SUPERIOR, WI (WTAQ) - The state Justice Department will look into allegations that a police officer in Superior used excessive force in making an arrest.
George Gothner was seen on a dashboard camera video punching Natasha Lancour in the face while arresting her outside a lounge on January 5th.
She said she did nothing wrong before Gothner walked up to her and started cursing. The officer said Lancour resisted him, and scratched him in the face.
Lancour is charged with disorderly conduct and battery to an officer.
Superior Police Chief Charles LaGesse said it would be in everyone's best interest if the state oversaw the investigation of the officer's conduct.
By David Lohr
Harris County Sheriff's Office
A Texas patrol deputy was arrested Wednesday during an undercover prostitution sting being conducted by his own agency.
Emmanuel Augustine, 29, a five-year veteran with the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office, has been charged with solicitation of prostitution. The charge stems from a joint sting operation conducted by the constable's office and the Harris County Sheriff's Office, authorities said.
Augustine allegedly approached an undercover female officer early Wednesday morning by Imperial Valley. Authorities say he offered to pay the female officer $10 for a sex act.
Augustine, who was off-duty at the time of the alleged incident, was partially dressed in his uniform, police said.
"Following his identification, the administration was notified and responded to the arrest location," the constable's office said in a press release. "[He] was placed on immediate administrative suspension without pay pending an investigation into the incident."
For Augustine's safety, he was kept separate from other suspects while awaiting a probable cause court hearing late Wednesday. He was ultimately issued a citation and released on his own recognizance. If convicted of the misdemeanor charge, Augustine will face up to 180 days in jail and or a fine of up to $2,000.
Lily Dane –
In the last month, three D.C. officers were accused in unrelated investigations involving child pornography, attempted murder and the running of a prostitution operation involving teenage girls. More than 100 officers have been arrested in the last 5 years in D.C.. Most of the arrests involved alcohol-related traffic offenses or domestic violence. Councilman Tommy Wells, who chairs the public safety committee, ran a hearing on Friday to address the issue. He said the arrests were “shocking” and put MPD Chief Cathy Lanier on the hot seat. In his opening statement, he said: “These revelations have quite rightly caused great concern in our community. The police wield immense power and responsibility, and we count on them to keep us safe. The abuse of that power by even one officer hurts the reputation of all of our officers.” Chief Lanier emphasized – several times – that the first line of defense against misbehaving cops is the public, and said that citizen complaints are their biggest deterrent: “Community members calling in and telling us something is not right and alerting us some conduct of a police officer is our first line of defense.” Lanier is now making all recruits take lie detector tests, and is moving to put body cameras on officers: “Police agencies across the country are moving to the body camera system because it is one additional way for us to have accountability.” The Chief also explained that the arbitration process is partly to blame. It has resulted in the reinstatement of officers the department had previously tried to fire. In one case, an officer involved in domestic violence got drunk, threatened suicide and fired his weapon in the air but was ordered reinstated. Lanier said that arbitrators often force her to keep bad cops over a technicality. She said that in the last two years, she has been forced to rehire 28 terminated officers: “Being forced to rehire members who are not fit to wear our badge hurts the morale and performance of the entire police department, and does a disservice to the community we are sworn to protect.” Kris Baumann, head of the police officers’ union, called the arrest numbers “indefensible” and said the union has long sought changes, including in hiring and retention standards: “If there is one bright spot that District residents can take away from this unforgivable series of arrests and convictions, it is that the rank-and-file police officers are outraged by it and they will not tolerate it. There is no wall of silence; there is no effort to minimize the seriousness of these problems.” –
By Allison Geller, Mon, January 27, 2014
Two Tennessee police officers have been called out for going easy on a fellow officer who was driving under the influence— who also happened to be a trained DUI expert.
Brent Rose has been working for the Franklin Police Department since 2001, arresting drunk drivers and even participating in a 2009 anti-DUI commercial for the Governor’s Highway Safety Office.
But on Nov. 3, Rose was found passed out behind the wheel of his car near a bar after drinking a few too many Jack and Coke’s at the Losers Bar and Grille. He says he doesn’t even remember what happened at the second bar. There was a 32-ounce tumbler of alcohol in the cup holder, and the car's motor was running.
Franklin Police Sgt. J.P. Taylor and Officer Megan Valentin discovered the drunk DUI cop— but instead of arresting him, they let Rose call a friend to drive him home.
“Do what you got to do. This is going to screw me for testing,” Rose reportedly said.
The officers weren’t sure about their decision to let Rose go. In the investigation that followed, Franklin calling him a “hypocrite,” while Valentin said, “If this were any other citizen, they would have been arrested.”
