FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – It began with a caress of the woman’s hand and his assurances that everything would be all right.
It ended with him standing in front of her beside his Fort Wayne Police patrol vehicle – “a cigarette in his mouth, legs spread and his penis in his hand,” the woman would later tell a police investigator.
That’s according to Allen Superior Court documents detailing an incident between a now former Fort Wayne Police officer who is accused of exposing himself while in uniform and on duty to a woman he was supposed to be helping last month.
Allen County Prosecutors formally charged 42-year-old Erik M. Melia with a misdemeanor count of public indecency Tuesday and issued a warrant for his arrest in connection to the woman’s accusations, who called police June 5 for help dealing with someone who had violated a protective order.
It’s now one of two indecent exposure cases involving Melia.
Monday, Melia made his initial appearance in Allen Superior Court for a separate case where he’s also charged with a misdemeanor count of public indecency. Accusations in that case came last week and occurred after he resigned from the force.
During the incident June 5, Melia arrived to the woman’s home along with other officers.
After officers had arrested the person who violated the woman’s protective order, Melia helped her load items into her vehicle, according to Allen Superior Court documents.
At some point, Melia was standing by the woman’s driver’s side window while she was in the vehicle. He grabbed her hand and began rubbing it while saying, “It is going to be all right, hun,” according to Allen Superior Court documents.
Melia then told the woman to follow him down the street to a parking lot so he could make sure she was all right and had a place to go, court documents said. The woman followed his patrol vehicle down a railroad access road in the area of the 2800 block of Brooklyn Avenue. She then backed her vehicle next to Melia’s by some tracks.
When she got out of her car, Melia was not in his vehicle, she later told a police sergeant. She called out to Melia, but heard no response. The woman walked around Melia’s vehicle and then saw him standing with his penis in his hand, court documents said.
The woman became scared and walked away. Melia asked her not to walk in front of his vehicle because he did not want her to appear on his dashboard camera, court documents said. Melia then told her he was done and asked her to come back over.
When the woman walked back over, he was still holding his penis in his hand, she later said in court documents.
“Don’t act like you’re afraid to touch it,” he said to her, according to the woman.
At no point did the woman hear any sound as if Melia was urinating, court documents said.
The woman walked away and told Melia she was not like that, according to court documents. Melia asked the woman what was going to happen with the situation at her home, and kept walking with her as she tried to move toward her vehicle, court documents said.
Melia also stood in front of her door while she told him she was going to a friend’s home. She was able to get into her vehicle even though Melia kept standing by her door. She then drove toward her home and told her boyfriend what happened as Melia followed her, court documents said.
The woman’s boyfriend then confronted Melia at the home and told him to leave. The woman called police to speak to a supervisor afterward.
It’s not clear when Melia resigned from the force. Chief Steve Reed could not be reached for comment.
Melia talks about his resignation in court documents involving a different woman during an incident on July 14.
That morning, he texted that woman several times asking her to come smoke with him. He also is accused of sending several sexually suggestive texts to her, according to court documents. At some point, she walked out of her home and agreed to meet him since he had parked in a car nearby.
When she opened the car door, Melia is accused of having his shorts unzipped rubbing his genitalia in plain view for anyone to see.
The woman was using her phone to record everything on video at the time, according to court documents, including the moment Melia told her, “I’m getting tired of this, you gonna do this for me or what?”
That woman told Melia the behavior was unacceptable and asked what gave him the idea she was interested in him, according to court documents. She then closed the door and left. Melia was arrested a few days later, booked into Allen County Jail and then released on his own recognizance.
As of 9 p.m. Tuesday, Melia has not been booked again or been to the jail at all, jail staff said.
Melia is now facing two class A misdemeanors between the two cases.
Class A misdemeanors could carry up to a year-long sentence or a maximum $5,000 fine.