BUCKEYE LAKE – Charges of driving under the influence of alcohol and displaying a weapon while intoxicated against former Buckeye Lake police officer James Petrey have been dismissed. Petrey officially resigned from the Buckeye Lake Police Department April 26. He had been on unpaid leave since he was charged in January.
Buckeye Lake Police Chief Ron Small said he wasn’t surprised the OVI charge was dropped, because the arresting officer did not inform Petrey of his Form 2255 rights. “They never read it to him,” said Small. According to state law, he said, an arresting officer is required to inform the driver of his or her rights per Form 2255, even if the person arrested is a police officer who is familiar with the form.
Franklin County Municipal Court Criminal Traffic Manager Matt Pendy said the charges were dropped at the Franklin County Prosecutor’s request. He said Petrey posted a $1,000 peace bond as well as agreeing to resign from the department.
Previously, Buckeye Lake Police Captain James Hanzey said a New Albany dispatcher informed him Jan. 12 that Petrey had an argument with his girlfriend while sitting in parking lot. The dispatcher said Petrey had been drinking and placed a gun toward his head. However, Hanzey called Petrey, who said he disagreed with the dispatcher’s assessment.
Later Jan. 12, Hanzey and Small were told that Petrey was arrested for OVI. They met with Petrey at the New Albany department where Petrey said he drank a couple of beers, but breath tested below the legal limit. New Albany moved forward with the inducing panic and weapons under disability charges.
Hanzey said he interviewed Petrey’s girlfriend, who said she and Petrey were having an argument. She said Petrey had never hurt her and she didn’t believe he would hurt himself.
Petrey pleaded not guilty to OVI during a Jan. 26 hearing. Franklin County Municipal Court Judge Anne Taylor said the Petrey posted the $1,000 peace bond promising not to contact the girlfriend for a year or forfeit the money. Petrey will get the money back if all the conditions of the peace bond are met. “The peace bond has been on the books for 100 years in Ohio,” said Taylor, adding that in her experience, no one has ever violated a peace bond.