VINCENNES, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — A Vincennes police office has been suspended without pay after being arrested on child abuse charges.
Officer Robert “Ben” Hammond was arrested Nov. 1 on multiple charges including neglect of a dependent and strangulation.
Court records allege Hammond and his wife, Kristi, used a wooden spoon and metal spatula to strike Kristi’s child. They are also accused of locking the child outside and using duct tape as a restraint on multiple occasions.
The Vincennes Police Merit Board met Tuesday to discuss the charges against Hammond. The board decided to suspend Hammond without pay while his criminal case is pending.
“Whenever an officer is certainly charged with any crime, it’s a serious manner that needs to be dealt with immediately. In this case those charges were felony charges and that required us to remove him from duty,” said Dennis Kordes, president of the Vincennes Police Civil Merit Commission.
Hammond has 30 days to appeal the decision.
If exonerated, Hammond can be reinstated onto the Vincennes Police Department.