Mishawaka Police Captain who told officers to leave traffic stop of mayor’s son demoted

Published: Apr. 11, 2023 at 5:10 PM EDT
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MISHAWAKA, Ind. (WNDU) - The Mishawaka Police Captain who told officers to leave the scene of a traffic stop involving the mayor’s son has now been demoted.

16 News Now Investigates obtained the police footage of the October 28, 2022 traffic stop through a public records request last month. The video shows Mishawaka Dave Wood’s son, Joe Wood, being pulled over for speeding, not using a turn signal, and having an expired plate.

RELATED: 16 News Now Investigates: Police footage of Mishawaka mayor’s son

Responding officers also suspected Joe Wood had been drinking. Despite an officer being heard on body camera audio saying that Joe Wood smelled of alcohol and was stumbling, no field sobriety test, breathalyzer or chemical tests were completed.

RELATED: What Mishawaka Police policies tell us about the traffic stop of the mayor’s son

When Captain Eric Beckham arrives on the scene, he asks the officers to leave. Beckham is also seen in police footage saying “I’ll take care of it.” Joe Wood was not cited, charged, or arrested in connection to the traffic stop.

Now, Beckham is taking a voluntary demotion to lieutenant and is transferring to the street crimes unit. The demotion was approved by the Mishawaka Board of Public Works and Safety Tuesday morning after Mishawaka Police Chief Ken Witkowski read them the following letter:

What the above letter doesn’t tell us is why the voluntary demotion happened. Police have not confirmed it has any connection to the October traffic stop of Joe Wood. In a statement last month, Mishawaka Police said they were looking into the incident. On Tuesday, Chief Witkowski updated 16 Investigates, saying they are wrapping up the administrative review and will be notifying us when it is completed.

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