YPD officer cited for OVI, charged with improper handling of firearm


By Joe Gorman

jgorman@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

A city police officer was arraigned Monday in municipal court on a charge of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, and a felony charge of improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle.

Darrel “Fred” Herdman, 27, pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor, and has a pretrial hearing on both charges April 13 before municipal Judge Carla Baldwin.

The OVI charge is a first-degree misdemeanor. The improper-handling charge is a fifth-degree felony.

Herdman, who was off-duty, was cited after he was pulled over Sunday on the West Side by troopers from the Canfield Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Police Chief Robin Lees said Herdman is now working in the police station taking reports and will not be in a cruiser.

Any disciplinary action will be decided when the case has been adjudicated, Lees said.

A report said a trooper was at Schelney Avenue and DeCamp Road about 12:55 a.m. Sunday when a truck driven by Herdman went through a red light. The trooper pulled over the truck on McCollum Road, reports said. Reports said Herdman told the trooper he had a weapon on him and was an off-duty law-enforcement officer. The trooper wrote in his report that he smelled a strong odor of alcohol as he went to talk to Herdman.

The trooper also found a Glock 19 pistol and magazines of ammunition in the driver’s door map pocket of the truck, reports said.

Herdman refused to take a breath test, reports said.

A warrant was issued for the felony charge after it was reviewed Monday by the city prosecutor and Herdman was later booked into the Mahoning County jail then released on his own recognizance pending his next court date, said Lt. Brian Butler, head of the department’s Internal Affairs Division.

Herdman was sworn in as an officer in November 2016.

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