Police Chief David Rahinsky said that Rose “didn’t leave this episode unscathed.” Once the department got wind of the incident they began an internal investigation.
“I certainly would be hard-pressed to argue with the perception that Officer Rose was given preferential treatment based on his employment,” Rahinsky admitted.
In his eight years with the police force, this isn’t the first time that Rose has been caught drunk behind the wheel. In 2005, he was given six months probation and ordered to complete an alcohol treatment program when he damaged his car in an off-duty, alcohol-related accident. Rose didn’t report to the incident to the police, as the law requires.
For now, Rose has lost his position as a DUI officer and has been suspended without pay, but he has not been fired. He will have to undergo regular drug and alcohol testing and counseling.
"I lost my brother to alcohol several years ago and there was some unresolved issues dealing with him," Rose said of his behavior.
By Roger McCredie- “It’s ongoing.”
That’s the City of Ashevile’s official response to inquiries about the status of Asheville Police Department’s internal investigation into the actions of a veteran officer who arrested a man who was stabbed during a downtown fracas, but did not arrest the man who stabbed him.
It’s also the same answer the city gave to the same question in mid-December, 2013, some two weeks after the incident occurred. Meanwhile, the alleged stabber is free and the stabbee is still awaiting his day in court.
It was shortly before midnight last Nov. 30 – the Saturday after Thanksgiving – that APD Sgt. J. S. Riddle was called to the scene of a fight outside Pack’s Tavern, located on Pack Square, literally feet away from police headquarters. According to reports, Riddle broke up a fight between Michael Del Buono, 44, of Arden and Mark Durner, 41, whose address was listed as Fletcher.
Del Buono was found to have a stab wound in his leg and Riddle asked him if he wanted to press charges. Del Buono asked about the proper procedure for filing charges against a law officer.
According to Del Buono, Riddle asked, “He [Durner] is an officer?” Del Buono indicated Durner had imparted this piece of information during the course of the fight. Del Buono has stated Riddle then took Durner aside and confirmed that Durner was in fact a “reserve” sheriff’s deputy, whereupon, Del Buono maintains, the situation turned completely around: Riddle told Durner he was free to go, hauled Del Buono next door to the police station – wounded leg and all — and charged him with being intoxicated and disruptive, a misdemeanor. Once charged, Del Buono, who was found to be bleeding copiously in the magistrate’s office, was allowed to take himself to Mission Hospital for treatment. The wound required three stitches to close.
In an interview with the Asheville Citizen-Times, Del Buono stated he and his stepson had been having a nightcap at Pack’s Tavern when a man he identified as Durner began trying to converse with a woman nearby, who made it clear that she did not reciprocate his interest. Del Buono’s stepson asked the man to leave the woman alone. The man threatened Del Buono’s stepson. Del Buono stood up and intervened. Del Buono said Durner shoved him and he responded by hitting Durner on the jaw. At that point, Pack’s Tavern personnel forced Durner to leave. Del Buono and his stepson finished their drinks and left Pack’s about 25 minutes later. As they made their way to their car, Del Buono said, Durner, who had apparently been waiting outside, accosted them and the fight broke out again, culminating in Del Buono’s being stabbed.
The Citizen-Times did not identify Durner by name in its story – which did not appear until Dec. 11 –on grounds that he was not charged in the incident. Later the same day, however, the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Department issued a statement identifying Durner and saying that it had revoked his reserve deputy credentials. In an update the Citizen-Times reported the revocation but still declined to mention Durner by name, although the Sheriff’s statement to the media did so, thus making Durner’s identity a matter of record.
In the meantime, Del Buono filed a formal complaint against Riddle and his handling of the case. The lodging of such a complaint automatically generates an internal police investigation and APD acknowledged that an official inquiry into Del Buono’s complaint had been launched.
On December 13 the Tribune contacted city communications officer Dawa Hitch, who said that the investigation into Riddle’s conduct was “ongoing.” On Thursday (January 16) the Tribune recontacted Hitch for an update. “It [the investigation] is ongoing,” she said.
The Tribune then turned to Sgt. Jonathan Brown of APD’s professional standards unit, who had originally confirmed that there was an internal investigation underway. Brown referred questions to Sgt. Dave Romick, the APD’s public information officer. Several voicemail messages to Romick regarding the investigation had not been returned at press time.
Del Buono was originally scheduled to appear in court January 9 to answer the intoxicated-and-disruptive charge Riddle filed against him; however, his case has now been continued until February 27. By that time it will have been almost exactly three months since the scuffle outside Pack’s Tavern took place. No action has been taken against Durner other than the revoking of his reserve deputy credentials. Riddle, though nominally under investigation, is going about his regular duties. And a local criminal defense attorney, who is not connected with the case but spoke on condition of anonymity, said the present situation is not likely to change in the near future.
