By Mike Perleberg
(Aurora, Ind.) - We’re learning more about the altercation that led to the arrest of Aurora Chief of Police Bryan Fields.
The police chief appeared in Dearborn Superior Court I Tuesday, where not guilty pleas were entered for charges of Domestic Battery (Class A misdemeanor) and two counts of Battery Resulting in Bodily Injury (Class A misdemeanor).
According to an affidavit filed in court Tuesday, deputies went to the home Fields and his wife Holly Fields share on Harrison Avenue in Aurora. One of the couple’s two sons – ages 18 and 19 – told responding officers that he first saw inside the home Holly Fields standing over Bryan, yelling at and allegedly striking her husband in the head with her hands.
The altercation escalated from there. The 18-year-old son explained to investigators that he grabbed his mother and took her into another room, but she broke free and allegedly went back at Bryan. The son then went outside, but soon heard a thud from inside the home and went back in.
The 18-year-old son said he saw Bryan on top of the couple’s 19-year-old son, allegedly striking him with his fists. Trying to pull Bryan away from behind, Bryan threw his head back and struck the 18-year-old in the nose, causing it to bleed.
In speaking with police, the 19-year-old son stated that he was in the dining room when he heard the thud from a bedroom. According to the affidavit, he told officers that he went into the bedroom to find Bryan on top of Holly striking her in the ribs with his fists.
The older son pulled Bryan from his mother, at which time Bryan allegedly struck the 19-year-old in the head and tackled him to the floor where Bryan began repeatedly punching him. At about that time is when the younger son had entered the room and was allegedly head-butted by Bryan. The physical confrontation then ended.
The two sons then advised the couple that they were going to call police. Holly allegedly told her sons that she would deny everything. Bryan had allegedly asked them not to call.
After sheriff's deputies had responded to the home, Holly Fields was taken to Dearborn County Hospital where she declined to give a statement to officers, according to the affidavit. Medical staff noted in Fields’ medical records that she had a high level of pain.
Bryan Fields said that the incident was a misunderstanding. The affidavit noted that he did give a statement later, but what was said was not included in the affidavit.
Investigators did note that Bryan had abrasions on the right side of his head, which were apparent in his mugshot photograph from the county jail.
Bryan Fields was released from jail Tuesday after posting his $500 cash bond. During his court appearance, Dearborn Superior Court I Judge Jon Cleary issued no contact orders for the couple’s two sons. Fields’ next court date is a pretrial hearing on January 30. A bench trial has been tentatively scheduled for March 4.
The Aurora Board of Works plans to meet Wednesday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. to consider Fields’ status as police chief.
Whether Holly Fields will be charged in connection with Sunday’s domestic altercation will be determined by Ripley County Prosecutor Ric Hertel, who was appointed special prosecutor in the case by Cleary.
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