Reserve deputy charged with OWI seeks bench trial


A Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office reserve deputy from Westfield charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated will face a bench trial in April.

Patrick Heitz, 56, was stopped around 2:30 a.m. Feb. 11 by Westfield Police Dept. Officer Jonathan Mathioudakis, who saw Heitz driving a white Ford F-150 on Little Eagle Creek Avenue approaching the area of Towne Road when the vehicle slowed down, activated its left turn signal and drove left of the center double line.

Heitz arrest photo

In a probable cause affidavit filed in Hamilton County Circuit Court, Mathioudakis said he smelled an odor of alcohol on Heitz’s breath and that he had glassy eyes, slurred speech and red, bloodshot eyes after stopping Heitz.

The probable cause statement alleges Heitz was unable to go from C to N in the alphabet as instructed and was asked by Mathioudakis to perform field sobriety tests, but refused to do so. The statement also alleges that Heitz “struggled to touch the tips of his fingers together as instructed and counted in the incorrect order during the finger count test. The accused repeated numbers while counting from 103 to 78, stumbled over himself, and then had to stop in order to ask me where he was supposed to count to.”

Heitz was eventually brought to the Westfield Police Dept., where he was asked by Mathioudakis to take a certified chemical test, according to the probable cause statement.

“Once at the station, the accused stated he was not sure I had Probable Cause. The accused was asked if he was willing to still consent to this certified test and he would not provide an answer to my question at the station,” the statement said.

The statement also said Heitz admitted to drinking two alcoholic beverages prior to driving. A blood draw was eventually obtained at 4:27 a.m., according to the statement, which said results were still pending.

Court records indicate that a recommendation was made by Hamilton County Superior Court 4 Judge J. Richard Campbell on Feb. 15 to suspend Heitz’s driving privileges.

Bryan Melton, a spokesman with the sheriff’s office, confirmed that Heitz has been a reserve deputy since Jan. 8, 2013, and said the position is an unpaid volunteer. Heitz remains suspended from his role and Hamilton County Sheriff Dennis Quakenbush will make the final determination regarding his status, Melton said.

Court records indicate that a pretrial conference in the case has been scheduled for 1:45 p.m. March 13 before Campbell with a bench trial set for 9 a.m. April 17.