[Del Buono’s court case] “will probably just keep getting continued,” the attorney said. “It might be sometime this summer before it ever gets heard.” This puts Del Buono in a catch-22 situation if he should decide to take any legal action of his own.
“He would pretty much need to get the criminal charges against him dropped or be acquitted of them before bringing any litigation of his own,” the attorney said.
By George Brennan
SANDWICH – Daniel Perkins, a Sandwich police officer charged with operating under the influence of alcohol in an off-duty crash, was suspended for 60 days for his role in the crash, Police Chief Peter Wack said Monday.
Perkins, 38, was cited for criminal conduct, conduct unbecoming an employee and failing to report for duty after an internal investigation, Wack said. The police department is withholding the details of the internal investigation at the request of Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe’s office because of the ongoing criminal case, he said. The chief said Perkins has already served the majority of suspension unpaid, but is back at work performing police duties at no cost to the town as part of his punishment. If Perkins were to serve the complete suspension without doing patrols, the department would have to fill his shifts with overtime, Wack said.
Perkins was allegedly involved in a single-vehicle crash Nov. 30 in Mashpee near the Sandwich town line. The crash occurred just after 11 p.m. and Perkins had to be freed from the truck he was driving using the Jaws of Life hydraulic tool. He was taken to Cape Cod Hospital where he was treated and released.
A second police officer, John Manley, was also punished with a three-day suspension for his role in the off-duty incident, Wack said. Manley, a two-year veteran of the department, was cited in the internal investigation for conduct unbecoming an employee and neglect of duty. The officer allegedly arrived at the scene of the crash after it occurred Nov. 30, Wack said.
Details of why Manley was punished were not released.
“The investigations will be released at the appropriate time,” Wack said.
Perkins is scheduled to be arraigned on the charge of operating under the influence of alcohol Feb. 19, according to a Falmouth District Court clerk. He appeared at a magistrate’s hearing Jan. 15 at Falmouth District Court and, during the closed door hearing, a magistrate determined there was enough evidence to proceed with the drunken driving charge against him.
By Tom Jackman
Haymarket Deputy Police Chief Gregory A. Breeden, suspended along with his police chief for 60 days without pay. Was previously suspended for 15 days, also with Chief James E. Roop. (Town of Haymarket)
If you’re keeping score at home, Haymarket Police Chief James E. Roop is back OFF the job, along with his deputy chief, Gregory A. Breeden, and Officer Jacob T. Davis, after all three were suspended last Monday night, then un-suspended on Thursday afternoon by Mayor David Leake. On Friday night, the town council overrode the mayor’s veto and re-suspended Roop, Breeden and Davis. So once again, the town of about 1,900 residents is left with three officers to stem the tide of crime in western Prince William County, at least for the next 60 days.
We still don’t know what exactly these three lawmen did to earn their suspensions, though Roop and Davis were ordered to undergo counseling for sexual harassment. In 2005, Roop and Breeden were investigated by an independent lawyer who recommended they be fired for sexual harassment. The town council gave them 15 days without pay.
This time, the council launched its own investigation in mid-December, and decided to suspend Roop, Davis and Breeden for 60 days in a special meeting on Monday night. Leake, as mayor, did not get a vote in that, and he felt that the whole matter should have been investigated independently, and that the penalties for Breeden and Davis were too harsh. On Thursday, as the Haymarket town charter allows, he vetoed all three suspensions.
The town charter also allows the council to override a mayoral veto with a two-third vote, or four of the six. So after the three officers were reinstated Thursday afternoon, the council met Friday night in another special meeting. In the video of the meeting, Leake asked why the officers didn’t get their due process, as stated in the police general orders. Vice Mayor Jay Tobias said town attorney Martin Crim advised that the charter trumps the police department’s orders, and until the council updates the charter, “in which we’d probably look to strike your ability to veto things out of personal vendettas,” Tobias said, the charter rules.
The votes to re-suspend the three officers were held without discussion among the council members, but a heckler sitting out of camera range chimed in with her own analysis, such as, “You’re elected by us to represent the town, not your own personal agendas,” and “I can’t wait until we all get sued and all our houses are taken because you guys are idiots.”
Roop was suspended unanimously, Breeden by a 5-1 vote and Davis by a 4-2 vote. Yet another special meeting is scheduled for Tuesday night, where more of the tangled rivalries and animosities that animate Haymarket will likely be aired. Whether anyone will say why the publicly elected board chose to suspend half of its taxpayer-funded police department for two months is anyone’s guess.
