Troy Police Officer Candice LeForest charged with DUI after being stopped with .27 blood-alcohol level
By Gus Burns | firstname.lastname@example.org
TROY, MI -- Oakland County prosecutors charged 12-year veteran Troy Police Officer Candice LeForest with driving under the influence with a blood-alcohol level greater than .17.
A $1,000 bond was set during her arraignment Tuesday. The case has been transferred from Troy to Novi's 52nd District Court to avoid any possible conflict of interest in the officer's jurisdiction.
Troy police pulled LeForest over after observing her strike the median curb twice on eastbound Big Beaver Road about 12:30 a.m. Jan. 18.
LeForest, a 34-year-old Macomb resident, declined a breathalyzer and officers obtained a search warrant authorizing a blood test be conducted. State police forensic analysts determined LeForest had a blood-alcohol content of .27, three times the maximum allowed while driving in Michigan.
A blood-alcohol level above .17 percent qualifies as "super drunk." Under Michigan's Super Drunk law, penalties increase from up to 93 to 180 days of possible jail time and nearly doubles the cost of court fines. Anyone convicted under the Super Drunk law loses their driver's license for 45 days, is under restricted driving limitations for 320 days and required to install an ignition device that forces the driver to take a breathalyzer each time they start their vehicle.
MLive Detroit could not reach Troy Police Department spokesman Sgt. Andy Breidenich for comment Friday.
Troy police issued a statement regarding LeForest's arrest on Jan. 28. As of Tuesday, LeForest was on paid administrative leave.
Oakland County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Paul Walton said his office can charge based on field sobriety tests but usually waits for blood-test results in cases when a breathalyzer is declined.
He said getting the authority for blood sample in suspected DUI cases is "routine" but rather complex.
The agency completes paperwork requesting a search warrant, sends it to a judge or magistrate and awaits a signature. The officers then transport the suspect to a hospital where a certified nurse or doctor must extract several blood samples using a special kit that stops blood coagulation. Samples throughout the state are then sent to the state police crime lab for analysis. Results can take weeks.
By Tamara Lush
A Florida judge has denied bail for a former Tampa Police officer charged in the fatal shooting of a man inside a movie theater.
Judge Pat Siracusa watched a grainy video of the shooting and heard police interviews of witnesses before making his decision Friday.
Earlier the bail hearing for Curtis Reeves, who fatally shot a man inside a movie theater during an argument over texting, took a dramatic turn. Prosecutors played video of the shooting and a recording of the defendant's police interview.
"If I had it to do over again, it would have never happened," Reeves told detectives. "But you don't get do-overs."
Reeves, 71, is charged with second-degree murder in the Jan. 13 killing of Chad Oulson, 43.
The bail hearing began Wednesday. Attorneys for Reeves urged the judge to release him before the trial. Siracusa heard from Reeves' family, friends and former colleagues who testified he didn't have any anger problems and wasn't a flight risk.
But prosecutors sought to have Reeves jailed until his trial, and the judge agreed.
The bail hearing provided glimpses of the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution's case.
According to the police interview, Reeves said Oulson hit him in the face, possibly with a cell phone, and he shot in self-defense. Yet other witnesses, including Reeves' wife, told authorities they never saw Oulson strike Reeves.
Vivian Reeves did tell police that Oulson stood up and leaned over toward her husband just before the shooting, and the video appears to show some contact between the two men.
Reeves pleaded not guilty Wednesday. If convicted, he could face a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison.
Prosecutors also played a recording of a police interview with Oulson's widow, Nicole, who authorities said was shot in the hand by the same bullet that killed her husband.
"He kept saying stuff to my husband," Nicole Oulson said of Reeves. "Immediately it didn't even register with me, I just saw a spark and saw him go down."
She said after the shooting Reeves "just sat in his chair, he just kind of leaned back and just sat there, didn't try to help."
"As all the chaos was going on, he was just sitting there," she said.
Authorities said Reeves became upset when Oulson was texting during the previews before the matinee. The Oulsons were sitting in front of Reeves and his wife.
Witnesses said they didn't see Oulson hit Reeves, but some saw popcorn flying toward him.
