City cop pleads guilty to assault charges
A Russellville police officer accused of having inappropriate relations with city inmates pleaded guilty to assault charges on June 27, officials said.
Jeremy Shane Hall, 35, 1372 Franklin 89, Phil Campbell, pleaded guilty to three counts of third-degree assault and was sentenced to six months on each count to run concurrently but suspended for two years based on good behavior.
As a condition of the sentence, Hall will also have to surrender his certification to be a police officer and is barred from ever being a police officer in the state of Alabama.
Retired prosecutor Gary Alverson from Colbert County handled the case for Franklin County District Attorney Joey Rushing, who recused from the case.
Alverson said he believed the plea was good considering the circumstances.
“I’m not thrilled with having to resolve the case this way, but in a circumstance like this where there is a civil suit and a criminal case occurring at the same time, it makes the case more difficult,” Alverson said.
“We obtained depositions from the civil suit that was filed by some of the alleged victims, and there were substantial inconsistencies from some of the witnesses in their statements.
“In a criminal case, especially one where a more definitive statement has been given, the facts have to match up, so we felt it would be best to resolve the case.”
According to records, Hall was originally arrested on March 25, 2011, for three counts of custodial sexual misconduct following an investigation by the Alabama Bureau of Investigation.
The investigation was promoted after Police Chief Chris Hargett received a complaint from a female inmate at the city jail who alleged Hall touched her inappropriately.
After other women came forward alleging Hall had also had inappropriate relationships with them as well, Hall was indicted on seven counts of custodial sexual misconduct by the September 2011 grand jury and was terminated from his position as a city police sergeant by the Russellville City Council that same month.
According to witness testimony at Hall’s preliminary hearing at the end of June 2011, ABI criminal investigator Cpl. Brian Faulkner said the first female inmate accused Hall of making her perform a strip search when he let her out to get a snack at the snack machine inside the police department.
Faulkner confirmed that he had received other complaints during the course of the investigation from women who said Hall had inappropriate interactions with them while they were housed at the city jail.
Testimony during the hearing also revealed that Hall was accused of offering female inmates privileges and an “easier time in jail” in exchange for sexual favors.
In addition to the criminal charges, a notice of claim was filed in March 2011 with the city of Russellville by four former inmates who intend to sue the city based on events involving Hall that allegedly took place inside the city jail.
City attorney Danny McDowell said the civil suit had also been resolved.
McDowell said the settlement figures could not be disclosed, but the city’s insurance company did pay a nominal fee to settle the case with the city paying a small deductible cost.
“We didn’t believe there was any merit to the claims made against the city or city employees, but sometimes you have to look at the situation from an economic standpoint,” McDowell said.
“We had to do what would be in the best economic interest of the city and a settlement was the best option.”
W-B police officer accused of brutality returns to job
A suspended Wilkes-Barre police officer is back on the job after being investigated for using a Taser on a suspect in the back of a patrol car earlier this year, city officials confirmed Monday.
Ken Jones, 37, who was suspended with pay year while under investigation by state police for what city officials deemed an "alleged excessive force incident," has returned to full duty, city Municipal Affairs Manager Drew McLaughlin said.
McLaughlin declined to comment on the findings of the investigation, which did not lead to criminal charges. He said he could not disclose whether Jones was subjected to internal disciplinary action as a result of the probe.
Dennis Fisher, a spokesman for state Attorney General Kathleen Kane, also declined comment, saying the agency's policy is to neither confirm nor deny any investigation.
Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis referred the case to state police for investigation, citing a potential conflict of interest because of the close working relationship between her office and city police.
The man who accused Jones of using excessive force, Matthew Phillips, 32, of 148 S. Maple Ave., Kingston, was cited with harassment, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness in February in connection with an incident at the Hardware Bar, 12 S. Main St., Wilkes-Barre.
