DeKalb Sheriff Seeks Discipline for 2 After Fatal High-Speed Chase
Two DeKalb County law enforcement officers face a formal inquiry and possible discipline for how they handled a high-speed pursuit that ended in a fatal crash.
The Daily Chronicle reports the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office's Merit Commission is conducting a hearing on Sheriff Roger Scott's recommendation to fire one deputy and suspend a sergeant for policy violations:
Deputy Meagan Pettengell was chasing 25-year-old Jeffrey Nissen in her squad car following a reported domestic dispute when Nissen lost control of his car and crashed. He later died.
Pettengell's husband, Sgt. Ryan Pettengell, was her supervisor the night of the March 30 chase. The couple has been suspended without pay since late June.
Their attorney says the pair did not violate department policies. She claims Meagan Pettengell was just following policy:
According to the policy definition, pursuit driving is an active attempt by a law enforcement deputy operating a motor vehicle and utilizing simultaneously all emergency equipment to apprehend all occupants,” Scarry said. “By that definition, according to the sheriff’s own policy, once Deputy Pettengell deactivated her emergency equipment and was ordered to terminate the pursuit, the pursuit policy no longer applies, and instead the policy of emergency driving applies and that’s a different policy.
No word on when a final decision might be made.