Officials release bodycam footage of Mayor Wood's son

NOW: Officials release bodycam footage of Mayor Wood’s son

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MISHAWAKA, Ind. - New bodycam video obtained by ABC57 News shows the interaction between the mayor of Mishawaka's son Joe Wood and the police after Wood was pulled over for driving at a high rate of speed.

The officer who conducted the car stop indicated that Joe Wood was showing signs of intoxication during the traffic stop.

ABC57 got the video Wednesday from the Mishawaka Police Department through a Freedom of Information request along with the call for service report.

According to the report and video footage, a black Audi driven by Joe Wood was pulled over for driving at a high rate of speed at the intersection of East Mishawaka and Indiana Avenue.

"I pulled you over because of the way you were driving. I tried to catch up to you for like ten blocks."

Joe Wood, Mishawaka mayor Dave Wood's son, was removed from the vehicle following that interaction.

Because the officer observed a gun in the car - and that is when the officer made another observation -- prompting this question.

Officer 1: "You said you haven't been drinking anything tonight?"

Wood: "No"

Officer 1: "What's that? Hey man you don’t have to cry, you're not in any trouble."

Wood: "I work for the city and my dad's the BLEEP."

Officer 1: "What's your last name?"

Wood: "Wood."

The officer even telling his supervisor - he observes signs of intoxication and that he's the mayor's son.

Officer 1: "That’s Dave Wood's son, he's bombed."

Officer 2: "What?"

Officer 1: "That’s Dave Wood's son, he's bombed."

Officer 2: "God *BLEEP*it"

The officer then tells other responding officers about Wood's condition.

Officer 1: "I pull him over, smells like alcohol, stumbling all over."

Joe Wood was not given a field sobriety test nor was he asked to provide a breath sample.

When the shift commander responds, he takes Wood with him for an off-camera conversation.

Then the captain tells Wood to lock up his vehicle before telling the officer who initiated the stop.

Officer 1: "I'll take care of it."

This traffic stop by Mishawaka police has ABC57 asking community leaders questions about how this could happen and what needs to be changed for the future. What's captured on the body cam footage is significant; officers suggested that Joe Wood could be intoxicated and that alcohol is being smelled by them, but he's not arrested, nor charged.


"It really is a lot of outrage from the standpoint that someone has made a decision, allegedly, and they need to be held accountable for that decision regardless of who they may be in the community, professionally or otherwise," said Alex Otte, regional executive director for Mothers Against Drunk Driving.


ABC57 wanted to find out why the mayor's son didn't get in trouble despite signs shown on the video of potential intoxication.

We reached out to the mayor's office for on-camera comment but were told that Mayor Wood is out of town. Instead, they provided this statement:


"The mayor’s expectations are well known, public safety and law and order are job number one. His expectation is that everyone be treated fairly under the law.

The mayor did not find out about the traffic stop involving his adult son until after the fact."


We confirmed with the City of Mishawaka that Joe Wood works in the sewer department and is not currently facing any criminal charges, nor was he arrested on the scene.


Meanwhile, Mishawaka Police Chief Ken Whitkowski told ABC57 that no one in the department has been disciplined regarding this incident, but that it is under review by the administration.

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