The Fort Wayne-South Bend Catholic Diocese said Friday it did not take diocesan officials six days to call police about videos found on former Bishop Luers football coach Matt Lindsay’s computer.
The statement was in response to some media reports – including The Journal Gazette’s – that said the diocese did not contact Allen County police about the videos until Tuesday, six days after they were discovered on Lindsay’s computer on Sept. 12.
In the brief statement, a diocesan spokesman wrote:
“A message was left with the ACPD after the close of business hours on Friday September 14th; roughly 5:00-5:15 p.m. A subsequent face-to-face meeting with Allen county Police personnel occurred Tuesday, Sept. 18th.”
The Allen County Sheriff’s Department is investigating whether the videos on Lindsay’s computer warrant criminal charges. On Friday, the agency stood by its own statement issued Thursday which read in part:
“On 9/18/2012 the Allen County Police Department was contacted by Bishop Luers High School regarding Matt Lindsay.”
Controversy has swirled around Lindsay, a coach at Luers for 33 years, since he announced he was taking a leave from the team for personal reasons on Sept. 13.
Four days later, the school announced that Lindsay had been on administrative leave and was terminated for violating school and diocesan policies.
The diocese announced Wednesday a large number of “inappropriate” videos – none of which contained nudity – discovered on Lindsay’s computer, featuring students and others unaware they were being recorded, led to his termination.
The confusion about when the diocese reached out to police and when police were actually notified about the videos on Lindsay’s computer may depend on what division of police the diocese called.
Aside from Friday’s brief statement, the diocese declined to answer any other questions, such as whether it called a specific division within the Allen County Sheriff’s Department or a specific detective.
Cpl. Jeremy Tinkel, a spokesman for the Allen County Sheriff’s Department, said citizens and organizations alike can report crimes to police in a variety of ways.
If it’s an emergency, 911 can be called. Or someone can place a call to the agency’s dispatch unit, which is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Tinkel said.
Or the agency’s criminal investigation’s division can be called.
But a caveat with that option is that the criminal investigation division has limited hours, Tinkel said.
Detectives are only there from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. during weekdays. A voice message left on a Friday at 5 p.m. would probably not get picked up until after the weekend, Tinkel said.
Or, it could be longer if someone leaves a voice message on a specific detective’s phone while he or she is vacationing or away from the office for a few days, Tinkel said.