Pictures show teen bloodied, bruised after road rage incident with FWPD deputy chief

Photos of the teenager after he was in a fight with then FWPD Deputy Chief Derrick Westfield after a road rage incident in November 2017.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – It doesn’t go far enough.

That’s John Gonzales’ reaction to the Fort Wayne Police Department’s demotion of Derrick Westfield from a deputy chief to a captain after the department’s investigation into an apparent road rage fight Westfield had with a minor in November 2017.

“I’m really disappointed with the whole thing,” Gonzales, the teenager’s father, said. “He’s still supervising. I don’t think he should be leading. Poor decisions and examples he’s demonstrated as a law enforcement officer and as command, I don’t agree with it, but I wasn’t there to make decisions. I wasn’t given input.” westfield police report

The FWPD sent this letter to John Gonzales about Derrick Westfield’s disciplinary action.

Westfield was demoted effective January 23, 2018. In a letter from the Fort Wayne Police Department to Gonzales, a captain with the Internal Affairs Division said, “Derrick Westfield’s actions were in violation of the Fort Wayne Police Department Rules and Regulations. You may be assured that our department does not condone such conduct and that appropriate disciplinary action has been administered.”

15 Finds Out discovered, using public records, that Westfield made nearly $107,000 in 2017 as a deputy chief and will make closer to $90,000 now as a captain.

It all started as a case of road rage in the Union Chapel and Auburn Road roundabout. According to the initial police report, two teens in a car said Westfield cut them off. They flashed their lights at him and Westfield brake checked them. The teens then passed him and Westfield followed them into the Falcon Creek addition. He stopped in front of their house and when he got out of this car, things escalated into a fight. Westfield was off-duty and in his personal vehicle at the time.


Thursday, 15 Finds Out got to see the pictures taken by responding police officers at the scene in November. The teenager was bleeding from his nose and several places on his head. The police report said Westfield’s cheek area appeared to be “slightly swollen.”

Earlier this month, the prosecutor said she would not file criminal charges because of conflicting witness statements. Then two days ago, the police department announced Westfield will go from a deputy chief to a captain.

“I feel sad for him,” Gonzales said. “As a person with experience in law enforcement, he should have known better and apologized. You’re told you’re a police officer 24 hours a day. There’s a law called ‘The Color of Law’ that says your actions as a police officer are held to a higher standard on duty and off duty.”

Gonzales is also a police officer and has served more than 20 years on two different departments.

“The law enforcement creed or the mission of an agency is that you’re there to protect and serve and protect the weak. I don’t think that happened,” Gonzales said.

15 Finds Out requested an interview with Westfield through the police department and that request was denied. Thursday 15 Finds Out investigator Alyssa Ivanson knocked on Westfield’s door. His finance answered and said he wasn’t available. She declined to be interviewed and then asked Ivanson to leave the property.

FWPD Chief Steve Reed told Ivanson in December he wouldn’t comment on the case until the investigation was complete and he had reviewed it. He left Tuesday for a conference out of town and has been unavailable for an interview.

The Gonzales family said they are still looking into further legal action in civil court.