Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Former Officer Darryl Hayes Indicted for Rape of Child

Dinwiddie sheriff's deputies arrested a former colleague Tuesday afternoon, after a grand jury indicted Darryl Earl Hayes with five charges ranging from rape to forcible sodomy.

According to Dinwiddie Circuit Court records, Hayes, 49, is charged with two counts of incest with own child, two counts of rape, and one count of forcible sodomy.

All of the offense dates are listed as March 1, 2012, with all charges class five felonies.

According to the former lieutenant's Facebook page, Hayes worked with the Dinwiddie Sheriff's Office from Feb. 1999 to Oct. 2013

Hayes has a court appearance scheduled for Thursday morning to appoint counsel. He is being held without bond at Meherrin River Regional Jail in Alberta, Va.

In am email statement, Maj. W. B. Knott of the Dinwiddie Sheriff's Office said there would be no further comment because of the ongoing investigation.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Officer George Hall Charged with Violation of Oath of Office

The Sylvester Police Department arrested one of their own officers today around 3 p.m. and took him into custody at the Worth County Sheriff’s office.

Officer George Hall was arrested and charged with violation of oath of office, making false statements, and tampering with evidence.

The release of information regarding this arrest was sent out to media organizations just 20 minutes after Officer Hall was taken into custody.

This case is still under investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigations and no other info is being released at this time.

Trooper Kelly Cruz Acquitted of Stomping Handcuffed Man

(No Protect and Serve going on here.)

A Pennsylvania state trooper accused of stomping a handcuffed man in the head during a botched 2009 drug raid was acquitted Monday of a federal civil rights violation charge.

Cheers and applause erupted in the courtroom from more than two dozen of Kelly Cruz's law enforcement colleagues as the jury delivered its verdict to U.S. District Judge Mary A. McLaughlin. It took less than two hours for the panel of five men and seven women to come to its decision.

A visibly relieved Cruz declined to comment. His lawyer, Christian J. Hoey, described the verdict as "a good decision."

"Nobody celebrates the fact someone was injured," he said. "But he's a heck of a law enforcement officer and an asset to the United States."

Cruz, 44, of Oxford, never denied that he caused the injuries sustained by 22-year-old Zachary Bare during an August raid on the man's home in Chester County. He testified Friday that he did not realize Bare was handcuffed at the time and thought he was trying to stand to attack him.

He told jurors that he pinned Bare's shoulder with his foot in an attempt to keep him on the ground - all while Bare was screaming obscenities and rolling on the floor.

"I responded the way I was trained to respond," he testified Friday. "I reacted to what I saw. If I fail, I don't come home to my family."

Prosecutors described a vastly different incident - involving a kick to the back of Bare's head, witnessed by at least one police officer, as the man lay handcuffed and prone on his kitchen floor.

The impact left Bare with shattered teeth, a broken nose, and two facial fractures.

Cruz was working as a liaison to a Chester County drug task force and assisting the West Whiteland Police Department on what was to be a surprise assault on a suspected meth lab in an Exton house. When officers arrived, the men inside spotted them and tried to escape.

Officer Jeffrey McCloskey told jurors last week he saw Bare running nearby and followed him to a house five doors down. He ordered Bare to the floor as another officer handcuffed him. Another West Whiteland officer, Glenn Cockerham, testified he witnessed Cruz kick Bare - a use of force he later described in an investigative report as "totally unnecessary."

Investigators eventually determined that Bare was not at the drug house at the time of the raid and he was never charged in the case.

Hoey contended throughout the six-day trial that the West Whiteland officers sought to shift blame for Bare's botched arrest onto Cruz.

"We're obviously disappointed," Linwood C. Wright Jr., one of the assistant U.S. attorneys who tried the case, said Monday. "We believe in the West Whiteland Police Department."

Monday's verdict came three years after a Chester County grand jury declined to indict Cruz over the same incident and two years after the Pennsylvania State Police settled a lawsuit from Bare for $125,000.

Cruz was suspended without pay shortly after a federal grand jury indicted him in August 2013. He is expected to return to his job as a corporal in the state police's Avondale barracks, Hoey said.

