NEW ROADS, LA (WAFB) –
Three deputies have been suspended without pay in connection with a crash involving an off-duty police captain: Capt. Adrian Slaughter, Lt. Pat Bizette & Sgt. Dylan Bergeron.
The 9News I-team has learned a state police trooper was also at the crash site involving New Roads Police Capt. Mark Munson, an 18-year veteran of the force.
Investigators say after Capt. Munson crashed his personal truck, a deputy wrote in his report, "I noticed a 200 ml bottle of Seagram's Gin in the center console. The bottle was about 3/4 the way empty. After talking to Capt. Munson, I could smell a slight odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath."
So why then was the captain not tested for possible drunk driving?
The crash happened on North Carolina Avenue in New Roads Friday night. Because it involved a New Roads police officer, an outside agency was called to investigate, the Pointe Coupee Sheriff's Office. Tuesday, the I-team learned, a state trooper also responded to the scene.
Even though the responding sheriff's deputy suspected alcohol could be a factor, Capt. Munson was never given a breathalyzer. The Pointe Coupee deputy said he did not perform a breathalyzer or field sobriety test because he is not certified to do so.
The deputy wrote "Because I am not DWI certified or field sobriety certified and no one on my shift is certified in either category I was unable to perform an alcohol test on Capt. Munson."
"Our job primarily is criminal. We do some traffic but in recent years, the Carter Academy, where our deputies go to school and go to, they do not certify them in intoxilyzers," responded Pointe Coupee Sheriff Bud Torres. "We usually have a couple of guys on the shift that are certified in this and we also have the state police right there so it's never been an issue in the past that if we needed a test run to have one done."
"So why was someone not called in this case?" asked WAFB's Kiran Chawla.
"I don't know," said Torres.
Tuesday, State Police confirmed to the I-team, a state trooper, who is certified in breathalyzers and field sobriety tests, did respond to the crash, but sources tell the I-team, a higher-up at the sheriff's office told the responding deputy to waive off the state trooper and that the sheriff's office would handle the scene. So the trooper left and went back to patrolling.
So why was the captain not given a test? A call into Sheriff Torres Tuesday was not returned, but he did respond Monday.
"We are not going to give people preferential treatment. We are going to do our job, and when someone crosses the line to the point where it's just out of control behavior, we have to do our job," said Torres.
"There are people out there saying it's the buddy system, that's why he walked away without any charges. Your response to that?" asked Chawla.
"No, we do not operate on a buddy system," said New Roads Police Chief Kevin McDonald.
Because of the questions raised in this case, the Louisiana State Police is investigating the matter. In the meantime, Capt. Munson remains on leave.
The Pointe Coupee Sheriff's Office is investigating why a high-ranking member of the New Roads Police Department was not given a breathalyzer exam following a vehicle crash he was allegedly involved inMore >>
An internal investigation is underway into a case involving a high-ranking member of the New Roads Police Department.More >>
Officials announced the three deputies with the Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff's Office are suspended for multiple days, but an exact number of days was not given.
Capt. Mark Munson of the New Roads Police Department has been charged with failure to maintain control and open container. He is suspended indefinitely without pay. It comes after an 9News investigation into Munson's wreck two weekends ago in New Roads on North Carolina Ave where witnesses said Munson had been drinking and driving, yet no breathalyzer was given and Munson faced no charges.
Even though the wreck was within New Roads city limits, the Pointe Coupee Sheriff's Office was called in to assist because it involved a New Roads officer. But the responding deputy, Sgt. Dylan Bergeron, said in a police report that he was not certified in giving breathalyzers or field sobriety tests. Sources told the Iteam a State Police trooper was also called in by the New Roads Police Dept but Capt. Adrian Slaughter with PCPSO told Sgt. Bergeron to waive off the state trooper and that PCPSO would handle the case.
Pointe Coupee Sheriff Bud Torres said the reason all three were suspended is because all were at one point or another involved in the decision-making process. "As police officers, we have a burden or an expectation of doing the right thing and when we're involved in something that we shouldn't be involved in, that we get treated the same as everybody else," said Torres.
Even though sources tell the Iteam Sgt. Bergeron was told by Capt. Slaughter what to do, Torres said he too was suspended because, "All police officers have an oath of office and they have to do their duty whenever a crime is committed to do the best they can to do their job and because this individual was a supervisor, he's held to a higher standard than a regular deputy."
Munson was not given a breathalyzer even though Sgt. Bergeron wrote in his report, "I noticed a 200 ml bottle of Seagram's Gin in the center console. The bottle was about 3/4 the way empty. After talking to Capt. Munson, I could smell a slight odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath."
New Roads Mayor Robert Myer held a news conference shortly after saying this would not be tolerated.
By Carl Hessler Jr., The Mercury
NORRISTOWN — A former Berks County police officer accused of shoplifting more than $300 in groceries from a West Pottsgrove store has withdrawn his request for a judicial review and dismissal of the charges.
“At this stage, it is being withdrawn without prejudice,” Montgomery County Judge Steven T. O’Neill said Tuesday, referring to the previous request for dismissal made by former Amity Township Police Officer Glenn James Oesterling, who faces charges of retail theft and receiving stolen property in connection with alleged shoplifting incidents at the Upland Square Giant store in June 2013.
Assistant District Attorney Heather Hines previously vowed to fight any move by Oesterling to dismiss the charges and was prepared with witnesses, including West Pottsgrove police officers and Giant store employees who were in court, to wage that fight during Tuesday’s scheduled hearing.
