East Liverpool police captain placed on leave, accused of sending harassing texts
East Liverpool Police Captain Chad Tatgenhorst is off the job after being placed on paid administrative leave this week.
Tatgenhorst has been charged with harassment by an electronic device in New Cumberland, West Virginia.
Tatgenhorst turned himself in Wednesday, Aug. 31, to New Cumberland, W.Va. Police Chief Lester Skinner Jr., after a warrant was issued for his arrest.
According to the police report, Tatgenhorst is accused of texting harassing and threatening in nature, including photos described in the report as obscene to a person he knows. The report states that the texts were sent from July through Aug. 23.
The report says that the victim asked Tatgenhorst multiple times to stop sending the texts or that the texts would be turned over to local law enforcement.
East Liverpool Chief of Police John Lane confirmed Tatgenhorst's suspension to 21 News, saying the captain will be on paid leave until further notice.
The maximum punishment in West Virginia for electronic harassment is a fine of not more than $500 and jail of no more than six months.
Tatgenhorst has been with the East Liverpool Police Department since 2001.
Tatgenhorst personnel file shows this is not the first time he has been reprimanded on the job, with the most recent being in early 2022, when Tatgenhorst was suspended without pay for carrying a weapon off duty while drinking alcohol. In 2021, Tatgenhorst was reprimanded for sending texts to coworkers with derogatory emojis and remarks; in 2017, Tatgenhorst was written up for mischief, horseplay or other undesirable conduct, and threatening, intimidating, coercing or interfering with subordinates or other employees and was suspended without pay for three days. In 2016, he received a written reprimand for placing an obscene/offensive photo on a private business vehicle.
New Cumberland is about 10 miles south of East Liverpool in Hancock County, in the W. Va. northern panhandle.