According to court records, a drunken Phillips took a swing at a bouncer, Curtis Mathis, and fought with officers. Jones alleged in a citation that Phillips, "engaged in fighting at Hardware Bar, made unreasonable noise, obscene language and created a hazardously physical offensive condition."
Phillips is scheduled for trial July 15 in Luzerne County Court.
Jones was cited while on leave for harassment, a low-level, summary offense, in an unrelated scuffle with his father-in-law on March 23. The charge was withdrawn on April 8, according to court records.
Report details East Haven police misconduct
EAST HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — An East Haven police internal investigation has found police officers abused their power in investigating a misdemeanor purse snatching from an officer's mother.
The report, obtained by the New Haven Register (http://bit.ly/1bbNAKX ) through a freedom of information request, found problems with the conduct of five officers during the Jan. 17 incident.
The report says police pursued a pregnant woman they believed might have knowledge of the purse snatching into New Haven where her car collided with a cruiser. It says the officers improperly interrogated her and illegally seized items, including her purse, from her car before releasing her in a strange neighborhood with no way to get home.
The investigation into the incident is ongoing, and none of those involved has been placed on leave.
Lawnside police officer charged with misconduct
A Lawnside police lieutenant was charged Tuesday with official misconduct after he allegedly failed to notify authorities of a suspect's confession about his role in a Salem County homicide, the Camden County Prosecutor's Office said.
Lloyd Lewis, 44, the highest- ranking member of department, also was charged with tampering with evidence and public records.
The accusation stems from an alleged exchange five years ago between Lewis and Lee Williams Jr., who was then wanted in connection with the homicide.
Reached Tuesday evening, Lewis, a 23-year law enforcement veteran, declined to comment about the charges. His attorney, Jeffrey C. Garrigan of Jersey City, could not be reached.
Authorities said that on Aug. 20, 2008, Lewis was contacted by a longtime friend who was related to Williams. The friend asked Lewis to help facilitate Williams' surrender.
Williams and Lewis waited for Salem County investigators at the Lawnside Police Department.
The Prosecutor's Office said: "In that time, Lewis claimed Williams insisted on making a statement."
Lewis allegedly read Williams his Miranda rights and took the statement with audio and video equipment. Williams acknowledged being an accomplice in the homicide, authorities said.
Lewis then wrote a report on the incident that failed to mention Williams' statement, the Prosecutor's Office said.
Lewis also never told Salem County authorities about the statement and failed to preserve a recording of it, authorities said.
Police videos in Lawnside are saved 45 days before being copied over, and Lewis made no attempt to preserve the confession, authorities said.
Authorities last night did not disclose the name of the homicide victim or whether Williams had been tried in the case.
Torrance police deny misconduct in mistaken identity shooting during Dorner manhunt
LOS ANGELES — The city of Torrance has filed documents denying misconduct by police officers who shot at a white surfer during a manhunt for a rogue Los Angeles former officer.
Attorneys for the city asked for a trial in the damage lawsuit brought by David Perdue who was on his way to pick up a friend to go surfing when he was stopped by officers looking for Dorner. He says police rammed his pickup truck, deploying air bags, then shot into the driver's window with bullets whizzing past Perdue's head. The 38-year-old man says he was held on the ground with a gun to his head.
Mediation efforts between Purdue and the city failed, and Torrance filed a 34-page answer to his federal suit Friday saying the officers acted lawfully and used only reasonable force. They also argued that public employees "are immune from liability for discharging their mandatory duties with reasonable diligence."
"Defendants are immune from liability under the Federal Civil Rights Act because they acted in good faith with an honest and reasonable belief that their actions were necessary and appropriate," the city said in its filing.
Authorities say Dorner killed four people, including two law enforcement officers, during a weeklong rampage that involved a massive manhunt and ended with his apparent suicide in a mountain cabin following a gunbattle with police.
He was still at large when police stopped Perdue. Authorities believed Dorner was driving a pickup, although it was a different make and color than Perdue's truck.
