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Indiana officer Benjamin Hankins pleads not guilty to murdering wife June 14, 2011 MUNCIE, Ind. â€” A reserve police officer and prison guard charged with killing his estranged wife in central Indiana said little during his initial court hearing other than that he couldn't afford an attorney. A judge entered a not-guilty plea during a Delaware County court hearing Monday for 36-year-old Benjamin Hankins of Gaston and said a public defender would be appointed. Hankins was arrested on murder charges soon after the June 3 shooting death of 32-year-old Lisa Peterson-Hankins. The Star Press of Muncie reports Peterson-Hankins was at her husband's house that morning so the oldest two of their three children could catch a school bus. A state spokesman says Hankins was fired last week from his job at the Pendleton Correctional Facility. He was a Gaston reserve officer for about 3 years. Associated Press Comment here
Navy officer Michael Trey Williams accused of shooting outside Chula Vista restaurant June 14, 2011 CHULA VISTA, Calif. -- A Navy sailor accused in a shooting outside a Chula Vista restaurant last month that left a Marine wounded pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to assault with a semiautomatic firearm and other charges. Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael Trey Williams, 25, was ordered held on $700,000 bail. In court on Tuesday, Williams was upset and wiped tears from his eyes. Two other men arrested in connection with the shooting, Petty Officer 2nd Class Jarrel Daniels, 26, and 27-year-old DeMario Zachery have not yet been charged, said Deputy District Attorney David McNees. A fight between patrons at the Denny's restaurant in the 600 block of E Street on May 15 led to the shooting, which left Anthony Harrall with a gunshot wound to the leg, authorities said. Daniels and Zachery were arrested last Friday at the home they share in San Diego, said Chula Vista police Lt. Lon Turner. The lieutenant said a search of the home turned up a handgun and clothing possibly worn by the suspects during the shooting. Williams was also arrested June 10 aboard a U.S. Navy vessel in Homer, Ala., Turner said. Williams has been in the Navy since September 2007 and earned the National Defense Service Medal and the Iraq Campaign Medal. In addition to assault with a firearm, Williams is charged with personal use of a gun and shooting from a vehicle, McNees said. The defendant faces 42 years in state prison if convicted. It is not known what triggered the violent confrontation between the military men. "There's a bunch of different stories. It's [a] late night at a Denny's with a bunch of people who've been drinking at a club so as you can imagine, we have a number of different stories," said Deputy District Attorney David McNees. South Bay Judge Roderick Shelton set a readiness conference for June 23 and a preliminary hearing for July 6. http://www.10news.com/news/28239503/detail.html Comment here
Hartford County officer Thomas Sears faces second-degree assault June 14, 2011 Chris Watson says he was cooperative but he wasn't convinced that the man ordering him around was a police officer. "He grabs me by my neck and by my shirt and pulls me back up and he pulls me away from the car. And he's standing there, yelling in my face," said Watson. Watson says it was just after midnight on June 4th when he was taking his friend's children, ages 12 and 5, back to their home in Harford County. They were out celebrating a birthday for Watson's 12-year-old stepson, and the three boys heard every word. "My wife said please stop with the f word. And he said f---, you f------ b----. You'll go to jail if you don't keep your mouth shut," Watson said. Watsonâ€˜s wife, Elizabeth, had to console her son. "I looked back at my son and he had his fingers in his mouth, biting his finger nails, and his legs were shaking, and he was crying hysterically," said Elizabeth Watson. A police report also lays out what Watson says. He was driving along Route 40 near Joppa Rd. in Harford County. A car had been tailgating him before the driver activated the emergency lights. When the man approached the vehicle, Watson says nothing about him resembled an officer, except the car that had "Brentwood Police" on the side. "He had on a white t-shirt, shorts, white socks, and some type of house slippers or flip flops," Watson said. "I said to him, wow you really smell like alcohol. Have you been drinking? And he went nuts," he said. Once behind the vehicle, the officer allegedly started to pat him down. Watson was able to return to his car, fearing he would be shot when he turned his back. At that time, his wife was on the phone with 911. The officer took off, but not before Watson grabbed his tag number. The Brentwood police chief confirmed Lt. Thomas Sears was the off-duty officer making the stop and that he resigned his position with the department. "I fear for what he could have done to somebody else," Watson said.