UPDATE, Monday 11 a.m.: Leake issued this comment on the council’s actions: “I am disturbed and disappointed by the council’s decision not to reconsider and move forward with an independent and qualified investigation. No one on council has the qualifications, training or experience to conduct an investigation and known relationships make it even more complicated. We owe it to our residents, whom we were elected to serve, to make sure we do all we can and to make sure that warranted consequences are duly imparted when and where they are deserved. I also disagree with council and believe our residents have a right to know what is going on, minus specific details.”
Williamsport police officer charged with vehicular homicide in fiery crash department website announcing the hiring of DePrenda and several other officers.
By John Beauge
WILLIAMSPORT — A Williamsport police officer involved in fatal, fiery crash while rushing to the aid of another officer is being charged with vehicular homicide and involuntary manslaughter.
Lycoming County District Attorney Eric Linhardt on Monday said Officer Jonathan DePrenda, 32, will be arraigned at 9 a.m. Tuesday. A news conference will follow at 11 a.m. with state and city police, he said.
The charges are the result of a state police investigation into the Jan. 12 crash at East Third and Railway streets that killed James David Robinson, 42 of Williamsport, the prosecutor said.
State police said they determined DePrenda, a member of the force since August 2011, was in a marked cruiser traveling at 88 mph in a 35-mph zone when the crash occurred. His emergency lights and siren were on, they said.
Police may exceed the speed limit when responding to an emergency if lights and siren are used, but Linhardt previously noted that they must exercise due care to not endanger public safety.
DePrenda was headed east on East Third Street, toward Grove Street and Harding Avenue. A less experienced officer had radioed from that location to say he was holding a suspect at gunpoint following a pursuit, investigators.
Heroin was found in that car and the driver, Jeremy A. Gooden, 23, of Williamsport, was charged with drug and driving counts.
State police said their investigation determined DePrenda came upon three vehicles, also eastbound, and passed the first two.
The collision occurred as Robinson, in the third car, started to make a left turn onto Railway Street, and turned in front of DePrenda's cruiser, state police said.
Robinson’s car spun clockwise, severed a utility pole and came to rest against a house where it burst into flames, police said. Robinson was pronounced dead at the scene.
City police Capt. Timothy Miller declined comment on the charges, because he said he has not seen them. DePrenda has been on administrative leave since the accident.
State police were asked to conduct the investigation because a city police officer was involved and the nature of the accident.
But Richard M. Hoffman still faces loss of his job for August drunken driving crash.
Posted by Daryl Nerl
A Bethlehem police officer who was arrested in August for drunken driving was accepted Monday into a program for first-time offenders, according to published reports.
If Richard M. Hoffman successfully completes the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program, he can avoid having a criminal record in his future. But his status as a member of the Bethlehem Police Department remains very much in jeopardy.
In December, former Police Chief Craig Finnerty recommended that Hoffman’s employment be terminated and, last week, Mayor Bob Donchez recommended that City Council proceed with a termination hearing.
Hoffman was charged after crashing his personal car into a legally parked vehicle on E. Broad Street, near High Street, on Aug. 8, police said. Two other parked vehicles were damaged in the crash.
A blood test revealed that Hoffman had a .16 percent blood-alcohol level, which is twice the legal limit to drive in Pennsylvania, police said.
The terms of Hoffman’s rehabilitative disposition include six months of probation, loss of his driver’s license for 60 days, mandatory attendance at alcohol highway safety classes, continued alcohol treatment and 25 hours of community service, according to The Morning Call.
A woman who says she was raped after a night of partying Downtown filed a federal lawsuit this week against a Cincinnati police officer for arresting her instead of helping her.
The woman’s suit alleges Officer Adrienne Brown took her to the Hamilton County jail instead of a hospital early Jan. 19, swearing at her and treating her like a criminal. The officer charged her with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct while intoxicated.
“My beautiful night out turned into a nightmare,” said the woman, 44, in an interview with the Enquirer today. “I don’t trust the police anymore. If you are hurt, the police are supposed to help you. She talked to me like I was some kind of trash on the street, like some kind of dog. She had no compassion at all, as a woman, for what happened to me. I am just outraged.”
After the woman was booked into the Hamilton County jail, she says she was held in a restraining chair with a bag over her head.
The suit, filed Monday by attorney Eric Deters, demands a jury trial and requests compensatory and punitive damages.
Cincinnati police spokeswoman Sgt. Julian Johnson concedes Brown didn’t do enough to help or show care and concern for the woman following her traumatic experience.
“The officer could have been more sensitive in the situation,” Johnson said.
Chief Jeffrey Blackwell said he grew concerned when he viewed the officer’s cruiser camera, which captured part of the woman’s encounter with the officer, she said.
“The chief viewed the videotape. He didn’t like what he saw. He thought the officer could have been more sensitive,” she said.
Police released the video, which shows Brown taking the woman to the hospital before taking her to jail.
"I don't need no hospital. I need you to understand … I was just raped right here on this corner," the woman said to Brown as she was sharing her information at the scene.
During the ride to the hospital, the woman used her hand to repeatedly bang on the divider separating the backseat from the frontseat of the police car and complains of the officer's driving. Brown requests that she put her seat belt on. The woman then asks where they are going.
"I am taking you to the hospital, so you can get some help," Brown said.
"Did I ask you to take me to the hospital?" the woman said.
"My supervisor told me to take you," Brown says before the woman interrupts, "Did I ask you to take me to the hospital?"
After stopping at University of Cincinnati Medical Center, according to the arrest and investigation report from the Cincinnati Police Department, the woman became very aggressive when she was removed from the cruiser.
The woman then attempted to swing at an officer and was told that she was under arrest, the report says. The woman then refused to be taken into custody and had to be restrained by multiple officers, according to the report.
Back in the cruiser, Brown then tried to get information from the woman. The officer repeatedly asked her, "what is your name?"
After struggling to get an answer, the officer then told the woman that she was done talking to her about anything other than her information.
"Let me explain something to you right now and you listen, and you listen good because this is going to be the last thing I am going to say to you," Brown said. "You can either give me your information or I can put you down as a Jane Doe, which means you will not get a bond."
Officer Brown then left the hospital to take the woman to jail.
Brown was put on desk duty while an internal investigation proceeds.
Police also are looking into the alleged rapist and trying to find the cab driver.
The suit accuses Brown of false imprisonment and malicious prosecution and says Brown deliberately booked the woman under the wrong name to prevent her from receiving bond.
The woman says she is a professional who has worked in the social service industry for more than 20 years and is free on her own recognizance.
Her lawyers plan to try to get the charges, which include disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, tossed out by a Hamilton County Municipal Court judge Friday.
According to the suit, the rape occurred after a patrol officer put the woman in the cab after she left the club, Scene Ultra Lounge, 637 Walnut St.
But instead of driving to her Covington hotel, the taxi driver drove to a deserted lot on Cincinnati’s West Side, overpowered her and raped her in the backseat, the suit says.
The woman said he kept her underwear as a souvenir. Then, he allegedly yanked her out of the cab and slammed her to the ground, causing her to hit her head and go in and out of consciousness.
She was able to flag down two women, who called 911 just before 4 a.m.
The woman was sitting in one of the passerby’s vehicles trying to call her family when the officer ordered the woman to “get the (expletive) out of the car” and grabbed the phone out of her hand, according to the suit.
When the passersby asked if they could accompany the woman to the hospital, Brown replied, “No, you can (expletive) leave,” the suit says.
Pleasantville lets Burns keep his job
PLEASANTVILLE — A village police officer who was suspended after he apparently posted a vulgar, racist post about President Barack Obama on his Facebook page last month will keep his job after he accepted a litany of disciplinary measures Monday night.
The Board of Trustees unanimously passed a resolution that allows Police Chief Richard Love to impose on Officer Peter Burns a 60-day suspension without pay or benefits; forfeiture of 25 vacation days; a psychological evaluation; a training program focused on diversity and sensitivity; and a two-year “last chance” agreement, in effect a probationary period.
“Officer Burns has provided an apology to the community at large and to Pleasantville residents, as well as to the chief and his colleagues in the police department,” Mayor Peter Scherer said.
The post, posted on Dec. 11 on a Facebook profile Burns operated under the name “Coon Trapper,” contained a racial slur, using the “N word” to describe Obama and calling him “un-American.”
“The fact that he (Obama) is still alive bewilders me,” Burns wrote in the diatribe. “Go die in a shallow grave you Muslim commie ... ”
Scherer described the Facebook post as “offensive on many levels — its obscenity, its racial language and its implied threat to the president.”
A screenshot of the rant was obtained by The Journal News and shown to Love on Dec. 16. Love, who described the post as “despicable” and said it was “totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” suspended Burns the next day.
“These statements undermine the confidence in law enforcement, and they cast doubt on the ability of this officer to fulfill his sworn duty in a fair, unbiased manner,” Scherer said. “I want to be clear that the village has no interest in the political beliefs of its employees.”
He said the village does, however, have a responsibility to ensure that its employees’ actions and statements do not harm their ability to fulfill their duties.
Burns, 35, a Valhalla native, joined the department in 2004 and receives an annual salary of $98,949.
The incident was the latest to raise questions about standards for public servants and the balance between personal and private use of social media.
In 2009, three Harrison police officers were suspended and demoted after making lewd comments about then-Supervisor Joan Walsh and swapping racist jokes about Obama. Last year, 17 New York City cops were suspended for posting racist and offensive comments on a Facebook page devoted to the city’s 2011 West Indian Day Parade.
Those episodes, and similar incidents across the country, have prompted many police and government agencies to adopt social media policies for their employees. Pleasantville police do not have such a policy.
Burns’ Facebook profile page, which was deleted the day he was suspended, contained photos of Burns in hunting gear and camouflage, and included links to hunting and animal trapping websites. The page’s settings were private, meaning only those who “friended” Burns had access to the Obama post and others on his Facebook page.
Some have portrayed village police as racist following the shooting death of Danroy Henry, a black Pace University football player, by Pleasantville Officer Aaron Hess, who is white.
The Oct. 17, 2010, incident took place outside a Thornwood bar where Hess joined a number of Mount Pleasant officers responding to reports of a disturbance involving a large crowd. Henry was shot when he started to drive away. Hess, who ended up on the hood of Henry’s car, was injured and has since retired.
The case has resulted in a number of lawsuits. A county grand jury cleared officers of criminal wrongdoing in the shooting.
by Eliot Kleinberg
Zachary Immler, the West Palm Beach officer whose beating of a man led the city to pay a $140,000 settlement last October, has been ordered suspended for three days, the city confirmed Tuesday.
Palm Beach Gardens resident Keenoen Stafenie has alleged Immler and Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy Keith Stokes beat him Nov. 6, 2012 after entering his girlfriend’s property without meeting the legal standard of probable cause.
Stafenie has said he suffered detached retinas. Palm Beach County prosecutors later dropped battery charges against Stafenie.
A separate federal civil rights lawsuit filed Oct. 1 against the sheriff’s office contends Stokes conspired with Immler and another city officer to falsify a police report to justify the beating.
A PBSO internal affairs investigation cleared Stokes on Jan. 10.
Immler is the son of former Boynton Beach chief Matt Immler and one of three brothers in local law enforcement.
The city’s settlement was the third such payout in a police “excessive force” case in just two months, for a total of nearly $400,000. Including those three, the city has made payouts since 2008 totalling nearly $700,000, in 23 separate incidents that involved officers in some way, including alleged incidences of excessive force. They do not include traffic incidents.
By George Brennan
SANDWICH — Daniel Perkins, a Sandwich police officer charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, was suspended for 60 days for his role in an off-duty crash, Police Chief Peter Wack said Monday.
Perkins, 38, was cited in an internal investigation for criminal conduct, conduct unbecoming an employee and failing to report for duty, Wack said. The police department is withholding the details of the internal investigation at the request of Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O'Keefe's office because of the ongoing criminal case, he said.
The chief said Perkins already has served the majority of his suspension unpaid, but is back at work performing police duties at no cost to the town as part of his punishment.
If Perkins were to serve the complete suspension without doing patrols, the department would have to pay overtime to fill his shifts, Wack said.
Perkins, a five-year veteran of the department, allegedly was involved in a single-vehicle crash Nov. 30 in Mashpee near the Sandwich town line.
The crash occurred just after 11 p.m. and Perkins had to be freed from the truck he was driving with a hydraulic rescue tool. He was taken to Cape Cod Hospital, where he was treated and released.
A second police officer, John Manley, was punished with a three-day suspension for his role in the off-duty incident, Wack said. Manley, a two-year veteran of the department, was cited in the internal investigation for conduct unbecoming an employee and neglect of duty.
The officer allegedly arrived at the scene of the crash after it occurred, Wack said.
The reasons for Manley's punishment were not detailed.
"The investigations will be released at the appropriate time," Wack said.
Perkins is scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 19 on the charge of operating under the influence of alcohol, according to a Falmouth District Court clerk. During a closed-door hearing at that court Jan. 15, a magistrate determined there was enough evidence to proceed with the drunken-driving charge against him.
January 28, 2014
A Bellevue Police officer charged with drunken driving on Interstate 90 near Issaquah has resigned from the department.
“As we move forward, my hope is that we rebuild the public’s trust and continue our focus on the great work that the men and women of this department do every day,” Chief Linda Pillo said in a news release.
On Nov. 20, Bellevue Police Officer Doug Brennan stopped Hanke for swerving and speeding. Instead of arresting the 38-year-old officer, Brennan allowed Hanke’s wife to pick him up. Brennan then reported the incident to his superiors the next day.
When Pillo was notified of the incident, Hanke was immediately placed on administrative leave, and Pillo ordered concurrent internal and criminal investigations. The criminal investigation was filed with the Issaquah Prosecutor’s Office, and Hanke was charged in Issaquah Municipal Court with DUI.