Perdue is claiming he suffered head and spinal injuries and lost his job as an LAX baggage handler because of the incident. According to his lawyers, he remains unable to work. His speech and his gait are impaired and he requires regular medical attention. Once a gifted athlete, he now has difficulty even playing with his two small children, they said.
The Perdue shooting was not the only case of mistaken identity on Feb. 7. Two women delivering newspapers in Torrance were also shot at by Los Angeles police officers; the city reached a $4.2 million settlement with the women in April in addition to the $40,000 settlement for the loss of their pickup truck.
Report: Two N.J. men use surveillance video to support police brutality allegations
(CBS/AP) PATERSON, N.J. - Two northern New Jersey men are reportedly using footage from a surveillance camera to help support their allegations of police brutality in 2011. Alexis Aponte and Miguel Rivera claim that Paterson police used undue force against them when they were arrested, according to CBS New York.
The video appears to show Aponte being kicked by Paterson officers and then dragged down the street during a 2011 arrest.
A federal lawsuit filed Friday in Newark claims Aponte, of Paterson, and Rivera, of Prospect Park, were beaten while on the ground handcuffed. Aponte was a passenger in a truck driven by Rivera when police stopped them.
Their attorney, Darren Del Sardo, says the video was from a camera outside the Rivera family's home. It mostly captured what happened on the passenger side.
The lawsuit names Paterson police and specific officers.
The suit claims authorities punched and kicked Aponte and Rivera, nearly knocking them unconscious. It also claims that neither man resisted arrest and that officers took their money, jewelry and other personal items that were never returned.
Police declined to comment, saying the case has been referred to the Passaic County prosecutor.
Aponte and Rivera allegedly got into a fight with off-duty police officers at a sports bar hours before they were arrested, reported the station.
Aponte is currently in prison for charges related to a weapon he was carrying during the altercation at the sports bar.
Police Officer Charged With Burglary
A former Lexington police officer has been arrested on a warrant charging him with burglary, criminal trespass and official misconduct.
Lexington radio station KRVN-FM reports that 49-year-old Terrance Smith was arrested at his home Wednesday. His bond was set at $500. The case was investigated by Nebraska State Patrol and is being prosecuted by the Nebraska Attorney General's Office.
Smith is accused of entering Landmark Implement near Lexington after business hours on May 19, while on duty and without a law enforcement purpose. Landmark is just outside of the Lexington patrol jurisdiction. Landmark officials reported Smith's actions to the police department on June 7, and Smith was fired three days later.
A public phone listing for Smith could not be found.
Critical Mass Tensions With Cops Grow After Arrest, Hit-and-Run
Critical Mass Miami has blown up over the past year. The last-Friday-of-the-month rides now regularly draw more than 2,000 cyclists at a time, and even celebs such as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Gabrielle Union have shown up.
But there are signs the movement is experiencing growing pains, not least of all growing tension with cops. During the June 28 ride, Miami Police officers were booed and pelted with trash after arresting local chef Aleric "AJ" Constantin for selling ice cream out of a cart on his bicycle. "I basically spent a day and a half in jail for selling ice cream," Constantin says. "Pretty much from the get-go, the officers seemed really focused on breaking up the whole mass."
Elsewhere on the ride, a father and son say police were less than helpful when a Mount Sinai Hospital surgeon hit the pair with his Mercedes and then drove off.
Critical Mass rides, which are staged in hundreds of cities worldwide to celebrate bike culture, began in Miami in 2006 and have grown exponentially in the past two years. Last month, thousands met in downtown Miami to ride to Miami Beach and back.
Midway through that route, as the peloton crossed the 79th Street Causeway, a black Mercedes-Benz SL550 belonging to Dr. Irvin Willis began weaving through the crowd and hit 22-year-old Anthony Manzano.
"He tapped him out of his way, knocked him off his bike," says Anthony's father, Ulises Manzano. When Ulises chased down and tried to stop Willis' car, the doctor allegedly knocked him over too before running over his bicycle and driving off.
