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The Journal Gazette

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Saturday, November 11, 2017 1:00 am

Alleged cop-teen skirmish probed

Incident late Sunday involved 17-year-old,deputy FWPD chief

JAMIE DUFFY | The Journal Gazette

Conflicting accounts of what happened between a Fort Wayne police deputy chief and a 17-year-old late at night as they drove near their homes north of the city have led to an investigation.

The Allen County prosecutor's office confirmed it's investigating to see if criminal charges are warranted. The Fort Wayne Police Department's internal affairs division is investigating to see whether Deputy Chief Derrick Westfield followed department protocol, officials said.

Westfield, 50, told the Allen County Sheriff's Department he was driving with his fiancée, Tamecca Chapman, around midnight Sunday at the roundabout at Auburn and Union Chapel roads when a gold Chrysler 300 came up from behind at high speed, flashing its lights at him.

Westfield said he brake-checked, a term for slowing down quickly, until the Chrysler passed his car on Auburn Road.

The Chrysler continued north until it turned into the Falcon Creek addition where Westfield was also pulling in because he lives there. Westfield followed the Chrysler until it pulled into a home on Millennium Crossing, the police report said.

The driver, Adrian Lowe, 18, and his passenger, Ethan Gonzales, 17, also his cousin, approached Westfield's dark GMC Yukon, yelling, “Why did you cut me off?” the report said.

Westfield told police he parked his car and got out to speak with the two teens.

Westfield told police that Lowe became aggressive with him, so he held his arm straight out, making contact with Lowe, and told him to stay back.

Gonzales punched Westfield on the right side of the face, Westfield told police. The police report noted that Westfield's cheek was slightly swollen.

Gonzales and Lowe both said in their version of the events that they were already in the roundabout when Westfield “failed to yield to them and cut them off in the roundabout.” They then flashed their bright lights at Westfield's car after exiting onto Auburn Road and passed him. 

Ethan Gonzales said when they were at his Millennium Crossing home, Westfield shoved Lowe, so Gonzales punched Westfield in the face.

The cousins said Gonzales and Westfield got into a shoving match and then began wrestling after Westfield announced he was a police officer. Lowe went inside to alert Ethan's father, John Gonzales, who came out and said he was a Parkview Hospital police officer.

Police were called to the Gonzales home on a report of a battery. When the altercation was over, Ethan Gonzales said he had injuries to his nose, the back of his head and his left hand. During the fight, someone was slammed into the side of Lowe's car, denting the side of the driver's door and cracking the outside mirror, the report said.

Ethan Gonzales alleged he smelled alcohol on Westfield, but the reporting county police officer said he could not detect any odor of alcoholic beverage on Westfield, the document said.

The fighting had ended when Lowe's father showed up and started to become loud and make comments toward Westfield, according to the police report. Lowe's father was very angry, and police asked him to go to the home with the rest of the Gonzales family.