A jury found a Porter resident not guilty on Wednesday of all
misdemeanor charges filed against him in 2010 in connection with a
disturbance at St. Patrick Catholic Church following a Vegas Night
Meanwhile, two felony charges filed against Carl Dahlin, also
in connection with the incident, were dismissed before the trial even began,
Dahlin’s attorney, Larry Rogers, told the Chesterton Tribune after
deadline on Thursday.
On Sunday, Feb. 21, 2010, Dahlin was taken into custody at
the church by Chesterton Police on misdemeanor charges of resisting law
enforcement, disorderly conduct, and public intoxication. Then, while being
booked into the Porter County Jail, two felony counts of possession of a
controlled substance were also filed against him, when three loose tablets
of a Schedule III medication and two of a Schedule IV were found on his
In fact, Rogers said, Dahlin had a legal prescription for
both medications, “never should have been charged in the first place,” and
would not have been had the CPD made the effort to verify the prescriptions.
“The officer refused to verify the prescriptions through Walgreen’s although
he did call Poison Control to identify the pills. And he didn’t call
Walgreen’s the next day or the next day or the next day.”
Both felony counts against Dahlin were accordingly dismissed
on the morning of the trial, Rogers said.
The jury, meanwhile, deliberated five hours before acquitting
Dahlin on all misdemeanor counts, stemming from an incident in a church
classroom after the fundraiser had ended for the evening.
Rogers gave this account of events.
Dahlin had volunteered to work as a dealer at a blackjack
table at the church fundraiser. Sitting at Dahlin’s table was “an extremely
intoxicated woman” who, at some point in the evening, began acting
suggestively and inappropriately with Dahlin, Rogers said. Also sitting at
the table, though not next to her—“unbeknownst to” Dahlin—was the woman’s
husband. At the end of the night, Dahlin cashed out and went to retrieve his
coat from the classroom where he had left it. There the woman approached
him, “straddled him, started kissing him,” Rogers said, although Dahlin made
it clear that he was not interested in her attentions. “Then the husband
came in and started beating the crap out of (Dahlin).”
An off-duty CPD officer, working security for the church
fundraiser, responded to the fracas and asked Dahlin whether he wanted to
file charges, Dahlin said no, and the officer released him from the scene,
Rogers said. It was when Dahlin was walking to leave the church that two
on-duty CPD officers, responding to the report of a disturbance, “not
knowing anything, immediately handcuffed him,” Rogers said.
The charges of resisting law enforcement and disorderly
conduct? “All he was doing was protesting what he thought was an unlawful
arrest,” Rogers said. “The officers are cuffing him and he’s trying to tell
them ‘You got the wrong guy, I’m the victim.’ And the jury believed us.”
The public intoxication charge? “He was not intoxicated and
the officers refused to give him a portable breath test or field sobriety
testing. At one point at the police station he was within five feet of a
Datamaster (chemical test unit) and they didn’t test him. That’s on video.”
“Our position basically was that (Dahlin) got railroaded and
wasn’t treated fairly,” Rogers said.
“The problem here is that once the charges are filed and
they’re reported in the newspaper, you can’t unring the bell,” Rogers added.