"This happened so damn fast," Reeves told Det. Allen Proctor in the recording. Reeves also said a woman with Oulson, later identified as Nicole Oulson, was "holding" her husband back. Reeves faces an aggravated battery charge in that injury.
Reeves told the detective that Oulson hit him in the face and that his glasses became crooked.
"It scared the hell out of me," said Reeves, adding that had he been younger, he would have "wrassled" Oulson to the ground. "The guy was very aggressive."
Reeves' wife told a detective she didn't see Oulson strike her husband, but he told her he had been hit in the moments after the shooting.
Vivian Reeves also told detectives that Oulson used expletives, but didn't make any threats. She cried during the interview with detectives and said she didn't know why her husband fired the single shot.
"He was in law enforcement 20 years, and he never shot anybody," she said. "He's never threatened anybody with a gun."
In an interview this week on ABC's "The View," Nicole Oulson said her husband was texting with their daughter's babysitter.
Reeves "had confronted my husband several times, which my husband ignored and ignored and ignored. And it just got to a point where my husband spoke up," she said.
The Dallas Police Department announced that it has arrested and charged one of its own officers with sexual assault.
Dallas Police Chief David Brown has disciplined Sr. Cpl. Oscar Araiza during hearings on Friday.
According to police, on Oct. 6, 2013, Araiza was off-duty at a bar in Dallas when he unintentionally met a female acquaintance who was accompanied by another woman. All three decided to leave the bar and later drove to Araiza's home, police said.
Araiza's friend decided to leave and left the other woman in the home, according to police. When she woke up, she found herself being sexually assaulted by Araiza, according to police.
The woman stated that she did not consent to any sexual contact with Araiza, police said.
An internal affairs investigation determined that Araiza engaged in sexual conduct with the woman without her consent.
Araiza has been terminated. He had been an officer with the department since 1995.
He was arrested and charged with sexual assault.
Faces false imprisonment, sexual battery charges
SAN DIEGO - The San Diego Police Department on Sunday announced the arrest of Officer Christopher Hays on charges of false imprisonment and sexual battery.
Hays, 30, turned himself in about 1:30 p.m. at a sheriff's substation on Rancho Bernardo Road, per an agreement between the District Attorney's Office, the San Diego Police Department and his attorney, police officials said.
Hays was booked into jail on suspicion of two counts of felony false imprisonment and three misdemeanor sexual battery counts filed in connection with four alleged victims, all women in their late 20s to late 30s, according to San Diego police officials and jail records.
10News learned Hays bailed out of jail at about 3:40 p.m. Sunday. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday, according to jail records. Hays is currently on unpaid leave.
If convicted, Hays would face 7 1/2 years behind bars, San Diego police Lt. Kevin Mayer said.
If the allegations were proven to be true, "this would be a termination case," said San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne
Last Thursday, Team 10 broke the story about accusations of sexual misconduct against four women by Hays.
Four alleged victims told investigators that Hays, assigned to the Mid-City Division, improperly touched them through their clothing, with no "skin-to-skin contact," Lansdowne said last week.
Two other cases remained under investigation -- one which involved sexual contact, Lansdowne said.
"He could be looking at more charges with the fifth and sixth victim," Lansdowne said.
The most recently reported case was being handled with the District Attorney's Office as lead, he said.
A fifth alleged victim stepped forward with an accusation that Hays pressured her to perform a sex act with him.
"What she's accusing him of is oral sex to get out of a ticket," attorney Dan Gilleon told 10News on Saturday. "That's what happened. She actually gave him oral sex back in October of 2012."
Lansdowne noted that the investigation into the allegations was thorough from when the first accuser stepped forward in late December. Investigators also reviewed Hays' cases over the past four years.
However, many of the cases showed contact but no name, Lansdowne said.
Lansdowne said four of the six cases have been filed as of Sunday. He said all of the six cases were spread out over about a year's time.
All the cases were unreported until this past week and the last one was reported to an attorney, he said.
It was the second time in just under three years that a member of the San Diego Police Department has been accused of sexual misconduct with female detainees.
In 2012, ex-Officer Anthony Arevalos was sentenced to almost nine years in prison for demanding sexual favors from women he pulled over on suspicion of drunken driving in the Gaslamp Quarter.
By Richard Webner and Anya Sostek / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The police officer tried everything to avoid shooting the dog, Regina Falk said.
