FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — A special prosecutor has charged Allen County Sheriff David Gladieux with misdemeanor battery in connection with an incident involving a juvenile volunteer at the Three Rivers Festival in July.
The charge will be dismissed in one year as long as Gladieux completes certain requirements as part of a Pretrial Intervention Agreement with Special Prosecuting Attorney Rodney Cummings.
Anthony Churchward, Gladieux’s attorney, says his client adamantly denies committing battery on July 16th but he does take responsibility for his “unprofessional conduct.”
An Indiana State Police affidavit released today says the volunteer told investigators he was working in the "Hospitality/VIP" area of the festival around 10:30 p.m. when he saw two men walk into a closed area with portable restrooms. The victim told investigators a temporary fence blocking the restrooms had been moved. When the volunteer went to investigate, he says a man, later identified as Gladieux, came out of the restroom and walked toward him.
According to the affidavit, the volunteer said he asked Gladieux for his badge, meaning the festival VIP badge, and the sheriff responded, "I'm the sheriff, move out of the way." The victim told police Gladieux briefly held up the badge and continued to walk toward him and pushed him, causing him to fall back onto the temporary fence and strike a metal stake supporting the VIP tent, according to the affidavit.
The victim reported the incident to Fort Wayne Police and was later taken to the hospital after sustaining redness and soreness to his lower back. Investigators say the victim didn't have marks the next day but was still complaining about pain.
The affidavit says investigators met with Gladieux on July 18th. According to the affidavit, Gladieux acknowledged he stepped over the fence and went into the area to use the bathroom. When he came out, Gladieux told investigators he was confronted by the volunteer who questioned him about why he was in the area. Gladieux said he didn't notice any credentials on the volunteer and told him he was leaving the area.
According to the affidavit, Gladieux said the volunteer placed his hands on the sheriff's chest to keep him from leaving the area, and that he used both of his hands in an upward sweeping motion to remove the volunteer's hands, causing the volunteer to fall. The sheriff kept going and joined his friends at the concert venue.
The agreement does not require Gladieux to admit guilt, but it did require an apology, which Gladieux’s attorney released today.
It reads, in part:
“While at this event, I was involved in an encounter with a juvenile festival volunteer. The volunteer was injured as a result. In retrospect, if (sic) believe that I could and should have handled the entirety of the situation with more professionalism. For that I am deeply sorry. I also deeply regret my conduct while interacting with various Fort Wayne Police Officers. I am willing to fully accept my responsibility for my actions by accepting the conditions set forth in a pretrial diversion agreement offered through by Special Prosecutor at this time.”
This story will continue to be updated throughout the day.
You can view Gladieux's full apology below.