[The Brazil Times nameplate] Overcast ~ 46°F  
High: 64°F ~ Low: 55°F
Thursday, May 5, 2016

Guilty plea entered by county employee

Monday, November 24, 2008

The man who injured Clay County Sheriff's Department's K-9 Officer Forrest during an altercation in May entered a guilty plea in Clay Circuit Court Monday.

As part of a negotiated plea agreement, Brandon Riggle, 27, Clay City, pled guilty to class A misdemeanor charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated with an ACE of .15 or more, resisting law enforcement and interfering with a law enforcement animal. The Clay County Prosecutor's Office agreed to withdraw the operating a vehicle while intoxicated endangering a person and failure to stop after an accident resulting in non-vehicle damage.

The court ordered Riggle to pay restitution of $92.64 to the CCSD for vet bills.

Also ordered to pay fines and court costs, the plea agreement arranged for Riggle to serve one year of incarceration for each charge (to run concurrent) with all of the time suspended except 8 days with good time credit allowed (if earned) and credit for 4 days previously served.

Upon release, Riggle would also be placed on probation for one year, with 90 days to be spent during in-home electronic detention and a 90-day suspension of his driver's license (retroactive to the first notice set by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles).

However, Trout believed the sentencing recommendation needed to have community service attached.

"As I told you before Mr. Riggle, I can accept or deny a plea agreement being ever mindful that I'm a judge and not involved in these negotiations. I can't interject my own opinions in a plea agreement created by the prosecutor's office or the defense attorney, but if I accept it, I'm bound to enforce it," Trout said to Riggle. "I'm inclined to object to this plea agreement without a community service addition."

When asked if either the prosecution or the defense objected to amending the agreement to show Riggle would do 80 hours of community service at the Clay County Humane Society, neither side objected and it was added to the plea agreement by Trout.

Trout also ordered the remaining amount of Riggle's bond returned to him after the court fees were assessed.

Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on thebraziltimes.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

I had hope that the minor plea deals were done since judge trout was not accepting them last week. But the prosecution is back at it again. So what if it was a dog, what if it was Dep Clark instead? Same difference! He should be doing prison time not community service at the humane shelter were he can hurt other dogs!

-- Posted by BigCB20 on Tue, Nov 25, 2008, at 1:25 AM

Clay County doesn't normally add community service on to all of their sentencing? I know they do in Vigo County and it's brought crime rate down a little after someone has to work for free for a minimum of 40 hours sometimes as much as 300 hours in a given time frame. This would not only help the community by giving back, but perhaps put some people who have commmitted crimes to work where they might actually learn a thing or two about surviving without breaking laws......just a thought :)

-- Posted by gingersnap13 on Tue, Nov 25, 2008, at 9:05 AM

I agree that community service is a good thing. Just wish he wasn't going to spend time with animals. He hurt an animal once and I don't like the idea of him being with other animals. I think he should have to dig sewage ditches!!!

-- Posted by sassypants on Tue, Nov 25, 2008, at 9:17 AM

Graydog: What a bigoted response! You must be awfully pretty to be able to judge one by their looks.

I happen to think that this guy made a bad choice. Let's not discount that he is still a member of the community who has the ability to learn from his mistake. I happen to think that the animals at the shelter can teach him a lot about affection as well as responsibility and the type of service assigned is quite appropriate for the crime. He will see the homeless and unloved and all that they have to give as well as the results of people making irresponsible choices when it comes to animal ownership. So many people are not ready to take on the cost and time involved when getting a pet. It is not a plaything to dispose when they get tired of it. This assignment can turn into a life changing event and he can learn about the results of others' poor choices as well as his own and how they don't only effect the person making the choice, but many others.

Mr Riggle did wrong according to our justice system and was given his punishment. Negative comments and those that indicate that he is anything else are not warranted. That's the judge's job. I just don't understand when SOME in this community which is supposed to be such a "Christian" one, makes public comments like this.

Big CB and Sassy:

My kids have volunteered at the shelter. Supervision is good so as not to worry about the animals. I agree with the judge that "giving back" somewhat to the canine species might teach a lesson better than just sitting somewhere fuming over his punishment. Better to turn this sad event around into a positive effort for good.

