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Former Odessa police officer charged with 5 felony counts of tampering with a motor vehicle

Archie Strutton accused of slashing cop car tires
Posted: 11:56 AM, Aug 26, 2016
Updated: 2016-08-27 02:16:11Z
Former Odessa officer arrested
Only 41 Action News was there as Lafayette County Sheriff's deputies arrested former Odessa Police Officer Archie Strutton at the department where he served Friday morning and led him away with his hands cuffed behind his back.
 
He was arrested after he turned in his equipment for the Odessa Police Department, which  disbanded  Thursday. 
 
"It just came to a head in the last 24 hours and we were going to reach out to talk to the individual and it just didn't work out that way," said Lafayette County Sheriff Kerrick Alumbaugh.
 
Strutton faces five felony counts of tampering with a motor vehicle.
 
He's accused of slashing a total of six tires, at least one on all five Odessa police cars.
 
The accusation comes after Strutton accused former Odessa Police Chief Scott Newhouse of assault for intentionally slamming a car door on his leg.  That complaint led to the former police chief’s suspension .
 
Newhouse was on paid leave for roughly a month while the case was investigated.
 
The probable cause statement says  Strutton was upset after a special prosecutor cleared Newhouse and then two other Odessa police officers resigned on the same day.
 
The statement says the tires were slashed the night Newhouse was cleared and then reinstated as chief.
 
It also says urine was found in the drawer of a desk assigned to Newhouse the morning after Strutton was the only officer working overnight.
 
The statement says Strutton confessed his crimes to another unnamed person.
 
"We have reason to believe that he is the one that committed the crime," Alumbaugh said.
 
Strutton's arrest caps a series of Odessa police-related issues over the last couple of weeks.
 
After Newhouse was reinstated, he resigned as chief.
 
Strutton's arrest by the same sheriff's office which investigated his assault complaint comes as he and other officers were turning in their gear the morning after city leaders disbanded the police department.
 
"It was such a tough decision for the citizens to do this and hopefully we can building this back," said Alumbaugh.
 
City leaders disbanded the Odessa Police Department after a study revealed a series of issues.
 
The city started a two-year deal Thursday with the Lafayette County Sheriff's Office to provide police services for the community. 

The Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office now has full control and Odessa officers were asked to turn in their gear by noon Friday. All of them did so, except one who made arrangements to do it later.

Some of the officers have found law enforcement jobs elsewhere. Two Odessa officers recently went to Grain Valley's force and one told 41 Action News he just got a job with Lake Lotawana Police Department. Others said they don't know if they'll continue being officers.

Even though county forces are taking over the city, the sheriff said response times will not be affected. They will still have 9 officers overseeing the city.

The agreement from Odessa and the county is for two years. In that time the city would like to rebuild its own police force. 

Strutton's father declined comment on his son's arrest.

Strutton is being held in the Lafayette County Jail.

He faces five Class C felony counts.

Class C felonies have a range of punishment of 1 to 7 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections or 1 year in the County Jail and/or up to a $5,000 fine.

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