Former Police Sergeant Melissa M. Ruch Sentenced For Making False Report
On September 2, 2015, West Penn, Pennsylvania Township police sergeant Melissa M. Ruch said that she was assaulted. She gave a description of the alleged perpetrator’s vehicle, and said that she deployed her taser which made contact. Ruch, 42-years old, was treated at the scene and then flown to a hospital.
During the minutes and hours after the alleged assault, numerous state and municipal police units from several counties, along with a state police helicopter, searched for the vehicle described by Ruch and also for the man she said assaulted her.
To commemorate Patriot Day, on Sept. 11, 2015, state Senator David Argall presented Ruch with an award for her service and bravery stemming from the September 2nd incident.
On December 23, 2015, Ruch was charged with one misdemeanor count of false alarms to agencies of public safety and three misdemeanor counts of false reports to law enforcement authorities. Ruch denied the charges saying, “The truth will come out.”
On October 19, 2016, Ruch pleaded guilty to one count of making a false report to law enforcement. Prosecutors withdrew a second count of false reports to law enforcement, plus charges of false alarm and furnishing authorities with false information.
Judge Jacqueline L. Russell accepted Ruch’s plea and in accordance with the plea agreement sentenced Ruch to 12 months of probation; pay $50 to the Criminal Justice Enhancement Account, pay $5,683 restitution to the state police crime laboratory in Harrisburg and pay $76,074.80 to Amerihealth Casualty, the police department’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
State police Trooper Edward Lizewski of the Frackville station conducted the investigation and filed the charges against Ruch. Lizewski found that the the absence of the blast doors and paper remnants for Ruch’s taser confirmed she did not fire it at the scene. Data obtained through synchronization determined the weapon was actually fired 33 minutes before Ruch began reporting the incident to the communications center.
The state police interviewed 17 witnesses who all reported passing Ruch’s patrol car during the time in question, and that no other vehicles were around.
“It’s disappointing to know that one of our county officers would do something like this, but at the same time, it’s encouraging that our local police stand ready to police one of their own when the facts show it’s necessary,” First Assistant District Attorney John T. Fegley said after the hearing.
Posted on 10/25/2016, in Cases, Cops Gone Wild, Trial Videos, Trials and tagged charged, Edward Lizewski, false report, Melissa M. Ruch, Penn, Pennsylvania Township, sentenced. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.