Have a good day.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Tue, Nov 25, 2008, at 10:39 AM


I agree. It was probably just a bad choice--triggered by a meth-induced rampage! He should never be allowed near another animal as long as he lives.

-- Posted by BrazilBillie on Tue, Nov 25, 2008, at 12:11 PM

I'm sorry.....did I miss something in the article that said he was on meth BrazilBillie? I did read however, that he was intoxicated. Yes, there is a difference! Do not make the assumption that he was on meth. Not that I am defending him mind you, make no mistake that he should have been punished to the fullest extent of the law for hurting Deputy Forrest. I do not agree with this plea bargaining that seems to go with every case we read about. If you commit the crime...do the time. Anyway, I get a bit sidetracked sometimes. Yes, what if that would have been Deputy Clarke? This gentleman would have certainly received a harsher penilty than what he got. But, he still got punished. Maybe he will learn something and make good of his mistake right Jenny?

Have a good day.

-- Posted by appaloosa queen on Tue, Nov 25, 2008, at 12:51 PM

I doubt that anyone reading this would not fight back to protect themselves if being attacked by a dog. That is what Brandon did. He is not otherwise mean to animals.

-- Posted by Justice 4 all on Tue, Nov 25, 2008, at 1:00 PM

Why is meth being brought into the whole mix of these comments? The charges were alcohol related ~ meth is not even mentioned in the article ~

Thank you Jenny for saying just what I wanted to say to graydog ~ & I agree maybe he will learn a thing or two by community service at the shelter ~

-- Posted by karebabe on Tue, Nov 25, 2008, at 1:25 PM


Was he being attacked by a dog for no reason, or was the dog working to try and catch him? I think there is a difference

-- Posted by sassypants on Tue, Nov 25, 2008, at 1:28 PM

He was in a ditch and the dog kept attacking him. Anyone's natural instinct is to protect yourself regardless of the reason you are being attacked. I'm not arguing - just stating the obvious.

-- Posted by Justice 4 all on Tue, Nov 25, 2008, at 2:16 PM

The police K-9s don't attack for "no reason". The dogs & their handlers go through extensive training. I know because I've been there. I don't know Mr. Riggle so I can't judge the man. Alcohol will make a person do a lot of things they would not normally do. I'm not excusing this man's actions by any means. I agree with some of the rest of you that his sentence was too lenient. Maybe working with the animals will help him. Let's hope so.

-- Posted by th1953 on Tue, Nov 25, 2008, at 2:29 PM

I think we have all forgotten what the ultimate goal of law enforcement and the justice system is about. If it is not necessary to punish Mr. Riggle any more than Judge Trout did, he won't. The reason for the lite sentence is that Judge Trout must think the guy just made some bad choices and the judge thinks he's learned his lesson, won't do it again, etc. Let's all hope Judge Trout is a good judge of character. (I think he is...)

...and as far as the dog goes, I've been around a few canine "situations" both with law enforcement and domestically. Dogs are animals and they can be dangerous and they can lack self control. Self defense is self defense. (You'd be surprised how easily a dog can be severely injured by a well placed boot kick.) Maybe all of you trust the police canine to back off when appropriate, I would not. Since I don't break the law I don't expect to be worrying about it.

-- Posted by TheRider on Tue, Nov 25, 2008, at 9:15 PM

I think what some forget when asking for someone to be put into jail is how much more it costs the taxpayer to keep someone in there. If it is a crime that has been considered not dangerous to another person, it may be determined by the judge that the lesson of community service might be better for the taxpayer as well as the person who committed the crime. Then "we" don't have to pay for housing him and he puts in hours to give back to the community somewhat.

