WBP Receives Complaints About Inadequate Response to Coach and Student Locker Room Brawl

Photo Courtesy: Northcentralpa.com

WASD Supervisor of Pupil Transportation and School Safety/School Police Officer Jody Miller

By: Todd Bartley, Managing Member, FOX Sports Williamsport

Todd@FoxSportsWilliamsport.com

The Williamsport Bureau of Police has received a pair of misconduct complaints in regard to Williamsport Area School District Student Resource Officer Jordan Stoltzfus and Supervisor of Pupil Transportation and School Safety/School Police Officer Jody Miller.

Miller is named in a three-page complaint related to a Williamsport High School locker room brawl on September 20 during a home football game against Crestwood.

Crestwood won the game 15-14.

At least two students were reportedly injured in a subsequent parking lot brawl.

It was announced on January 3 of this year Jody Miller would be joining the WASD as the Supervisor of Pupil Transportation and School Safety/School Police Officer at the Williamsport Area School District.

As outlined in the complaint against Miller, the victims allege a physical altercation with Jeremy Sennett, defensive line coach with (closed fist) punches being thrown.

According to the complaint, head (football) coach Chuck Crews escorted the victims to their vehicle which had sustained damage that was not previously there.

When contacted for this story, Crews declined comment on the incident and the actions of his assistant coach.

Fox Sports Williamsport independently confirmed with Lycoming County officials a 911 call was placed as a result of the locker room brawl and a law enforcement response was subsequently quashed by a radio call to the 911 call center by Miller stating he was already on scene with WAHS Head Principal Brandon Pardoe.

The 911 call center then called the adult male who placed the original call to relay that information a short time later.

The family went to WBP seeking answers on September 24 attempting to meet with Police Chief Damon Hagan.  Hagan was sworn in as Police Chief not long after his nomination and has been a strong advocate of community policing.

Hagan declined to comment for this story citing the WBP policy of not commenting on personnel matters.

While at the WBP, the family began giving their statement when Miller arrived and introduced himself. Miller noted he wasn’t aware of the incident then shared that he had seen a video of something in the locker room hallway.

At that point Miller invited the victim’s family to a meeting at Williamsport Area High School which occurred nearly an hour later in which Pardoe was present.

On the final page of the complaint, it reads as follows: “We explained the entire situation, as well as (redacted) gave his story with witness names. We were told an investigation was going to be done. Most of the dialogue came from Mr. Pardoe, with very little questioning or input from SRO Miller!”

The complaint goes onto to say the victims were “never contacted by SRO Miller to give us the results of the investigation.”

“The following Monday we had a meeting with Mr. Pardoe, coach Crews and Mr. McCann. Mr. Pardoe relayed to us the results of his investigation were that (redacted) was no longer on the football team and that he (Pardoe) spoke to players but he didn’t feel that he could speak to all of them that (redacted) listed because he felt they were ‘biased’. SRO Miller was not present at this meeting.”

The document concludes, “We feel the investigation was done by the principal and charges should be filed against (redacted).

September 20 Complaint (Redacted) WBP 9-20-19 Affidavit – Misconduct Complaint Form

A (redacted) named in the complaint was previously charged by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office as an adult with two counts of attempted murder, aggravated assault and other offenses in a stabbing incident in 2018.

Fox Sports Williamsport confirmed the stabbing case was moved to Juvenile Court where records are sealed.

Pardoe is no stranger to conducting investigations at WAHS as noted in the WASD Right to Know Law responses originally provided to Fox Sports Williamsport.

As previously reported Pardoe investigated allegations against the Williamsport baseball team following a team trip to Myrtle Beach in spring of 2018. A Williamsport baseball team trip Pardoe was on.

Miller was positioned to become the new WBP chief following the retirement of David Young in January, 2019. However, according to Pennlive.com, Miller resigned the post before taking office after being named in several unfair labor practice complaints and two federal lawsuits.

The Pennlive.com article states, after Miller was named Young’s potential successor in October 2018, a suit was filed by FOP lodge president, Lt. Steven Helm, alleging Helm was transferred in retaliation for union activity. A separate suit from Agent Fred L. Miller IV claims Chief Young, Captain Miller and Captain Donald Mayes have openly and repeatedly expressed hostility toward union activities. Fred Miller claims he was denied a lateral transfer to sergeant, his former rank, in retaliation for his union status.

The article also mentions other complaints leveled against then Captain Miller.

The complaint regarding Stoltzfus stems from an incident which occurred on March 22, 2018 where a student was assaulted in a WAHS classroom and thrown across several desks, breaking a few.

“SRO Stoltzfus was aware (redacted) had injuries as (redacted) was seen by the nurse and then later taken to the doctor,” according to the complaint.

SRO Stoltzfus ended up charging a student with a crime which was subsequently adjudicated by Magistrate Judge Christian Frey before being appealed to the Common Pleas level with the case reaching final disposition under Judge Marc Lovecchio.

March 2018 Complaint (Redacted) WBP 3-22-18 Affidavit – Misconduct Complaint Form