A Porter resident
was arrested on multiple charges on Wednesday in connection with a
disturbance at the Village Tavern, 128 Lincoln St., Porter Police said.
police, at 5:19 p.m. an officer responded to the Village Tavern following a
report that a patron, identified as James C. Wampler, 65, of 3 Franklin St.,
was threatening another customer with a knife. While en route to the Village
Tavern, the officer was advised that Wampler had left the bar eastbound on
Lincoln Street, and the officer subsequently located Wampler and detained
him for questioning.
investigators that “the crux of the incident” was Wampler’s sexual battery
of a woman at the bar, “by hugging her and grabbing her breasts,” police
said. Wampler did so three times, witnesses advised police, at which point
the woman’s friend “warned Wampler to stop.” Wampler “then went to a back
table and sat alone,” until getting up, pulling out a butterfly knife, and
pointing it at the woman’s friend, the witnesses advised police.
The bartender then
ordered Wampler to leave the bar and he did so, although not before removing
the knife again, the witnesses advised. On this occasion, however, Wampler
“did not expose the blade” to the bartender, they said.
Wampler, for his
part, stated that he was merely showing a friend--“Tom”--his knife, but was
unable to recall Tom’s last name, police said. Wampler initially denied
touching the woman at the bar but later in the interview stated that “he did
(hug) her from behind,” which caused her friend to become upset, police
said. Wampler added that her friend had the woman “lie to police.”
offered several times to tell (investigators) anything that may prove his
innocence but he would just keep talking in anger about” the woman’s friend,
interviewed at the bar,” police added. “Statements consistent about events.”
Wampler was charged
with intimidation, sexual battery, and public intoxication, and transported
to Porter County Jail.