"If my dad hadn't jumped off the bike, he would have run over him," says the younger Manzano, who ended up with an injured wrist and bruised hip.
Worse than the crime, MPD waited days to begin investigating the hit-and-run, the Manzanos say. (A police spokesman declined to comment on the case because it's open; Willis has not been charged with a crime, though a police report notes he was driving in a "careless or negligent manner" and "fled the scene." Willis' attorney, Michael A. Haber, says the doctor "is not prepared to discuss the matter at the moment.")
"What if the guy could have hurt other people that night?" says Barbara Manzano, Ulises' wife.
The absurdity of the incident was made all the worse when, a few hours later, Miami cops did make one arrest: Constantin was handcuffed and sent to jail for slinging homemade dessert.
Constantin, who is a chef at Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, has made a name for himself by handing out free samples of his outrageous flavors, such as orange mango saffron ice cream with mint-infused whipped cream, from a homemade bike outfitted with a cooler.
At the end of Friday's ride, Constantin and friend Hunter Hoover were in front of the Filling Station bar downtown around 10 p.m. when an MPD officer approached as Constantin was selling ice cream to a fellow cyclist. The cop asked the chef if he had a license to sell his dessert. Constantin handed over his ID and said all of his paperwork was in order. Moreover, he had permission from the Filling Station to be there.
When Constantin asked for his ID back, though, the cop told him he could have it as soon as he was packed and ready to leave. When he objected, Constantin says, he was arrested. (A police report states he had been warned in the past not to sell ice cream and that he resisted arrest; he disputes both points.)
Boos and trash began raining down from all directions as cops cuffed the chef. "Everybody was booing and throwing plates and items and things I don't remember at the cops," Hoover says. "It was crazy. It was out of control. The entire Critical Mass was up in arms."
The besieged officers called for backup, and a half-dozen squad cars soon pulled up. Amazingly, it appears as if no one else was arrested.
Both Constantin and Hoover say the incident is really about more than one man's bogus arrest. It's about how Critical Mass has grown so large that cops can't ignore it anymore. Hoover admits the movement has ballooned so fast that it's gotten unruly at times. But he says he and other bikers are working to fix those problems.
"As soon as we entered Miami Beach territory, Beach cops... came out and immediately started to assist us by blocking off the streets," he says. "But as soon as we got into the City of Miami once again, that was nowhere to be found... You're supposed to be helping people or fighting crime or something... not arresting kids for selling ice cream on a bicycle."
Stillwater police officer charged with stealing from department's Drug Take-Back bin
STILLWATER, Okla. - Felony charges have been filed against a former Stillwater police sergeant accused of stealing prescription medications from his department's drug supply.
The Payne County District Attorney filed the charge of larceny of controlled dangerous substance Monday against Sgt. Tom McConaghy.
The officer resigned from his post July 4 after amid internal and criminal investigations. According to Stillwater police Capt. Randy Dickerson, investigators discovered McConaghy had removed "several" prescription drugs, including Hydrocodone and Promethazine from the department's Drug Take-Back bin around May 25.
A story by the Stillwater News Press dates the take-back program to 2011. McConaghy, whom the paper interviewed on the initiative's success, encouraged residents to turn in pills instead of flushing them down a toilet or letting them sit in medicine cabinets.
If convicted, McConaghy could face up to 10 years in jail and a $10,000 fine.
Berks County police officer suspended, charged with shoplifting
An Amity Township police officer charged with twice stealing items from a Montgomery County grocery store has been suspended, authorities confirmed Tuesday.
Cpl. Glenn J. Oesterling, 35, of Amity Township, was suspended indefinitely without pay last week by Amity Police Chief Kent Shubrook, according to township Supervisor Robert Yanos.
Oesterling has been a township officer for 12 years, Yanos said.
Since 2011, Oesterling also was a member of the Berks County District Attorney's major crimes task force, a group of select detectives from various departments who investigate major crimes in Berks. District Attorney John T. Adams said Oesterling has been suspended from that role as well.
