Chesterton Tribune



Porter PD: Man pulls knife at the Village Tavern

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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.

According to 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.

Witnesses told 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.”

Wampler “was 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, police said.

“Four persons 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.



Posted 8/30/2018




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