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New request in case against Lafayette, 2 LPD officers

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – A Lafayette man is asking a federal judge to not drop a harassment case against the City of Lafayette and two of its police officers. The request is in response to a motion filed by the city and the officers in February to dismiss the case.

WISH-TV’s sister station WLFI reports that Timothy Vander Plaats accuses Lafayette Police Officer Charles Williams of leaving a voicemail threatening to kill him in January of 2012 after Vander Plaats hugged a female friend who was dating LPD Officer Michael Barthelemy. Vander Plaats was severely beaten a few days later.

In his recent request to the judge, new information is released about the internal affairs investigation into the officers. Williams admitted to investigators that he left the threatening voicemail on Vander Plaats’ phone.

LPD Officer Ron Dombkowski told an investigator that Barthelemy talked to him about Vander Plaats. Dombkowski told an investigator that Barthelemy “let this get out of hand.”

Court documents also say that Vander Plaats’ sister asked another LPD officer about the situation at a charity event. That’s when she says Lt. Tim Payne told her Vander Plaats was never beaten up and LPD wasn’t involved. His sister reported Payne then became verbally abusive toward her.

In his request to the judge, Vander Plaats says the case should not be dropped because a reasonable jury could conclude that Officer Barthelemy assaulted Vander Plaats or at least participated.

Court documents also say that the city is liable for its negligence, and it was negligent in the supervision and training of its officers.

Three officers were disciplined in February 2012 because of the incident. Officer Barthelemy was formally reprimanded for unbecoming conduct. Officer Nathan LaMar was suspended one day and had privileges removed for unbecoming conduct and failure to conform to the laws. Officers Williams was suspended five days for unbecoming conduct, failure to conform to the laws and improper use of alcohol while off duty.