KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Records show that a Western Michigan University public safety officer who was charged with teen sex solicitation had a history of disciplinary action with the force.
On April 15, a Western Michigan University of public safety officer was arrested and charged for soliciting sex from a person he thought was a 15-year-old girl but was really an undercover officer.
Documents from WMU’s public safety department show that Abraham Hohnke had a history of disciplinary actions with the department, dating back to 2014.
In September of that year, Hohnke responded to a medical call where a student had consumed bad marijuana, WMU public safety documents say. After the call was finished, the officer then texted the student on his personal phone, engaging in an “inappropriate and unbecoming” conversation, the report said. He was given a three-day suspension and ordered by WMU public safety not to contact the student anymore.
A few months later, Hohnke was given a verbal warning for backing up into another public safety cruiser, resulting in small scratches on both vehicles.
On March 8 of 2017, Hohnke reported for duty at 9:30 a.m. to the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety indoor gun range to conduct qualifications. When he arrived, another officer informed the sergeant that Hohnke smelled of alcohol. Two sergeants agreed that they could “smell a slight odor of alcohol” on him. He was sent home that day and was not allowed to return to range.
A few days later, Hohnke admitted that he had drank “quite a bit of liquor” late in the evening before he came into work. He was not issued a breathalyzer so his blood alcohol content that day was unknown. He was given a written reprimand, documents show.
Hohnke showed up for work smelling of alcohol again a few months later, in July of 2017. He took a breath test resulting in a BAC of .04. He was sent home from the shift and placed on a five-day unpaid disciplinary suspension. WMU department of public safety required Hohnke to see a psychologist before returning to work, which he agreed to, documents show.
In September 2019, Hohnke parked his cruiser in a lane of travel while dealing with a call outside of a residence hall instead of in a parking spot or loading dock nearby. This contributed to an accident when a student backed into it, causing damage to both vehicles. Hohnke was issued a verbal warning.
Later that same month, Hohnke pulled a driver over for speeding. The driver was going 40 mph in a 25 mph zone, but he cited her for speeding 30 mph, which “is certainly in your discretion,” according to WMU public safety records. A day later, the driver’s mother called and complained that Hohnke had been unkind to her daughter and did not help her find parking on campus.
In reviewing the incident, the department found that Hohnke had not turned on his microphone to record the conversation when he pulled the driver over. A sergeant found that there were other days when Hohnke had not used the microphone on traffic stops. Hohnke got a formal written warning and said he would make sure to use the microphone on traffic stops, records show.
Hohnke was charged earlier this month following an online sting targeting people who were soliciting sex from teens. He resigned from the WMU department of public safety following his arrest.