Hamilton County, Ohio: A former sheriff’s deputy was sent to prison for two years for stealing $150,000 in gold from his employer. He was caught during a sting operation. ow.ly/kPlWT
Caseyville, Illinois: The police chief has been charged with two felonies, both alleging official misconduct. He is accused of using a vehicle seized by police for his own personal use. He is also charged with taking luggage purchased by the village and using it for himself. ow.ly/kRMzx
Newark, New Jersey: A police officer admitted in federal court to fraudulently receiving $60,000 in federal public housing assistance for a home he owned in the city. He remains suspended without pay, but has agreed to voluntarily resign his position. ow.ly/kRFUV
McKenzie, Tennessee: A police chief has been accused of stealing city property, including a tractor and two street sweepers. The items were valued at over $10,000 and went missing while he was the chief. ow.ly/kQkd1
Update: Wilcox County, Georgia (First reported 10/25/12): The former sheriff was sentenced to ten years in prison for assaulting an inmate inside of the county jail and for conspiring to cover up the incident. “Today’s sentence reflects that law enforcement officers who assault inmates in their custody and make false statements erode the trust of the people that they have sworn to protect,” said the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the civil rights division. ow.ly/kRGn8
MANSFIELD — Mansfield police Sgt. Billy Locke has been given a 15-day suspension without pay following an off-duty weekend incident involving another officer.
The second officer, Lauren Cross, was not disciplined because she is already on suspension for an earlier unrelated incident. Mansfield aldermen on Monday are expected to consider a recommendation to fire Cross.
Locke was punished for violation of department policy addressing conduct unbecoming an officer. “As a rule, police officers are held to a higher standard on and off duty,” Assistant Chief Gary Hobbs said.
The disciplinary action handed down to Locke was sparked by a dispute between him and Cross at a Bossier City night club. Both were under the influence of alcohol. Bossier City police responded to a call made by Cross, Hobbs said
No arrests were made. Locke’s suspension. effective Wednesday. was decided after a Bossier City police report was reviewed and the facts of the situation were evaluated, Hobbs said.
This not the first time Locke and Cross have been in trouble for off-duty behavior. They were suspended in September for 10 days without pay for an incident that took place during a Mansfield festival.
Abilene, Texas: A police officer has quit after being arrested on charges of public intoxication and firing a gun in a public place. ow.ly/kPZkE
Jacksonville, Florida: A police officer with a history of DUI got another one in a hit-and-run involving several vehicles. It is her third DUI. ow.ly/kPMby
Bethel, Alaska: A police officer is being charged with being intoxicated while on the scene of a police shooting. He was not the officer shooting, but he was assisting at the scene. The state is charging him with three misdemeanors: two counts of DUI and one count of misconduct involving a weapon. ow.ly/kRN6M
Bethel police officer charged with DUI
BETHEL, Alaska (AP) — A Bethel police officer is fighting charges that he was drunk when he showed up armed to assist another police officer at a crime scene.
KYUK-AM (http://bit.ly/10vEl54) reports Samuel Symmes, now employed as a police department dispatcher, is contesting two counts of driving under the influence and one count of weapons misconduct.
Symmes and his attorney, Myron Angstman, contend tests performed on blood samples taken from Symmes were not accurate.
Symmes was off duty Oct. 2 when he responded to a call for assistance from another officer. The officer had contacted 24-year-old Sam Alexie Jr. in a neighborhood near Brown's Slough. Bethel police said Alexie was intoxicated and pointed a rifle at the other officer, who fired at Alexie and killed him.
Prosecutors in charging documents said Symmes arrived in a police car and was ordered to secure the scene.
His behavior, prosecutors said, at first appeared normal. However, he fell at least twice.
The first time he dropped to his knees. He fell again and hit his head, but said he was not hurt. However, he was later found slumped over the steering wheel of his car and taken by ambulance to a Bethel hospital.
Police in a press release about the shooting said conditions were slippery and that an unidentified officer had fallen on slippery stairs and had suffered a severe concussion.
A sample of Symmes' blood at the hospital indicated the presence of alcohol. Prosecutors said an analysis of the blood sample at the state crime law showed an alcohol level three times above the legal limit.