He was charged with retail theft and receiving stolen property for the incidents, which took place June 12 and June 18 at the Giant Food Store in West Pottsgrove Township, court records showed.
According to court documents:
On June 12, a Giant loss prevention officer saw Oesterling placing several items totaling about $38 into reusable shopping bags in his cart and then walking out of the store without going through a checkout line.
A security photo of Oesterling was posted in the store so staff could look out for him.
He returned June 18 and placed about 50 items totaling approximately $300 into reusable bags in his cart and left the store without going through a checkout line. A loss prevention officer stopped him in the store vestibule, where Oesterling described himself as a "cop."
Oesterling had three young children with him during at least one of the incidents.
Giant passed the information on to West Pottsgrove police, who charged Oesterling on July 1. Oesterling was arraigned by District Judge Scott Palladino in Pottstown and is free awaiting further court action.
Oesterling is represented by Pottstown attorney Adam Sager.
"My client is anxiously looking forward to his July 25 (preliminary hearing) date to have the opportunity to defend himself and clear his good name," Sager said.
The Amity supervisors met in executive session during their July 3 meeting and supported the suspension handed down by the chief, Yanos said.
The supervisors did not vote on the suspension, though, or announce it during the meeting.
Yanos wanted to make the public aware of the situation, saying residents deserved to know what happened, but said he was overruled by the three other supervisors.
"I'm very puzzled by the secrecy," Yanos said. "Why keep it a secret?"
The state's Sunshine Law allows the supervisors to release such information, but does not compel them to do so, said Melissa Melewsky, media law counsel for the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association.
"It's their choice," she said.
But Melewsky said the supervisors should have been more specific about the reason for the executive session than simply saying it was for personnel reasons.
Occupy protesters get $1.17 million in Oakland police misconduct settlement
In the second big settlement with protesters announced in the past nine days, the city of Oakland will pay out $1.17 million to members of the Occupy movement for police misconduct, a term which euphemizes their actual behavior.
All of the plaintiffs, including Oakland videographer Scott Campbell, were struck either by beanbags or flash-bang grenades fired by officers during Occupy protests on Oct. 25, 2011 and Nov. 2, 2011, Lederman said. Settlements ranged from $20,000 to $500,000. The biggest settlements were awarded to women struck by the grenades, which use loud noise and bright explosions to disorient people.
Campbell, who will receive $150,000, made international headlines when an Oakland police officer shot him in the thigh in the early morning hours of Nov. 3 during a protest near City Hall.
In addition to the money, Oakland has agreed as part of negotiations over this settlement and another announced last week to reform its crowd control policy and give the federal government oversight for the next seven years.
Rachel Lederman, an attorney with the National Lawyers Guild that brought both suits, was pleased the city had settled quickly and was taking steps to keep such incidents from happening again. But she warned that the proof will be in what the city does, not what it promises, "so it remains to be seen whether there will be compliance."
The catch is that Oakland negotiated a new crowd control policy back in 2005 as a result of having brutally treated Iraq war protesters. But in both the case of the Occupy protesters and the 150 so-called Oscar Grant protesters arrested in November 2010, the police didn't follow their own policy.
The Oscar Grant protest was sparked by a judge's decision to overturn a gun enhancement provision and hand down a two-year sentence for manslaughter to the Bay Area Transit police officer who shot Grant to death in 2009. Had the shooting not been videotaped, it probably would not have resulted in even that weak punishment.
In the ensuing protests after the sentencing, Oakland police carried out mass arrests and Alameda County sheriff's deputies mistreated the people being held. The $1.025 million settlement with both the city and the county for that misconduct was announced June 24.
These two settlements won't be the end. At least four more lawsuits have been filed against the city for police misconduct relating to Occupy protests in 2011 and 2012. In those a protester was nearly killed from being shot in the head and another viciously beaten
Fullerton Police to Pay $25,000 Settlement in False Arrest Case
Fullerton Police to Pay $25,000 Settlement in False Arrest Case By TRACY WOOD | 4 comments
Fullerton has agreed to a $25,000 federal court settlement for the 2010 arrest of a man who apparently did nothing wrong, the OC Weekly reported.
