INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – State Representative Daniel Forestal (D-Indianapolis) has been formally charged by Marion County prosecutors for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, resisting law enforcement, and a felony charge of impersonating a police officer.
Witnesses who spoke with FOX59 on Tuesday said they were shocked to learn that the man driving around the neighborhood Saturday was in fact a State Representative.
James McGuire and his wife told police they were walking in their neighborhood on Saturday, when they say Forestal flashed a badge, and asked where the drug dealers were.
"He's like, ‘I'm official. I can get rid of them. Today is my last day and if I don't turn in somebody by today, the feds are going to be raiding this whole entire park in two weeks,’" McGuire told FOX59.
McGuire says Forestal asked other neighbors about drugs before he drove off. McGuire snapped a picture of the license plate and called 911.
"My only thing was that he's impersonating a police officer," McGuire said. "That's my biggest fear. My family lives here, my kids live here.”
Police also went to the Blue Moon Bar and Grille down the street, where Forestal had also been.
“I was standing outside and this gentleman walked up and asked if he could get any party favors, and I said 'well there’s plenty of alcohol in the bar' and he said 'no, I'm looking for cocaine,’” said bar patron Sue Bricker.
The bartender says Bricker and other customers were there when Forestal came in, flashing his badge and asking where he could find drugs. That’s when McGuire just happened to pull in the parking lot with a friend, and noticed the car with the same license plate.
"I told her I was going to walk in so I could get a positive identification it was the same person," McGuire said. "And (after walking in), I realized it was.”
When Forestal left, McGuire followed him and called 911.
According to the report, when officers pulled over the car near 21st and Shadeland, they say Forestal refused to get out and “grabbed the steering wheel with both hands” to make it more difficult for officers to pull him out.
The report says Forestal told them he would “have all of their badges” because of his role as a state Representative.
Documents show Forestal also threatened to sue the officers for “violating his civil rights,” and identified himself as an Indianapolis firefighter, a state representative and the nephew of the Marion County sheriff.
After officers wrestled him to the ground, they say Forestal refused a breath test. The report also says Forestal complained about a scrape on his elbow from the brief struggle, and demanded an ambulance to take him to the hospital.
Police got a warrant for a blood test at the hospital, where according to the report, Forestal tried to rip the warrant out of their hands and had to be restrained by sheriff’s deputies to have the blood test completed.
The Marion County Prosecutor's Office said they will file for the appointment of a special prosecutor, as Forestal had previously made contributions to Prosecutor Terry Curry and worked as a campaign volunteer.