Family and friends of William Devin Lee Lidy gathered on the steps of Frankfort Police Department Headquarters at 2 p.m. Saturday to demonstrate their criticism of how the agency is handling an investigation of the Aug. 4 incident that led to Lidy’s eventual death on Aug. 12.
According to Police Chief Scott Shoemaker, the FPD was contacted by Central Dispatch at 9:26 p.m. Aug. 4 to respond to the area of Kelley Avenue and Washington Ave.
“It is an ongoing investigation,” Chief Shoemaker said. “We have pretty much wrapped up our investigation on our end and are giving the case to the prosecutor’s office for their review.
“When officers arrived, they found the driver of the vehicle... there on the scene and also a male, Devin Lidy, in the roadway,” Shoemaker continued. “(Lidy) suffered serious injuries. At that time, we did not know exactly how he got the injuries – if he fell off of the truck or if the truck ran over him.
“At that time, our detectives were contacted, and they called state police for reconstruction of the crash and the scene. Through witness statements and other investigation, our ultimate goal was to put this case together and let (the prosecutor) decide if charges would be filed against the driver. So, we are looking at this from all sides. Our detectives have been in consultation with the prosecutor. At this point, I would say that by the end of the week the case will be in the prosecutor’s hands to make a decision on if any charges will be filed against the driver.”
Criticisms from the family of Lidy include that there was no arrest made at the scene of the incident and that a blood test was not taken. Among the witnesses of the incident were Lidy’s fiance, his 8-year-old son, and his father.
“I don’t believe there is any justice at all,” said Regan Bowyer, Lidy’s mother, who was at Saturday’s demonstration. “I have to believe there is foul play with the police department … I still don’t have my son. There are multiple things that (the driver) could have been arrested for, and they cited him with an infraction and let him walk free. There is no justice here. None.”
“What they (family and friends of Lidy) are protesting is that they believe this case has been mishandled,” said Danys Culley, Lidy’s grandmother. “The suspect was allowed to leave the scene of the accident and refused to do a blood test on his drug levels … Indiana State law dictates that he is required to give a blood sample. When there is an automobile accident with serious bodily injury, you go to jail.
“We are adamantly at this,” Culley added. “We are not giving up. This is wrong.”
Shoemaker said that the proper procedures were followed at the scene.
“At the scene, we were pursuant to state statute,” Shoemaker said.
“We are required by law to offer such tests. The information that we had on the scene from our officers on the scene and any of the normal field sobriety testing – that information was compiled.
“There was testing, to an extent,” he continued. “The law requires a probable cause of impairment to go any further. Basically, we did testing onsite, and we impounded the vehicle. We did not let (the driver) drive off in that truck. We impounded that truck in a safe location outside of public view, and we also obtained a search warrant for that vehicle.”
Shoemaker also disputes the claim that the driver returned to the scene after the arrival of FPD officers.
“I personally reviewed body camera footage,” Shoemaker said. “(The driver) is on scene as soon as the officers arrive. Those allegations of leaving the scene (before the arrival of officers) will be reviewed by the prosecutor. When our first officer was on the scene, the driver was there. If he left and came back while we were gone, that is something we are investigating.”
Shoemaker says he understands those close to Lidy being upset that the process is not fast enough.
“I know the family has lost a loved one, and it is a tragic situation,” he said. “While the incident didn’t have to happen, it happened, and we have to investigate. We know that people are upset with the process, but that is the process, and we are not speeding it up because of public pressure. We owe it to Mr. Lidy to do a thorough investigation.