Prosecutors have requested a DNA sample from Symmes to prove the accuracy of the blood tests.
Symmes through his attorney wants the request rejected. In court documents, Symmes attorney said it's the state's responsibility to prove his client's guilt and that taking a DNA sample months after the incident would violate Symmes' privacy.
A judge has not ruled on the request.
Symmes resigned from the police department six days after the shooting. He was hired several months later as dispatcher.
City Manager Lee Foley said the community should not jump to conclusions. Symmes did not play a role in the fatal shooting.
"And he shouldn't be judged in the community," Foley says. "If we're going to judge somebody, let it be done in an official capacity and then let's see how everything falls out."
Judge: Recently arrested Indy police officer charged in fatal 2010 crash must stay in jail
INDIANAPOLIS — A suspended Indianapolis police officer who was arrested on drunken driving charges a few weeks ago must remain in jail while he awaits trial on similar charges in a fatal 2010 crash, a judge ruled Thursday.
Allen County Judge Allen Surbeck ordered David Bisard to be held without bond during a hearing in Fort Wayne, where the fatal crash case was moved because of extensive publicity in central Indiana. Bisard was at the Marion County Jail since he was arrested following an April 27 crash in Indianapolis, but was moved to Allen County Jail last week.
"I think we showed by convincing evidence that this latest arrest showed not only disdain for the court, but that he is a danger to the community," Deputy Prosecutor Denise Robinson told reporters outside the courthouse in Fort Wayne.
Bisard's attorney, John Kautzman, had no comment. And Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry had no official comment, spokeswoman Peg McLeish said.
Bisard, 39, is scheduled to go to trial in October for the 2010 crash in which his patrol car hit two stopped motorcycles, killing one man and seriously injuring two other people. He is charged with reckless homicide, drunken driving and other charges. If convicted on those charges, Bisard could face 20 or more years in prison.
Bisard's case has had a three-year delay due to legal wrangling over admission of blood tests that showed he had a blood-alcohol level more than twice the legal limit. The Indiana Supreme Court ruled in December that the blood tests could be admitted into evidence.
Bisard had been free on bond and was allowed to keep his driver's license while awaiting trial. He was arrested last month on misdemeanor drunken driving charges after a pickup truck he was driving ran into a guard rail along a winding, narrow road through a wooded area in the northeastern Indianapolis community of Lawrence. No one was injured.
A blood test showed he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.22 percent, according to court documents. The state's legal limit to drive is 0.08 percent.
Bisard's driver's license was suspended following the most recent crash, and prosecutors asked for Bisard's bond to be revoked, too. Curry said a condition of Bisard remaining free while awaiting trial was that he not be arrested again.
Bisard has been suspended without pay from the Indianapolis Police Department since the 2010 crash. Members of the Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police had been paying Bisard's legal bills, but they voted to stop doing it five days after Bisard's second arrest.
The 2010 case drew intense local media coverage as police officers' handling of the crash scene and evidence stirred public distrust and led to disciplinary action against several high-ranking officers, including the demotion of the police chief.
IMPD's David Bisard to remain in jail until trial in Fort Wayne
FORT WAYNE, IND. — Louisa Montilla-Wells squeezed the hand of Mary Mills when the decision was announced — then their eyes welled up.
An Allen County judge had just ordered suspended Indianapolis police officer David -Bisard to remain in jail until his trial in October. Judge John Surbeck said a second drunken-driving arrest made Bisard too much of a risk to let free.
“I was so happy,” Mills said. “I didn’t really know what to expect after all the ups and downs in this trial.”
Bisard is facing several charges in an alcohol-related crash in 2010 that killed motorcyclist Eric Wells, the husband of Montilla-Wells, and critically injured Mills and Kurt Weekly, who now is Mills’ husband.
While Mills, who arrived at the hearing on a motorcycle, and Montilla-Wells hugged, ¬Bisard’s face registered no visible reaction at the ruling. For much of the hearing he had sat slumped, staring down toward the orange slippers he wore with the striped jail jumpsuit.