The arresting officer was Kenton Hampton, who a year later was one of six Fullerton police officers involved in the fatal beating of 37-year-old Fullerton transient Kelly Thomas.
According to the Weekly, in June 2010, Edward Quinonez was smoking a cigarette on a Fullerton sidewalk when police made a traffic stop nearby. Hampton reportedly told Quinonez to move away, but he didn’t.
“According to court records, Hampton decided he needed to arrest Quinonez because he claimed he smelled the ‘strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from his person,' " and his " ‘eyes were red, bloodshot and watery, and his speech was slurred,’ " the Weekly reported.
"The officer also added that the man couldn't stand on his own; he then handcuffed him and slammed his head up against a wall," the Weekly reported. His head was injured severely enough that Quinonez was taken to St. Jude Hospital for treatment.
The Weekly report states that court records, audio and video show Quinonez had no alcohol in his system, his speech was normal and he had no trouble walking or standing.
The article reported that Hampton later said Quinonez “may not have been drinking, but when I asked, 'What's your name?' he said, 'None of your fucking business.' "
According to the Weekly, “During the arrest, Hampton was recorded telling his partner that he arrested Quinonez not for public intoxication, but rather because he just thought the man 'was a fucking asshole' who'd made a 'fucking smart-ass comment.' "
After Fullerton agreed to settle Quinonez’ case, the Weekly reported, U.S. District Judge James V. Selna issued a judgment July 5 in Quinonez’ favor and closed the case.
Hampton was not charged with a crime in connection with Thomas’ July 2011 death, but three other Fullerton officers are awaiting trial on charges of second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter. They are Manuel Ramos, Jay Cicinelli and Joseph Wolfe.
Inmate freed in wake of Tulsa police corruption investigation files lawsuit against city
Another lawsuit was filed against the city this week by a man who was freed from custody following an investigation into corruption within the Tulsa Police Department.
Tony Maurice Becknell Jr., 33, claims in the lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Tulsa County District Court, that the city had a policy of failing to monitor and supervise officers such as Jeff Henderson, who is serving a prison sentence after being convicted in 2011 of six counts of perjury and two counts of civil rights violations that a jury found he committed while was a Tulsa police officer.
His lawsuit claims that the city of Tulsa created an environment in which police officers "were able to freely and without fear of discipline violate the rights of the citizens."
Last July, U.S. District Judge James Payne ordered Becknell freed from custody in a federal drug case in which he had been sentenced in October 2005 to 15 years and nine months in prison.
Becknell became one of at least 48 people who were freed from prison or had their cases modified because of civil rights violations or issues stemming from the police corruption probe.
In his lawsuit, Becknell alleges that an affidavit Henderson submitted to support a search warrant in Becknell's criminal case "was a complete sham, fabrication and had no basis in fact or truth."
Becknell "languished in prison for over six years" after pleading guilty in order to avoid the risk of receiving an even lengthier prison sentence if he had been convicted at trial, the lawsuit says.
"He was deprived (of) his freedom, liberty and suffered significant emotional distress, humiliation, degradation and embarrassment as a result of living a significant portion of his life behind bars," the complaint states.
On Feb. 27, Payne held Henderson in contempt of court for false testimony that the court found Henderson gave on June 29, 2012, in Becknell's case, which was being considered for post-conviction relief. As punishment, Payne added three months to Henderson's original 42-month prison sentence.
After Henderson identified a man he claimed was an informant upon whom he had relied in his investigation of Becknell years earlier, Becknell's attorney proved that the man had been incarcerated in the Tulsa Jail at that time and could not have been used as an informant when Henderson said he was.
Payne found that "Henderson testified falsely with intent to obstruct the administration of justice."