On a day in April 2012, the pit bull, which belonged to a neighbor, lunged at the officer three times on the street near Mrs. Falk's house in Aliquippa. Each time, the officer backed away. Finally, the dog was so close that he had to shoot.
"He had no choice," she said. "It was either take the dog or let the dog take him."
The incident that Mrs. Falk witnessed is p
Videos of pet dogs killed by police regularly go viral, with several receiving millions of hits on YouTube. Deaths are also tracked and publicized through social media and on Facebook pages such as Dogs Shot By Police.
Randall Lockwood, senior vice president with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, has been studying the issue for about 15 years. Nearly every day, he said, he runs into a new case of a police shooting of a pet dog.
As Pittsburgh continues to mourn Rocco, the K-9 officer killed in the line of duty last month, some are focusing attention on other dogs killed in the course of police work.
"If you shoot a police dog, it's a crime," said Patrick Reasonover, producer of a documentary tracking the issue, "Puppycide," that is now in production. "If police shoot your dog, it's fine."
One week ago, a police officer investigating a burglary in Glen Burnie, Md., killed a pet dog in a family's front yard while the dog's owner was in the basement preparing for a Super Bowl party. That incident has sparked a Facebook page for the deceased Chesapeake Bay retriever that has more than 11,000 followers and hundreds of passionate comments.
The Pittsburgh Citizen Police Review Board has received four complaints since 2011 from people whose dogs have been killed by police, executive director Elizabeth Pittinger said.
Ms. Pittinger said she was not allowed to release details of any of the complaints because none was granted a public hearing -- though not all of the cases are closed. The gist of the complaints, she said, is that police have killed their dogs "for a reason that wasn't satisfactory to them."
Complaints to the Citizen Police Review Board are granted a public hearing depending on "whether or not the evidence supports the allegation," she said.
The incidents raise the question of how police officers should react when they run into an aggressive dog, and what qualifies as aggressive. Some of the encounters occur after police officers mistakenly enter the wrong home, Mr. Lockwood said, further complicating the issue.
Most police departments don't train officers to deal with pet dogs, said Thomas Aveni, the executive director of the Police Policy Studies Council, a New Hampshire-based think-tank that researches the use of force by police. The Pittsburgh Bureau of Police is among them, spokeswoman Diane Richard said, limiting its canine-related training to handling police dogs.
The issue of training police to handle pet dogs is rarely even discussed, Mr. Aveni said. "There's no training with regards to what to do or what not to do," he said.
The ASPCA has tried to remedy that by offering training to officers in the New York City area, Mr. Lockwood said. The organization tries to strengthen bonds between police departments and animal control agencies so they can work together in situations in which officers might encounter dogs.
Mr. Reasonover, the documentary producer, said he believes the issue arises from both the increased role that pets play in Americans' lives and the greater visibility of law enforcement.
"Police officers, for a variety of reasons -- the war on drugs, war on terrorism -- have stepped up their presence in our lives as well," he said. "You have these two groups meeting and then the police officers end up encountering family pets."
In deciding whether to shoot a dog, police officers should use the "deadly force" doctrine, Mr. Aveni and Mr. Lockwood agreed, killing the dog only if the officer or others are in serious danger. The difficulty is how to determine quickly whether a dog poses a threat.
"The problem we and other groups have is it's a low standard," Mr. Lockwood said.
Mr. Aveni has first-hard experience with the issue -- he said he was bitten while entering suspects' homes during his time as a police officer. He suggested taking the dog's size and temperament into account, as well as its surroundings. A dog that lives in a house where drugs are sold is more likely to be trained to be vicious than one in a home, he said.
Before resorting to a handgun, police officers should consider blasting dogs with pepper spray, waving a baton at them, hitting them with a baton, or throwing obstacles in their way, Mr. Aveni said. Tasers don't work well because they are oriented to strike vertically instead of horizontally -- a dog on four legs. Mr. Aveni also said many dogs aren't large enough for the two electrodes to latch onto.
"If they're given one good whack ... they'll respect the baton," Mr. Aveni said. "If it's swinging, they'll maintain their distance."
Concerns about dog deaths and a lack of training don't mean there aren't dangerous dogs sometimes deployed against police, said Mr. Reasonover.
