Lakewood police dispatcher worked for department for months despite rape, kidnapping charges

Lakewood police dispatcher worked for department for months despite rape, kidnapping charges
Andre Walden, 20, faces multiple felony rape and kidnapping charges. 9Source: Cleveland Police Department)

LAKEWOOD, OH (WOIO) - A Lakewood police dispatcher, who was arrested on multiple rape and kidnapping charges this past December, will stand trial starting March 5.

Despite his arrest late last year, Andre Walden, 20, continued to work at the police department for several weeks, but was placed on leave on Feb. 23 when his superiors were reportedly made aware of the felony charges leveled against him.

Walden was briefly incarcerated following his arrest, but was released after posting a $50,000 bond, according to court records.

Lakewood Law Director Kevin Butler issued the following statement on Monday:

Mr. Walden became an unpaid auxiliary police officer for the city of Lakewood in November 2016 and was hired as a dispatcher on Sept. 11, 2017.  He was placed on unpaid administrative leave on Friday, Feb.23, 2018, and he remains on leave pending further discipline.
 
Police Chief Tim Malley first became aware, late Friday morning, Feb. 23, that Mr. Walden was the defendant in a felony criminal case that has been pending in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas since Nov. 28, 2017.  No one within the city or police administration was aware of the case until Chief Malley became aware.  Within less than an hour of the chief learning of the case, appropriate action was taken and Mr. Walden was placed on unpaid leave pending further discipline for violations of the city's and departmental policies.  Discipline remains pending.
 
Mr. Walden's hiring preceded his court indictment by several months, and nothing appeared in the extensive background checks he underwent that would lead the city to believe he was the subject of any criminal investigation or prosecution.
 
There is a pending internal investigation on this matter within the Division of Police and, as yet, we have no records that are a part of that investigation.  We will release those records to you immediately when they are available.
 
The prosecution in the Common Pleas Court does not involve the city of Lakewood.  That matter is being handled by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, in conjunction with city of Cleveland police personnel...

Return to Cleveland 19 for more on this developing story.

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