The Watsons are now teaching the boys not to fear all police officers. Chris Watson said if he had to do it all over, we would have stopped in a well lit area. Sears is scheduled to appear in court on august 10th. BY: Cheryl Conner Comment here
Monroe County Corrections officer returns to work after being acquitted of sexual assault June 16, 2011 A suspended Monroe County corrections officer acquitted last month of institutional sexual assault charges is back on the job. Anthony Perez, 43, of East Stroudsburg returned to work June 9 at a salary of $41,085. A county jury cleared Perez on May 11 of allegations he kissed and fondled a female inmate while on duty at the Snydersville jail in April 2010. Any sexual contact by a corrections officer with an inmate — even "consensual" contact — is classified as a crime. Perez, who was earning a salary of $38,144 when he was suspended pending criminal and administrative investigations, also is entitled to 13 months back pay covering the suspension time. Any unemployment compensation received by Perez will be subtracted from the total. Perez, originally hired in 2004, also received a $450 longevity bonus. Bonuses are paid to county employees annually based on their salaries and years of service. BY: David Pierce Comment here
Former Stockton officer pleads guilty to child porn June 16, 2011 SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A former Stockton police officer is facing up to 20 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to child pornography charges. Federal prosecutors say John Krivokapich pleaded guilty Thursday to receiving child pornography. Krivokapich was arrested after the mother of a 15-year-old girl notified Stockton police in 2008 that he had been exchanging pornographic emails with her daughter. Prosecutors say Krivokapich had left the department in 2001, but Stockton police recognized him as a former officer. The 43-year-old Krivokapich is due to be sentenced on September 8. Besides a prison term, he's also facing a lifetime of supervised release when he's released from prison, as well as a $250,000 fine. http://www.greenwichtime.com/news/article/Former-officer-guilty-in-child-pornography-case1428104.php Comment here
Orleans, MA: trooper Travis Tebbetts facing DWI charge June 16, 2011 ORLEANS â€” On March 6, state police Trooper Steven Culver was called to Route 6 in South Dennis for reports of a car driving erratically. After the trooper stopped the car near the beginning of the two-lane section of Route 6, he reported to two different police officers from two different departments that the driver was intoxicated, according to an Orleans police investigation. The driver was Travis Tebbetts, an off-duty Orleans police officer. But instead of administering a field sobriety test or arresting Tebbetts and taking him in for a blood-alcohol test, Culver called the Orleans police and reported he was impounding Tebbetts' car and the officer needed a ride home to Brewster, according to the investigation. The probe was conducted by Orleans police Deputy Chief Scott MacDonald. Orleans Police Chief Jeffrey Roy released the investigation report Wednesday in response to a Times public records request. The report details a possible example of what a Yarmouth police officer calls in the report "professional courtesy" for a fellow police officer. The incident came to light partly because of the outrage of that Yarmouth officer, who followed Tebbetts as he allegedly drove erratically through South Yarmouth and onto Route 6. When MacDonald interviewed Culver more than a month later on April 15 "to explain the circumstances that led to Tebbetts' detainment, Culver responded that probable cause had not been established to make an arrest," according to the investigation report. In an interview with the Times on Wednesday, Roy said that during the investigation Culver said he had not established enough cause to perform a field sobriety test. Under state law, an officer can't conduct a Breathalyzer test unless a suspect has been arrested, Roy said. Tebbetts, a six-year veteran of the Orleans Police Department, was not charged with a crime and is still employed with the department, Roy said. He was disciplined as a result of the investigation, but Roy would not specify what action was taken, citing personnel privacy exemptions to the state public records laws. The Times is appealing that decision. "He was appropriately disciplined," Roy said Wednesday. "Officers in our department and across the Cape have a lot of integrity. When they make mistakes, they are punished. I have not seen officers get preferential treatment. I have seen them get twice the penalty." According to an Orleans Police Internal Affairs report, Tebbetts was disciplined under the rule governing conduct unbecoming an officer. 'Admitted to drinking' Tebbetts was drinking at the Sons of Erin in Yarmouth on the afternoon of March 6, according to statements made by officers involved in the investigation. Orleans police Lt. Sean Diamond was also at the bar and observed Tebbetts drinking a beer. Diamond said Tebbetts appeared "sluggish, almost lethargic" and asked whether he was OK to drive home, according to the investigation report. In his statement to MacDonald for the report, Diamond said Tebbetts replied he was tired. Off-duty Yarmouth police Officer Gordon Gibbons was driving with his wife on Old Townhouse Road at 6 p.m. that night when he observed Tebbetts' Land Rover swerving from one side of the road to the other.