Becknell's lawsuit is at least the 17th filed by people who claim that they were victimized by the sort of activity that was the subject of a grand jury probe into the Tulsa Police Department. The investigation resulted in charges against six current or former Tulsa police officers and an ex-federal agent, as well as accusations of criminal behavior against five officers who were never charged.
The city has been dismissed as a party from several of those lawsuits. However, U.S. District Judge Tim Leonard has set a Jan. 21 trial date in a case filed by Bobby Wayne Haley Sr.
On June 4, Leonard found that Haley "presented sufficient evidence that, if believed by a jury, would support a finding of deliberate indifference to the need for training (of officers) on civil rights matters and for additional oversight of the search warrant process."
Besides Henderson and the city of Tulsa, Becknell's lawsuit also named various "John Doe" officers and former Tulsa Police Chief Ron Palmer as defendants.
Becknell alleges in his lawsuit that the city and Palmer knew that Henderson "disregarded or otherwise did not follow departmental policy, rules and regulations and willfully and intentionally refused to undertake the necessary remedial efforts to protect the citizens of Tulsa from him."
Henderson, who has appealed both his 2011 conviction and the contempt ruling, is scheduled to be released on Oct. 25, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.
Cops and the women they abuse: smack'n the old lady around: Quincy officer charged with assault on estranged, pregnant wife QUINCY, Massachusetts — A veteran Quincy police...
CPD officer fired, charged with criminal domestic violence, DUI
A Columbia Police officer is out of a job and in jail after he allegedly assaulted his girlfriend and operated a motor vehicle while under the influence. Interim Columbia Police Chief Ruben Santiago said 41-year-old Gerald Atkinson was released from his duties Tuesday.The termination stems from allegations that Atkinson was involved in criminal domestic violence incidents in the City of Columbia and Lexington County. He is also accused of driving under the influence in Lexington County.
According to a Lexington County Sheriff's Department incident report, a Columbia Police Department sergeant notified deputies that Atkinson was involved in a domestic situation Friday night at a Lexington County home not far from the Lake Murray dam.
Case of Jersey City officer charged with drunk driving being investigated for possible criminality
The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office has taken over the case of an off-duty Jersey City police detective charged with drunk driving and firing his gun in an unmarked police car he was not authorized to have.
Jersey City Municipal Court Judge Carlo Abad notified Detective William Kallert that the Prosecutor’s Office had taken over his case when the officer made his first court appearance on the charges today at 1:40 p.m. in the municipal court building on Summit Avenue.
Hudson County Assistant Prosecutor Gene Rubino said the driving while intoxicated charge is being taken over by the Prosecutor’s Office and the incident remains under investigation. The office would determine if there is any criminality involved, he said.
After Kallert’s arrest, Jersey City spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill said city officials would pursue all possible charges against Kallert, including termination, in light of the alleged unauthorized use of the city vehicle.
Kallert was arrested on July 4 after officers responding to Kennedy Boulevard and Lake Street at 3 a.m. on a report of a vehicle blocking the roadway found Kallert in the vehicle, officials said.
The 28-year veteran of the department was charged with driving while intoxicated and immediately suspended without pay, officials said, adding that Kallert's service weapon was seized. Further investigation revealed Kallert had apparently discharged the weapon while in the vehicle, prior to the arrival of the officers, officials said. No one was injured.
The officers also saw that the East District detective was in an unmarked Jersey City police vehicle he was not authorized to use outside of work hours, officials said.
Kallert wore white cargo pants and a blue and white striped, dress shirt when he appeared in court this afternoon for the hearing that lasted about five minutes. He did not speak at the the hearing at which he was represented by attorney Susanne Lavelle, standing in for Dennis McAlevy. Lavelle said she had no comment as she and Kallert left the courtroom.
Kallert, who was suspended without pay, earned $111,000 a year.
The Jersey City Municipal Court handles cases involving disorderly persons offenses and ordinance and traffic violations, including driving while intoxicated. The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office handles criminal cases.
