Lawrence police officer charged with elbowing woman in face at Mass. Ave. bar
A Lawrence police officer faces a felony battery charge after prosecutors say he struck two women at a Downtown night club.
Matthew Brandenburg is accused of throwing an elbow that injured two women during a confrontation at the Metro Nightclub & Restaurant on June 16, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in Marion Superior Court.
Brandenburg, 39, was off duty at the time, prosecutors said. He was placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of his case, Lawrence Police Department Deputy Chief Gary Woodruff said.
According to the affidavit, Brandenburg and a friend had been drinking at several bars before they arrived at Metro, 707 Massachusetts Ave., late on the night of June 15.
Brandenburg was dancing when he stumbled into a chair at the women's table. He apologized and hugged one of the women, prosecutors said.
One of the women, prosecutors said, overheard Brandenburg's friend use a racial slur. She confronted him. Brandenburg inserted himself between the women and his friend, according to the affidavit.
Brandenburg's friend told investigators that he did not use a racial slur.
Security video of the incident showed Brandenburg swing his right elbow "in a roundhouse movement" into one woman's face, snapping her head back into another woman's face, according the the affidavit.
Security guards ushered the men out of the night club.
One woman suffered a bloody nose and lost a lens. The other suffered seizures she believes were caused by the assault. Both women were treated for concussions at Community Hospital East, prosecutors said.
In a June 20 interview, Brandenburg told investigators he was very intoxicated and did not remember the incident.
Brandenburg's friend was not arrested or charged in connection with the incident.
Marion County prosecutors charged Brandenburg on Monday with one count of felony battery. He appeared in Marion Superior Court for an initial hearing Monday. A pretrial hearing is set for Dec. 2.
Contact IndyStar reporter Vic Ryckaert at 317-444-2701 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @VicRyc.