Officer Justified In Shooting, Killing Dog That Attacked Him

Hamlet Town Marshal Frank Lonigro III

Hamlet Town Marshal Frank Lonigro III says an officer who shot and killed an attacking dog was justified in his actions. On Sept. 15, an officer with the Hamlet Police Department approached a residence at 218 Railroad St. in search of a wanted subject. When the officer asked the woman who answered the door if the wanted female was home, she said she was not.

The officer then asked to speak with Kenneth Schoff, who was also reported to live at the residence. When Schoff opened the door to come outside, a pit bull ran from the house barking and growling, and lunged at the police officer. The officer tried pushing the dog away, but the pit bull continued trying to bite him, forcing the officer to draw his weapon and fire three shots in an attempt to stop the attacking dog. The dog was struck by the shots, and fell onto the ground before quickly jumping up and attacking the officer once again.

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Hamlet Police Department Gets A Humvee

The Hamlet Police Department has received a unique addition to its fleet of police vehicles.

A Humvee from the U.S. Government was recently acquired, free of charge, by the department and Hamlet Town Marshall, Frank Lonigro III, says the vehicle will be used for community events and to better serve the community in the winter months when regular police vehicles can not maneuver as well in the snow. Labor, paint and decals for this vehicle were donated by the generosity of the Hamlet police officers.

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Hamlet Man Arrested after Battery Incident

Don Paulson

A Hamlet man was arrested Monday night after a domestic complaint.

An officer with the Hamlet Police Department arrived at 409 Pearl Street and found 54-year-old David Paulson on the front porch and he reportedly began yelling at the officers. Officers learned that Paulson had allegedly held a 15-year-old girl down on the couch and threw a beer can at her. The can hit the teenager in the face. Paulson was reportedly highly intoxicated at the time of the incident, according to police.

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Knox CVS Robbed

Knox CVS

The identity of a suspect arrested in connection with the robbery at CVS in Knox last night is still being withheld by Knox City Police.

Knox City Police responded to an armed robbery call at CVS at 9:18 p.m. An officer saw a vehicle leaving the scene at a high rate of speed and a traffic stop was initiated. The driver stopped, then backed into the police cruiser in an attempt to disable the vehicle. A pursuit began which lead into Marshall County. Both suspects abandoned the vehicle on Upas Road in Marshall County and one suspect was arrested. No further information was released by the Knox City Police Department and the robbery remains under investigation.

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Hamlet Police Department Investigating Theft from Hamlet Golf Course

Officers from the Hamlet Police Department are investigating a theft from the Hamlet Golf Course.

A golf cart was stolen from the premises during the evening hours on Sunday, September 11th. The cart was driven off the course onto Indiana Avenue where the suspect(s) loaded the golf cart onto a trailer and fled the scene. The suspect vehicle has been described as a newer style black Dodge Ram with large polished wheels pulling a utility trailer with metal grate style bottom and ramp. Officials at the Hamlet Golf Course are offering a reward for the return of the golf cart.

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Starke County Law Enforcement to Participate in Operation Pull Over Blitz

The Starke County Sheriff’s Department, Hamlet Police Department, Knox City Police Department and the North Judson Police Department will be participating in an Operation Pull Over Blitz that begins today and goes through June 5th. Officers will be on extra patrols to conduct a campaign on seat belt safety.

This enforcement period is designed to save lives and the officers encourage all occupants in a vehicle to wear their seat belts. Anyone not wearing their seat belt when stopped by police will receive a ticket. 250 other police agencies throughout the state will be focusing on this seat belt enforcement. Officers will also be watching for drivers who follow too closely, make unsafe lane changes, drive aggressively, fail to properly restrain children in child seats, and operate a vehicle while impaired.

Starke County Safety Partnership to Participate in Truck Seatbelt Enforcement

The Starke County Traffic Safety Partnership will be conducting a Rural Demonstration Project beginning Friday, April 29th through Sunday, May 15th. This is a special grant to be used for truck seatbelt enforcement.