He called the Yarmouth police dispatcher and followed Tebbetts, who, he said, continued to swerve across lanes and eventually hit at least 80 mph on Route 6, Gibbons wrote in a statement that was included as part of the investigation. Tebbetts' driving was so unpredictable that Gibbons said he feared he would hit another vehicle or go off the road. "In my 16 years with this (Yarmouth police) department, it was the most dangerous display of reckless driving I have ever witnessed," he recounted in his written statement. Tebbetts got on the highway at Exit 8, then got off at Exit 9A and headed south on Route 134 in Dennis, according to Gibbons. He then drove over a raised median to make a sharp U-turn in traffic and headed back onto Route 6 going east. At that point, Culver, who had been alerted by police dispatchers, stopped Tebbetts. In his statement, Gibbons said Culver later called him and advised him the driver was an Orleans officer named Travis Tebbetts and he was "extremely intoxicated and admitted to drinking eight beers." State police in Yarmouth would not honor a request to see their police log for March 6, a violation of state public records law. In an email message to the Times, state police spokesman David Procopio said there was no indication of misconduct by Culver. "The Department of State Police is in the process of responding to a records request from the Cape Cod Times regarding this allegation. Since this process is ongoing we will reserve comment. At this time the department has no evidence to support this allegation." According to Orleans police Sgt. Matthew Watts, who was the shift commander on March 6, Culver phoned the Orleans station at about 6 p.m. "Trooper Culver stated that Tebbetts was intoxicated and that the vehicle was going to be towed. Trooper Culver asked me if I could find him a ride," Watts wrote in a March 9 statement that was included in the investigation. Watts called MacDonald, who arranged for Tebbetts to be taken home. MacDonald said he did not get a chance to interview Tebbetts until March 31. 'We investigated' The Orleans police couldn't perform field sobriety or other tests on Tebbetts because it was outside their jurisdiction, Roy said. "We received a call, a complaint about an officer. We investigated and an officer was disciplined. What happened out on the road between Trooper Culver and Tebbetts and Gibbons, I can't tell you," Roy said. "We have to go back to the facts. We don't have any conclusive evidence of whether (Tebbetts) was or wasn't under the influence." He praised Tebbetts as an "excellent officer who goes above and beyond what we require. He's done a lot of work in the schools and plays in a bagpipe band." Roy said the Orleans police do not handle cases involving police officers any differently than they handle cases involving the general public. "If an officer has been determined to be driving under the influence, we take strict action," he said. Margie Fulcher, who serves as chairwoman of the Orleans Board of Selectmen, said Wednesday that she was unaware of the incident involving Tebbetts, but that she would be speaking with Roy on behalf of the board. Fulcher said she was supportive of how he has handled disciplinary matters in the past.
