Two St. Joseph Police officers faced internal discipline after they handcuffed and gave tickets to a domestic violence victim after responding to a child custody dispute.
Capt. Jeff Wilson confirmed to News-Press NOW that both officers who responded faced some form of discipline, but not necessarily the same punishment. The incident was captured on security video. Wilson said the department could not release the exact discipline.
Miranda Hicks uploaded the security video to social media. She confirmed to News-Press NOW that she was the woman detained by police and initially given tickets for trespassing and destruction of property. Those tickets were apparently voided after Hicks filed a complaint against the officers, which prompted the internal investigation.
“I can tell you (officers) were corrected,” Wilson said. “I can’t discuss what that is. But corrective action was taken by the department concerning this incident.”
Miranda Hicks described how she arrived at her separated husband’s place of business, seeking to recover her child. It was then that Andrew Hicks, who later pled guilty to fourth-degree assault, is seen pinning her to the ground behind the store’s counter. Miranda and Andrew are currently in divorce proceedings, according to online court records.
“Basically I was a victim of domestic assault where I was choked for approximately five minutes,” Miranda Hicks said. “When the police arrived I was non-responsive. It took them a while to get me up, but when I did they immediately put me in handcuffs.”
Miranda Hicks’ account is corroborated by the security camera footage, which shows an officer stepping behind the counter. Miranda Hicks eventually gets to her feet and is put in handcuffs.
Buchanan County EMS records indicate that medics arrived on scene to treat Miranda Hicks. She said the same police officer that handcuffed her later arrived at the hospital to give her the tickets.
Online court records indicate Andrew Hicks, the man seen in the security video pinning Miranda Hicks down, was later arrested on a misdemeanor warrant. He was not arrested at the scene.
“(Andrew) Hicks grabbed her by the neck with his arm and began choking her,” Dustin Robinson, a detective with the St. Joseph Police Department, wrote in a probable cause statement used to charge Andrew Hicks with a crime.
According to Robinson’s statement, the officers on scene noted Miranda Hicks had injuries, but still ticketed her.
“Officer’s noted in their reports that Miranda Hicks had a black eye and apparent scratch on left ear,” Robinson wrote after his investigation.
Wilson declined to name the officers who were disciplined. Publicly available tickets given to Miranda Hicks and an initial police report indicate Officers Josiah Lowrey and Jason Hill responded to the incident.
“While Miranda struggled to get up she damaged one of the glass shelves on the merchandise display case,” Lowrey wrote in an initial report.
The ticket for destruction of property was later voided after Miranda Hicks filed a complaint, as was the ticket for trespassing. Court records indicate she was never charged with either crime, and that only Andrew Hicks ended up in a criminal proceeding.
Andrew Hicks was sentenced to two years probation on March 31, 2021.