Medic call became two arrests

Jul. 10—WAPAKONETA — A young girl pleaded with the 911 dispatcher to assist her stepmother, who was suffering from a head injury and “bleeding kind of a lot.”

Days later, the woman, Veronica Sepulveda, 35, then an off-duty Lima police officer, was charged in Auglaize County Municipal Court with resisting arrest and obstructing official business, both second-degree misdemeanors.

Fellow LPD officer Tyler Dunlap, 28, was similarly charged with resisting arrest, misconduct at an emergency and obstructing official business, the latter a fifth-degree felony, after medics were called to his Wapakoneta residence on June 19.

So how did a 911 call for medical aid result in two off-duty Lima police officers being charged?

Medics were called to the residence around 8:19 p.m. on Sunday June 19 after Sepulveda reportedly fell and hit her head. Dunlap had just woken up from a nap and was helping Sepulveda but was “sleepy still,” the young girl told dispatchers.

Meanwhile, Sepulveda was “bleeding kind of a lot,” the girl said.

Sepulveda briefly spoke with dispatchers herself, explaining that she had had an injury before and lost consciousness before hitting her head on concrete.

What happened once medics and police arrived is less clear.

A representative from the Wapakoneta Police Department told The Lima News last month that Dunlap had been interfering with EMS efforts to attend to Sepulveda’s injuries.

Lt. Shannon Place, who was at the scene interviewing a witness, reportedly broke her finger while trying to remove Dunlap from the area, according to WPD.

Still, WPD denied a public records request for dashboard and body camera footage of the incident, which could potentially clarify the events that led to Sepulveda’s and Dunlap’s charges.

The Lima News challenged that denial through the city’s law director. John Bussian, counsel for AIM Media, the newspaper’s owner, said the city’s justification for secrecy doesn’t hold water.

“Suspects have been arrested and charged; the investigation is over,” Bussian said. “And the parts of the body cam footage the city says are secret can be edited out, and the rest released to the public.”

Dunlap is now on paid administrative leave pending the results of the investigation, while Sepulveda has resigned from her position as patrol officer. She was hired by LPD last August.

The Auglaize County grand jury last week indicted Dunlap on all three charges, binding the case over to Auglaize County Common Pleas Court. Sepulveda’s first pretrial hearing is expected later this month.

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