Former Police Sergeant Melissa M. Ruch Sentenced For Making False Report

Melissa M. Ruch

Former West Penn Township police Sgt. Melissa M. Ruch walks through the Schuylkill County Courthouse on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016, before pleading guilty. (REPUBLICAN HERALD, POTTSVILLE, PA)

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.”

It did.

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.




Republican Herald



Posted on 10/25/2016, in Cases, Cops Gone Wild, Trial Videos and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. yahtzeebutterfly



  2. Was she looking for attention? It does seem like she got a pretty good deal. She kept her lies up for a really long time. And she’s lucky an innocent person didnt suffer a far worse scenario than she ended up with.
    And as a police officer, who’s word alone has stripped other people of their freedom, & who’s entrusted with deadly force, I consider her sentence too lenient.

    Liked by 3 people

    • With generating over $76,000 in workman’s comp payments, she might have wanted some paid time off work.

      I also think the sentencing is lenient. You make a good point about her having been entrusted with authority.

      Having to reimburse the workman’s comp insurance is possibly the best part of Ruch’s sentence. That might be a constant reminder to her for years after probation. I hope she doesn’t get employment with another law enforcement agency.

      Liked by 3 people

    • yahtzeebutterfly


      “And she’s lucky an innocent person didnt suffer a far worse scenario than she ended up with.”

      I agree. She had said it was an Hispanic man according to an article at this link:

      I bet it was the license plate she gave of the “fake” suspect that gave her away…I don’t think any state would issue a license plate with the letters “FUK” which the article said she reported as being that of the “fake” suspect.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Dear Xena,

    There should be a requirement that police applicants pass some psychological testing. This police officer was not of sound mind and she could have caused a lot more harm.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 3 people

    • Police officers ARE required to pass a psychological evaluation. That doesn’t always mean that their true character will be revealed. In life, we all mask well. Trust me, as a former cop, I’ve taken a number of mental patients to be evaluated and…. several of them were “intelligent” enough to convince the therapist that there was nothing wrong with them. One lady that I took for an “involuntary evaluation” convinced the therapist that she was okay and the next day……. she hit 6 cars on a major thoroughfare. Oh, did I forget to say that she left the scene. So much for that “psychological evaluation.”

      Liked by 3 people

      • Dear Roach59,
        Thanks for the feedback.

        It is too bad that there is not a good way to prevent hiring someone with serious character flaws besides a background check and competent interviewing process.

        Ciao, Gronda

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Looks like the fed’s will finally charge Eric Garner’s killer! I thought i saw rumblings a few days ago.

    I have no idea why the local DA, and the NY justice Dept division had such a hard time during all of their investigations, that kangaroo grand jury, they all acted like there’s some sorta ambiguity over his cause of death…
    But someone else took the case & i’m not prepared to give Lorretta Lynch all the credit, but someone apparently watched the video.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. NO! i’ve been arrested for DUI before, & this IS NOT what male cops are supposed to do!
    This makes me so sick! Why is the other cop wondering around in the background? Notice that he’s not hanging around this asshole, the groper one? Because that other cop KNOWS what this cop did was NOT RIGHT!! But he’s part of the problem for not stepping up. I can understand his discomfort. I swear, i feel like i can actually see that he’s mortified by what that other cop is doing to the woman but maybe he doesnt know the perv cop very well & is feeling too awkward to say something… I don’t know, but i feel a little sympathy for him being in that postition. Or am i just projecting wishful thinking of “good cops” on him??
    The pig who groped her should have his faced bashed in! If some cop did that to me i would lose my EFFFING MIND!! Watch how he snatches her arm when she flinches? Do you see?? Isnt that gross?? I think that’s almost worse than the groping. Its the way he just snatches her arm…it makes me feel so sick!


  6. chuquestaquenumber1

    It’s ok that she’s being held accountable for her crimes. Unfortunately,since she was convicted of a misdemeanor charge ,she can still get another LEO job.


    • Chuquest,
      It’s rather disappointing to think that another law enforcement agency would hire her. She used her authority to be dishonest.


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