Muncie, Indiana - Dalton Kurtz, 31, an officer with the Muncie Police Department (MPD), in Muncie, Indiana, pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of misprision of felony, for concealing and failing to report a fellow officer’s inappropriate use of force.
According to court documents and admissions Kurtz made during the hearing, on June 5, 2018, Kurtz responded to a call involving three juveniles who had fled from officers after crashing a vehicle into a building. Kurtz and another MPD officer, Officer Chase Winkle, chased after one of the juveniles on foot and found him lying face down in a yard, with his arms extended in front of him. While the juvenile was lying with his hands visible and outstretched in front of him, Officer Winkle ran toward the juvenile and kicked him in the head without justification. Kurtz knew that Officer Winkle’s actions constituted a felony, but failed to notify anyone of the crime, and instead took the affirmative step of concealing his knowledge of this felony by writing a false report about the incident.
Kurtz faces a maximum penalty of three years in prison for this offense.
Chase Winkle was previously charged, along with other officers, with civil rights and obstruction offenses. He has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled for trial in January 2022.
The FBI conducted the investigation. Trial Attorneys Mary J. Hahn and Katherine G. DeVar of the Civil Rights Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Nick Linder are prosecuting the case.