Even if we personally aren't the victims of a crime, we end up paying for what they've done through the cost of court system and jail time. Better to take the chance that at least some of these people will learn via community service for several reasons. No I do not condone at all what he has done but when I look at the headlines of all the crime I can imagine how much it is costing our community. Community service is the way to go since we no longer have chain gangs or convictions of hard labor in order for the ones incarcerated to partially pay for their keep while in jail. At least for non violent first offenders. Just my opinion.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Wed, Nov 26, 2008, at 7:36 AM

I am not in any way excusing what he has done, but I don't understand why people always start throwing out terrible accusations. Meth??? Really, this was alcohol related, not meth so lets stick to details. Was his sentence enough? well, I guess that is what the judge thought. Luckily no one was hurt. Yes, I know about the dog, and I feel sorry for it but I have heard that he was passed out and woke up to being bit at, was it right what he did - Not at all, but would he have done it sober - probably not. I know the dogs are trained, and I am thankful our community has this service for us, but if he truly was passed out and woke to that, he probably had no idea at first what was going on. There is that chance that he has dogs himself which he takes care of very well, and treats like members of his own family, but in this case he reacted poorly. Alcohol makes people stupid. We all know that, many don't drink it for this reason, and others still do and have probably found them doing things under the influence that they would never do sober. Not saying that makes it right. I just thank God no one was hurt and that hopefully he can learn from his mistakes. This article does not discuss whether Brandon has been in alcohol counseling (which I believe I remember from a past article was ordered) or what he has done since this incident. Give the guy a chance to prove himself. I know that he is not the only guy (or girl) in Brazil that has drove drunk. It happens nightly. Go sit at any bars in town and you will see many people drink all night and then get in a car to drive themselves home. I am in no way saying that is all right, I am just saying that people get caught doing that a lot and a lot more get by with it. For my families sake I would love as much as the next guy for this to not happen at all, but truth is truth. I wonder if the dog wasn't involved how much would have been differnt? And the comment about the looks of him, I have seen him before many times and he usually looks very nice and clean cut. I mean really people, why do these boards go the way they do? Sometimes people post mean and hateful things simply to post I think. No, what he did was wrong, he is and has been punished, hopefully he learned his lesson and deserves a second chance. If it happens again, go ahead throw the book at him, but give him a chance. I am sure that he wished he had been smarter and not made the choices he did that night, but are these comments really helping things along? I just know that while I still had some growing up to do I had a few to many a couple times and there are some skeletons in my closet that I am so glad that you all diddn't have the chance to throw mud at me about. Thankfully, I never endangered others by getting behing a wheel, but there were definitely things that I am not proud of at all and I gaurentee that would not have happened with out alcohol.

-- Posted by IMHO on Wed, Nov 26, 2008, at 12:23 PM

I have renewed faith that intelligence does exist in Clay County sparked by good comments from Jenny and IMHO. This "throw them in the hooscow" attitude some have, though appropriate at times, mostly appears to be hickish. No wonder I get called a "BrazilBillie" occasionally.

-- Posted by TheRider on Thu, Nov 27, 2008, at 7:36 AM

Jenny -- I seem to recall your being very adamant that Anita Miller should be punished for her actions after her little episode of drunk driving and public nudity.

Apparently you think it would have been better if she slammed her vehicle into a house, left the scene, then injured a police dog, while there were weapons in her vehicle.

That's probably right. Peeing in the road is much worse that destruction of property, endangering lives, and assaulting an officer.

-- Posted by bsmom on Mon, Dec 1, 2008, at 8:55 AM

I doubt that anyone reading this would not fight back to protect themselves if being attacked by a dog. That is what Brandon did. He is not otherwise mean to animals.

-- Posted by Justice 4 all on Tue, Nov 25, 2008, at 1:00 PM

You're 100% correct, but he was attacked by a Deputy; so now he is paying the price by resisting that deputy. Those dogs aren't trained to tear your apart for no reason; and they're not released from thier handler for no reason. So go ahead "justice 4 all", resist a police dog and you'll be in the same boat as this individual.

-- Posted by Pro Se on Mon, Dec 1, 2008, at 10:08 AM

According to the first story printed in this paper about this incident (www.thebraziltimes.com/story/1400104.html):

After detecting a scent, Deputy/K-9 Handler Josh Clarke and K-9 Officer Forrest tracked down Brandon Riggle, 27, Clay City, hiding in a brush pile under some weeds.

After Riggle refused several orders by Clarke to come out and show his hands, K-9 Forrest was sent to get him out.

**Apparently Mr Riggle was awake and capable of REFUSING to come out to officers!

Riggle allegedly began hitting Forrest repeatedly in the head. Calling off Forrest, Clarke attempted to gain control of Riggle, but he still fought. Forrest assisted a second time.