"Our documentary doesn't presume foul for killing all dogs -- there very may well be instances where they have to shoot the dog," he said. "It just seems like right now there's no protocol -- they just kill them willy nilly."
Some states have instituted measures to help police handle aggressive dogs. Maryland has put catch-poles -- lassoes used to leash dogs -- in all its police cars, Mr. Lockwood said.
After a highly publicized dog death by police in Colorado, the state last year passed the "Dog Protection Act," requiring police departments to develop training programs on encounters with dogs in the line of duty.
In some cases, cities have been sued by the owners of dogs slain by police. In 2006, the city of Costa Mesa, Calif., paid a family $225,000 to settle a lawsuit over the killing of its pit bull by a police officer, according to the Los Angeles Times. Mr. Lockwood said he has seen dozens of cases in which cities paid five- and six-figure settlements to dog owners.
Reflecting on the shooting she witnessed in 2012, Mrs. Falk sympathized with the police officer by relating a story of her own.
After one of her dogs attacked her, she put it down three days later.
Still, as a dog-lover, she understood why the pit bull's owners were upset after the shooting.
"I would be very upset," she said. "But once they showed me the video, I would have understood."
Richard Webner: email@example.com or 412-263-4903. Anya Sostek: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1308.
by Colin Campbell and Tim Swift
An Anne Arundel County police officer shot and killed a family's dog Saturday while investigating a burglary in Pasadena, officials said.
Police said the officer -- a one-year veteran of the force who was not identified -- was canvassing a neighborhood looking for witnesses around 4 p.m. Saturday. When the officer went to a home in 900 block of Lombardee Circle, the dog -- a male Chesapeake Bay Retriever named Vern -- "confronted" the officer in the front yard, police said. The officer then fired his weapon twice, killing the dog, police said.
Tim Reeves -- one of Vern's owners -- said he had been in the basement of his Pasadena house setting up for a Super Bowl party when his girlfriend called him from upstairs, saying she'd seen a police officer in the front yard.
"I said to him 'How can I help you, officer?'" Tim Reeves said. "He looked at me and said 'I unloaded on your dog. Your dog attacked me, and I killed it.'"
His father, Michael Reeves, who wore a denim jacket with a patch that read "Vern" on the chest, stood in the driveway. He choked up as he described where the bullet casings were found. The family has two other dogs, a Chesapeake Retriever named Jazmin and a French Bulldog named Madeline.
"I just don't get it," he said, walking inside and shaking his head.
The family said the officer wanted to interview a neighbor and was walking across the front yards of homes on the street when the shooting happened. The Reeves family was not involved in the burglary investigation that brought the officer to their neighborhood. Vern barked and ran toward the officer, prompting the shooting, the family said.
The police department promised a full investigation and acknowledged that the shooting was a traumatic incident for the family of the deceased dog.
Anne Arundel County Police Chief Kevin Davis met with the Reeves family this weekend.
"My deepest condolences go out to the family of Vern during this extremely difficult time," Davis said in a statement.
Maryland has seen several high-profile cases of law enforcement officers killing family pets in recent years.
In August 2010, a federal police officer Keith Elgin Shepherds shot and killed a Siberian husky he claimed attacked his pet and was threatening him and his wife at a community dog park in Severn. At first, Shepherds was only questioned by police, but after community protests he was charged with animal cruelty and a weapons violation. He was eventually fined and given probation before judgment.
In July 2008, a Prince George's County SWAT team shot and killed two Labrador retrievers during a search of the home of Berwyn Height's Mayor Cheye Calvo. Police mistakenly thought his wife was involved in drug trafficking. That case garnered national attention.
Calvo was cleared of any wrongdoing, and a lawsuit against Prince George's County was settled for an undisclosed amount.
Tonya Reeves, Michael's wife and Tim's mother, hopes the Anne Arundel County police department will integrate more training for officers to teach them how to better handle such situations.
Tonya Reeves said the neighborhood is very dog and child-friendly. A park in the middle of the circle hosts touch football games in the spring and summer, she said.
"You expect to lose your pet," she said. "You know there's a good chance you'll outlive him. You always know something might happen."
But "it's devastating," she said. "He was a member of our family," she said. "It's no different from it being a person."