A Merrillville police sergeant faces seven felonies following an investigation into domestic violence accusations, including an instance in which the officer put a gun in a female victim's mouth, court records allege.
George Fields, 48, was charged with four felony counts of criminal confinement, three felony counts of battery resulting in moderate bodily injury and three misdemeanor counts of domestic battery, Lake County court records show.
Fields was taken into custody Friday and posted bond the same day, according to the Lake County Sheriff's Department.
Court records allege a history of violence by the suspect against the man's romantic partner, who told police Fields put a firearm in her mouth on more than one instance.
"As administrative chief of the Merrillville Police Department, I don't tolerate domestic violence of any kind," Chief Joseph Petruch said Friday.
Fields is on administrative leave, and Petruch said he will submit a request for Field's termination.
On Nov. 2, an officer responded to a domestic battery call in the 600 block of West 79th Avenue in Merrillville, sparking further investigations, court records state.
Fields was the complainant, who told police a woman hit him with a baseball bat. When the officer entered the home, he saw swelling and redness on the side of the woman's face in addition to a bloody lip. She also had a cut next to her eye, police reported. In addition, the investigating officer also said he saw redness around the woman's neck and the top of her chest and redness on her forearms, police reports state.
When the officer asked the woman what happened, she replied, “He's a good man. I don't want to see him lose his job.”
The woman proceeded to tell the officer that she and Fields had a history of physical violence toward each other.
In this instance, she said Fields went out riding his motorcycle and came back around midnight. He woke the woman up when he got home and and argument ensued, police reports state. The woman accused Fields of being unfaithful, which led to a physical fight, according to the reports.
The woman said Fields then put his hands on her throat and allegedly tried to choke her, police said. The fight continued in the hallway and ended with the two going their separate ways in the residence.
However, a short time later they began arguing again when Fields allegedly grabbed her again by the throat and then threw her into a washer and dryer where she hit her face, court documents allege.
She said Fields then went into the garage and returned with a baseball bat, according to court records. The woman also picked up a bat, and the two were in the garage when the woman hit Field's motorcycle fender with the bat, court records state. The woman then said she ran back inside the house, and Fields called 911.
The woman showed the investigating officer photos from September of extreme bruising and swelling on her face, police reported.
She told police Fields previously had put a firearm in her mouth, court reports alleged. The officer asked why the woman didn't call 911, and she replied, “What's the point? He is a good man when he's not drinking.”
The woman refused medical treatment, and the officer gave her a ride to her mother's residence after the incident.
When the officer spoke to Fields, he noticed the odor of alcohol on Fields' breath, noting he appeared to be intoxicated, police said. When the officer asked Fields how the woman was injured, he reportedly asked, “What injuries?”
The woman told police that Fields is “very mean when he drinks and doesn't remember what he does, and that she worries about him being a cop drinking and driving,” court reports alleged.
At the time of the interview, police said the cut next to the victim's eye had scabbed over, and her arms had bruised up. She also showed police the remaining finger marks on her throat, police said.
While investigating, officers learned of two other domestic battery incidences at the home from Nov. 10, 2018, and May 24, 2019.
Police reviewed a 911 call from the May incident, in which the woman spoke to the operator, saying, “This is hard for her, but her boyfriend is a sergeant for Merrillville Police Department, and she didn't want to bring drama to the house or to Merrillville.”
The woman requested just one officer to be called to the Merrillville residence.
She then alleged Fields had come home in an irate mood and hit her on the head and that she is “not putting up with it anymore.”
During the call, the woman can be heard telling Fields, “Don't act like you're somebody right now. Don't. Just cause she's on the phone. Don't. I did this the nicest way possible and to not get you in trouble,” according to court records.
The operator then asked the woman where Fields was located at the time, and the woman said, “Standing right here in front of me listening so he can flip it.”
The operator then asked the woman if she was in danger, and she said, “Not while I'm on the phone with you, no, he won't do anything.”
The operator replied, “We'll stay on the phone then.”
The woman then told the operator, “I don't want him in trouble. I take the blame every time they come. Every time this happens I take the blame..."
Police reports from Nov. 10, 2018, show that when police and emergency medical services staff were called to the Merrilville home, they found Fields attempting to restrain the woman, who was face down in the bed with her hands handcuffed behind her back, police reports state.
The woman told police that Fields has been assaulting her and that no one believed her, the EMS ambulance report said. The staff reported bruising on the woman's legs, arms and torso.
Medical records from the hospital further show the woman didn't want to make a report because “Fields is an officer, and no one believes her.”