Court orders charged IMPD officer to stay away from wife, son after domestic violence incident

John Haggard faces 17 criminal charges

INDIANAPOLIS - Officer John Haggard, a veteran Metro police officer facing 17 criminal charges, including 11 felonies, appeared in court Friday.

The judge denied a request by the prosecutor's office to place Haggard on GPS monitoring, but the judge did put him under a court order forbidding him from having any contact with his wife, his son and his police officer neighbor.

The state says Haggard's position as a police officer will offer him no immunity.

"We certainly expect officers to know the law and to follow the law, but we expect that of any citizen," said Deputy Prosecutor Kristina Korobov. "And we take allegations including firearms, including children, very seriously."

Prosecutors allege that Haggard hit his wife multiple times when they returned home from a family dinner Dec. 23.

Haggard's wife told investigators that Haggard was drunk and became enraged when she criticized his erratic driving.

When a neighbor, the wife of an off-duty police officer, took Mrs. Haggard and their 4-month-old son across the street to safety, Haggard broke into the residence and pulled a gun on the fellow officer in front of his two children, prosecutors said.

The charges facing Haggard have not escaped the attention of the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence.  

"We need to hold batterers accountable regardless of who they are or what position they have," said Kerry Hyatt Blomquist, with the Coalition. "And I think that message is being sent this time. And I'm impressed. I really am."

If convicted of the most serious charge, Haggard faces the prospect of a prison sentence of up to 20 years.

"We hope the community takes from this, that just because a person has a position of authority, our office does take it seriously, and we'll investigate them," Korobov said. "So, if someone is afraid to come forward because of the position of their abuser, they shouldn't be afraid. They should pick up the phone and call someone and get help as quickly as possible."

The police department has suspended Haggard without pay.

Chief Rick Hite issued a statement encouraging officers and their families to seek counseling when needed.

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