastern Indianapolis community of Lawrence. No one was injured.
A blood test showed he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.22 percent, according to court documents. The state's legal limit to drive is 0.08 percent.
Bisard's driver's license was suspended following the most recent crash, and prosecutors asked for Bisard's bond to be revoked, too. Curry said a condition of Bisard remaining free while awaiting trial was that he not be arrested again.
Bisard has been suspended without pay from the Indianapolis Police Department since the 2010 crash. Members of the Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police had been paying Bisard's legal bills, but they voted to stop doing it five days after Bisard's second arrest.
The 2010 case drew intense local media coverage as police officers' handling of the crash scene and evidence stirred public distrust and led to disciplinary action against several high-ranking officers, including the demotion of the police chief.