Sandusky police Officer and alleged member of the Warthogs Motorcycle Club, Mel Burns, has resigned in the wake of allegations he was involved in an incident with the Outlaws Motorcycle Club.
Burns indicated that he intends to retire.
Police investigators say Burns was on duty when entered into an argument between the Outlaw and Warthog motorcycle clubs at the Margaritaville bar last month. Burns was placed on paid leave shortly after the incident, and Sandusky Police Chief Jim Lang immediately called for an internal affairs investigation of the incident.
The Aug. 16 incident which led to Burns’ resignation occurred at Margaritaville bar. Witnesses said the trouble began when Officer Burns confronted members of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club after Burns said he got a phone call from Bob Laws, a fellow member of the Warthogs Motorcycle Club.
That call, during which Laws told Burns seven or eight Outlaws Motorcycle Club members tried to start a fight with him, led directly to the incident.
Outlaws member Christian Miller filed a citizens complaint against Burns.
“A member of the Warthogs was winking and blowing me kisses,” Miller wrote. “After two or three minutes, I approached him and told him I wasn’t sure what his problem was, but he had better stop.”
According to Miller, officer Burns walked up to him and bumped him with his shoulder.
Miller said Burns then told him, “‘I heard you boys gotta problem with one of my boys. I replied ‘I haven’t talked to a cop, unless your boy is a Warthog.’”
Miller said he then asked officer Burns if he was a member of the Warthogs, and Burns told him, “Maybe,” and added ‘You know who the (expletive) I am and you better keep your boys on a leash.’
Authorities now say the sheriff’s investigation could still result in criminal charges being filed against Burns.
Burns was previously demoted from lieutenant to officer in 2008 after an incident at a Put-in-Bay bar. Burns was off duty at the time of that incident, and a jury cleared him of any criminal charges. An outside investigation conducted regarding the Put-in-Bay incident later convinced then-chief of police Kim Nuesse to demote Burns.
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