Officer faces child abuse, tampering charges

Posted at 3:08 PM, Sep 11, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-11 17:08:57-04

A veteran Loveland police officer arrested in a May domestic violence incident now faces charges of destruction of evidence and child abuse.

The case of Officer Robert Allen Croner has taken some unusual twists and turns, and neither Larimer County prosecutors nor sheriff's officials will discuss details of the investigation. This could be because a judge initially sealed records in the case. 

Larimer County sheriff's deputies arrested the 35-year-old Croner on May 8 on misdemeanor assault and child abuse charges.

The Sheriff's Office said its investigation led deputies to develop probable cause to arrest a police officer in a domestic violence case. Initially, a Sheriff's Office statement said, "In order to protect the identities of the alleged female victim and any children involved, we will not release the name of the suspect [police officer] at this time."

7NEWS has learned from a family member that the alleged victims in the May incident were Croner's wife and one of the couple's two young sons. The couple has since separated.

Then, on Aug. 31, the District Attorney's Office dismissed the initial domestic violence charges "without prejudice," DA's spokeswoman Jodi Lacey told 7NEWS.

But a new cased filed in District Court in late August states Croner was re-arrested on investigation of felony tampering with physical evidence/destroy and misdemeanor child abuse resulting in injury. The district attorney has not filed formal charges.

On Thursday, Croner appeared in a Fort Collins courtroom, where he was advised of the investigative charges he faces. Croner had previously pleaded not guilty to the child abuse charge.

Prosecutors and sheriff's officials would not disclose what's behind the charges.

7NEWS photojournalist Major King reported that Croner and his defense attorney met briefly with a prosecutor in a conference room after the court hearing. Croner remains free on $2,500 bond.

Loveland Police Department spokesman Sgt. Mike Halloran said Croner is currently on unpaid administrative leave during the criminal investigation.

Police department records indicate Croner has worked as a K-9 officer and that he served in the United States Marines.