Lowell cop arrested on DWI charge
LOWELL -- A well-known police officer was placed on paid administrative leave, with pay, late last week after he was arrested and charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol in the Back Central neighborhood.
Eric Wayne, 39, who is a Lowell resident, was arrested by Lowell police on July 4 near the intersection of Lawrence and Rogers Street.
While having lunch at Live Alive a couple years ago, Wayne parked his cruiser in a handicapped parking place on Middle Street, for which he received a reprimand.
According to court documents, police Lt. Daniel Larocque, the shift supervisor that day, said that at around noon on July 4, he became involved in an "administrative matter" concerning Wayne. Larocque wrote that after speaking to another officer about the situation, he parked his cruiser at the end of Hanks Street by Rogers Street waiting for Wayne's white 2013 Land Rover to pass by.
While parked at that location, Larocque wrote in his report that he spotted Wayne's vehicle turn right on Rogers Street from the other side of Hanks Street. Wayne stopped at a red light, and Larocque pulled up behind him, got out and approached Wayne, telling him to pull into the parking lot of a local liquor store.
Due to the "sensitive nature" of the incident, Larocque asked Wayne to stand near his police cruiser so he could speak to him. During the interaction, Larocque wrote that he could smell alcohol on Wayne's breath, and noticed his eyes were bloodshot and glassy. Wayne appeared unsteady on his feet, Larocque said.
"As I continued to speak with him, his talk became irrational at times," Larocque wrote, describing Wayne's behavior.
Wayne would be talking about the "administrative matter" he and Larocque were discussing, Larocque wrote, and then Wayne would say he was leaving the department and he was tired of the department watching him.
Larocque had requested that a department Employee Assistance Program officer respond to the scene to speak to Wayne, according to court documents.
Larocque asked Wayne to perform a field sobriety test. Initially, Wayne refused, then he agreed. He failed the tests, Larocque wrote.Larocque arrested him.
Back at the station, Wayne refused a Breathalyzer test. Under state law, refusing the Breathalyzer test means an automatic 180-day loss of license.
During an inventory search of Wayne's vehicle, police found some money, which was returned to him, some partially eaten food and an open bottle of beer.
Wayne is the son of the late Lowell police Detective Gerald A. Wayne, who died April 8, 2009, after a battle with cancer. The elder Wayne posthumously received a department citation in 2011 for investigating the cold-case murder of 15-year-old John Joseph McCabe of Dracut, whose body was found in September 1969 in a vacant field off Maple Street in Lowell.
Orland Hills Cop Gets 6 years for Fatal DUI Crash
An Orland Hills cop was sentenced Tuesday to six years in prison for an aggravated DUI conviction, stemming from the death of a 20-year-old Homewood man in September 2010 on Interstate 80 near New Lenox. Will County Judge Edward Burmila sentenced Robert E. Caputo, 62, 8811 W. 167th Place, Orland Hills, to prison for a Class 2 felony that he pleaded guilty to on May 17. The penalty for the aggravated DUI conviction could have been as much as 14 years and as little as three years, according to a statement by Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow.
Hattiesburg police officer charged with DUI
PETAL, Miss. (AP) — A Hattiesburg police officer has been charged with driving under the influence following an accident that left a 3-year-old injured.
Petal Police Department Detective Mitch Nobles tells The Hattiesburg American (http://hatne.ws/10Kn2MH) officers received reports of an accident at about 8:30 p.m. Sunday.
Officers charged 26-year-old Zachary Rooke, of Petal, with first-offense driving under the influence.
Nobles said Rooke was allegedly driving a utility task vehicle, or four-wheeled, side-by-side motorized buggy, at the time of the single-vehicle accident.
He said at least one other passenger was with Rooke — a 3-year-old child who was taken from the scene to receive medical treatment.
Nobles declined to release the current condition of the child.
It was unclear whether Rooke has an attorney.
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