Tebbetts is at least the third Orleans police officer to be in hot water in the past nine months. Orleans police Officer Anthony Manfredi is due back in court on July 1 for a pretrial hearing on charges linked to a Mashpee crash in October while he was allegedly driving drunk. Manfredi and his 21-year-old passenger were seriously injured in the crash. According to hospital records, his blood-alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit. Manfredi is on paid leave pending the results of the court case. Orleans police Sgt. William Norton was fired earlier this spring and the case is being litigated at the state Division of Labor Relations and state Department of Workforce Development. His case is also in grievance arbitration in Boston. The details surrounding Norton's termination are being withheld until his appeal is heard, Roy said. The police chief denied the Times' public records request last week for information about Norton's case. BY: Doug Fraser Comment here
Stratford PD investigates detective William Jennings for assault June 16, 2011 STRATFORD -- The Police Department has launched an internal investigation of an officer who has been accused of assaulting a town resident. Detective William Jennings, who works on a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration task force, has been accused by David Fredericks of assaulting and threatening him outside his home about 7 p.m. April 18. Fredericks, a 39-year-old father of three who owns a landscaping business, said he, his wife, two of his employees and the sister of one of his employees witnessed the incident and filed written statements with Stratford police. No arrests have been made. Acting Police Chief Patrick Ridenhour said Wednesday there are currently no public documents available related to the incident. "We're looking at a matter internally, and there really isn't anything more I can say about it right now," he said. Fredericks said Jennings, whom he had never met, was dressed in plainclothes when he approached him outside his home on Chapel Street in April and demanded money for a debt. Fredericks said he told Jennings he did not know what he was talking about. Jennings then pushed Fredericks repeatedly and scratched his forehead with a police badge, Fredericks said. "It was all very bizarre," Fredericks said. "He kept on saying he was going to end me and ruin me. He wouldn't tell me who he was. I said, `If you don't leave my property, I'm going to get a bat.' I never got a bat, but I called 911." Fredericks said Stratford police responded to the incident. He said he later learned from police that the debt Jennings was trying to collect from him was money to replace a maple tree he damaged on the property of a client who is also acquainted with Jennings. It is unclear whether Jennings was on duty during the alleged assault. "I did nothing wrong," Jennings said. "(Fredericks) knows that, and if he wants to belittle me in the media, I'm not going to comment." On Thursday evening, Jennings said the Police Department's criminal investigation into the matter had just closed and no one would be arrested. These claims could not be confirmed before press time. Jennings said Frederick's police records should be compared with his own personnel file. "I think you will have a balanced picture," he said.
Fredericks was convicted of third-degree assault in November 2009. Fredericks said he does not think the Stratford Police Department is handling his complaint seriously. He said he intends to press charges and file a lawsuit against Jennings. "I just feel this man should be arrested and I feel he should be reprimanded," he said. "He's a dangerous person and I don't think he should be coming onto people's properties like that." He added, "I don't have a vendetta, but if I lose sight of what happened that night, then I'm basically sending the message that what he did was OK. I don't think it's OK for a Stratford police officer to behave that way." BY: Brittany Lyte Comment here
Colorado Springs officer Jarrot Martinez says he was falsely accused June 16, 2011 A Colorado Springs police officer allegedly made false accusations that have permanently tainted one man's life. Colorado Springs officer Sydney Huffman was in court Wednesday for false reports against former Manitou Springs officer, Jarrott Martinez. The decorated officer is currently on paid administration leave from CSPD. Huffman and Martinez dated for five years. After their break up, she accused Martinez of attacking her.