***WOW ... Apparently, Riggle was fighting with Forrest by his own choice. He could have just came out when told to, and then he wouldn't have wounded an officer of the law doing their duty!

I think the court did justice in this case, however, it is time to stop making excuses on Mr Riggle's behalf. If a smart man, he will realizes he screwed up, pay the price and move on with life to become a productive citizen.

-- Posted by Cy on Mon, Dec 1, 2008, at 1:47 PM


-- Posted by savanna01 on Mon, Dec 1, 2008, at 8:31 PM

brono921 ~

I don't think you can get out of community service that easy in Clay County ~ & I will bet that the Humane Shelter won't just sign off on his time ~

-- Posted by karebabe on Tue, Dec 2, 2008, at 9:02 AM

Officer Forrest will not attack unless told to do so. If this guy was attacking a human deputy and wouldn't stop, he would have been shot. Perhaps we could have saved the taxpayers even more money if he had been shot! I have no sympathy for the man and I agree, he will probably get out of the community service!

-- Posted by animal supporter on Tue, Dec 2, 2008, at 4:43 PM

Officer Of The Law? Officer Forrest? BWHAHAHAHAHA! Its a dog. Its not an officer, its a trained animal. Jeez. A freaking pet! Go ahead, revile me. Hahahahahaha. Just, please, get back to reality as soon as you can. We miss you. The really sick part is that the law actually protects these animals like they are officers. Certainly, they are a complex tool. Often expensive too, the training and such is quite extensive. Its not that I don't approve of using them, but, they are what they are: animals. They are not officers. Regardless, sounds like this guy should certainly NOT skate.

-- Posted by TheRider on Tue, Dec 2, 2008, at 5:26 PM

Officer Of The Law? Officer Forrest? BWHAHAHAHAHA! Its a dog. Its not an officer, its a trained animal. Jeez. A freaking pet! Go ahead, revile me. Hahahahahaha. Just, please, get back to reality as soon as you can. We miss you. The really sick part is that the law actually protects these animals like they are officers. Certainly, they are a complex tool. Often expensive too, the training and such is quite extensive. Its not that I don't approve of using them, but, they are what they are: animals. They are not officers. Regardless, sounds like this guy should certainly NOT skate.

-- Posted by TheRider on Tue, Dec 2, 2008, at 5:26 PM

Forest is not an officer HAHAHA. Correction buddy, YOU are not an officer. Tell any police officer around here that K9 Forrest is not an officer and see what type of reaction you get.

-- Posted by Pro Se on Wed, Dec 3, 2008, at 9:19 AM

While penalties are all over the place throughout the United States, a person who injures a "law enforcement animal" (AKA-K-9 Officer) while in service (line of duty) in Indiana faces felony MISCHIEF charges. You can end up in jail for 18 months, pay $10,000 in fines and be forced to pay restitution to the department for medical or replacement costs for the dog.

Striking or interfering with a K-9 Officer is at least an A misdemeanor. You can spend one year in jail, pay $5,000 for that and be made to pay RESTITUTION.

Although Forrest and Dak are animals, they are highly trained to perform the duties of law enforcement officers. These DOGS save lives not only by catching BAD GUYS, but teach lessons of tolerance and right and wrong through outreach programs in classrooms with "at-risk" children who are taught by their relatives to hate anything cop related.

Maybe they are only animals, but a lot of the criminals they come into contact with are cruel, heartless individuals who don't care what pain they cause to others -- making them, in my book, less than human.

If you (TheRider) still can't see past the animal thing, then at least respect the job these wonderful K-9 Officers (and their handlers) do to protect "your safety" while you click away moronic rants on your computer keyboard!

-- Posted by Cy on Wed, Dec 3, 2008, at 3:33 PM

To TheRyder:

I hope you never "need" a police dog and on the other hand if you are ever pursued by one, I hope you give the dog the opportunity to rip you to shreds!

-- Posted by animal supporter on Thu, Dec 4, 2008, at 12:49 PM

Pro C

Forrest is an officer

-- Posted by nhs_babe_2011 on Mon, Dec 8, 2008, at 8:01 AM

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: