October 31, 2014

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Vermilion officer on leave after wife files assault complaint

VERMILION — A Vermilion police officer of 25 years had his guns taken away and was placed on indefinite leave after his wife told police he assaulted her last week.

On Thursday Ricky Riggs, 55, was served with a civil protection order by the Erie County Sheriff’s Department and ordered to stay 500 feet away from his wife following a domestic incident last Wednesday.

About 10:45 a.m. Thursday, officers from the Erie County Sheriff’s Department responded to Riggs’ home in Vermilion after his wife called to say that Riggs had assaulted her the night before.

Patricia Riggs, 55, told officers that she had an argument with Ricky Riggs at their home in Vermilion the evening before. She told police she thought that her husband was having an affair with another woman and when she confronted him, he pushed her and hit her, she told police.

She told police Ricky Riggs slept on the couch, and he was not home when she called police the next day, a delay she did not explain. She told officers who arrived that her husband’s anger was not uncommon.

She said he had assaulted her before, and the couple’s 29-year-old son, Brian Riggs, agreed, saying it was like someone “flipped a switch’’ when his father got into an argument with him or his mother, according to a police report.

Patricia Riggs said she did not want to pursue charges, and police did not file any on her behalf. She called police again when Ricky Riggs returned home, and he denied hitting his wife and said her allegations were “all drama,’’ police said.

They noted in a report that he seemed pretty “nonchalant’’ about the matter.

After talking to Ricky Riggs, members of the Erie County Sheriff’s Department met with the Vermilion Police Department. Later on Thursday, they found Ricky Riggs at a friend’s house on Arlinton Drive in Vermilion where they confiscated his guns, including a service weapon issued by the Police Department and four personal firearms, and served him with a civil protection order to stay 500 feet away from his wife.

To Vermilion Police Chief Chris Hartung, the incident comes as a shock.

“It’s unfortunate and surprising,” Hartung said.

He added that Ricky Riggs has never had disciplinary issues.

“He has a low-key persona,” Hartung said.

Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or amerriman@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnaLMerriman.


  • Ruby Thomas Kloss

    Sounds to me like he was cheating on her and now she is getting even….if no charges were filed and no evidence that she was “hit” then why is on admin leave? Sounds like revenge.

  • Mark B

    If there was domestic violence , then he should be relieved of his rights to own , use or posses a firearm !

  • Mark B

    If he is dishonest enough to cheat on his wife , is he honest enough to be a police officer ?

  • Linda Nutt

    Who would ever believe the really nice guy could be abusive? I would!! The percentage of police officers being abusive is high. By not pressing charges, he shouldn’t lose his job. The administrative leave allows the department to do an internal review. As far as revenge goes, it would only be important if he was with alleged girlfriend during his work shift! Does anyone want a police officer who “flips like a switch” pulling them over??

  • KZ14

    Did you ever think it mite be her guilt that triggered this event? I would rather have an officer that flips a switch then none at all. How many of you would be willing to do that job in this day and age?

    • Tim Watson

      Its vermilion not e clev.

  • Zen Grouch

    A 25 year veteran of the Vermillion Police Department, who “never had disciplinary issues” and they yank his weapons without an ounce of evidence (no mention of injuries) that he battered his wife?!

    You’d have to be nuts to want to be a cop these days…

    …or a politician, or a teacher.

  • Zen Grouch

    Due to an injury I had to work the desk for a few months when I was a cop, with everything you can imagine blowing into the district station.

    One of the regular, but not too regular, hassles to deal with were the wives, and more often, girlfriends of the fellow swine I worked with.

    I’d act sympathetic, let them vent, take a “report,” give ‘em a tissue, then assure them that their boyfriend or husband was in a world of s***. They’d leave happy and I’d throw the “report” into the trash.

  • coolj

    all cops beat there wives and commit act of domestic violence. who wants to be with a rat.