Officer Michael Vagnini Forced Dozens of Anal Cavity Searches Gets only 2 Years in Prison

A disgusting scandal involving police officers performing illegal anal cavity searches with the intent to “degrade and humiliate” dozens and dozens of victims has come to an apparent conclusion, which some feel amounts to little more than a slap on the wrists for those involved.

Between February 2010 and February 2012, a small group of Milwaukee officers took part in a string of serial assaults on subjects pulled off the streets.  In many cases, the officers demanded the subjects produce the drugs they assumed were being hidden somewhere on their person.  When they were not satisfied with the cooperation from the subjects, an officer would jam his hand into the subject’s underpants, touch his genitals, and insert a finger into his anus on the side of the road.  Some of the complaints stated that drugs were planted during these searches.  At least one complainant was a juvenile, and one stated that he was fingered so hard that his anus bled afterwards.

The group’s ringleader was Milwaukee Officer Michael Vagnini, assisted primarily by three other officers; Jeffrey Dollhopf, Brian Kozelek and Jacob Knight.  Although 7 officers and one supervisor were originally suspended, the four officers mentioned above were the men the district attorney felt had enough involvement to pursue legal actions against.

Officer Vagnini was the the one who directly performed the searches with his hand; the others were present and assisted with detaining the victims, holding them down, provided Vagnini cover while molested them, and then failed to report the crimes to superiors in the department.

A Pattern of Abuse

For two years the complaints piled up from the victims, with the knowledge of department superiors, including Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn.  The chief stated that the department had been aware of the behavior of his officers for “a couple of years,” but waited to investigate until the department recognized a pattern.  One complainant said he notified the department of Vagnini’s abusive tactics as early as 2008.

Vagnini and his cohorts were assigned to Milwaukee’s District 5, and regularly pulled over drivers on a pretense of not wearing a seatbelt or of having darkly tinted windows, followed by searches without a legal reason, according to prosecutors.

Finally, in October 2012, city officials felt charged the officers, and the public began to become aware of the stories.  One case was described by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

In one case, a man had gone to check on his aunt’s house in the 3500 block of N. 10th St. When he came outside, his vehicle was surrounded by squad cars. Vagnini put his bare hand down the man’s pants, touched his scrotum and inserted fingers into his anus, the complaint says. When the man pulled away, Vagnini put him in a choke hold that caused him to slobber onto Vagnini’s arm. Vagnini repeatedly told him to “stop resisting” as he pulled back so hard on his neck his feet almost left the ground, the man said. Two other officers held his arms and one put a gun to his head, the complaint says.

Vagnini claimed he found crack cocaine inside the man’s anus, but the man insisted it “was not on him prior to the search,” the complaint says.

“When I got the cuffs on, he patted me down,” he told WISN-12 News. “But he rushed his hand. He rushed his hand up my butt.”

Another complaint describes a man being fingered so forcefully that his anus bled. 
From JSonline:

In another search, Vagnini conducted a traffic stop near N. 12th and W. Locust streets, the complaint says. Vagnini handcuffed the driver and asked him for “the drugs.” The defendant denied having drugs but actually had hidden drugs inside his anal cavity, according to the complaint.

Vagnini put the suspect in a choke-hold from behind, released him and then stuck his gloved hand inside the defendant’s underwear, “shoving his fingers deeply into the defendant’s butt crack and possibly into the defendant’s anus,” the complaint says.

The man was screaming, and as a result of Vagnini’s actions the man was bleeding from the anal area for several days, the complaint says.

And the stories kept coming forward.

Robert Mann, 55, contends that Police Officer Michael Vagnini stopped him as he was walking near N. 31st St. and Atkinson Ave. in June 2011 and without probable cause, pulled down Mann’s pants and put his hand in Mann’s rectum “in an unsafe, unhygienic, and intentionally humiliating fashion.”  No drugs were recovered from Mann.

[A] juveinile, identified as K.F., was 15 when he was riding in a friend’s car that was stopped by police on N. 26th St. in December 2011.  According to the suit, he was ordered out of the car before Vagnini reached into the teen’s pants, touching his genitalia and his anus while Police Officer Jacob Knight watched.

