Mario Ledesma (2018)
On January 12, 2018, Elkhart Indiana Police Department officers arrested Ledesma for domestic battery. While handcuffed and waiting in the detention area at the police station, Ledesma spat towards Corporal Cory Newland. Newland and Corporal Joshua Titus punched Ledesma in the face, knocking him to the ground. The officers got on top of Ledesma and continued to hit him. One officer called Ledesma a "piece of shit". Two other nearby officers told them to stop.
The incident was captured on a department security camera.
In June 2018, Newland and Titus were reprimanded by the department. Police Chief Ed Windbigler said the officers used "a little more force than needed" and "just went a little overboard when they took him to the ground".
On November 2, 2018, Newland and Titus were indicted by the state on charges of misdemeanor battery.
On March 21, 2019, Newland and Titus were indicted by a federal grand jury for deprivation of rights under color of law for using excessive force against Ledesma. The officers face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
On April 1, 2019, Newland and Titus were placed on unpaid administrative leave.
On May 9, 2019, the state charges against Newland and Titus were dismissed in lieu of the federal charges.
In August 2022, Newland pleaded guilty to one count of deprivation of rights under color of law, and admitted that the assault and use of force was "was unjustified and unlawful". Newland agreed to a 15-month sentence and an unspecified amount of restitution.
On August 30, 2022, Newland resigned.
In December 2022, Newland was sentenced to three months in prison, followed by 12 months of probation.
On October 12, 2023, Titus was sentenced to 12 months and one day in federal prison, followed by one year of supervised release.
- Christian Sheckler, Two Indiana Police Officers to be Charged After Video Shows Them Beating Handcuffed Man, ProPublica, 2018-11-02
- Former Elkhart Police Department officer pleads guilty to 2018 beating of handcuffed man, WFYI, 2022-09-06
- Indiana Police Officers Charged After Punching Handcuffed Man, ProPublica, 2018-11-02
- Christian Sheckler, Elkhart police officers indicted on federal charges in beating of handcuffed man, South Bend Tribune, 2019-03-22
- Two Elkhart, Indiana, Police Officers Charged With Federal Civil Rights Offense, U.S. Attorney's Office, 2019-03-22
- Melissa Hudson, Elkhart Police officer resigns after pleading guilty in federal court, ABC 57, 2022-09-07
- State Charges Dismissed So Federal Case Can Proceed Against Elkhart Officers In Beating Case, WVPE, 2019-05-09
- Marek Mazurek, Former Elkhart police officer to serve three months in prison for punching handcuffed man, South Bend Tribune, 2022-12-13
- Marek Mazurek, Former Elkhart police officer pleads guilty in federal court to beating handcuffed man, South Bend Tribune, 2022-09-07
- Maura Johnson, Elkhart Police officer accused of excessive force to plead guilty to deprivation of rights charge, ABC 57, 2023-03-24
- Ken Armstrong, 2nd Elkhart police officer pleads guilty to civil rights charge for hitting handcuffed man, South Bend Tribune, 2023-04-14
- Elkhart Police officer admits 'unreasonable force' in role of beating inmate, WSBT, 2023-03-24
- Former Indiana Police Officers Sentenced for Civil Rights Violations in Assault of Handcuffed Detainee, U.S. Department of Justice, 2023-10-12