Over a four-day period, two local peace officers were arrested in Bloomingburg — one for domestic violence and the other for driving under the influence.
Charles A. Boyer, a new Washington C.H. Police Department officer, was arrested Friday morning on a domestic violence charge. Then on Monday, Bruce Stolsenberg, a deputy with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, was charged with driving under the influence after he lost control of his vehicle on State Route 38 near Cargill in Bloomingburg.
Boyer has been fired from the police department and Stolsenberg has been placed on administrative leave.
A warrant was issued for Boyer’s arrest after a 20-year-old woman reported Thursday that she was assaulted by Boyer at their home, 32 Academy St. in Bloomingburg. According to reports, at around 4 a.m. Thursday following an argument, the victim was retrieving her personal effects from Boyer’s vehicle when Boyer allegedly dragged her from the vehicle by her feet and legs.
The victim claimed she was injured as a result of being dragged across their gravel driveway. The argument continued inside the home and the victim said that Boyer, 23, threatened to “burn her house down if she made a complaint with the sheriff’s office,” reports said.
Following the verbal altercation, Boyer reportedly left the residence. The next day at 11:43 a.m., Fayette County Sheriff’s Office deputies located Boyer in his vehicle and made a traffic stop on Route 38 at Brock Road. Boyer was arrested on the warrant for a first-degree misdemeanor count of domestic violence.
Boyer was hired to the police department May 4 and was still on his one-year probationary period that new officers must undergo. He received his peace officer certification from Clark State Community College.
Officers are “at-will employees” until completion of the probationary period. They may be discharged at any time and have no right to grievance, procedure or appeal to the civil service board.
“In the short time we had him here, (Boyer) was doing a good job as a police officer and had good interaction with the community and other officers,” said Washington Police Chief Brian Hottinger. “However, we can’t control what happens in someone’s personal life. After I found out what had happened, I recommended to the city manager that he be dismissed. It’s an unfortunate situation.”
Stolsenberg, who was off-duty at the time of his accident Monday, was reportedly driving his personal vehicle, a 1994 Chevrolet Suburban, westbound on State Route 38 near Cargill when he lost control of the vehicle. It traveled off the right side of the roadway into the ditch, struck a fire hydrant and overturned before coming to rest, according to Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth.
Stolsenberg reportedly suffered minor injuries during the crash, was checked by Fayette County EMS personnel, but refused treatment. During the FCSO investigation, Stolsenberg was found to be under the influence of alcohol, Stanforth said. According to reports, his blood-alcohol content was at .147. It is illegal in the state of Ohio to drive with a BAC of .08 or above.
After being charged with OVI, Stolsenberg was placed on administrative leave, which is paid leave, pending further disciplinary action. “The charge of OVI will be handled by the courts accordingly as it is with any other citizen,” said Stanforth. “He’ll receive his due process. Our disciplinary process is completely separate and will be handled by our office. Bruce has been a very good officer for many years, but in this instance made a mistake.”
Stolsenberg was an officer with the Washington Police Department from 1989-2011 before retiring. He joined the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office as a full-time deputy in 2014.
Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica