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"I don't like this book because it don't got know pictures" Chief Rhorerer

“It’s becoming a disturbingly familiar scene in America - mentally unstable cops”

“It’s becoming a disturbingly familiar scene in America - mentally unstable cops”
“It’s becoming a disturbingly familiar scene in America - mentally unstable cops”

San Jose cop charged with issuing phony tickets against lawsuit foe and his own lawyer

SAN JOSE -- After a veteran San Jose police officer got in a car accident five years ago, he sued the other driver, ultimately settling out of court. But perhaps not to his liking.
And he apparently couldn't let it go, say prosecutors who charged him with writing phony citations last month targeting the driver, and in a strange twist, the attorney he hired to handle his case.
George Chavez, 51, faces three felony counts of false personation exposing the victim to liability, and three felony counts of filing a false police report. The 23-year police veteran surrendered to authorities Tuesday night, and was freed after posting $60,000 bail.
Authorities say that on Oct. 28, Chavez used his police computer to look up a Texas man he sued in 2008 after a local car accident, as well as the attorney from the Sacramento-area he hired to file the corresponding civil suit.
He then purportedly used that data to write up one traffic ticket and two tickets for illegally parking in a handicapped zone, forging the signatures of the Texas man, the attorney and two other police officers on the citations.
"It's surprising and unfortunate because we put a lot of responsibility on police officers and give them a lot of power," deputy district attorney Daniel Rothbach said. "Besides using his police computer, he went even further, exposing the victims to liabilities and abusing the trust of other police officers."
The purported scheme unraveled when the officer whose signature appeared on the traffic ticket was notified after an administrative review of the citation, and alerted a supervisor. The motorist listed on the ticket was in Texas when the documented violation supposedly occurred. Further investigation turned up the phony parking tickets.
San Jose police officials expressed concern about the allegations against one of its officers.
"In these cases, we respect the criminal process and monitor the criminal proceedings, which will be followed by an administrative review," Sgt. Heather Randol, a police spokeswoman, said. "We hold our officers accountable."
Randol deferred additional questions to the District Attorney's Office.
The charges carry a penalty of up to six years and four months in prison. Chavez was placed on administrative leave from the police department. His next court date is Dec. 10.

Contact Robert Salonga at 408-920-5002. Follow him at Twitter.com/robertsalonga

Ex-Greenfield police officer fined for throwing suspect into jail cell

A former Greenfield police officer was fined $1,500 Wednesday and ordered to perform 200 hours of community service for violently throwing a woman into a jail holding cell in July.
Thomas Roszak, 30, who was suspended following the incident, resigned from the department Nov. 1. He was initially charged with felony misconduct in office but pleaded no contest Wednesday to misdemeanor battery as part of an agreement with prosecutors.
Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Glenn Yamahiro also imposed, but suspended, a 30-day jail sentence for Roszak, meaning he could be forced to serve that aspect of the sentence if he fails to meet the other conditions within six months.
In contrast to Roszak's attorney and the prosecutor's characterization of the offense as a shove, Yamahiro, who watched video of the incident, said it was more like the victim was thrown "like a sack of potatoes," according to her attorney.
Amanda Luke, 30, of Oak Creek had been arrested on charges of driving while revoked, and with a prohibited blood alcohol concentration and fleeing an officer.
According to the complaint against Roszak, he had removed Luke from a holding cell for booking, but when he ordered her to return to the cell she placed her hands on his chest and addressed him with a vulgarity.
Roszak then lifted her by the torso, carried her across a hallway and flung her into the cell, where she bounced off a steel stool fixed to the floor before landing on the floor, according to the complaint.
The officer then called her an expletive and closed the door to the cell without checking her condition.
The woman suffered visible bruises across her body, and surveillance cameras captured audio and video of the incident, the complaint says.
Luke has filed a notice of injury with the City of Greenfield, usually a precursor to a lawsuit.
Her attorney, Jonathan Safran, told Yamahiro on Wednesday that his client, who was not present, took some responsibility and was sorry for her actions that night, but still felt Roszak had acted unprofessionally.
The criminal case against Luke is scheduled for a plea hearing in January.

Five Grosse Pointe Park police officers suspended for videos of mentally challenged man

GROSSE POINTE PARK, MI -- How long they will be suspended and whether they'll be paid while suspended is unclear.
Grosse Pointe Park Public Safety Director David A. Hiller confirmed that five of the department's 36 police officers will be suspended between 24 hours and 60 days, although he would provide no further details.
The punishments come after a week-long investigation into the origin and disbursement of several videos taken of Michael Scipio, 55, a mentally challenged Grosse Pointe Park resident. Hiller said the videos were recorded in March of 2012 and all of the officers involved worked on the same shift.
All of the officers either received, sent or were aware of the recordings.
That shift has now been "entirely re-alligned," said Hiller. "We broke up everything."
"The fact that mentally-challenged individual, no matter what color creed or what religion... was videotaped for non-law-enforcement reasons, personal vices, by officers of this department is totally unacceptable..." said Hiller.
Videos taken by an officer and forwarded to Motor City Muckraker, the media outlet that released the footage, depict Scipio being asked to sing his song.
Scipio proceeds to string together nonsensical chants and make odd noises, which were forwarded via text message between officers and their friends. One of the officers ex-wives leaked the messages to Motor City Muckraker.
Minister Malik Shabazz, founder of the New Marcus Garvey Movement, called the press conference a "pep rally" that was "not in the spirit" of the closed door meeting he had with Hiller after a protest last week.
"An African-American man was humiliated," Shabazz said. "It's a whitewash... The officers are wrong... I'm not satisfied."
City officials invited four black residents of Grosse Pointe Park to illustrate the diversity that exists in Grosse Pointe Park, which according to the 2010 U.S. Census is 10.5 percent black and 85 percent white. The black residents spoke highly of the police department.
The Grosse Pointe Police Department has no black officers and one female.
"I pride the fact that in the years since I've been here we might get two complaints per year," said Hiller, whose been with the department since 2001. "I don't know that I can ever change the belief that Grosse Pointe is writing tickets because 'you're black on Mack' but that's not the case."
Hiller said in addition to punishment, the entire department will undergo sensitivity training. Hiller did not know how much the training would cost taxpayers.
"Those are not the things we worry about right now," he said. "We want to make sure things are done properly."
Hiller didn't know how much taxpayers are paying for the services of Greg Bowens, a contracted pubic relations professional from Grosse Pointe Park whom the city hired after news of the videos broke.
Marsha Fairrow, pastor for Higher Grounds Ministries located on the corner of Mack and Nottingham, was among those who spoke on behalf of the police department. She said she knows Scipio well. He and others often hang out on the corner near her church and she's called police several times when Scipio has become "belligerent."
She says police have always treated Scipio "very kind" and "humane."
Fairrow said she doubts the videos were taken with malice.
"On several ocassions he's come in and said, 'Do you want to hear the birds tweet?' and he made noises," she said. "That's Michael." He "says funny things."

SAPD officer suspended for sexual relationship with woman he arrested

SAN ANTONIO -- A San Antonio police officer served a 30-day suspension earlier this year after he admitted to a romantic relationship with a woman he had arrested twice for felony drug possession, according to the San Antonio Police Department.

SAPD released internal-affairs paperwork for Officer Leroy Diaz Tuesday -- more than four months after the KENS 5 I-Team requested it.

Diaz, a patrol officer for North Substation, admitted to having a four-month relationship with Breanna Mitchell, from October 2012 to January 2013.

Mitchell, 20, was arrested in June 2012 and again August 2012 for felony drug possession.

KENS 5 spoke with Mitchell Wednesday.

Mitchell said the sexual relationship with Officer Diaz started days after her August 2012 arrest.

"He had me meet him close by and I would go wait for him," Mitchell told KENS 5. "Every chance we got, we would see each other."

Mitchell said Officer Diaz expressed concern that he would get into trouble for dating her, but continued the relationship anyways.

According to his suspension paperwork, Diaz ended the relationship in late January 2013.

On Feb. 4, Cibolo Police found Mitchell asleep in her car across the street from Diaz's home.

Officer Diaz requested a criminal-trespass warning against Mitchell, which Cibolo police granted.

In March, an officer at North Substation said he was working on paperwork when a car pulled into the parking lot just before 2 a.m. A woman matching Mitchell's description told the detective, "I want Ofc. Leroy Diaz's clothes out of my place."

Both incidents happened after Diaz was already under investigation.

Diaz's suspension paperwork shows he served his suspension from June 1 to June 30, 2013.

Chief William McManus did not respond to the I-Team's request for an interview Wednesday.

Mitchell said her relationship with Officer Diaz actually helped her clean up her life.

CSPD Officer Formally Charged With Felony Evidence Tampering

The El Paso County District Attorney's Office has filed formal charges against a member of the Colorado Springs Police Department.
Officer David Rosenoff is charged with tampering with evidence, driving under the influence and careless driving.
Rosenoff, an almost 24-year veteran of CSPD, was reportedly involved in a crash in the early morning hours of November 9 near I-25 and Woodmen Road in Colorado Springs. Rosenoff was off-duty and driving his personal car.
Police tell us the police officer on scene suspected Rosenoff of drinking. They went to the hospital to draw blood to test for alcohol. He was ticketed with DUI and taken home.
But investigators say when the arresting officer got back to his police cruiser, he noticed the blood sample was missing.
Rosenoff is currently on paid administrative leave, but now that formal charges have been filed, that could change--the Colorado Springs police chief is now trying to get Rosenoff on unpaid leave.

Officer charged with stalking

The Greenville Police Department announced the arrest of one of its officers Tuesday afternoon on a stalking charge.

Officer Carlos E. Melgar, 58, of Greenville was arrested at the Pitt County Magistrate’s office on the misdemeanor charge, according to a department news release.

Police developed information that Melgar had misused police records and database information to identify and meet a woman, the release said. He subsequently stalked that woman, causing her fear and emotional distress.

Police presented the information to the Pitt County District Attorney’s Office. The department has proceeded with criminal and internal investigations.

Melgar was arrested Tuesday afternoon and given a $5,000 unsecured bond.

He has been placed on administrative leave without pay, and all his police powers have been suspended.

Melgar is a four-year veteran of the department.

Chief Hassan Aden said in a statement that the case was self-discovered at the department and pursued by its Internal Affairs Division.

“The arrest of officer Melgar reminds us all that no one is above the law and that the Greenville Police Department holds itself highly accountable to the laws and policies that govern society,” Aden said. “... Maintaining the public’s trust that we are effective in self-policing is a top priority of my administration and sends a clear message that we are an ethical and legitimate police department that will not tolerate officer misconduct.”

Pittsburgh cop reprimanded for Black teacher’s arrest

PITTSBURGH (AP) – A recommendation to reprimand a White Pittsburgh police officer for arresting a Black teacher who commented about the officer’s driving has been deemed too harsh by the city’s police union and not harsh enough by the American Civil Liberties Union, which sued over the incident.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazettesays the union president, Sgt. Michael LaPorte, believes the recommended reprimand should be appealed. LaPorte says Officer Jonathan Gromek did nothing wrong when he arrested Dennis Henderson as a crowd gathered outside a community meeting June 26. Henderson spent 12 hours in jail on charges that were later dropped.
But Witold Walczak, the ACLU’s legal director in Pennsylvania, says “it’s hard to imagine … a stronger case of misconduct.”
The city’s Office of Municipal Investigations recommended the reprimand

Bond reduced for NOPD officer accused of rape

New Orleans, La. - A judge reduces the bond of a suspended New Orleans Police Officer accused of raping a 15-year-old girl.
The judge reviewed the evidence and agreed Monday to cut Desmond Pratt's bond from $500,000 to $400,000 dollars.

In April, the 42-year-old was suspended without pay after he was arrested on charges of aggravated incest, sexual battery, and carnal knowledge of a juvenile.
The former homicide detective denies the allegations.
His trial is set to begin January 6th..

Officer accused of rape tried to find alleged victim after incident

SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio police are alleging that an officer accused of raping a woman in his patrol car was arrested after trying to look for her later.
A police report released Tuesday says the woman initially called 911 to report that she was being assaulted by another woman. According to the report, the woman told a responding officer that she "lied" — that she wanted to actually report a rape Friday by a San Antonio officer wearing a badge that said "R. Neal."
Police eventually arrested Officer Jackie Len Neal, who is now accused of sexual assault. Police say Neal was found looking for the woman, having identified himself as "Jack."
Police accuse Neal of placing the woman in handcuffs in the back of his car and raping her.

Bisard sentenced to 16 years, 3 suspended

FORT WAYNE — David Bisard was defiant until the very end.
Despite a 0.19 percent blood alcohol test and being convicted of nine felonies by a jury of his peers, the now-former Indianapolis police officer said again Tuesday during his sentencing that he was not drunk when he plowed into a group of motorcyclists.
He will now have several years behind bars to think about it.
Allen Superior Court Judge John Surbeck sentenced Bisard to 16 years in prison. With three years suspended and time off for good behavior, he could be released in 6 1/2 years.
"I was driving that car. I do accept responsibility," Bisard said with tears in his eyes and his voice cracking. "But I am not going to accept responsibility for being intoxicated ... because I wasn't."
Bisard asked for some level of forgiveness for the Aug. 6, 2010, crash on Indianapolis' Northeastside that killed Eric Wells, 30, and severely injured Mary Mills and Kurt Weekly.
"I wake up everyday knowing I took the life of an innocent man," Bisard said. "But I am not the awful man I've been made out to be. I understand their anger toward me and will never be able to understand their pain."
Bisard's attorney, John Kautzman, had asked for a sentence of eight to 11 years with an unspecified number of years suspended. He said after the sentencing that Bisard wants to "immediately start his sentence and roll up his sleeves and get into the treatment and therapy he needs."

Cop Being Released In Ten Days After Sex Crimes

A former police officer and school board member charged with raping several underage boys will be released from prison. Mike Taylor, 63, is set to be released from custody on Friday, December 6 after serving nine years in prison for his sex crimes against numerous underage boys. 

According to court records, Taylor was indicted on eleven counts of rape in 2002, nine counts of gross sexual imposition, and one count of attempted rape after numerous pre-teen and teenage boys from Washington Court House came forward claiming sexual abuse. In 2006, instead of going to trial he reached a plea agreement with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual battery. 

He was sentenced to nine years behind bars. After his release he will be on parole for five years. Attempts to reach Taylor’s attorney weren’t successful. It’s unknown if Taylor will return to Washington Court House. In 2010 during an early-release hearing Taylor said he would file a motion to live with his then-wife at 101 Taylor Lane. Shortly after his early release was denied his now ex-wife later sought a divorce and sold the house on the street named after him in Storybrook. Taylor was a Washington Court House School Board member, local general contractor, real estate agent, and former city police officer at the time of his arrest. -

cop admits violating judge's order in illegal handguns and explosives case

By  Douglass Dowty | ddowty@syracuse.com   

Syracuse, NY -- A former Onondaga County sheriff's deputy admitted he violated the terms of his sentence in a felony weapons conviction last year, but will remain free with stricter guidelines, a judge ruled this morning.

Mark Doneburgh, 62, admitted he obtained a hunting license in violation of his sentence. He also agreed to stop shooting at local gun clubs and to return weapons that he wasn't allowed to have after his sentencing, said Senior Assistant District Attorney Michael Ferrante.

"I certainly don't want to see you back here again," Judge Thomas J. Miller told Doneburgh in court. 

If there's another violation, Doneburgh will be sentenced to 2 1/3 to 7 years in state prison, the judge warned.

Prosecutors asked the judge to send Doneburgh to jail for the current violation, but Miller indicated he would give the former deputy a second chance to avoid jail. Doneburgh is a year in to a three-year conditional discharge on a criminal possession of a weapon conviction.

The judge said there may have been confusion at the time of sentencing over whether Doneburgh was allowed to hunt or fire at a range. But Visiting County Court Judge Don Todd clearly stated last December that Doneburgh was "prohibited from hunting utilizing firearms in this or any other state." And Donebugh's lawyer called him a "man of honor" who would not violate the judge's order.

After court, Ferrante wasn't buying the idea there was confusion. "I think Mark Doneburgh was blatant about it," the prosecutor said.

The violation centered around a certificate of relief from disabilities, which allowed Doneburgh certain rights given up by most felons. At sentencing last December, Todd gave Doneburgh a certificate, but told him he couldn't apply for a hunting license for two years. 

As a felon, Doneburgh is not allowed to possess a firearm without a judge's consent. That's what led to Doneburgh's admission today that he violated the sentence.

Miller took away the certificate of relief from disabilities this morning, meaning Doneburgh also can't vote or use his pilot's license, or a exercise a host of other rights, Ferrante said. 

The judge made very clear that Doneburgh wasn't allowed to possess rifles, pistols or firearms of any kind.

In addition to getting a hunting license, prosecutors accused Doneburgh of two other sentence violations:

• Shooting a gun at the Camillus gun club.

• Regaining control of weapons that were to be sold at Gem Sports Supply (inside Ra-Lin's) after his sentencing. 

Doneburgh declined comment after court.

Here is background on the case from a recent Syracuse.com story:

Doneburgh, who also worked at firearms manufacturer Glock, pleaded guilty last year to a single felony weapons charge -- possessing an illegal gun silencer -- that satisfied numerous charges that he owned and sold illegal firearms. He was given a three-year conditional discharge.

The decorated police veteran was accused in 2011 of possessing 22 rifles and handguns with defaced serial numbers or weapons that did not appear on his pistol permit. He was also accused of having an assault rifle, a disguised gun, seven silencers and 13 quarter sticks of dynamite.

The DA's office said Doneburgh made handguns from mismatched and illegally obtained gun parts. Some of the weapon parts came from the sheriff's office, where they were to have been destroyed, prosecutors said. Other parts came from Glock.

None of the weapons were used in crimes, prosecutors have said.

Visiting County Court Judge Donald Todd sentenced the former deputy to a three-year conditional discharge last December. When Doneburgh pleaded guilty, Todd said that Doneburgh's pistol license would be revoked and he would not be allowed to hunt with a gun.

"It would also include two years from the date of sentence that Mr. Doneburgh will be prohibited from hunting utilizing firearms in this or any other state and he's not to apply for any such license in this or any other state," Todd said in court.

At sentencing, Doneburgh's lawyer at the time referred to the judge's prohibition.

"I want to emphasize, this is a man of honor," said defense lawyer Edward Z. Menkin, according to court transcripts. "If you simply tell him you can't hunt with a gun, he's not going to do that. And he certainly is not. It would be a violation of law."

Despite his order in court, the judge did not write the hunting ban on a form that allowed Doneburgh to have other privileges not afforded other convicts, called a certificate of relief from disabilities. 

Prosecutors argued the judge's words in court should have been enough. That confusion appears to be what Judge Miller was referring to today in allowing Doneburgh to remain free.

In a separate accusation, Doneburgh reportedly regained control of weapons that were confiscated from him after sentencing, Ferrante said. The guns -- which were not related to the criminal case -- were to be sold through the gun store at Ra-Lin's Discount, named Gem Sport Supply.

But the guns somehow made their way back to Doneburgh, prosecutors said. The judge today ordered Doneburgh to relinquish those weapons again.

At sentencing last year, Doneburgh blamed the case on a "cowardly informant," saying he was "guilty of trusting a business partner." He said the weapons were used to advance his shooting skills and promote his product knowledge. He ended by apologizing.

Todd admonished Doneburgh for not taking ownership of his actions.

"I'm not sure what you are apologizing for," Todd said. "You're not saying you did anything wrong ... that's a problem with this case."

cop sentenced to 13 years in prison

INDIANAPOLIS — A former Indianapolis police officer convicted of drunk driving will spend 13 years in prison.
A judged sentence David Bisard to16 years in prison with three years suspended.
The sentencing came down one day after Bisard resigned from the IMPD.
He was found guilty in early November of drunk driving and causing a crash that killed one person.
"Best outcome is that David Bisard goes to prison, he serves his sentence and he comes out, he's a good father to his children and he never causes any harm and never gets arrested again," said Deputy Prosecutor Denise Robinson. "For me, that's the best result."
The three years suspended sentence will be spent on probation.