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Monday, December 5, 2005

[IN] Police Officer Craig Toner's "little bit of a physical argument"

December 2005
Craig Toner was a Lt. in the Mishawaka Police Department - 19 year veteran - until a DUI incident (that I can't find the history or details of) resulted in him being fired last year, and him suing that department. He's on the Roseland Police force now and was arrested this past weekend for what WNDU-TV reporter Robert Borrelli and Elkhart County Captain Tom Love together paint as a mutual combat - but I'm picking up on curious choice of words that seem assembled to give a particular (minimizing) impression:
...Roseland Police Officer Craig Toner and his live-in girlfriend were BOTH ARRESTED at their Elkhart apartment. BOTH WERE INJURED in an apparent fight BETWEEN each other. "When we got there, the officers spoke with a male and a female who were there, boyfriend-girlfriend, and PRETTY MUCH determined that both had been involved in domestic battery. (They had) VERY MINOR INJURIES, some PUSHING, GRABBING, MAYBE A SCRATCH OR TWO," says Elkhart County Captain Tom Love... Fife suffered a small bruise on her arm, while Toner ended-up with A SCRATCH OR BRUISE. "There was a verbal argument that ESCALATED INTO A LITTLE BIT OF A PHYSICAL ARGUMENT," says Love. "There was SOME PUSHING AND SHOVING AND A LITTLE BIT OF SHAKING."...
Source: Roseland police officer arrested for domestic violence, WNDU-TV, Robert Borrelli, 12/05/2005


  1. I know Officer Craig and Paula Fife. They are parents of one of my friends. I used to go to their house all the time, and I can't believe he's gone.. He was really nice to me and so was Paula.

  2. Roseland police chief killed in crash
    SUV strikes motorcycle, runs over victim.
    South Bend Tribune
    November 02. 2008 8:21AM

    SOUTH BEND — Roseland Chief of Police Craig Toner is dead after his motorcycle was hit by a car Saturday on Ironwood Drive near Rockne Drive, police said.

    The crash was reported about 3:20 p.m. after a man driving erratically in a gray Honda Pilot SUV allegedly crossed the centerline as he drove south on Ironwood Drive and struck Toner's motorcycle, witnesses told police. Toner reportedly landed on the hood of the SUV before dropping to the ground.

    The driver of the SUV, who The Tribune is not naming because he has not been formally charged, reportedly stopped his vehicle, got out and "surveyed the scene," police said. But he then got back inside and allegedly left the scene after driving over the victim.

    Amy Burns of South Bend was at the scene and said the driver of the SUV sped away after a man tried to stop him.

    The driver of the SUV was arrested after he crashed his vehicle into a fence and a tree several hundred yards south. Witnesses said he drove erratically and was trying to pass other vehicles when his car veered off the road.

    It's unclear if he was drunk, pending results of blood alcohol tests, although police allege that he was.

    Toner was a Roseland town marshal and was off duty at the time of the crash. He was pronounced dead from his injuries at Memorial Hospital.

    Police said Toner was not wearing a helmet.

    News of Toner's death came as a blow to Roseland Town Council President Elizabeth McCombs, who choked back tears as she described Toner as an "exceptional officer" and a "caring, loving individual."

    "The loss of Chief Craig Toner is the most devastating loss the town has had to endure," she said.

    Toner joined Roseland police four years ago as a lieutenant, McCombs said, and had been chief for just over a year. Before that, he was an officer at the Mishawaka Police Department for 19 years, she said.

    McCombs said a memorial for Toner would be set up in the area of Indiana 933 and Pendle Street.

    Police are still investigating Saturday's crash.

    The Fatal Alcohol Crash Team is asking anyone with information about the crash to call Capt. Tim Spencer of the Mishawaka Police Department at 574-259-2966 or Sgt. Gene Eyster of the South Bend Police Department at 574-235-9201.

    The driver of the SUV has been arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated causing death and leaving the scene of a fatal crash.


  3. I appreciate what you are trying to do on this website, and how important this work is. However, as has been pointed out by other user, Officer Toner was the victim of a vicious hit and run attack which I was a witness to. I would imagine that it will be predominantly his family and friends that will be googling his name at this time (as is how I found this blog). I would beg you out of respect for their loss to remove this post. Its presence at this time could only be counterproductive to what it is you are trying to achieve.

  4. This would be a bad time to explain why I am leaving it up. There's a reason. Come back in a week or two and we'll discuss it.

  5. South Bend Tribune

    The residents of Roseland and the members of the law enforcement community of St. Joseph County have suffered a grievous loss in the tragic and cruel death of Roseland Town Marshal Craig Toner.

    I became acquainted with Toner after his hiring by a previous town council majority. We came to enjoy a friendship based on mutual respect and commitment to serving the people of Roseland.

    Craig's strengths as a police officer were his experience, compassion, common sense and willingness to share his experience and teach new officers the skills they needed. He stood ready at all times in all situations to help ease the tensions among individuals and at public council meetings, where tensions and disagreements often reached near unmanageable levels.

    During the last year of my tenure as president of the town council, it was my privilege to recommend and subsequently appoint Craig to the position of Roseland town marshal. No service of mine as a council member gave me more pleasure.

    Craig's legacies are many and prominent among them are the certified and volunteer officers who serve the Roseland residents more knowledgeably and more skillfully because of Craig's sharing and teaching. They now serve in his place, bringing honor and distinction to the memory of a man, a police officer, whom they admired and respected so very much.

    Charley Shields



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