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Belding Police Officer Fired Following Off-Duty Bar Fight

Posted at 6:38 PM, Nov 04, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-04 19:06:56-05

BELDING, Mich. — An off-duty Belding police officer involved in a bar fight in Kent County has been terminated from the force following an internal investigation into the incident.

Ashley Geldersma explained to FOX 17 last week how she was punched following that fight outside the Grattan Irish Pub on October, 11.

“It scared me,” said Ashley. “I got hit on this side here,” she said, pointing to the right side of her stomach.

She said it was officer Jason Cooper that was involved in that fight.

At the time she was nine months pregnant.

She said she walked down to the bar from a nearby house to look for her brother and future brother-in-law and found Cooper inside of her car, choking one of her family members.

She said when she tried to break it up, she was hit.

“He had not only scared me, but had put me in my unborn child in danger,” she said.

After an internal investigation of the incident, the City of Belding took action against the officer.

City Manager Meg Mullendore confirmed that action was taken to end his employment with the city.

She sent out a statement that said that after the city reviewed the Kent County Sheriff’s report as well as a formal complaint filed by one of the victims, the city launched an internal investigation that was completed by the chief of police.

The statement read, “Based upon the evidence reviewed, it was found that the officer violated police procedure and policies.  It was determined by the Chief and the City Manager that the officer be dismissed.”

Mullendore said he was relieved of duty October, 23, 2013 and no longer works for the city of Belding.

Although Ashley said she had to go to the hospital for two days following the incident due to some resulting contractions, she said she was able to deliver a healthy baby boy over the weekend named Peyton.

She said she did want to see corrective action taken, but was also sad that the officer was terminated.