"It was just very confusing, I was very blindsided. I thought maybe it was just a misunderstanding and I didn't understand that someone was trying to purposely hurt me,‖ Martinez said. The former Marine was living his life-long dream of becoming an officer, working for the Manitou Springs Police Department, until he had it all ripped way. Huffman accused Martinez over and over of attacking her. He was arrested several times based on her statements alone. "Everything I‘ve ever worked for, everything I‘ve ever believed in, everything I‘ve ever tried to do positive has been undone by people I thought were their to protect me," he said. Martinez's lawyers were able to prove her allegations were false in court. Martinez says CSPD continuously pursued him based on the charges they knew were false. Now, Huffman is the target of a criminal investigation. She's being charged with attempting to influence a public servant. All of the charges against Martinez have been dropped, but not before he spent seven months behind bars, lost his job and his reputation. "It‘s very hard. I wake up sometimes and think I‘m back in jail...just the other day I was locked away for so long it was very unreal and surreal when I came to the outside world again," Martinez said. He has now filed a lawsuit against Huffman, the City of Colorado Springs and another CSPD investigator. Martinez says while nothing can get back what was taken from him, this may be the only way to get some sort of justice. Martinez has been trying to move on with his life since he was arrested more than a year ago. He got married and moved away from Colorado Springs. Martinez has remained unemployed since his arrest. Huffman waived her advisement hearing on Wednesday; she will be back in court on June 22. BY: Karen Morfitt Comment here
Lebanon County police chief Michael Burgde investigated for traffic citation/overtime scam June 16, 2011 The State Attorney General‘s Office has charged a police chief in Lebanon County with lying about officer overtime and the number of traffic citation violations officers were writing up. The chief's interview with investigators is in this document we got our hands on. Michael Burdge Senior said the money never went in his own pocket, he was on a tight budget, and used it to beef up his police force. He says he was doing more with less. A police criminal complaint CBS 21 News obtained, alleges that Michael Burdge Senior fabricated hours worked and statistics for overtime, in his officer‘s names, without their knowledge. Burdge allegedly did this while working as the Annville Township Police Chief. He's been on paid leave since January. He's also accused of generating false information about the number of traffic citations that were supposedly written by various officers. An investigation revealed that the false claims resulted in overpayments to Annville Township totaling $38,958. Burdge told investigators none of the money went in his pocket. Money was tight, and he used it to pay for extra part-time officers. But one of his neighbors says, that doesn't make it right. "Those are never good,‖ commented neighbor Jeff Eisenhauer. ―I mean he's a paid public official, that's not the way to run his office. Not the way to run his position." We went to Burdge's home Thursday for comment but no one opened the door. Burdge, who's been Police Chief in Annville Township since 2003, is charged with two counts of tampering with public records or information, both 2nd degree misdemeanors. If convicted, he could spend up to 2 years in prison or pay up to $5,000 in fines. CBS 21 News has learned the Former Chief of Annville Police is facing charges for falsifying records. State Police confirmed Michael Burdge, Senior was arrested Wednesday. The complaint alleges Burdge knowingly made false overtime reports, claiming nearly $39,000 for the Annville Police Department. Back in January, Burdge was placed on paid administrative leave for a personnel issue. Annville‘s Police Chief Michael Burdge Sr. was arrested Thursday by State Police and the Attorney General‘s Office. Burdge was placed on administrative leave with pay back in January. BY: Ewa Roman Comment here
16 DC officers have been arrested this year June 16, 2011 WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA)-- Numbers recently released by the Metropolitan Police Department show 16 DC police officers have been arrested this year so far, that's compared to 17 all of last year. MPD Chief Cathy Lanier is attributing the number of arrests mainly to two things; a troubling economy, and an aggressive approach from the department's Internal Affairs division to go after officers suspected of wrong doing. Lanier said, " it's extremely unfortunate that we have people who have decided to tarnish the badge that they wear...but I think it's also a positive thing that we have not only police officers that are willing to tell on other officers , but we have an aggressive internal affairs division. All of these members have been arrested by us." Most of the arrests deal with DUI, and domestic offenses. According to Lanier, " the cases that concern me more are the cases that officers use their positions to engage in criminal activity." Most recently, DC Police Sergeant Aisha Hackley was arrested after investigators say she stole more then 43,000 dollars from an elderly woman she was suppose to be helping while on the job. In early June, Richmond Phillips, also a DC police officer, was arrested and charged in Prince George's County. Police there say he is responsible for the murder of 20-year-old Wynetta Wright, and her 11-month-old baby Jaylin. It was back in March that 3 DC police officers were arrested following a sting operation where investigators say the trio was trying to knowingly buy stolen goods. DC Police gave 9NEWS NOW these statistics: 2011 Arrested members Assault (2) Criminal Activity (6) DOMV/Assault (1) DUI/DWI (4) Obstruction of Justice (1) Fugitive From Justice PG Assault(1) Theft (1) TOTAL: 16 BY: Ken Molestina Comment here
Illinois man sues to get booking fee refunded after charges dismissed June 16, 2011 A Downers Grove man who was arrested only to have charges against him later dismissed, is suing Downers Grove, alleging his civil rights were violated when police collected a $30 booking fee. Robert E. Bailiff was arrested in May of 2009, charged with domestic battery and released after ―the arresting officer took $30 from … Bailiff‘s wallet,‖ the suit filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago alleges, referring to the $30 fee imposed on those posting bail after an arrest. Charges against Bailiff were dismissed last January. The suit alleges the fee is ―unconstitutional‖ and a violation of due process of law guaranteed under the 14th Amendment because those who are arrested have no way of contesting the fee or later seeking a refund if charges are dropped. The lawsuit is a class action complaint, seeking damages not just for Bailiff, but for others who have paid the village‘s $30 booking fee. ―Downers Grove has seized and converted to its own use thousands of dollars from hundreds of arrestees,‖ the lawsuit states. ―The village has not refunded the seized money or interest.‖ Village spokesman Doug Kozlowski declined to comment, citing ongoing legal proceedings. On Wednesday, Downers Grove police declined to release details of Bailiff‘s arrest included in a police report, citing the ongoing lawsuit. ―If this is being used for a revenue producing device, it‘s … without due process,‖ said Bailiff‘s lawyer, James Shedden. ―We maintain it is improper what‘s being done, at least by the village of Downers Grove.‖ Matt Burns, one of Bailiff‘s lawyers, said a court victory could have implications beyond the Downers Grove booking fee. ―It would be widespread in that you wouldn‘t be able to charge booking fees in certain situations,‖ Burns said. The suit, which was filed on May 18 in federal court, seeks attorney‘s fees and damages – to be determined by a jury at a later date – as well as interest accrued since the fees were collected. Village officials declined to say just how much the village has collected in booking fees on Wednesday, citing pending litigation. An initial court date in the Eastern division of Federal District court has not been set because the village requested more time to investigate the matter. The suit also seeks an injunction against the section of the villages municipal code allowing collection of the fee. Bailiff previously sought a refund of his $30 shortly after his arrest, but never got a response from the village, the suit alleges. A letter written to the village in July of 2009 requests a refund alleging the $30 ―which was taken from (Bailiff‘s) wallet by the arresting officer‖ amounted to ―theft, conversion and a myriad of other criminal and civil causes.‖ BY: Brian Slodysko Comment here
Overland officer Andrew T. Ringeisen facing first-degree involuntary manslaughter charge June 16, 2011 An Overland police officer was charged Monday with one count of first-degree involuntary manslaughter for his alleged actions during a March 20 altercation that left a man with fatal injuries. Andrew T. Ringeisen, 34, and several other Overland officers were involved in an incident with a man at a home on West Milton Avenue, Overland Capt. Michael Laws said. The 49-year-old Overland man died about four days after the altercation. The other officers have not been charged. All have been suspended with pay from the department. Laws did not provide details about what happened, the name of the man who died or an exact location of where it happened, but said officers did not use guns or Tasers on the man. "The gentleman got hurt and subsequently died from his injuries," Laws said. Laws asked St. Louis County police to investigate the incident the day after it happened after getting a general description of the altercation. The county's investigation resulted in the charges filed Monday against Ringeisen. "Obviously, this is a very tragic situation," Laws said. BY: Patrick O'Connell Comment here
