By Carson Gerber
A former Peru police officer who was fired after Tasing a 64-year-old nursing home resident with advance-stage Alzheimer’s disease has filed a court appeal in Miami County to get his job back.
Gregory Martin was terminated in August by the Peru Board of Works based on a recommendation from Peru Police Chief Steve Hoover.
The dismissal stemmed from a June 17 incident in which Martin Tased Alzheimer’s patient James Howard five times — four while on the ground, according to eyewitnesses — at Miller’s Merry Manor Nursing Home. Officers said Howard was combative and wouldn’t obey their commands to get onto a stretcher to go to the hospital, according to police reports.
Hoover made the recommendation after a two-week investigation into the incident, after which he determined Martin violated department code that says officers “shall not use more force in any situation than is necessary under the circumstances.”
The board listened to two days of testimony during the hearing before deciding to fire Martin.
Martin filed an appeal with Miami County Superior Court 1 last month, claiming the findings and conclusions of the board were erroneous. Court documents state Martin believes the court should reverse the board’s decision and award back pay, wages and benefits accrued since he was fired.
A court date is pending after Martin’s attorney, Kristina Lynn, filed a motion Sept. 21 to change judges in the trial. Bill Berkshire is representing the police department and the city in the hearing.