By ERIC BERNSEE
No charges will be filed in the July 1 police-action shooting of a 28-year-old Greencastle man, Putnam County Prosecutor Timothy Bookwalter announced Friday.
Charles Aaron Brousard was fatally wounded by Greencastle City Police Reserve Officer Jeremiah Jackson in a midnight incident that occurred at Maple Berry Park, across the street from Brousard's South End residence at 511 Sycamore St.
"The sole question in this investigation," the prosecutor noted, was whether or not the officer committed a crime in shooting Brousard.
"We took the entire investigation, and came up with a findings of fact," Bookwalter told the Banner Graphic.
And examination of those findings and facts resulted in a decision not to file any criminal charges in the case.
"There were really no disputed facts," Bookwalter explained. "There were eyewitnesses and corroborating witnesses for them."
The findings note that those present at the Brousard home with Aaron just before the shooting were his father, Charles Brousard Sr., and his cousin, Krista Robinson.
According to Robinson and the elder Brousard, Aaron had been drinking alcohol earlier in the day and was reportedly upset about a break-up with a girlfriend.
Witnesses told investigators that Aaron began to assault Robinson, pushing her down and dragging her by the hair, the prosecutor's report continued.
He had the woman down on the ground outside the residence when a neighbor approached to see if the female was all right, the report added.
The neighbor was told by Aaron to "mind his own (expletive deleted) business." The neighbor then called 911, the report indicates.
The findings of fact notes that Aaron then returned to the front porch of his father's house in an agitated state. His father asked Aaron to sit down and join him on the porch, but Aaron kicked his father in the chest. The report says he pushed his father off the porch and the man tumbled onto the lawn below.
Reserve Officer Jackson, responding to the 911 call of a violent domestic disturbance in progress, arrived in time to see Aaron shoving his father off the porch, the report states. Getting out of his patrol car and approaching the porch, Jackson told Brousard to stop, the report adds.
Brousard, however, came off the porch and aggressively moved toward Jackson, telling him "you are going to have to kill me," witnesses said.
The officer again ordered Brousard to stop, but he refused to comply and kept approaching the officer, the report continues. That is when Jackson drew his handgun.
The findings indicate Jackson backed up across the street, repeatedly ordering Brousard to stop and get on the ground. The suspect continued to pursue Jackson, the report adds, until the officer backed up into a telephone pole and Brousard aggressively butted into Jackson's body.
Jackson continued to command Brousard to stop and get on the ground, the report continues. Brousard again refused to comply, advanced on the officer and told Jackson to shoot him.
The officer was able to push Brousard off of him, while ordering him to stop and get on the ground. But again Brousard came at the officer, the findings of fact state.
It was then that Jackson fired one shot, hitting Brousard in the chest.
The Prosecutor's Office report states that a second officer had pulled up in time to see the last part of the above events, as did a citizen who was driving by the location at the time.
Both persons substantiated the officer's statement, the report noted.
Although the officer immediately performed CPR on Brousard, he died at the scene.
Toxicology reports determined that Brousard, who weighed approximately 300 pounds, had a blood-alcohol content of .14 percent (almost twice the legal limit) at the time of the shooting.
The investigation took other factors into consideration, Bookwalter pointed out.
For one, Officer Jackson did not have a taser issued to him as possible option to his handgun.
"Jackson was called to the scene for a domestic violence situation in which Mr. Brousard had already battered two other individuals," the report summarized. "Jackson gave the appropriate warnings to Mr. Brousard, who refused to comply. The officer retreated as far as he could until he was stopped by the telephone pole. Brousard then attacked Jackson and came into physical contact with him.
"The officer thought his own safety was threatened and potentially a scuffle over the officer's gun was at hand," the report added.
"Based upon these facts," Bookwalter's statement concluded, "the state declines to file any criminal charges in this case."