The department is also investigating the actions of Brennan. While officers are allowed some discretion during traffic stops, the Brennan’s decision not to make an arrest is undergoing a thorough and objective internal investigation, according to the news release.
“That investigation will determine whether the officer used poor judgment and/or failed to perform his duties,” the release read.
Hanke was hired in 2001 as a police support officer and in 2005 became a commissioned police officer. His next court date is Feb. 11.
A former police officer in Wayne County has been arrested and charged with bribery, the Wayne County Clerk's office confirmed Tuesday.
Former Monticello Police Officer Allen Braden was arrested Tuesday by Monticello Police accused of giving details about an investigation to an alleged drug dealer while a sworn police officer, from February through September of 2013.
According to official documents, Braden told Lee Floyd Bebley information about a drug investigation, including details like the home addresses, vehicles and families of the agents investigating Bebley. He told Bebley which police officers were working at particular times and where they were looking for Bebley, the documents said.
In return for this information, Braden was paid $100 per week - sometimes in cash, sometimes in drugs - according to court documents.
Braden is charged with bribery of a public servant, and theft by unlawful taking or disposition. The latter charge stems from Braden not returning his weapon to the Monticello Police Department after termination.
He was arrested Tuesday and has since been bonded out.
Braden's court appearance is schedule for Feb. 3 at 9 a.m.
By Alexandra Seltzer
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Since a Greenacres police officer’s arrest Friday on two counts of criminal transmission of HIV, three additional women have come forward and said they may also be victims.
Palm Beach County Sheriff’s spokesman Eric Davis said detectives have begun investigating the three cases. He declined to give further information.
Greenacres police officer Ervans Saintclair, who has since been placed on administrative leave without pay, was released from the Palm Beach County Jail on Friday after posting a $30,000 bond.
Sheriff’s detectives said they believe there are additional victims and recommended they call in with information.
Saintclair found out he was HIV-positive when he had his pre-employment physical exam for the police department in 2007, an arrest report released Friday said. Deputies started investigating Saintclair in 2013 after a woman said the police officer told her he was HIV-positive only after they had had sex several times in 2007.
The woman’s case couldn’t be prosecuted because the statute of limitations ran out, but deputies say the woman helped them find other women with whom Saintclair had more recently been involved, the report said.
Deputies spoke with two other women and determined that Saintclair had sex with them without telling them he was HIV-positive.
Both told deputies they wouldn’t have had sex with the police officer had they known his HIV status.
RICHWOOD - A Richwood police officer was booked in jail Tuesday after he allegedly stole pills from the department's evidence room.
Gerald Tinney, 42, of Craigsville, was charged with breaking and entering, entering without breaking, and delivery of a controlled substance. Sgt. Michael Baylous with the West Virginia State Police said that the charges stemmed from an investigation into Tinney and another suspect. The two were accused of taking 30 hydrocodone pills from the Richwood Police Department's evidence room back on December 26, 2013. Baylous said Tinney was a city police officer at the time. He's currently lodged in Central Regional Jail on $35,000 bond.
Baylous said the arrest of the second suspect is pending.
By Eric Nicholson
A Dallas police officer was arrested today for allegedly raping a woman he'd pulled over.
According to a DPD news release, officer La'cori Johnson stopped a vehicle on the 9300 block of Larga Drive on September 9, 2013. Johnson told the woman driving the car that she had an outstanding warrant and that he'd have to take her to jail -- unless she had sex with him.
"He then took her to a nearby location where he forced her to have sex," the release says. "Johnson then released her at another location. The victim subsequently made an outcry which was reported to the Dallas police."
The victim alerted police in October, and Johnson was placed on administrative leave that day, police say. A "public integrity investigation" was launched "first" -- the department hasn't said when -- and an internal affairs investigation was launched last week, almost three months after the incident was reported.
Johnson, a five-year veteran of the department, was questioned by internal affairs investigators today and promptly resigned, police say. He's charged with sexual assault, a second-degree felony.
BALTIMORE — A jury in Baltimore is resuming deliberations in the first federal trial stemming from the severe beating of a state prison inmate in 2008.
The jury continued its work Thursday morning after deliberating for about 90 minutes on Wednesday.
Suspended correctional officer Josh Hummer is accused of failing to stop several other officers from severely beating inmate Kenneth Davis after Davis allegedly punched a guard at the Roxbury Correctional Institution near Hagerstown.
His attorney says Hummer never saw the beating that left Davis with a broken nose, back and ribs.
Prosecutors say Hummer also failed to get medical help for Davis and conspired to cover up the beating.
