By Lucy Perry
Indiana Central News
A couple's argument about cell phone contents became heated enough to result in a police standoff last night in Terre Haute, according to police.
Jerry C. Smith, 26, was arrested after last night’s incident on S. 14th Street. Smith is charged with strangulation and domestic battery. According to the Terre Haute Police Department, he also had two warrants out of another county.
Smith was booked into the Vigo County Jail around midnight, after the Terre Haute Police Department Special Response Team swarmed the neighborhood around his home in the 400 block.
According to the probable cause affidavit, filed by Cpl. T. Gilbert, of the THPD, officers responded to the residence just south of Poplar Street on a domestic battery call around 7 p.m. A man was reportedly inside the house with a possible gunshot wound and in possession of multiple weapons.
Officers surrounded the residence and blocked off traffic to several streets in the area, including a section of Poplar Street. After communicating with a female victim in the home, she was able to escape and was taken into custody for questioning.
The victim reported that the suspect became angry with the woman about something on her cell phone. He allegedly approached her in the bathroom the previous night and head butted her several times, according to the report.
"As she walked out of the bathroom, she was shoved to the ground by the defendant. while on the ground the defendant head butted [her] several more times, then grabbed her by the throat squeezing pressure until she began to black out. [She] came to with the defendant slapping her face in an attempt to get her awake." the documents state.
Investigation revealed the man did not suffer any injuries from a weapon.
Smith allegedly fired shots through his coat after the ordeal in order to gain attention from the victim, officials say, with no injuries to him noted.
See related story
By Lucy Perry
Indiana Central News
As Chief John Plasse sets out to take office as the county sheriff, Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennet announced his replacement for the city police department today. Assistant Chief Shawn Keen will take the helm of the department Jan. 1.
Keen brings years of experience to the position.
For the past 21 years with the Terre Haute Police Department, Keen has worked in patrol and criminal investigations divisions. He has served as assistant chief since 2008 and has had hands-on experience with the responsibilities his new position will require of him. In fact, while Chief Plasse was deployed in the military in 2016, Keen served as acting chief of police during that time.
A member of the Special Response Team for 17 years, he eventually became commander. During his tenure with the department, he has also been active with the department’s Honor Guard for 18 years.
According to a press release from the mayor's office, Keen began his law enforcement career while in the U.S. Marine Corps, when he worked as a military policeman. He later became a member of the Hawaii Armed Services Police in Oahu, Hawaii.
Keen graduated from Terre Haute North Vigo High School in 1993. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice from Chaminade University in Honolulu and a Master of Science degree in criminal justice from the University of Oklahoma.
Keen's professional achievements include graduating from the Indiana Chiefs’ of Police Association, the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy with honors and the 259th session of the FBI National Academy.
He and his wife, Shelly, have two children.
Mayor Bennett said that Lt. Matt Carden has been selected to serve as the new assistant chief of criminal investigations. Carden will also begin his new position on Jan. 1.
According to the press release, Lt. Carden has been an officer of the THPD for 23 years and served more than a decade as a member of the criminal investigations division in both detective and supervisor roles. He was Unit Commander for the Vigo County Drug Task Force for five years coordinating investigations with various federal, state and local agencies. Lt. Carden has also served as the commander for both the day and evening shift with the uniformed patrol, as well as being a member of the Special Response Team and the Honor Guard.
Carden graduated from North Newton High School in 1991, He earned an Associate’s Degree in criminal justice/conservation law from Vincennes University. He graduated first in his class from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy.
He and his wife, Jessica, have three children.
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News Writer: Lucy Pery PHONE: 317-527-4141