In July 2009, Chavies Hoskin, 28, was stopped while driving on N. 13th St.   Vagnini reached into Hoskin’s pants and pulled a bag of cocaine from Hoskin’s anal area, while Sgt. Jason Mucha and Officer Thomas Maglio watched.  Hoskin was charged with the delivery of cocaine.  His suit contends that the officers lied in reports, and that Vagnini also falsely testified under oath about how and where he found the cocaine.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel analyzed the cases of at least 13 victims as of August 2013.

Keon Canada was pulled over five times during the summer of 2011 and subjected to butt-cheek searches four times, and that officers opened the front of his pants another time. No drugs were found during any of the stops.

A plaintiff identified only as R.P. contends he was twice subjected to improper searches of his anal areas by former officer Michael Vagnini without probable cause, and the during one of stops Vagnini took his watch, despite another officer’s warning  “you can’t do that.”  R.P. said that when he went to the District Five  station immediately following the incident to reclaim his watch and file a complaint, he was denied a complaint form and his watch and warned that police would report him to the FBI.

Someone identified only as he was stopped and illegally searched three times in 24 hours during the summer of 2011. No drugs were found.  In December 2011 and January 2012, M.C. contends he was again stopped by Vagnini and other officers and on both occasions was struck in the face by Vagnini before being pulled out of a car, held on the ground and subjected to a forceful penetration of his anus.

The suit lists three stops of Walter Coleman and buttock searches by Vagnini, including one where Vagnini first put on rubber gloves. In most of the cases, victims said Vagnini used his his bare hands or would pull their underwear up tight, as if doing a wedgie, then use the underwear as a shield between his hand and the anal area.   The lawsuit says during the gloved incident, Coleman asked Vagnini if he had a search warrant, and the officer laughed.

James Ashford claims he was subjected to six illegal searches over a six month period starting in the summer of 2011. At one point, he, his mother and other relatives met with a District Five lieutenant to complain that Ashford was being harassed.  According to the lawsuit, the lieutenant told Ashford he should stay out of certain neighborhoods, and never acknowledged that the officers’ actions, including the warrant-less, public rectal searches, were inappropriate, or that the officers would be investigated or disciplined.
The Charges

After the long official silence, Police Chief Ed Flynn made public condemnations of the charged officers.  “Quite frankly, I’m disgusted by the willful actions by some of the officers in our Police Department.  And I’m appalled by the willful inaction of some other officers in our police department in failing to stop egregious conduct,” said Flynn.

In October 2012, the following charges were levied:

    against Michael Vagnini, 25 charges including a sexual assault charge;
    against Jeffrey Dollhopf, 3 felony counts of misconduct in public office, 1 felony count of false imprisonment, 1 count of being a party to an illegal cavity search, and 1 count of being a party to an illegal strip search;
    against Jacob Knight, 1 count of misconduct in public office and 1 count of being a party to the crime of an illegal cavity search;
    against Brian Kozelek, 2 count of misconduct in public office, 1 count of false imprisonment, and 1 count of being a party to the crime of an illegal strip search.

“Everybody involved has been on the force long enough to know better.  There’s no way you can justify it as some kind of inadvertent mistake.  The allegations are proven beyond a reasonable doubt and show inexcusable conduct,” Chief Flynn stated in a press conference.

Wisconsin law prohibits police officers from ever being involved in body cavity searches, regardless of probable cause.  This kind of abuse is delegated to professionals like doctors and nurses, according to Wisconsin Statute § 968.255 (3).  And they may be only performed after a search warrant has been obtained.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Officer James Stewart Arrested for DUI

 Springfield police officer James Stewart, a 15-year-veteran of the force, was arrested for driving under the influence early Saturday morning while off duty, according to a press release issued by the city Monday.

    Officers responded to a disabled vehicle in the 1600 block of Stevenson Drive where they saw Stewart behind the wheel of a vehicle.

    Stewart was arrested for DUI and taken to Sangamon County Jail. He is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of both the criminal and internal investigation, the press release stated.

    “The police department takes these allegations seriously, and it is an unfortunate situation,” Chief Kenny Winslow said in a statement. “As officers we are held to a higher standard. I remind you that Stewart, like everyone else, is entitled to his rights under the law.”

    Stewart’s lawyer, Dan Fultz, said Monday his client is concerned about the allegations and asks the public to let the investigation run its course.

    Stewart works in the field operations division.

