INDIANAPOLIS – A suspended Indianapolis police officer awaiting trial on charges from a 2010 collision that killed a motorcyclist came to court in shackles Wednesday to face a judge after his weekend arrest on drunken-driving counts.
David Bisard had been free on bond and kept his driver’s license while numerous legal battles repeatedly delayed his trial on reckless homicide, drunken driving and other charges from the crash nearly three years ago.
A Marion County judge entered a not-guilty plea for Bisard and suspended his driver’s license Wednesday in a brief initial court hearing on his Saturday arrest. He remains jailed at least until an Allen County judge overseeing the 2010 case holds a hearing May 9 on a request from prosecutors that his bond be revoked.
Bisard, 39, faces two misdemeanor drunken-driving charges in the Saturday-afternoon crash in which a pickup truck he was driving ran into a guardrail along a winding, narrow road through a wooded area in the northeastern Indianapolis community of Lawrence.
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.
Mary Mills, who was badly injured in the August 2010 crash that killed 30-year-old Eric Wells, said it was satisfying to see Bisard in custody Wednesday and that she was grateful no one was hurt in Saturday’s crash.
It could’ve been someone jogging down the street or walking their dog, Mills said. I’m glad it was a guardrail rather than somebody else.
Marion Superior Court Judge Linda Brown ordered Bisard to face alcohol monitoring if he is allowed out of jail. Whether that can happen will be decided by Allen Superior Court Judge John Surbeck, who is handling the 2010 crash case. It was moved to Fort Wayne because of extensive media coverage in central Indiana.
Bisard has been suspended without pay from the Indianapolis Police Department since the 2010 daytime crash, in which his cruiser slammed into two motorcycles stopped at an intersection. His trial is set to begin in October. If convicted, Bisard could face 20 or more years in prison.
The 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.
The case has undergone a series of legal delays over admission of blood tests that showed Bisard 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.
Deputy Prosecutor Denise Robinson said she would argue next week that Bisard’s new arrest shows that he poses a danger to the community and should either be jailed without bond or face a significant increase in the $10,000 bond he posted after his 2010 arrest.
Robinson said she didn’t think Bisard’s new arrest would further delay his trial.