Marion County constable charged with theft, resisting, official misconduct

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A Marion County constable is facing felony and misdemeanor charges for alleged theft and resisting law enforcement.

Denise Paul Hatch, 64, the Center Township constable, was charged this month with Level 6 felony official misconduct and Class A misdemeanor theft in one cause, and with Level 6 felony official misconduct, Class A misdemeanor attempted assisting a criminal and Class A misdemeanor attempted resisting law enforcement in a separate cause.

According to the probable cause affidavit filed in the theft case, an Indianapolis police detective responded on Aug. 7, 2023, to a report of theft at the Kroger store at 4445 E. 10th St.

The store manager, Josh Hill, told police that Hatch had asked to exchange a bag of rotten produce for a bag of fresh produce. But Hatch didn’t have a receipt, the produce smelled and flies were coming out of it.

Thus, store employees told Hatch she could not exchange the produce. Hatch, however, allegedly left the bag of rotten produce on the customer service desk, then left the store with the fresh produce.

Law enforcement and the assistant store manager confronted Hatch outside on the sidewalk. She was wearing a “Chief Constable” badge.

Throughout her interactions with store employees and law enforcement, Hatch was “irate” and was using profanity, according to the affidavit.

The assistant store manager told Hatch she could leave, but according to the affidavit, he did so only to diffuse the situation. Also, the assistant manager “indicated that he believed she was trying to use her authority as a Constable to intimidate him and other employees.”

A charging document in the two-count theft case — State of Indiana v. Denise Hatch, 49D18-2402-F6-003934 — alleges Hatch committed misdemeanor theft and felony official misconduct by committing theft in the performance of her official duties.

Th second case — State of Indiana v. Denise Hatch, 49D18-2402-F4-003946 — involves a separate incident that took place on Oct. 4, 2023.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Craig Regans was pulled over after Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Officer David Yohe observed Regans driving with expired plates, looking down in his lap and drifting into another lane. Regans later identified himself as a Center Township deputy constable.

When Yohe reviewed Bureau of Motor Vehicle records, he learned that Regans was prohibited from carrying a handgun due to a domestic battery conviction.

Then, when Yohe returned to Regans’ car, he found Regans on the phone with a woman whose voice Yohe identified as belonging to Hatch. Yohe repeatedly asked Regans to step out of the vehicle, and Hatch could be heard on the phone saying, “No, no, no.”

Later, officers found a gun in Regans’ vehicle, so he was placed inside Yohe’s patrol vehicle for an interview.

Meanwhile, Hatch arrived on the scene in a marked police vehicle and twice attempted to open the doors of Yohe’s patrol car.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Hatch was “hostile and belligerent at the prospect of Regans being detained and arrested.”

Hatch is facing three counts in that case: felony official misconduct and misdemeanor counts of attempted assisting a criminal and attempted resisting law enforcement.

Hancock County Prosecutor Brent Eaton served as special prosecutor.

Charges were filed in both cases on Feb. 8 and were publicly announced on Feb. 13. An initial hearing was scheduled for Feb. 14 but was later rescheduled for Feb. 29.

Online court records did not list counsel for Hatch at Indiana Lawyer deadline.

For his part, Regans was charged with felony unlawful carrying of a handgun with a prior conviction, misdemeanor unlawful possession of a firearm by a domestic batterer, and two infractions including failure to wear a seat belt and operating with expired plates.

His case is set for a jury trial next month.

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