Twelve former officers have pleaded guilty to federal charges and two to state charges.
Davis recovered and was released in 2012.
Hummer was indicted in February on four counts.
The trial centered on claims that Hummer joined others at the correctional institution in violating Davis’ civil rights while the state inmate was being held at the prison near Hagerstown.
Hummer’s is the first trial stemming from federal indictments of 15 current or former officers on charges they conspired to systematically beat Davis after he bloodied a guard’s nose in a scuffle.
The U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said it is trying to achieve what state prosecutors failed to do in a series of trials more than five years ago: Persuade a jury that any of the officers broke the law.
Attorney Clarke Ahlers accused prosecutors of manipulating evidence to fit their theory that Hummer joined others in violating Davis’ rights.
Federal prosecutors don’t allege that Hummer actively participated in the beating. They say he allegedly failed to stop other officers from beating and kicking Davis; failed to get medical help for the inmate; and conspired in a coverup that included destroying incriminating surveillance video.
“That’s the Roxbury way,” prosecutor Forrest Christian told the jury. “When an inmate hits an officer, the next three shifts are going to beat that inmate.”
Ahlers countered that Hummer is “a man with an exemplary reputation,” wrongly accused.
He acknowledged that Hummer had lied early on, telling investigators that Davis’ cell door was closed when he walked by looking for a pair of gloves.
But Hummer voluntarily corrected his account days later, telling a Maryland State Police detective that all he saw through the open cell door was an officer squatting down to talk to Davis as the inmate lay beneath his bunk with his face to the wall.
“There was nothing to where, as a sergeant, I would have stopped to really address,” Hummer told investigators in a statement Ahlers read aloud to the jury.
Twelve defendants in the case have pleaded guilty to conspiracy and other offenses in federal court. Two more await trial.
Nine Roxbury officers, not including Hummer, were charged in state court shortly after the beating. Just two were convicted after taking plea deals and defying what one called “the brotherhood of silence” to testify against co-workers.
Five were acquitted, charges were dropped for one defendant before trial and dismissed for another after his trial ended in a hung jury.
Davis, 47, of Baltimore was serving a 19-year sentence for robbery when he was assaulted. He was released in October 2012.
Federal prosecutors said in a filing that Davis received about $100,000 to settle his administrative complaint against state authorities, including several of the indicted officers.
By Carol Moran Jan 29, 2014 4:45 PM
A Westhampton Beach Village Police officer was suspended—for the fourth time in his tenure with the department—without pay on Wednesday, four months after he was arrested by Suffolk County Police and charged with fourth-degree stalking, a misdemeanor, according to court documents.
The Board of Trustees voted unanimously to suspend Joseph Pesapane without pay for 30 days pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing. Board members also voted to hire Steven Kasarda, an attorney with offices in White Plains, to act as the hearing officer.
Mr. Kasarda will draft a report based on the testimony during the hearing and will make a recommendation to the board, which, with advice from its counsel, will make the ultimate decision over a possible punishment, board members said.
While village officials did not name Mr. Pesapane during a special meeting held on Wednesday afternoon at Village Hall, and referred to him in a resolution only as an employee of the village, multiple sources confirmed that he was the subject of the disciplinary action.
Suffolk County Police confirmed on Wednesday that Mr. Pesapane was arrested on September 29 and charged with fourth-degree stalking, a misdemeanor. The alleged incident occurred three days prior at around 3 a.m., according to court documents. A Suffolk County Police spokesperson said the department could not share additional details about the incident, including where it occurred, in order to protect the victim’s privacy.
Mr. Pesapane was arraigned in First District Court in Central Islip on September 30 before Judge G. Ann Spelman and released on his own recognizance. Judge Spelman also issued a temporary restraining order, according to court records. The charges are still pending.
Mr. Pesapane was suspended from the Westhampton Beach Village Police Department three times during an investigation into his role in a 2009 incident that involved another officer’s missing handgun. He and fellow officer Officer Michael Bruetsch, who retired last year, were charged with lying to Suffolk County Internal Affairs Bureau investigators regarding the handgun that went missing from police headquarters.
When reached on Wednesday, Mr. Pesapane directed all questions to his attorney, Craig Fleischer. But when asked about the criminal charge, Mr. Pesapane said: “My comment on the situation is that the complainant has no credibility whatsoever. This is a lie and a falsehood.”
Mr. Fleischer, an attorney with the Hauppauge firm Keahon, Fleischer and Ferrante, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Westhampton Beach Mayor Conrad Teller said he was aware of Mr. Pesapane’s arrest, but he declined to comment further. Westhampton Beach Police Chief Ray Dean declined to comment.
Online records show that Mr. Pesapane was paid $126,440 in 2013.