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A Lafayette police officer was fired Wednesday and arrested over a New Year’s Eve incident involving a suspect under arrest.

Alex Ritter, 29, was arrested Wednesday and booked into the Lafayette Parish Jail following a Monday indictment by the 15th Judicial District Attorney’s Office on a count each of malfeasance in office and simple battery. He was later released after meeting the requirements for his $5,000 bond, booking records show. His arraignment is scheduled for April 27.

Court documents said both charges stem from a Dec. 31 incident and listed Edmond Thornton as the victim of the simple battery. Thornton was arrested by Lafayette Police Department officers on Dec. 31, according to booking records.

“On January 1, 2021, Chief Glover was made aware of an incident involving Officer Ritter following the arrest of a suspect. An internal investigation was conducted and as a result of the investigation Officer Ritter was terminated effective April 7th,” Lafayette Police spokesperson Sr. Cpl. Bridgette Dugas said in a written statement.

Ritter had been employed with the department since January 2020, she said.

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Dugas said she could not provide more details because of the pending litigation.

Thornton, the victim in Ritter’s simple battery charge, was formally charged on counts of armed robbery, attempted simple escape from custody, battery of a police officer and resisting arrest in February. Ritter is listed as the victim in Thornton’s battery, simple escape and resisting charges, per court documents.

Thornton remains in custody at the Lafayette Parish Jail on a $50,000 bond.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story said Glover was notified of the incident on Jan. 2, not Jan. 1. The Acadiana Advocate regrets the error. 

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