Former Detention Officer Lauren Sandefer Arrested for Giving Vodka to Inmate

A former Harris County Sheriff's Office detention officer faces charges after authorities say she gave vodka and tobacco to a jail inmate.

Lauren Sandefer, 25, is charged with bringing a prohibited item into a correctional facility. She was arrested on Monday and bail was set at $5,000.

The sheriff's office says Sandefer was hired in April of 2013 and fired in February 2014 for smuggling contraband into the jail last September. Officials say she also let an inmate use her cell phone.

Authorities say Sandefer is the third former Harris County Jail detention officer charged with a crime this year for delivering contraband to inmates.

"My message has been clear all along. Anyone who commits a crime while guarding others accused of crimes will face the same brand of justice as the inmates," Sheriff Adrian Garcia said. "That is one of the many ways we run the nation’s third largest jail as a public safety facility accountable to the taxpayers and other law-abiding members of the public."

The department's Office of Internal Affairs is continuing to search for any evidence of delivery of jail contraband or other illegal conduct by staff.

"Fortunately more than 99 percent of our employees are honest, diligent and hard-working," Garcia continued. "It’s just a shame that the actions of a miniscule number of people put their co-workers' hard-earned, positive reputation at risk."

The sheriff's office says jail employees are no longer allowed to bring personal phones into the jail without special permission, nor can they bring in heavy bags such as backpacks.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Cpl Justin Cherry Charged with Misconduct

Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato announced the arrest of Cpl. Justin Cherry of the Tuckerton Borough Police Department.  Cherry is charged with official misconduct, a second degree crime, and aggravated assault, a third degree crime. He surrendered in the presence of his attorney, Robert W. Rosenberg on Wednesday.

The charges stem from Cherry’s involvement in the arrest of a 57 year-old Barnegat Township resident in Barnegat on January 29, 2014.  The woman allegedly failed to stop after Cherry activated his police vehicle’s emergency lights while the woman was driving in Tuckerton.  The woman drove from Tuckerton to the parking lot of the Barnegat Township Municipal Complex where she was taken into custody by two officers from the Barnegat Police Department.  It is alleged that Cherry was present in Barnegat at the scene of her arrest and unjustifiably allowed his K-9 to attack and bite the woman. It is also alleged that Cherry falsified his police reports in an effort to conceal or justify his improper actions.

Cherry’s bail was set at $15,000 no 10% by the Honorable Francis R. Hodgson, Jr., J.S.C.  Cherry posted bail and was released pending further court proceedings.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Former Officer George Edward Hopper Charged with Stealing from FOP

 A former Muncie police officer has been charged with stealing more than $26,000 from a Fraternal Order of Police lodge while he served as treasurer.

The Star Press reports 40-year-old George Edward Hopper turned himself in at the Delaware County jail on Friday and was released after posting a $5,000 bond.

Hopper could not be reached for comment because the telephone listing for him had been disconnected. It was not known if he has hired an attorney.

Hopper resigned the Muncie Police Department in March 2013, after FOP officials launched an investigation into missing funds. He had been a police officer for nearly 15 years.

Court documents show Hopper previously repaid $12,000, and Prosecutor Jeffrey Arnold said the former officer paid an additional $14,000 in restitution Friday.

Officer David Reece Charged with Residential Entry and Battery

An IMPD officer was arrested Friday night on charges of residential entry and battery, police officials have confirmed.

Indianapolis Police Officer David Reece was taken into custody Friday night after a disturbance on the 8800 block of William Penn Circle, near the intersection of 75th Street and Sargent Road just north of Lawrence.

According to a statement issued Saturday, witness accounts and observations made by IMPD detectives led to the arrest of Reece, 45, on two counts of battery and one count of residential entry.

Police said Reece was taken into custody without incident.

IMPD spokesman Officer Christopher Wilburn said Reece has been suspended without pay pending the results of an internal investigation.

In September, Reece and his partner Officer Jason Scott were lauded after they purchased new bikes for two young children who'd had theirs stolen.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Former Chief David Phillips & Officer Carrie Ann Murray Charged with Theft

A former police chief and police officer were arrested and charged with theft in office, the Lake County Prosecuting Attorney said today.

Former Timberlake Police Chief David Phillips and former Timberlake Police Officer Carrie Ann Murray are in the Lake County jail, according to the Lake County Sheriff's Office.

