A Delaware state trooper faces felony prices of assaulting teenagers after a doorbell prank at his residence

By | September 27, 2023

DOVER, Del. – A Delaware state trooper is going through a number of felony prices involving the brutal assault of an adolescent who focused the trooper’s residence as a prank.

Monday’s indictment towards Trooper Dempsey contains R. Walters, 29, is the primary use by prosecutors of a brand new felony deprivation of civil rights legislation handed in Delaware final yr.

Walters, who has been suspended with out pay, can also be charged with felony assault, two counts of misdemeanor assault and two counts of official misconduct. He turned himself in Tuesday afternoon and was launched from custody after posting $29,000 bail. The legal professional representing Walters didn’t instantly return a telephone message Tuesday afternoon.

The courtroom docket signifies Walters waived the studying of the indictment and pleaded not responsible.

In keeping with authorities, Walters, who had been a soldier for greater than six years, was off obligation and returning to his residence in Ellesmere’s Lancaster Village on Aug. 17 when he met a 17-year-old boy. The 2 bought into an argument, and Walters referred to as Elsmere police. Officers took the boy to his residence on Taft Avenue, the place he was handed over to his mom.

The following day, Walters seemed up the occasion within the Delaware Legal Justice Data System, or DELJIS, the state’s legislation enforcement database.

On August 21, a 15-year-old boy and three associates have been strolling close to Walters’ residence after they determined to drag a prank generally referred to as a “ding-dong ditch,” through which somebody walks right into a residence and rings the doorbell. Or he hits the door and runs away. The boy bumped into Walters’ residence, lined his face, and kicked within the door earlier than working away, an incident captured on a house safety digital camera.

Police mentioned Walters’ girlfriend referred to as him and gave him an outline of the boy. Walters, who was on obligation, drove to his neighborhood and referred to as troopers and different police departments for help.

Again in his neighborhood, a witness instructed Walters that a number of juveniles had simply run down Taft Avenue. Walters drove there and met two Newport law enforcement officials.

Walters once more used DELJIS to seek for the 17-year-old Taft Avenue resident whom he had met on August 17. When officers arrived on the boy’s residence, he and a pal got here to the entrance door. Police mentioned Walters grabbed the boy by the doorway and threw him to the bottom, injuring him. The boy was handcuffed and detained, however was by no means formally arrested throughout the confrontation, which was captured on Newport police cameras and Walters’ physique digital camera.

Walters then heard that the group concerned within the doorbell incident had been discovered and brought into custody. When Walters arrived at their location, the 15-year-old was mendacity on the bottom whereas a trooper tried to handcuff him.

Virtually instantly after arriving, in line with investigators, Walters dropped his knee on the again of the boy’s head and neck space, which will be seen on a police car digital camera and Walters’ physique digital camera.

When the 15-year-old boy was positioned within the police automobile, Walters confirmed with one other police officer that the boy was the juvenile who had kicked in his door. Walters then turned off his body-worn digital camera and headed to the police automobile.

Whereas the boy was handcuffed behind the automobile, Walters punched him within the face, fracturing his proper eye socket. Walters then walked across the automobile and turned his physique digital camera again on.

“As a mom and grandmother, it’s tough to look at the footage on this case,” Democratic District Lawyer Kathy Jennings mentioned in a ready assertion. “As a prosecutor, the constitutional violations are staggering.”

Delaware State Police Col. Melissa Zeppeli mentioned making certain public security and persevering with to rebuild public belief are her company’s high priorities.

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