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Officer on suspension for domestic dispute

An Allen County sheriff’s officer arrested in the aftermath of a domestic dispute this month has been suspended for five days without pay.

Steven M. Perry, 42, is currently serving his suspension, according to the sheriff’s department.

He was arrested in Michigan on a misdemeanor charge of non-aggravated assault but has since entered a pretrial diversion program, and the charge against him has been dropped.

Police took Perry into custody Feb. 2 at a Quality Inn in Emmett Township in Battle Creek, about 100 miles north of Fort Wayne.

Officers with the Emmett Township Police Department were called there when someone saw a man push a woman to the ground.

When police arrived, they pieced together the following story as detailed in a police report: Perry and the woman had been drinking at a nearby casino before moving to the lounge at the Quality Inn.

At some point, Perry looked at the woman’s cellphone and saw something he did not like. Perry called the woman a derogatory name when she grabbed her purse and phone from him.

As the woman began leaving – she said she walked away; Perry said she ran – Perry followed her.

A witness and the woman said Perry pushed her against a wall and then to the ground, according to the police report.

Perry claimed he chased her to talk to her and fell into her, admitting he was drunk, according to the report.

That morning, Perry was booked into the Calhoun County Jail and released shortly thereafter.

Allen County Sheriff Ken Fries said his Internal Affairs division conducted an investigation and, following Perry’s court case being sorted out, decided to suspend him.

The suspension was handed down primarily for conduct unbecoming of an officer and being intoxicated off duty, Fries said.