Canton officer Jarrod Smith charged with theft of over-the-counter mail enhancement pills June 16, 2011 LEWISTOWN â€” A Canton police officer allegedly stole a packet of over-the-counter male enhancement pills from a Canton store, a judge revealed in court Thursday. If convicted, Officer Jarrod Smith faces up to a year in jail and a maximum $2,500 fine, though probation is an option, Fulton County Circuit Judge William Poncin told him in his initial appearance on a charge of misdemeanor retail theft. Smith pleaded not guilty. Poncin set Aug. 1 for a pre-trial conference with Smith's defense attorney, Ronald L. Hanna of Peoria, and a special prosecutor appointed to the case by the Illinois Attorney General's Office. Smith, 28, is accused of leaving the Wal-Mart store in Canton on Feb. 3 without paying for a 15-count package of Extenze lozenges. The alleged theft was recorded by a security video camera and the store notified the Canton Police Department, which turned the case investigation over to the Illinois State Police. Because of Smith's past dealings as an officer with the Fulton County State's Attorney's Office, the attorney general's office was called in to prosecute the case, Canton Police Chief Dan Taylor has said. The charge was filed May 17, and Smith was placed on paid administrative leave with his authority as a police officer suspended. He remains free on a recognizance bond pending the case outcome. Smith, who Taylor said has served on the Canton department for about three years, also faces a department charge before the Canton Board of Fire and Police Commissioners of failure to uphold professional conduct and responsibility. He could be dismissed if found guilty in that case, which the board will consider in a hearing July 19. Last year, Smith and two other officers received short department suspensions after they permitted an area college student to photograph them in uniform with department weapons in police headquarters for a class project in November 2009. Taylor, when he revealed those suspensions last January, said Smith and the other men "are good officers who showed a lack of judgment in this one instance." BY: Michael Smothers Comment here
Scranton officer Mark Miller faces charges after alleged bar fight
June 16, 2011 SCRANTON – A current Scranton patrolman faces charges including official oppression after an alleged incident Sunday, June 12, at The V Spot, 906 Providence Rd., Scranton. Scranton Ptlm. Mark Miller leaves his arraignment on Thursday, June 16, with Atty. Jason Shrive. Mark Miller, 32, of Prospect Ave., faces one count each of terroristic threats, official oppression, disorderly conduct and harassment, and two counts of simple assault in charges filed June 16. According to an affidavit: The Lackawanna County District Attorney‘s office received a report written by Scranton Sgt. Timothy Charles about the physical altercation at the V Spot on June 14. Miller, along with Brian Gannon and Christopher Kahanic, attempted to enter the bar while carrying alcohol, according to security guard Matthew Sobieski. Miller and Gannon said that they were ―Scranton cops,‖ and Gannon allegedly showed him a fake badge as he is not employed by the department. Miller allegedly told Sobieski that he was going to ―punch him in the face‖ when he was asked to show his police badge a second time. He then began fighting with Robert Ruddy, an off-duty security guard for the bar, and Michelle Smolskis. Miller allegedly punched the two and was ―stepping on their chests.‖ Lackawanna County Detective John Munley interviewed Sobieski after reviewing the report. He told Munley that when the men refused to leave when they approached the door carrying alcohol, he warned them that he would call police. ―Oh yeah, (expletive), I‘m a Scranton cop,‖ Miller allegedly replied. Miller also allegedly told Sobieski that ―if anything happens to him, he will ‗(expletive) Mr. Sobieski up,‘‖ according to the affidavit. ―I will make your life a living hell. I will pull you over every time I could. I will arrest you and put you in jail for the rest of your life,‖ Miller allegedly continued. ―I will kill you.‖
Sobieski told the detective that â€•he was in fear for his life at this time.â€– Surveillance footage showed Miller showing his badge in an attempt to enter the bar and striking Smolskis and Ruddy. Miller offered no comment as he left his arraignment on Thursday afternoon. Court documents on Thursday showed no set preliminary hearing date, but Miller was released on $5,000 unsecured bail. Scranton Police Chief Dan Duffy said Miller is currently on unpaid administrative leave pending an internal investigation.