Explaining the current status of the case, O’Neill added, “It is on track for trial and ARD (Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition) consideration.”
The ARD program, which is reserved for first-time offenders of non-violent crimes, allows offenders to clear their records after successfully completing a period of probation. The judge’s comment would seem to indicate that Oesterling might be contemplating filing a request for ARD consideration prior to trial..
With the charges, authorities alleged Oesterling walked out of the Upland Square Giant on both June 12 and June 18 without paying for merchandise he placed into blue, reusable shopping bags in the shopping cart he was pushing. According to a criminal complaint, a loss prevention officer with Giant observed a man leave the store on June 12 without paying for six items worth $38.04 in the reusable bags.
The loss prevention officer used store surveillance footage to confirm what the items were and that the man bypassed all points of sale, according to the criminal complaint. In the footage, the suspect was observed pushing a shopping cart with a child’s car attachment on the front and three small children riding on the cart in different positions, according to court papers.
Following that incident, the loss prevention officer printed photos of the man and “placed them in the office for review by other loss prevention officers,” according to the criminal complaint filed by West Pottsgrove Police Officer Joseph Ray Buchert.
Almost a week later, on June 18, another loss prevention officer observed a man matching the description of the person captured in the June 12 photos enter the store. The man was pushing a cart with the same three children with blue reusable grocery bags in the cart, court papers alleged.
The loss prevention officer followed the man, later identified as Oesterling, around the store as he allegedly placed items into the reusable bags.
After moving toward the service desk, “the defendant then bypassed all points of sale and then exited the store,” the loss prevention officer told police, according to authorities.
The loss prevention officer stopped Oesterling in the store vestibule where “the defendant then identified himself as a ‘cop,’” according to the complaint.
West Pottsgrove Police responded and the loss prevention officer alleged there were 53 store items valued at $296.35 in Oesterling’s possession
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- A suspended Kansas City police officer has been convicted of one count corruption but found not guilty on four other charges after he was accused of having sex with two women in exchange for not arresting them.
The jury convicted Jeffrey Holmes on Friday of one corruption charge but found him not guilty of four other charges involving corruption and sex-related accusations. The jury also recommended that Holmes be sentenced to 15 days in the county jail and pay an undetermined fine.
The Kansas City Star reports (http://bit.ly/Px6Vjf) that two women accused Holmes of coming to their hotel rooms in 2012, indicating he was going to arrest them for prostitution, but having sex with each of them instead.
Holmes has been on unpaid suspension from the department.
By Chris Rueli
SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -
The suspended Ludlow police lieutenant who was indicted on drug charges denied them in Hampden Superior Court during his arraignment Tuesday morning.
Lt. Thomas Foye, 49, was arrested Aug. 18 at the Ludlow Police Department after an investigation was carried out by state police assigned to the attorney general's office.
Foye was indicted March 6 on charges of possession of cocaine, tampering with evidence and theft from the evidence locker room in the police department.
The Board of Selectmen in Ludlow unanimously voted on March 11 to suspend Foye without pay. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Authorities said they watched Foye access the evidence room via a surveillance camera.
According to the attorney general's office, Foye stole dozens of pieces of evidence including cocaine and prescription pills. Authorities further alleged that in some cases, Foye replaced the narcotics in the evidence bags with pills that did not match the description on the corresponding state lab certifications.
BY KERRY BURKE , OREN YANIV
A city cop was arrested for driving drunk, smashing into cars and speeding through a police stop as fellow officers gave chase, authorities said Monday.
The alleged intoxicated ride by Shieed Haniff, 30, ended Sunday minutes before midnight when he was stopped in East New York, Brooklyn.
Police saw Haniff drive erratically and hit a car, before making a u-turn and crashing into another car, causing injuries for occupants in both vehicles, court papers alleged.
Cops charged Haniff with leaving the scene of an accident, DWI, reckless driving and refusing to take a breath test. He was released without bail, but his license was revoked.
A state appellate panel has found that former Wildwood police Sgt. David Romeo received an appropriate prison sentence following his March 2010 conviction for official misconduct.
Romeo was originally sentenced in May 2010 to five years in state prison, but Superior Court Judge Raymond Batten chose not to impose a five-year period of parole ineligibility as mandated by state statute for the second-degree crime. Romeo remained free while the case went through the appeals process.
Romeo was convicted by a jury of kicking two handcuffed suspects while they were lying on the ground in a Wildwood parking lot.
By Bruce Vielmetti
Jury selection has begun in the trial of a fired Milwaukee police officer charged with misconduct in office and abusing a prisoner.
Rodney R. Lloyd, 49, arrested a suspect in a domestic violence incident June 16 and brought him to the District 2 station.
According to the criminal complaint, Lloyd slammed the man's head into a wall inside the booking room, though the suspect had one arm in a sling and was not resisting.
The incident was recorded on video that is expected to be shown to jurors.
"Upon sitting on the bench, (the man) appeared dazed and asked Lloyd what was wrong with him. Lloyd responded by indicating that (the man) had earlier used words to the effect that he could take Lloyd out," the complaint states.
MADISON COUNTY, Ind. - An off-duty police officer faces OWI charges in a Sunday crash that killed a young man and seriously injured his pregnant wife.
Madison County Sheriff's deputies said the driver of a 2004 GMC Yukon, identified as James Foutch, struck the rear end of a 1996 Buick Century while both vehicles were westbound on State Road 32 east of Lapel.
Investigators suspect Foutch was under the influence of prescription drugs. Sources said he was under the influence of hydrocodone.