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Cornelius cop at center of another mess

Joe Noffsinger accused of stalking, badgering a Hillsboro cop in 2012


A tort claim alleging stalking and infliction of emotional distress was filed against a Cornelius police officer July 3.

Cornelius Police Lt. Joe Noffsinger has been accused of intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation, unlawful seizure of a person and stalking by Hillsboro Police detective Kari Christensen.

“Ms. Christensen intends to assert a claim for damages against Lieutenant Noffsinger and the City of Cornelius,” according to the tort.

The trouble started more than a year ago with a heated argument between the two, states the tort. On the morning of May 24, 2012, Christensen said that after she switched lanes on 19th Avenue in Forest Grove, a blue Dodge truck quickly accelerated toward the back of her vehicle. She claimed the driver followed her closely, honking and crudely gesturing until they reached Mountain View Lane. At the light, Christensen said, the driver yelled for her to pull over after showing her his soft (unofficial) badge and police radio. According to Christensen the driver of the truck told her she failed to signal 100 yards before changing lanes. Through their conversation, she said, he became increasingly aggravated and claimed “things would be different if I was in a marked patrol unit right now,” she wrote in the tort, and reminded him he could still cite her. Without issuing her a citation he identified himself as Noffsinger, the "chief of police for Cornelius," according to the tort.

“Only Kari and Joe know what happened that day,” said Cornelius Police Chief Ken Summers. “Both are pretty fixed in their position of what happened, it seems.”

The tort states that Christensen didn’t see Noffsinger again until June 6, 2012, where she recognized him driving a black Dodge Dakota. The next day when Christensen was driving down 19th, she claims the black Dodge was following her side by side in the next lane for several blocks. She said she felt he was attempting to intimidate her.

On March 5, 2013, the tort claims, Noffsinger alleged to Hillsboro Police Commander John Schmerber that Christensen was “a liar.” An internal investigation sparked by this complaint pronounced the allegations "unfounded," the tort states.

“That was a very poor decision on his part,” said attorney Robert Bletko, who is representing Christensen.

On June 25, 2013, a black Dodge Durango that Christensen is "fairly certain" was driven by Noffsinger followed her from near her workplace to the cross street near her home, the tort states.

Summers said attorneys have advised him not to comment on the tort's details.

Hillsboro and Cornelius department attorneys and insurance companies are conducting interviews trying to determine what happened during that first interaction.

“Hopefully this can be resolved,” said Bletko.

“Both sides trust their employees," Summers said, "and would hope they wouldn’t ever act like what was described."



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