BY: Christopher J. Hughes Comment here
Chicago Naval officer Austin Walsh charged with animal cruelty
June 16, 2011 Chicago - Austin Walsh, 26 is being held in lieu of $70,000 bail after being charged with felony aggravated animal cruelty. Walsh allegedly slammed his girlfriend's 11-pound dachshund against a wall breaking some of the dog's bones and rendering the animal unconscious. According to the Cook Sheriff's Office website, Walsh who resides at the 1600 block of West Farwell Ave had a domestic dispute with his girlfriend who was staying with him. According to the girlfriend's statement, Walsh grabbed the four-year-old dachshund, choked it and then slammed it against the wall. The dog was rushed to the Chicago Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center on Clybourn Ave where the dog regained consciousness, but continues to be in pain. The owner signed the dog over to pet rescue stating she could not afford to pay for the dog's care. The woman was not hurt. Walsh was identified as Second Class Petty Office Machinist's Mate and is stationed at the Naval Station of the Great Lakes in a "transient personnel unit." Walsh has allegedly served two tours in Iraq. Walsh charged with felony aggravated animal cruelty for slamming 11-pound dog into a wall after a fight with his girlfriend.Walsh charged with felony aggravated animal cruelty for slamming 11-pound dog into a wall after a fight with his girlfriend. Continue reading on Examiner.com Naval Second Class Petty Officer charged with felony animal cruelty National Pet Rescue | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/pet-rescue-in-national/naval-secondclass-petty-officer-charged-with-felony-animal-cruelty#ixzz1PZaQzC3f BY: Cheryl Hanna Comment here
DC Police Chief blames spike in officer arrests due to aggressive internal investigations June 16, 2011 In an interview with ABC7, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier chalked the recent spike in arrests of police officers up to more aggressive internal investigations, but admits officers are vulnerable to other forces, such as economic struggles. ―Our internal affairs division has taken a very aggressive, proactive stance,‖ Cathy Lanier said. ―If you take an aggressive approach like that you are going to catch folks who a cross that line.‖ Sixteen D.C. police officers have been arrested and charged with serious crimes in the first six months of this year, according to records from D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier. That‘s only one fewer than were arrested in all of 2010. The alleged crimes include murder, obstruction of justice and scamming an elderly woman. The bulk of charges stem from domestic violence assaults or domestic violence threats and DUIs or alcohol related arrests, WTOP‘s Mark Segraves reported. ―It does concern me,‖ Lanier said. She said factors such as the tough economy contribute to the alleged offences. ―There is certainly no excuse for committing criminal activity as a police officer, but I realize that officers are vulnerable to it just like everybody else,‖ Lanier said. The chief pointed out several of the arrests came after fellow officers complained about colleagues, which she says shows there is not a culture of corruption at the Metropolitan Police Department. ―It's extremely unfortunate that we have people who decided to tarnish the badge that they wear,‖ Lanier said. On Tuesday, a police sergeant was charged with stealing $43,000 from an elderly woman. Aisha Hackley, 35, scammed an 85-year-old woman by forging checks she stole from the woman's house while on assignment and cashing them to herself and her son, according to court documents. Another police officer, Richmond Phillips, is charged with first-degree murder the shooting death of the mother of his child, Wynetta Wright. Their 1-year-old daughter Jaylin was left to die in a hot car. ―It's troubling that there are bad cops; on the other hand, it's reassuring that they're identifying them and weeding them out,‖ said Phil Mendelson, chairman of the D.C. council‘s judiciary committee that oversees the D.C. police department. Since 2008, 93 District police officers have been arrested. Of those, 31 were domestic violence or domestic assault violations and 21 were alcohol-related, reports Segraves. Mendelson says the shortage of police officers bodes poorly for the future. He feares hasty hiring could lower the bar for candidates. ―We've stopped hiring which means we're going to start bringing them in in waves, which means we're probably going to relax standards and invite more trouble,‖ Mendelson said. BY: Greta Kreuz Comment here
Anchorage officer Rafael Mora-Lopez charged with living in country illegally June 16, 2011 ANCHORAGE, Alaskaâ€” A former Anchorage police officer charged with living in the country illegally under a stolen identity pleaded guilty to a state charge Friday. Rafael Mora-Lopez entered a guilty plea to one count of unsworn falsification in the first degree for collecting thousands of dollars in Permanent Fund Dividend checks. He will have to pay $27,352.80 back to the State of Alaska -- a sum which represents 20 years of PFD checks, dating back to the first one he received in 1991. Mora-Lopez will also forfeit all property seized in the investigation of the case, except for any identifying documents in his real name. At his plea hearing Friday, Mora-Lopez asked for the return of his home computer and a duty pistol to his family. For over 20 years, Mora-Lopez lived in Alaska under the name Rafael Alberto Espinoza. He also worked as a People Mover bus driver during his time in Anchorage. A sentencing date of Sept. 16 has been set for Mora-Lopez. He could serve from zero to two years in prison, not including a suspended sentence or probation. BY: Christine Kim Comment here
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