Marion County Deputy Prosecutor Denise Robinson argued that the second drunken-driving arrest on April 27 in Lawrence made him too dangerous to be released.
“The fact that the accident happened at 2 p.m. showed significant alcohol problems that the defendant is not able to control,” Robinson said.
Surbeck agreed, saying Bisard “demon¬strated his instability, and this misconduct poses a risk of safety for another person in the commu¬nity.”
“It is clear that the conduct in the April 2013 arrest does demonstrate instability and disdain for authority,” Surbeck said.
The case was transferred to Allen County by Marion Supe¬rior Court Judge Grant Hawkins, who said the pretrial publicity Bisard had received in ¬Indianapolis would make it difficult for an impartial jury to be selected in the state capital.
More than a dozen reporters and photographers from Indianapolis and local news outlets covered the late-afternoon hearing in Allen Superior Court.
Bisard has been free on $10,000 bond since the day of his arrest in August 2010, but Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry asked Surbeck to revoke that bond after the recent ¬arrest.
CLARKSBURG – Two Harrison County sheriff’s deputies are accused of unlawfully entering a Lost Creek man’s home and falsely arresting him.
William J. Cunningham and Cory M. Heater and are named as co-defendants in a seven-count civil rights suit filed by Saylen D. Houston. In his complaint filed May 6 in U.S. District Court, Houston, 33, alleges the pair lacked probable cause to both enter his home and later arrest him two years ago following an altercation with his ex-girlfriend.
According to the suit, Cunningham and Heater received a call at an unspecified time on May 13, 2011, concerning a disturbance at Houston’s home. A neighbor called to report his ex-girlfriend was beating on his door.
Upon arrival, the suit says Cunningham and Heater encountered April Nicole Fultineer, who initially ignored them. However, she later said “Saylen is inside by himself,” and informed them the front door was locked.
After they knocked on his door, the suit says Houston peered out a large picture window nearby and asked if Cunningham and Heater had a warrant. When they told him they didn’t, Houston denied them entry, he claims.
However, the suit says Cunningham unholstered his pistol and kicked open the door. After entering, Houston alleges Cunningham and Heater “took him to the floor, and beat him about the head, face, neck, back, sides and legs with closed fists and with feet.”
In the suit, Houston avers that Cunningham and Heater lacked probable cause to enter his home as he was never violent with Fultineer, who never was reported or observed to be “‘agitated, hysterical or out of control.” Also, their use of force in subduing him, Houston says, was “objectively unreasonable” as he posed no threat, including making an attempt to evade or resist arrest.
After subduing him, Houston alleges Cunningham and Heater threw Houston down a flight of stairs in the course of taking him to their cruiser. After placing him in the backseat, Cunningham sprayed him with mace, he claims.
According to the Harrison Magistrate Court Clerk’s Office, Houston was charged with one count each of obstructing, assault on a police officer and resisting arrest. In exchange for pleading guilty to the obstructing and no contest to the resisting charges, the Harrison County Prosecutor’s Office on Jan. 7 agreed to dismiss the assault charge.
Magistrate Mark Gorby sentenced Houston to a concurrent term of five days in jail on each charge, but suspended it in lieu of 40 hours community service. Also, he assessed Houston $585.80 in court costs.
In his suit, Houston says Cunningham and Heater’s actions resulted in him incurring, among other things, “bruising, lacerations, internal injuries, facial fractures, orthopedic injuries [and] emotional distress.” In addition to claims against Cunningham and Heater for violating his constitutional rights, Houston makes claims against Sheriff Albert Marano and the Harrison County Commission for negligence in failing to properly train and supervise them.
In West Virginia, sheriffs and county commissions are co-employers of deputy sheriffs.
In his suit, Houston seeks unspecified damages, court costs and attorneys fees. He is represented by Lewisburg attorney Robert J. Frank.
The case is assigned to Judge Irene B. Keeley.
Murrieta Cop Arrested on Suspicion of Stalking
Chad Michael Bennett, 39, was being held in lieu of $250,000 bail at Robert Presley Detention Center following his arrest Wednesday on suspicion of stalking.