FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A complaint involving Fort Wayne Police Department Deputy Chief Derrick Westfield is now being reviewed by the Allen County Prosecutor’s Office. FWPD said internal affairs is also reviewing the case. In a police report obtained by NewsChannel 15, what started as an apparent road rage incident ended in a fight on the minor’s driveway.
According to the Allen County police records, Westfield was driving his personal vehicle and entered the round-a-bout on Auburn Road at Union Chapel Road around midnight on Sunday November 5. Adrian Lowe, 18, the driver of a vehicle in the round-a-bout, claims Westfield cut him off. Lowe then flashed his lights at Westfield and Westfield is said to have “brake-checked” Lowe. Lowe then sped past Westfield’s vehicle and turned into the Falcon Creek Addition.
Westfield followed Lowe into the addition, which he said is because he also lives there. Lowe pulled into the driveway of a home in the 1500 block of Millenium Crossing, and this is where the accounts of what happened next vary.
Lowe and the 17-year-old in his car told police that Westfield followed them and stopped in front of the 17-year-old’s house. The teens were asking Westfield and his fiance, who was in Westfield’s vehicle, why they cut them off and the teens said Westfield got out of his SUV. Lowe said Westfield was “aggressively in his face” saying “do something” and then pushed him. When the 17-year-old told Westfield to stop, the teens said Westfield pushed the 17-year-old too and the two started fighting. Westfield had the 17-year-old on the ground and was on top of him when Lowe went into the house to get the 17-year-old’s father.
John Gonzales, the minor’s dad, came out and yelled that he is a Parkview Hospital police officer and to get off his son. Westfield then yelled back that he was a police officer for the city and got off of the 17-year-old.
Westfield told the Allen County police who were called to the scene that he was behind the teens’ vehicle until they pulled into the driveway on Millenium Crossing. When he slowed down to pass the house, he said the teens were yelling at him, “why did you cut me off.” He stopped and got out of his SUV. Westfield said Lowe was “aggressively in his face” and he put his arm straight out, making contact with Lowe. At that point, Westfield said the 17-year-old punched him in the face and they started fighting.
The officer observed Westfield’s cheek appeared to be “slightly swollen” and the 17-year-old had a bloody nose and some scratches on his face and back of his head. The county officer said in the report that he did not smell alcohol on Westfield, as the 17-year-old had stated.
Tamecca Chapman, who was in Westfield’s vehicle with him, told the police at the scene a similar account to Westfield’s story.
Because both sides said the other one started the fight, the county officer referred the case to the prosecutor. The Allen County Prosecutor’s Office said it received the complaint on Wednesday night and it is being investigated. No charges have been filed as of Friday morning.
Fort Wayne Police Chief Steve Reed denied 15 Finds Out’s request for an interview Friday. The department spokesman said internal affairs is aware of the case and is looking into it to see if Westfield violated any department policies or rules and regulations. He added Westfield is continuing with his normal duties during the investigation.
The Gonzales family declined to comment.
Since joining the police department in 1995, Westfield has had four disciplinary actions and three commendations.
He received letters of reprimand for vehicle accidents in 1999 and 2015 and for improper conduct in 1996. In 2007, Westfield was suspended for not being in compliance when submitting a form to work a part-time job and for improper conduct for inappropriately using his police resources while working a part-time job.
He received letters of commendation in 2002 and 2005 and an award of excellence in 2002. Westfield was promoted to rank of Deputy Chief in the southeast division in January 2014.