Assistant Chief Released After Battery Arrest

Man Faces Several Charges After Weekend Incident

The assistant police chief of the Danville Police Department was released on his own recognizance Monday after he was arrested in a domestic disturbance involving his estranged wife at another man's home over the weekend.

Jerry Cunningham was arrested Sunday on charges of domestic battery, battery with injury and unlawful residential entry, 6News' Rafael Sanchez reported.

According to a police report, Cunningham drove to the home of Mike Willard, 35, a male acquaintance of his estranged wife, at 108 Lawton Ave. and found her car there.

Cunningham forced his way into the home and confronted Willard, police said, asking to see his hands before punching him in the eye.

Police said Cunningham's wife tried to break the men up as they wrestled and fought, cutting her foot.

Cunningham called his boss, Danville Police Chief Keith Gill, after the altercation and told him what happened, police said.

Cunningham, a father of three children, has been with the department for 20 years. He was placed on administrative leave, Gill said.

"It is difficult. We know Jerry. We're a small, close-knit department," Gill said. "Everybody knows each other. He's been my assistant chief since I came here."

Reached by phone Monday morning, Willard said, "Whatever, no comment," when asked about the fight.

6News attempted to contact Cunningham's estranged wife Monday morning, with no response.

As assistant chief of police, Cunningham is a liaison to the Hendricks County Prosecutor's Office, handles scheduling for the department of about 15 officers and handles discipline within the department, Gill said.

The chief said he hasn't made any determination on Cunningham's future with the department. If Cunningham is demoted to lieutenant or sergeant, a board of commissioners would be notified in advance.

A special prosecutor will be named in the case. Cunningham is expected to be released on his own recognizance. He will be instructed to give his service revolver to police and undergo a mental evaluation within 24 hours.

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