TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Terre Haute’s assistant fire chief and arson investigator accepted a new position as executive director of the Vigo County Juvenile Justice Center.
Loudermilk was suspended without pay for one day after pulling a gun on a homeless woman during a traffic stop Jan. 22.
The woman said she didn’t know she was being pulled because all of her belongings were in her car blocking her rearview. She pulled over to the curb when she reached her destination. When she backed up to correct her parking, she struck Loudermilk’s vehicle.
Loudermilk refutes the claim that he was making a traffic stop. He said he stopped the woman out of a concern for safety because the woman was driving erratically.
“I don’t have a ticket book. I don’t have a computer to write tickets. I wasn’t anticipating writing a ticket. No tickets were written. It wasn’t a traffic stop to cite them for a traffic violation. I was trying to figure out what was going on, what was making them drive so dangerously,” Loudermilk said.
According to the incident report, Loudermilk said he thought the woman was going to run, and he wasn’t sure if the crash was intentional, so he ordered her to the ground at gunpoint and placed her in handcuffs.
“When I received a report on that incident, I felt it necessary to take disciplinary actions, and I did suspend him,” Terre Haute Fire Chief Jeff Fisher said. “It was a day without pay. I felt he worked outside the scopes of his duty as a firefighter, as an arson investigator. I think the disciplinary action was warranted.”
Despite the suspension, Fisher said Loudermilk was a “good fit” for his new position.
“He does well working with people in the community, working with the kids,” he said. “I think he can bring some great things to the juvenile center.”