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Officers Return to Duty After Dashcam Video Released

Officers Return to Duty After Dashcam Video Released

Video Capture

Journal and Courier via YellowBrix

March 29, 2011

WEST LAFAYETTE – Two West Lafayette police officers who shot a man armed with a pellet gun March 18 will return to street duty today, Police Chief Jason Dombkowski said Monday.

At a morning press conference, Dombkowski announced an internal shooting review board found that Officers Michael Max and Mark Ridge acted within department policy when they shot Eric W. Tendam, 42.

Dombkowski announced his affirmation of the findings and the officers’ reinstatement to full duty from paid administrative leave. The officers returned to work Monday, the chief said, but they needed to complete other duties before returning to the streets.

“We train for these incidents, and I can honestly say that I have no reservation about how our officers acted,” Dombkowski said.

“Without reservation … I made the decision to place those officers back in our community to protect and serve with honor. They did an outstanding job with the circumstances … that they faced.”

Police also released a partial video of the events that transpired the morning of March 18. Footage that shows Tendam being shot was not released, Dombkowski said, because the department believes doing so would be in bad taste.

The released footage depicts a bizarre incident that began at 9:33 a.m., on Garfield Lane near Stadium Avenue. That’s when a patrolling Max encountered Tendam riding a red lawn tractor.

Max had spotted Tendam weaving in and out of traffic, running a stop sign and pulling in front of a truck, according to a probable cause affidavit filed earlier in Tippecanoe Circuit Court.

In the early seconds of the video, Tendam can be seen riding the tractor in front of Max’s squad car, apparently pointing something at him.

Shortly after, Max can be heard reporting that the rider has pulled a gun.

“You can’t see that the suspect actually points his gun a second time at Officer Max as he pursues him,” Lt. Troy Harris said during the press conference.

The affidavit said Tendam, who was wearing a red backpack, also yelled “there is a bomb coming” at Max.

The video shows Max’s and Tendam’s paths intersecting again in front of a parking garage on Sylvia Street, near Hayes. Tendam then disembarks the tractor and begins walking away from Max. At that point, Ridge had arrived on the scene from the east, at 9:34 a.m.

The video shows Tendam marching toward Ridge. He continues to advance as the officer shouts for him to stop.

Just after the officer stops shouting, Tendam levels his firearm — found afterward to be CO2-powered pellet gun — at Ridge. The video stops there.

According to slides accompanying the video, the officers reported shots fired at 9:35 a.m. Seconds later, they requested medical help.

Continue to Dash Cam Video >>

  • Spd_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Yeah that will work. point a gun at police to get them to leave you alone..Smart.Glad the officers are ok and the department backed them

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago

    Suicide by cop

  • My_pics_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Well so sad but to bad clown!

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago

    That nimrod is lucky to be alive. Good shoot.

  • In_remembrance_of_oakland_pd_max50_max50_max50_max50_max50


    over 3 years ago


    The suspects actions were the cause of his demise, this was a justified shoot. The Chief did the right thing in returning these officers back to their jobs and giving them the backing they deserved.

  • 403787_10150504906033106_662118105_9177076_414493704_n_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Things that make you go, " huh ". Glad our brethren were cleared and our back out on the street.

  • 100_1019_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Great Job by the Officer's, Glad to see they are ok and unharmed!!

  • Geiger_max50


    over 3 years ago


    I would have shot him way bedore the other officer arrived. Great job to the officer involved.

  • June2010_013_max50


    over 3 years ago


    stupid criminal, he could of lost his life.

  • Night_of_blue_lights_1_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Good Shoot

  • Pug_max600_max50


    over 3 years ago


    The Dash Cam can be your best friend or your worst enemy. A death wish is never easy to deal with........

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    Good shoot

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago

    In a situation like this I may tend to question more the officer who does not pull the trigger than the one that does. Sounds like they were faced with a perceived lethal force encounter and acted appropriately. Good job to the officers and chief for all coming to the best decision.

  • Thinker_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Glad they're cleared and back to work...

  • Photo_user_banned_big


    over 3 years ago


    I would've shot too. Good job by the Officers, you have nothing to be guilty about. Every Officer on here (worth his weight in salt) would have done the exact thing!

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