Both have been charged with two counts of theft from office, and Phillips was also charged with two counts of tampering with records. The indictment charges that the thefts occurred in October of last year.

Officer Josh George Arrested for Stalking Child

The Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) arrested Josh D. George, 30, earlier today for Internet stalking of a child in the Kroger parking lot on Salem Rd in Conway.

The investigation started this week when Mr. George and an undercover investigator acting as a mother of two children ages 9 and 12 started chatting online.

After a couple of days of chatting, Mr. George asked to meet up with the mother and her children for sexual purposes.

The undercover investigator met with Mr. George at the Kroger on Salem Rd where he was arrested.

Mr. George is currently employed with The Department of Community Corrections in Little Rock as a Correctional Officer and a part time Patrol Officer at Guy Police Department. 

He was also employed at the Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office as a deputy in 2007 until he was later terminated May, 2013.

He was rehired in 2013 as a Detention Officer and quit one month later in October, 2013.

The Investigation is ongoing and Mr. George is being held with No Bond until his first appearance on Monday 04/14/14.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Trooper Sgt. Ricky Vitte Jr Indicted for Masturbating With Pre-Teen Boy

An Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper accused of masturbating with a pre-teen boy while the pair watched pornography was indicted this week by a Sandusky County grand jury, months after officials dropped the investigation and said they would not pursue charges.

Sgt. Ricky Vitte Jr., 34, of the 900 block of County Road 42 in Helena, was charged with disseminating matter harmful to juveniles — one felony count and one misdemeanor.

If convicted of the fourth-degree felony, he could serve six to 18 months in prison and pay a $5,000 fine. If convicted on the misdemeanor, he could see up to 180 days behind bars and a $1,000 fine.

The Highway Patrol placed Vitte on paid administrative leave Wednesday morning, after they learned of the indictment. They have also launched an administrative investigation into the alleged sex acts, said Sgt. Vincent Shirey, an assistant Patrol spokesman.

The goal of the investigation: “Just to do a thorough investigation on the allegations and see what’s true and what’s false and what exactly happened,” Shirey said.

Sandusky County assistant prosecutor Norman Solze offered few additional details on the decision to pursue charges, other than saying Sandusky County prosecutor Tom Stierwalt was the prosecutor assigned to the case.

Solze added, however, that the decision to present the case to a grand jury was made collaboratively by employees in the prosecutor’s office, and not by Stierwalt himself.

The indictment comes after about three months of conflicting information presented by public officials associated with the case.

In January, Stierwalt said he declined to charge the trooper because Vitte could argue he was teaching the boy about sex. In a police report, however, Sandusky County detective Sean O’Connell said Stierwalt’s reasoning for not charging Vitte was due to the length of time that had elapsed since the alleged incident, and the lack of physical evidence.

Ohio State Highway Patrol employees had also offered murky answers about the overall case, as well as the Patrol’s stance on Vitte’s employment and the status of an administrative investigation.

In late February, Ohio Department of Public Safety spokesman Joseph Andrews said there was nothing the Patrol could do in Vitte’s case, unless charges were filed.


Sandusky County deputies began investigating Vitte late last year, after the boy and his mother spoke to Erie County Job and Family Services.

On two occasions about five years ago, Vitte allegedly showed the child porn videos while he and the boy masturbated in the same room, the boy, now a teen, told social workers. When confronted with the allegations, Vitte told the boy’s mother he was teaching him about alternatives to sexual intercourse, according to O’Connell’s report.

A brief criminal investigation ensued, during which O’Connell never interviewed Vitte.

O’Connell did, however, go to Vitte’s home in an attempt to interview him, but when Vitte arrived in his Patrol cruiser and spotted the deputy’s cruiser parked outside, he sped off, the report said.

Vitte allegedly led O’Connell on a mile-long chase before pulling over and saying he needed to talk with his attorney, Dean Henry, the report said.

For his part, Henry has been working with O’Connell and Stierwalt for more than a year as a special prosecutor for the Sandusky County prosecutor’s office.


This recent indictment is not Vitte’s first run-in with the law outside of his duties as a trooper.

In 2003 he was charged with domestic violence after he allegedly beat a 5-year-old boy until his buttocks were bruised and bleeding, then head-butted the boy’s mother when she became upset, according to a police report.

