Justice Dept. nets NW Indiana cop in beating, cover-up

August 5, 2008 3:27:42 PM PDT
A former Gary, Indiana police officer admitted in federal court late this afternoon that he roughed-up a suspect he had arrested and then tried to cover it up by falsifying a police report. Robert Irving, 36, was indicted last November for beating the suspect at a Gary hospital and then again at the police station. Irving was off-duty when he arrested Eugene Jones outside a bar on September 11, 2005, according to federal authorities in Northwest Indiana. Surveillance video showed Irving hitting the handcuffed inmate in the police department's booking area. According to the guilty plea, the former officer said he intentionally lied in a police report because "in substantial part, to avoid a criminal investigation into [his] actions." Irving also admitted he had "altered the police report to fabricate or exaggerate wrongdoing on the part of the arrestee?and to omit or minimize the force I used against [the arrestee]."

Irving resigned from the Gary Police Department the day before the police board's monthly meeting where it was expected he would have been fired. He faces 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.