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W.Va. police officer is disciplined after fight

August 15, 2007|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

CHARLES TOWN, W.VA. - A Ranson (W.Va.) Police Department officer charged with domestic battery after an altercation with his brother Monday has been placed on administrative leave, Ranson Police chief William Roper said Tuesday.

Ranson Police Department Capt. Perry M. "Mickey" Ballenger, 56, of Millville, W.Va., was released Monday on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond set by Jefferson County Magistrate Gail Boober during an arraignment hearing, according to court records.

"He's on administrative leave, indefinitely," Roper said.

Ballenger's brother, Jefferson County Sheriff's Deputy Cpl. Earl Ballenger, 58, told investigating Sheriff's Deputy P.G. Smith that he wanted to press charges against his sibling after the fight at 57 TJ Longerbeam Drive in Millville.

Smith said she was dispatched to investigate the altercation at 3:45 p.m.

The deputy said in her complaint that when she arrived just before 4 p.m., she was told by a witness that the brothers began to argue and then fought.

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"...Perry Ballenger had Earl Ballenger over the hood of his vehicle choking him," Smith was told, she said in the complaint.

The argument apparently ensued after a dispute over family property, according to Smith's complaint.

The accused admitted to choking his brother, according to Smith's complaint. The investigating deputy also noted in the complaint she saw red marks on the accused.

Earl Ballenger had a small cut by his right ear, Smith said.

Jefferson County Sheriff Everett "Ed" Boober said Roper told him about the encounter.

"He walked in and told me about it. I said, 'You're pulling my chain, right?'" Boober said Tuesday.

Cpl. Ballenger is off duty today on vacation that was scheduled before the incident, Boober said.

Boober said he wishes the confrontation would not have happened, especially in light of their work for police departments.

"I am looking at the totality of the situation to determine whether other action is warranted," Boober said.

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