The Lehigh County District Attorney is filing charges against an Allentown police officer for allegedly going on a damaging rampage near a neighborhood bar while he was off-duty.
Jeffrey Rush is facing citations for disorderly conduct, public drunkenness and criminal mischief.
According to the DA's office, the Sept. 23 incident started near Candida's Bar in the 200 block of North 12th Street. Officials say Rush broke a vehicle window and pushed in window air conditioners in the area.
Witnesses said Rush caused the damage and then went inside the bar, where a disturbance ensued. Rush was taken into custody and was taken to Police Headquarters, where a Portable Breath Test (PBT) was administered and showed a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0.23 percent, according to the DA.
According to a release from the DA's office, Chief Joseph Hanna said that as soon as an investigation was started into the Sept. 23 incident, Rush was placed on administrative leave, pending the conclusion of the internal and criminal investigations. Hanna said the internal investigation, which is conducted by the department’s Office of Professional Standards, is continuing.
Hanna further stated: “The Allentown Police Department mandates that the highest standards of professionalism be maintained by every member of the department. Officers are held to a higher standard of behavior than the general public. When allegations of misconduct are reported, a timely and thorough investigation is required in order to maintain the integrity of the department and the confidence of the public. Both a criminal and internal investigation into these allegations commenced immediately, both independent of each other.
"As in all criminal investigations, it was approached methodically, and we followed the facts," Hanna continued. "We interviewed witnesses and were diligent in seeking out anyone with information pertaining to the case. We conferred with District Attorney Martin and provided him with our investigative findings. The physical evidence, coupled with witness statements, have led us to filing these charges against Officer Jeffrey Rush."