Henry successfully defended Vitte in that case, pleading down his domestic violence charge to a lesser charge of child endangering.

Word of Vitte’s violent tendencies resurfaced late last year when social workers spoke with his children. The children told investigators they saw their father punch holes in walls and doors during violent fits of rage. At other times, they watched Vitte drag their mother into another room by her arm and yell at her, the report stated.

Officer Christopher Hancock Arrested for Threating to Burn Down his Home

A Newport News Police officer facing felony charges after police say he threatened to burn down his home has been arrested again for violating a protective order

30-year old Christopher B. Hancock was originally arrested on Tuesday, April 8th at Newport News Police Headquarters after a five day investigation.

Detectives say it stemmed from a domestic incident that occurred with his wife at their Denbigh area home. Police say during an argument, Hancock threatened to burn their house down. A Newport News Police spokesperson said the department was notified of the incident after his wife filed a protective order with the court magistrate.

Police say Hancock was arrested at police headquarters Tuesday afternoon, charged with felony threats to burn. He was released later that day.

He was arrested again on Thursday at Police Headquarters in reference to violating a protective order. He was placed in the custody of the Newport News City Jail.

The circumstances surrounding the second arrest were not released.

NewsChannel 3 spoke to neighbors who live nearby, they say they felt safe knowing a police officer lived just across the street, that was, until they heard the news.

“You depend on the police and I was just kind of secure,” said neighbor Regina Pugh. “You depend you can go over there and I hate to think that I couldn’t for whatever reason.”

Hancock joined the Newport News Police Department on July 16, 2011 and was assigned as a patrol officer. He is presently on unpaid administrative leave.

Corrections Officer John Padgett Charged with Impregnating Teen Cousin

A corrections officer in Baker County was arrested Wednesday for allegedly impregnating his 15-year-old cousin.

John Wesley Padgett, 30, was charged with lewd and lascivious battery on a person under 16 years old, a second-degree felony, according to the Baker County Sheriff's Office.

The crime was reported by the victim's mother in January, according to BCSO.

The victim, now 16 years old, was a 10th grade student when the alleged encounter occurred in August 2013.

Padgett, who is married, works at the Baker Correctional Institute Department of Corrections in Sanderson.

The alleged victim told investigators with the BCSO that she had sex with a stranger who gave her a ride home from school.

During a call recorded by BCSO, Padgett admitted to the victim's mother that he had sex with the victim, according to the offense report.

When interviewed by investigators, Padgett denied any inappropriate sexual relations, according to the report.

A DNA oral swab was taken from Padgett and placed into evidence. A test will be conducted on the child once it is born in May, according to BCSO.

After his arrest Padgett was booked in the Baker County Detention Center.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Detention Officer Pete Gomez Arrested for Asking Inmate to Expose Herself

A detention officer at Coconino County Detention Facility was arrested Wednesday after allegedly acting inappropriately with a female inmate.

Flagstaff police say 50-year-old Pete Gomez asked a female inmate to expose herself to him.

The woman told a staff member about the incident and Coconino County Sheriff's deputies began an investigation.

Gomez was arrested on one count of unlawful sexual conduct in a correctional facility.

Police say Gomez has worked at the detention center for five years and is on administrative leave.

Officer Ryan Robinson Arrested for Drunk Driving

A Miami-Dade Police officer has been arrested after allegedly driving drunk and crashing into a parked car, striking a shopping cart with two children inside and attempting to flee.

According to Miami-Dade Police, last Saturday, at around 8:22 p.m., 41-year-old Miami-Dade Police officer Ryan Robinson was off-duty when he was driving his 1997 GMC truck inside a shopping plaza in Cutler Bay. He struck the grocery store shopping cart with two children sitting inside after he had hit a parked car. "He hit the cart, and he still kept going," said the father of the children, Manny Garcia. "He was trying to get away from the accident."

Robinson hit the shopping cart the father was pushing with his two small girls, ages 3 and 6, inside of it. The father said the shopping cart fell to its side and the two small girls fell out and suffered minor injuries. "My whole world stopped right there," said Garcia. "I see my two kids on the floor."

Patricia Menzies prevented the officer from leaving scene. "I saw the girls on the floor, and I heard the screaming," she said.

