MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

December 19, 2013

Officer accused of abuse, assault

Police investigator placed on admin leave

By Elizabeth Ridenour
Phoenix City Editor

— A Muskogee Police Department investigator was placed on administrative leave after allegations of assault, abuse, stalking and harassment surfaced.

Mark Vernon Ridley, 39, of Oktaha is accused of assaulting his ex-wife, Misty Dawn Ridley of Muskogee. She filed a petition for a protective order in Muskogee County District Court on Wednesday for herself and on behalf of the couple’s daughter.

Ridley is on leave from the police department without pay, said Chief of Police Rex Eskridge.

Ridley did not return a message left on his cell phone Thursday night.

Eskridge said the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation was called in.

“They’re going to be the lead agency on this,” Eskridge said. “In order to ensure the transparency and fairness to the officer — that’s why we called in the other agency. The OSBI are the lead investigators, but we will assist them.”

The petition filed by Misty Ridley states she has been harassed and stalked by her ex-husband and that he is sending her harassing text messages and harassing her through phone calls. She also said in the petition that he had come to her place of employment Tuesday and assaulted her.

Mark and Misty Ridley will be in court for a hearing Jan. 2 for a judge to determine if the emergency protective order issued should remain in effect.

Reach Elizabeth Ridenour at (918) 684-2929 or eridenour@muskogeephoenix.com.