All charges against a Hardin County Detention Center employee charged in a Feb. 8 scuffle inside the facility with a Hardin County sheriff’s deputy were dropped Friday morning during a hearing in Hardin District Judge John Simcoe's courtroom.
Joseph Funk, 28, was arrested following the altercation and charged with menacing, resisting arrest and third-degree assault of police officer — Class D felony punishable by one of to five years in prison, if convicted.
The menacing and resisting arrest charges were dismissed. District Judge C. Derek Reed said he didn't have the authority to dismiss the felony assault charge so it was amended to misdemeanor fourth-degree assault. The charge then was dropped.
The ruling stipulated that probable cause existed to justify Deputy Clennon Smith making the arrest in the Detention Center booking area.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Mike Mann of Bullitt County, who served as special prosecutor, later said “things just got out of hand.”
The conflict began when Smith placed a backpack belonging to an inmate in the window of the jail property room where Funk was working. Funk left the room and a surveillance video shows him approaching Smith with hands raised above his head and speaking. In the citation, Smith wrote that he “got up in my face in a threatening manner” the deputy described as a fighting stance.
The deputy can be seen grabbing Funk by the throat in the video. After other jailers intervened, the video later shows Funk standing in a corner after he was wrestled to the ground by Smith. The citation said the suspect was taken to the ground because he refused multiple orders to turn around and place his hands behind his back.
Funk was suspended with pay pending arraignment and returned to work Feb. 19.