Recently Fired EPD Officer Now Under Criminal Investigation


Eyewitness News has learned that a recently fired Evansville Police officer could soon find himself on the other side of the law. In December, the Police Merit Commission fired Steve Hicks, the department's 2012 Officer of the Year and Field Training Officer of the year. Now, Eyewitness News has learned Hicks is under investigation for allegedly breaking a protective order.

Hicks, the 2012 Evansville Police Officer of the Year, was fired by the Merit Commission on December 16th, 2013 after a 10 hour disciplinary hearing. As Eyewitness News first reported, Hicks was accused of inappropriately touching and interacting with a female bartender on two separate incidents in mid-September. Both of those incidents occurred while Hicks was on-duty, internal investigators said. Following an internal investigation, Hicks was suspended 21 days without pay by Chief Billy Bolin. Chief Bolin also recommended Hicks be fired.

Five months after his firing, Hicks is the subject of a criminal investigation for harassment and invasion of privacy, according to police and court records.

On April 29th, Evansville Police took a harassment report from Hicks' ex-girlfriend. According to an incident report, the woman stated that she told Hicks to stop trying to contact her but he continued to do so.

The next day, Hicks' ex-girlfriend filed for a protective order. Eyewitness News is withholding the woman's identity at this time. The woman claimed to have been a victim of stalking which put her in fear of physical harm, according to the protective order.

In the protective order, the woman detailed four separate incidents in April where she felt Hicks was 'stalking' her.

"On April 10th, I text [sic] Steve to no longer text me or seek me out or try to communicate with me any longer," the woman stated in the protective order. "[Hicks] has text and called often since."

Six days later, the woman detailed another incident that took place in Jasper.

"[Hicks] was parked behind other vehicles out of my view," the woman stated in the protective order. "As I walked to my car, he rushed over to me and wouldn't leave."
On April 24th, just eight days after that incident, the woman reported another incident that took place outside her Evansville home.

"[I] got home around 10 p.m. and saw no one around," the woman said in the protective order. "As I was walking to my door, [Hicks] ran over from the side of the house and refused to leave."

Finally, the woman detailed another incident that happened outside her home on April 29th.

"[Hicks] showed up to my house around 9 or 10 p.m. [Hicks] banged on my door for upwards of 30 minutes," the woman stated in the protective order. "He was yelling... that he has nothing left to lose."

On May 1st, just one day after the protective order was filed, Hicks allegedly sent several text messages to the victim's mother and friend, according to an EPD incident report. Hicks had already been served with the protective order at the time of the incident, according to police records.

These allegations are similar to those that Hicks faced in mid-September after two on-duty incidents involving a female bartender.
According to police records, the bartender alleged that Hicks made her feel uncomfortable by his comments and his actions. The bartender testified that Hicks ran his fingers by the lace on her shirt near her breast. Hicks also allegedly made suggestive comments while at the bar.

Hicks, who originally was dispatched to the bar for a noise complaint, stayed at the bar for close to an hour even though the run was unfounded. During that time, investigators say Hicks positioned himself in an opening at the bar that's used by bartenders to travel to the dining area. Hicks also frequently went behind the bar, according to court testimony.

A week later, Hicks, who was also a field training officer, went back to the bar with a probationary officer. Investigators say Hicks did not notify dispatch which is a violation of department policy.

During both incidents, Hicks claims the interaction was friendly and cordial and refuted the department's allegations.

After suspending Hicks for 21 days without pay, Evansville Police Chief Billy Bolin recommended that Hicks be fired. The Police Merit Commission eventually agreed with Chief Bolin and fired Hicks.

Hicks has not been available for comment despite numerous attempts.

Criminal charges have not been filed. Because of that, Evansville Police couldn't release the name of the suspect. However, police did confirm that the protective order was filed against Steve Hicks.

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