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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Brazil City Police keeping close watch on open cases

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Working New Years Day, Brazil City Police Dispatcher Tim Slater reads call information in the department's dispatch center. Ivy Jackson Photo.
Brazil residents contacted the Brazil City Police Department more than 5,000 times in 2007, with officers filing more than 1,200 actual investigation/case reports.

"That doesn't include all the other calls a law enforcement officer responds to without filing any paperwork," Brazil City Police Chief Terry Harrison said. "I believe that people will start to see a significant difference in our department and this administration in 2008."

On Tuesday, Harrison sat down with The Brazil Times to provide the public with updates on some of the remaining major open cases the department is actively investigating.

* Friday, Dec. 21: Around 6:45 a.m., video surveillance footage captured images of three young male suspects wearing hooded sweatshirts and bandannas over their faces as they robbed a station attendant at gun point, taking an undisclosed amount of cash and cigarettes.

Only one of the suspects displayed a weapon during the robbery, during which no injuries were reported.

The suspects left on foot.

"We are following up on leads that have been trickling in on this case," Harrison said, adding that the employee performed well under the conditions. "We still feel this was done by local people. We are glad nobody was hurt."

* Thursday, Dec. 20: Two local law enforcement officers initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by Mark Rissler, 20, Brazil, along State Road 42.

Rissler, wanted on an outstanding arrest warrant for a probation violation on drug charges, drove off from the officers after presenting his driver's license to avoid arrest, dragging Patrolman/K-9 Handler Kenny Hill for approximately 30-40 feet.

During a pursuit along SR 42, near County Road 400 East, Hill's vehicle hit a patch of ice, went off the road and struck a tree.

Hill was taken to an Indianapolis hospital for treatment for serious injuries to his left leg.

K-9 Officer Anya was uninjured during the accident.

After volunteering to turn himself in to authorities the night of the incident, Rissler continues to avoid law enforcement.

"Obviously this is one of our most serious cases," Harrison said about how strongly the case affected local law enforcement and the intensity of the ongoing investigation. "We all know things like this can happen, at any given moment, and it takes people like Kenny Hill to go out and be aggressive in their job and catch criminals like Rissler. We must have officers like Hill, and we do, who are willing to go out onto the streets and jeopardize their own safety in order to keep this community safe."

Officers from the BCPD and CCSD are following up on all leads and tips provided by the public in an aggressive effort to find the evasive Rissler, and Harrison is confident he will be caught.

"We have followed up on several leads and he will be captured," Harrison said. "I don't care where (Rissler) stops, he will be caught."

Harrison said Hill is back home and doing well, but is expected to be off duty for several months as he recuperates. Hill's absence puts a slight damper on the BCPD K-9 program, but Harrison said the department is addressing the issue.

* Thursday, Dec. 13: Taco Bell Manager Nancy Pierce reported that someone took an undisclosed amount of cash from the registers and a donation box from the business located at 2170 E. National Ave.

This burglary, according to Harrison, came after the arrests of several people for their alleged involvement in numerous other burglaries in the area.

"We were not very happy to see this," he said, but added that tips during the investigation have helped provide investigators some direction in the case.

"Hopefully, we will be able to resolve this case as well with an arrest."

* Thursday, Oct. 5: A tall male with long, shoulder-length black hair, dressed all in black and smoking a cigar approached the fenced in area where a group of children were playing during lunchtime at East Side Elementary school. The stranger asked the children to come over, but they refused and ran inside to tell school officials.

The suspect left on foot, but local residents later informed police a man fitting the description was seen on a bicycle in the area.

Although the incident was well publicized and extra patrols were established in the area, only a limited amount of information was provided during the case.

"Unfortunately, we did not have any solid information to follow up on." Harrison said about the ongoing investigation into the case officials are grateful was only a "one-time" incident. "Plus, the only witness statement that we had were from the children."

A few local citizens who lived near the school contacted the police department with tips about a suspect matching a possible description.

"It probably helps in this case that we have residents that live close by who keep an eye on the schools," Harrison said.

With a newly implemented K-9 program and a full-time drug detective working with the Clay County Sheriff's Department and other law enforcement agencies, Harrison said the department is always looking at new ways to address problems and concerns within the community.

"We have opened a huge door of cooperation with the sheriff's department and other agencies. This makes all our jobs so much easier, which not only benefits the agencies, but the community as a whole," Harrison said. "We are all here for the same thing, and that is keeping this community safe."

To report information about any of these cases, contact the Brazil City Police Department at 446-2211.

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