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Former police officer sentenced in indecency case

By Greg Gelpi

The former Riverdale police officer accused or urinating in public negotiated a plea arrangement and will serve no time in jail.

Carl Freeman, who had been a captain in the Riverdale Police Department prior to the incident, received 20 hours of community service and a $100 fine for the public indecency charges.

"All things considered, it's not bad at all," Freeman said.

John Williams, the owner of Dixieland Fun Park, told police he caught Freeman urinating into a pond at the amusement park in Fayetteville Sept. 1.

The Riverdale Police Department terminated Freeman on Sept. 25 as the result of an "internal affairs investigation," Officer Debra Johnson said at the time. She wouldn't say if his firing was connected to the incident, although Freeman claimed it was.

He was also charged with disorderly conduct, criminal trespass and simple assault in connection to the Labor Day incident. He didn't deny urinating in the pond, but said he thought the bathrooms were closed since the park was closed. Freeman used "fighting words" when confronted by Williams, which led to the simple assault charge.

Freeman has been terminated by the police department three times previously, but has been exonerated in each case. He is fighting his latest termination as well.

"I think there are some legal implications it will have," he said of his negotiated plea, indicating it could have an effect on his attempt to get his job back.