A charge of battery filed against a South Shore conductor last year, after a
passenger alleged being pushed off a stopped train at Dune Park Station, has
been dismissed by the Porter County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Mark Acevedo told the Chesterton Tribune
today that earlier this week he dismissed the battery charge against Gregory
G. Beach after reviewing an enhanced video, shot inside the train, of the
events which transpired in the early morning hours of March 28, 2009.
Passenger Calvin J. Kirk had alleged that Beach pushed him off the top train
steps, causing him to sustain loose teeth, cuts, and abrasions.
Some months after the incident, following interviews with Beach and the
investigating Transit Police officer as well as a review of two separate
video tapes—one shot from outside the train, one from within—the decision
was made to charge Beach with one count of battery, a Class A misdemeanor
punishable by up to a year in jail, Acevedo said.
Beach denied all wrongdoing and maintained instead that Kirk was intoxicated
that night—Transit Police said that Kirk registered a blood alcohol content
of .194 percent and tested positive for cocaine—and simply missed the steps
when exiting and fell to the ground.
But Acevedo said today that a review of an enhanced version provided by
Vouga of the video shot inside the train—actually, shot from an adjacent car
into the car in which Kirk had been riding—suggests that Kirk may in fact
have fallen as Beach said.
“In my mind it certainly gave me reason to doubt whether Mr. Kirk was
pushed,” Acevedo said.
He added that the original un-enhanced video “wasn’t the best but that’s
what we had at the time and coupled with everything else we decided to file
“The enhanced video shows conclusively that Mr. Beach never laid a finger on
Mr. Kirk,” Vouga told the Tribune today. “The Prosecutor’s Office did
the right thing by dismissing the case. Justice has been served. Mr. Beach
is an innocent man, always was.”