During the Traffic Safety Partnership’s last enforcement blitz, 10 officers spent 41 hours on increased traffic patrol. 4 seat belt citations were given, 1 misdemeanor DUI arrest was made, 1 criminal misdemeanor arrest was made, 1 criminal felony arrest was made and 14 speed violations were recorded. 47 traffic warnings were issued with a total of 65 vehicles being stopped. The enforcement ran from February 26th through March 4th.

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Hamlet Police Department Recovers Stolen Vehicle

Adam Makowski

Hamlet Police Department officers recovered a stolen vehicle after a traffic stop Thursday night.

While on routine patrol, officers spotted a vehicle matching the description of a truck that was stolen in the Knox area last week. Officers ran the plate through the Starke County Sheriff’s Department and it was confirmed as the stolen vehicle. Adam Makowski was arrested and charged with Theft Receiving Stolen Property and Possession of Marijuana. Steven Sandoval was arrested and charged with Theft Receiving Stolen Property and False Informing.

Hamlet Police Arrest Resident on Meth Charges

Brandon White

Officers from the Hamlet Police Department arrested Brandon White, of Hamlet, on methamphetamine charges, Friday, February 4th, after conducting a search warrant in the Hamlet Trailer Court.

According to Police Chief Jeremiah Patrick, Hamlet police received a tip concerning drug activity at the Hamlet Trailer Park at lot #15. Officers went to the residence and spoke with the homeowner concerning the tip. Based on information received, officers were granted a search warrant. The search warrant was executed and officers discovered illegal drugs as well as items used to manufacture illegal drugs in the home.

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Two Arrested after Short Pursuit with Hamlet Police

Larry Catt

Two people were arrested by the Hamlet Police Department, Wednesday, after a police pursuit.

Hamlet Police Chief, Jeremiah Patrick, told WKVI that at 10:30 p.m. CT, Wednesday, Larry Catt, 21, of Hamlet, failed to stop after police initiated a traffic stop. A vehicle pursuit ensued and ended at Catt’s residence at 607 W. Davis Street in Hamlet. While police officers were taking Catt into custody, Lonzo Jackson came out of the residence with a large knife on his belt and in a rage, demanded that police leave his driveway and release Larry from custody. Jackson was told to go back inside the residence and he did not comply. When police attempted to take Jackson into custody, he ran into his residence and locked the door. Hamlet Police and Starke County Sheriff’s Department officers made their way into the house and Jackson was taken into custody after a struggle.

Lonzo Jackson

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Starke County Commissioners Discuss Prosecutor’s Claims

Julianne Havens discusses claims with the Starke County Commissioners

The discussion between the Starke County Commissioners and outgoing Prosecutor Julianne Havens came to an amicable agreement Monday night. Havens had earlier submitted claims for law enforcement needs and the Commissioners questioned whether the funding was appropriate for the funding source. Havens, herself, eliminated some of the items from questionable categories.

“It gets complicated because I can use the IV-D fund for child support enforcement and for five years I’ve been using it to support child support,” explained Prosecutor Havens. “This year, I was going to try and focus on the enforcement aspect of it which, to me, means police. They agreed with my argument. However, they indicated that if an audit were to happen, the way they look at it is a proportional nexus. They are going to look at it whether or not the police are out supporting child support, making arrests, picking up people on body attachments and things of that nature. Their fear is that the proportionate nexus is not going to be enough for them to say that these funds that were spent were reasonable.”

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Additional Charges Filed Against Walkerton Man Involved in Police Standoff

Donald Smith

Additional charges have been filed against a Walkerton man who told Starke County police officers to leave him alone or he would kill them or himself. Donald Smith, 33, engaged in a 45 minute standoff with officers before he was taken into custody on December 15th, from a camper he was occupying.

Smith has been charged with Dealing Methamphetamine, a Class B Felony; Possession of Precursors with a Firearm, a Class C Felony; Intimidation, a Class D Felony; and Theft, a Class D Felony. He has a bond of $75,000 through Starke Circuit Court.

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