COLUMBUS – On Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, a Columbus police officer was arrested on felony battery and official misconduct charges after an investigation by detectives with the Indiana State Police-Versailles Post.
The Columbus Police Department contacted the Indiana State Police on June 17, 2020 and requested an investigation be conducted after an officer allegedly struck a suspect while the suspect was in custody in the back of a Columbus Police vehicle the previous day.
The investigation by ISP detectives determined that on June 16, 2020, Officer John Velten, a 14 year veteran of the Columbus Police Department, arrested an adult male after responding to a fight on Indiana Avenue in Columbus, Indiana. While handcuffed in the back seat of the police vehicle, the suspect began hitting his head against the interior of the police vehicle. As a response, Officer Velten struck the suspect with his fist while the suspect was still handcuffed inside of the vehicle. Officer Velten’s actions caused moderate injuries to the suspect.
At the conclusion of the investigation, the case was turned over to a special prosecutor to review the case. As a result, charges of battery resulting in moderate injury (Level 6 felony) and official misconduct (Level 6 felony) were filed against John Velten. He was arrested today when he turned himself in to detectives at the Bartholomew County Jail.
According to the Columbus Police Department, which has been fully cooperative with ISP Detectives, Velten has remained employed with the City of Columbus in a non-law enforcement related capacity since the investigation began. The Columbus Police Department will be releasing additional information on the status of John Velten’s employment with the City of Columbus.
Information provided by Indiana State Police