LPD officer under internal criminal investigation suddenly retires from department

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- The Lafayette Police Department released additional information today about an internal criminal investigation into one of its officers who was allegedly involved in a domestic altercation on New Year’s Eve.

This week, a video surfaced of a man striking a woman on the head with a cell phone inside a Lafayette bar. The Youtube video, which alleges that the man is a LPD Captain, has been shared throughout social media.

On Tuesday, the department confirmed that was it conducting an internal criminal investigation and the employee at the center of the investigation had been placed on administration leave.

Today, LPD spokesman Karl Ratcliff said the officer has retired, but the investigation remains ongoing.

Though he is confirmed to no longer be a LPD employee, Lafayette Police Department officials refused to release the former officer’s name on Friday.

Multiple sources within the department, however, identified the officer as now former police captain, Dwayne Prejean.

The video, which was reportedly taken from a local venue’s surveillance camera on Dec. 31, 2017, shows a couple arguing at the bar.

During the exchange, the man hit the woman over the head with a cell phone.The heated verbal exchange continued before the woman struck the man with an apparent wine glass and stormed out of the bar.

This is not the first time Prejean’s name has appeared in the news.

In 2016, the officer was transferred from his post as Lafayette metro narcotics captain due to a circumstance involving a 15th Judicial District assistant attorney who was terminated over the matter.

Neither the district attorney’s office or the police department sought further disciplinary action, however, the nature of the relationship between the two individuals was never disclosed.

-In 2014, Prejean was named in a federal lawsuit filed by 15 former police officers alleging corruption and retaliation within the department.

One plaintiff, who was fired from the LPD in 2013, claimed former Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft terminated him for making allegations that Prejean was guilty of drinking and driving.

According to administrative documents obtained by The Daily Advertiser in 2013, the formal complaint concerning Prejean’s alleged impaired driving reportedly included video surveillance.

Because the officer who made the complaint would not reveal the identity of whoever provided him the video, which Craft claimed “to have possibly (been) edited”, the department said it could not prove that Prejean was under the influence.

Craft terminated the officer who made the allegations against Prejean for “violating three general orders of conduct”, according The Advertiser.

The suit and its appeal were both dismissed.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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