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HomeLatest NewsFormer Delaware trooper charged with felonies for assaulting teens after doorbell prank.

Former Delaware trooper charged with felonies for assaulting teens after doorbell prank.


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A Delaware State Trooper, Dempsey R. Walters, is facing multiple felony charges for a brutal assault on a teenager who had targeted his house in a prank known as “ding-dong ditch.” The incident occurred on August 21, when a 15-year-old boy and his friends played the prank on Walters’ residence. Walters’ girlfriend called him and provided a description of the boy, prompting him to drive to his neighborhood and call for backup from other troopers and police departments. Walters then located the group involved and assaulted the 15-year-old boy, both on the ground and inside a police vehicle.

Walters, who has been suspended without pay, is charged with felonious assault, two counts of misdemeanor assault, two counts of official misconduct, and the first use of a new felony deprivation of civil rights law in Delaware. The teenager who was targeted in the prank suffered injuries, including a fractured eye socket. The incidents were captured on surveillance cameras, body cameras, and police vehicle cameras.

Democratic Attorney General Kathy Jennings expressed shock at the constitutional violations seen in the footage, stating that as a mother and grandmother, the incidents were hard to watch. Delaware State Police Colonel Melissa Zebley emphasized that ensuring public safety and rebuilding public trust are top priorities for the agency. Walters has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

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