Muncie woman suing police charged with false informing by prosecutor

  • Print

A woman who filed a lawsuit against a Muncie police officer for allegedly throwing her into a brick wall and causing her to sustain significant facial injuries is now being criminally charged for making the allegations that the Delaware County Prosecutor calls “completely, totally, and demonstrably false.”

Eric Hoffman, prosecuting attorney, filed two counts for false informing, a Class B misdemeanor, against Ruby Goodman. Hoffman’s office announced on Sept. 23 the charges and released the charging information and affidavit of probable cause for a warrant filed in Delaware Circuit Court 4.

According to the court documents filed in State of Indiana v. Ruby Goodman, 18C4-2109-CM-72, Goodman, a resident of Muncie, falsely reported Muncie police officer Jacob Massoth had battered her during her arrest.

The affidavit claimed that footage from Massoth’s body camera, and from multiple security cameras at the jail, show Goodman was not touched, much less thrown into a brick wall. Also, in Goodman’s color mugshot of her face and right profile, “absolutely no fresh injuries can be seen.”

The prosecutor’s office had requested a warrant for Goodman’s arrest, but because of the COVID-19 public health emergency the court issued a summon for Goodman to appear for an initial hearing.

The charges stem from a July 1, 2019, incident that started when Massoth was dispatched to Goodman’s home. She had called for help for her son, Louis Goodman, Jr., who was unconscious on the bathroom floor.

Massoth and another officer were able to revive Louis Goodman with two doses of Narcan, according to the affidavit. The residence was familiar to Massoth because he had been there a few weeks before when Louis had overdosed in the same spot.

During the first incident, Louis told the emergency medical technicians he used heroin, and Goodman stated she knew her son used heroin, the affidavit stated. Goodman had said the children in home, ages 8 and 10, were her son’s, but she had custody and he was just visiting.

The affidavit the prosecutor’s office released to the media contained the names of the minor children along with the name of their mother.

After the July incident, Massoth questioned the children separately and, according to the affidavit, they said Louis actually lived in Goodman’s home. They had been present both times Louis overdosed, the affidavit stated.

Louis was taken to IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital and Massoth contacted the Indiana Department of Child Services. Louis was then placed in handcuffs and Massoth told him he was being charged with four counts of neglect due to overdosing twice with two children in his care.

Next, Massoth told Goodman she was being arrested for allowing her son to use drugs in the home and for lying to police about who was caring for the children. The affidavit stated this “significantly interfered” with Massoth’s investigation.

According to the affidavit, when Massoth “attempted to place Ruby in handcuffs,” she resisted and began “screaming at the top of her lungs in the hospital.” Massoth then “secured her to a wall” until another officer came to assist.

Massoth then “reached up to grab Ruby’s right arm to place it behind her back,” but, the affidavit stated, she bit his right index finger and “the skin pulled as Massoth pulled it away quickly and it caused pain but did not break the skin.”

The court docket described Goodman as 5 feet, 1 inch, 142 pounds. At the time of the July 2019 incident, she was 67 years old.

Goodman was subsequently charged with battery against a public safety official, a Level 6 felony, and resisting law enforcement. According to the Delaware Circuit Court 4 docket, a change of plea hearing has been rescheduled for Oct. 20 in State of Indiana v. Ruby Goodman, 18C04-1907-F6-000528.

Jacob Dunnuck, the attorney listed as representing Goodman, did not return a call for comment. The prosecutor’s office said it would not comment further when it released the affidavit and charging information.

The affidavit stated that Goodman then reported she had been battered, knowing the report to be false. In addition, she filed a complaint against Massoth, alleging misconduct, while knowing the allegation was false.

Goodman has since filed a lawsuit against Massoth, in his individual and official capacity as an officer of the Muncie Police Department, as well as the Muncie Police Department and the city of Muncie in Delaware Circuit Court for “egregious use of excessive and deadly force.”

In the complaint filed in July 2021, she claimed she obeyed Massoth’s commands at all times during her arrest at the hospital in 2019. He then transported her to the county jail and, the affidavit stated, “while escorting Ms. Goodman into the jail, and without provocation, Defendant Massoth threw Ms. Goodman into the brick wall outside the Delaware County Jail.”

She had no way to catch herself and “her face slammed” into the brick façade, according to the complaint. Goodman “sustained multiple fractures of her face and required extensive surgery and hospitalization,” it said.

The defendants removed the lawsuit to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana about three weeks after it was filed in Delaware Circuit Court. That case is Ruby Goodman v. Jacob Massoth, et al., 1:21-cv-02076.

Tia Combs and Daenayia Hudson of Freeman Mathis & Gray LLP in Lexington, Kentucky, are listed as the attorneys for the defendants. M. Edward Krause, III, of Cohen Garelick & Glazier, in Indianapolis, is listed as the attorney for Goodman. None of the lawyers returned calls seeking comment.

According to the affidavit filed by Hoffman’s office, an internal affairs investigation was opened after Goodman made her complaint to the police department. The affidavit claimed that camera footage taken at the time of Goodman’s arrest shows her allegations to be false.

Massoth was wearing a body camera that was functioning and recording when he took Goodman into custody.

The affidavit stated that as he was placing her into the patrol car, Goodman said, “Look at me, you see my face? Massoth replied, “It’s looked like that the whole night.” Goodman responded, “That is where I got busted the other night. …(my son) busted my jaw.”

According to the affidavit, video shows Massoth pulling into the sally port at the county jail, getting out of the car, and then searching Goodman’s purse and filling out paperwork. Other correctional officers took her from the car and into the intake area.

“At no time, as shown in the body camera footage did Officer Massoth even touch Goodman, much less, “threw her into a brick wall’ at the jail,” the affidavit stated.

Security video from the intake area captured Goodman sitting down for the initial process, being taken to the restroom and then placed in a holding cell, according to the affidavit. She was asked if she had recently fainted or sustained a head injury.

The affidavit stated she told the correctional officers she had been hit in the head three days prior.

“Consequently, Goodman’s allegations and accusations are completely, totally, and demonstrably false. Ruby Goodman has given a false report of the commission of a crime, to-wit: Battery; knowing the report false,” the affidavit stated. “Additionally, she has made a complaint to the Muncie Police Department, among others, against Jacob Massoth, a law enforcement officer with said department, alleging that Jacob Massoth engaged in misconduct while performing the officer’s duties, knowing said complaint to be false.”

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining
{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining Article limit resets on
{{ count_down }}