Greenville cop resigns, charged with assault

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 9, 2006

A former Greenville patrolman who was named the state's top law enforcement officer this year by the Attorney General was arrested on Wednesday night on allegations that he physically assaulted and imprisoned his ex-girlfriend.

John Matthew Bass, 26, faces charges of domestic violence - assault and unlawful imprisonment, stemming from an incident that is alleged to have occurred on Tuesday night, according to police reports.

Bass was released from the Butler County Jail on a $13,000 bond Thursday morning.

&#8220Domestic violence is a very serious offense,” said police chief Lonzo Ingram. &#8220We're certainly saddened by this situation. This is an isolated incident and it in no way reflects the character of the Greenville Police Department.”

Bass resigned from the GPD prior to his arrest, said Ingram.

&uot;We want the public to know that police officers are not above the law,&uot; said Ingram. &uot;Mr. Bass is no longer employed by the Greenville Police Department.&uot;

According to the victim, the incident began following a verbal altercation over the telephone. She then stated to police that she went to Bass’s residence on Hardscramble Rd. and a physical confrontation ensued. The victim said Bass begin yelling at her, then grabbed her by the throat and started to choke her. She said he also pushed her onto his bed and began punching her in the face with his fists. She stated Bass kept blocking the door and refusing to allow her to leave.

The victim stated she was finally able to escape and went to the residence of Greenville police officer Lt. Marcus Christianson, who contacted ambulance personnel. The victim was transported to L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital, where police reports indicate she was treated for cuts to the face and numerous bruises. She also had several red marks around the neck consistent with choking, according to reports.

Bass - along with fellow Greenville police officer Byron Russell - were named the state's Officers of the Year for 2006 by the Attorney General's office.

In January Bass, Russell and officer Lionel Davidson were involved in a gunfight with Wayne A. Vasquez, 50, of Louisiana, at the Comfort Inn on I-65 in Greenville. Both Bass and Davidson were wounded in the exchange, while Vasquez was killed.

Bass served in Occupation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 with the 1st Calvary Division, receiving various commendations for his military service.