No charges in ‘road rage’ case involving deputy Fort Wayne police chief

Derrick Westfield
Karen Richards

A deputy police chief will not face charges in connection with an apparent road-rage incident The News-Sentinel first reported Nov. 10.

“I can’t prove a crime was committed there were too many discrepancies in testimony. Everybody’s story was different,” Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards said of her decision regarding Derrick Westfield, who according to police reports was involved in a fight with a 17-year-old male Nov. 4 in the 1500 block of Millennium Crossing following a traffic dispute near the roundabout at Union Chapel and Auburn roads.

As The News-Sentinel reported at the time, a 911 call was placed by homeowner and Parkview Hospital Police officer John Gonzales, who stated a man was outside fighting with his son. When confronted, Westfield reportedly stopped fighting and identified himself as a Fort Wayne Police officer.

At that point, however, the participants’ accounts diverged. Westfield told police he was driving with his fiancee when a gold Chrysler 300 came up behind him at high speed, flashing its lights. Westfield said he “brake checked” the car and allowed it to pass him on Auburn Road until it turned into the Falcon Creek addition in which Westfield also lives. As he was driving past the Millennium Cross home, Westfield stated, the juvenile and 18-year-old Adrian Lowe approached his car yelling, “Why did you cut me off?” Westfield said he extended his arm and told the aggressive Lowe to stay back, at which point the juvenile punched him in the face.

The juvenile told a different story, saying he was a passenger in Lowe’s car when Westfield’s GMC SUV cut them off, “almost causing an accident.” Lowe tailed Westfield for while and flashed his lights before passing. After Westfield stopped at the home, the juvenile asserted, he began pushing them. The juvenile stated he punched Westfield only after Westfield pushed Lowe, causing Westfield to shove him into Lowe’s car then onto the ground, breaking his glasses and putting him in a choke hold.

Lowe’s account supported the juvenile’s version, while Westfield’s fiancee, Tamecca Chapman, stated the two teens instigated the fight.

Because of the conflicting accounts, the incident was referred to the Richards’ office, although the FWPD Internal Affairs Department was also expected to review the incident. Westfield joined the department in 1995 and has been deputy chief, Southeast Division since January 2014. He received letters of reprimand in 1996, 1999 and 2015 and was suspended in 2007 for “obedience to department policies and improper conduct.” Westfield also received letters of commendation in 2002 and 2005 and an award of excellence in 2002.

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