She said she was determined to not let him leave the parking lot and blocked his car in, just as he tried to accelerate from the scene.

The mother of the two girls said the whole ordeal was very frightening. "It was her leg, and my other daughter who is in school right now, it was her head and on her cheek and nose, but they are both fine."

Garcia said he could smell a strong odor of alcohol coming from Robinson. He could also see his red, bloodshot, watery eyes. "He was so drunk that he just fell on the floor, so I was like, yo, sit down. He was like, 'Oh, I'm sorry.' I just told him, yo, sit down."

When police arrived on the scene they arrested Robinson for driving under the influence. In the arrest affidavit, police wrote they noticed an "odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from his breath and bloodshot watery eyes."

Garcia recorded cell phone video of the driver, as he took a sobriety test. "Look, he can't even lift his leg," a voice could be heard saying on the video.

Garcia said his daughters now have a fear of police. "I couldn't believe it, the people that are supposed to protect us are the ones that are hurting us."

In 2007, Robinson was part of a police-involved shooting where two unarmed men were killed in Miami after they were pulled over for speeding. He was exonerated by the Miami-Dade State Attorney's office in that case.

In 2013, he was temporarily relieved of duty after a bottle of vodka was found in his patrol car. In this case, he has been relieved of duty with pay and faces DUI charges.

Former Officer Michael South Arrested for Burglary

A former officer with the Grover Beach and Atascadero police departments was arrested on burglary, elder abuse and possession of stolen property charges on March 31.

Michael Glen South, 57, is accused of using his position as the security director of the University Village senior living community in Thousand Oaks to burglarize homes. Because of possible emergency issues with seniors, South had key access to each residence.

Following up on a tip, officers served a search warrant at South’s home where they discovered multiple items believed to be stolen including guns, jewelry and medications.

In 2007, Atascadero fired South for sexual harassment and lying during a background check. Prior to working for Atascadero, South had been employed as a Grover Beach police officer from 1995 to 2002.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Officer Ralph Mata Arrested For Murder for Hire Plot

A Miami-Dade police officer responsible for investigating police misconduct has been busted for allegedly organizing a murder-for-hire plot and cross-country drug trafficking.

Ralph Mata, an internal affairs officer known as "The Milk Man," was arrested in Miami Gardens on Tuesday after authorities say they uncovered his role in trafficking cocaine from the Dominican Republic to New Jersey.

According to the criminal complaint the 45-year-old’s associated drug traffickers were moving narcotics when rival dealers threatened to kill Mata's co-conspirators.

Those members, whom he had outfitted with firearms, were paying Mata thousands of dollars in cash for his help, in addition to giving him a Rolex watch valued at $10,000, according to the complaint.

Mata allegedly went to work by orchestrating a Hollywood style murder plot involving assassins disguised in uniforms and badges.

When his two targets were pulled over by what they'd think were law enforcement officers, they'd instead be shot.

"Mata arranged to pay two assassins $150,000 per target. Ultimately, the [drug trafficking organization] decided not to move forward with the murder plot, but Mata still received a payment for setting up the meetings," according to the complaint.

Mata's long rap includes aiding in the distribution of cocaine, organizing a murder-for-hire plot, providing firearms and sensitive law enforcement information to drug traffickers, and facilitating the transport of drug proceeds, according to New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman.

He's charged with one count each of aiding and abetting a conspiracy to distribute cocaine; conspiring to distribute cocaine; and engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity-specifically, drug proceeds.

Each of the narcotics charges face him with a minimum penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum potential penalty of life in prison and a $10 million fine.

The transaction involving drug proceeds carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Officer Shieed Haniff Arrested for DWI

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.

The seven-year NYPD veteran then drove off and plowed through a traffic stop with “police jumping out of the way,” the document said.

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.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Officer James Foutch Arrested After Crash that Killed Man

Authorities say a central Indiana police officer has been arrested after a crash that killed a man and badly hurt his pregnant wife.

The Madison County Sheriff's Department says Edgewood police Officer James Foutch was off duty when his SUV ran into the back of a car driven by 22-year-old Rebecca Marie Sperry of Pendleton on Sunday.

The Herald Bulletin reports the car went off Indiana 32 near the town of Lapel and into a utility pole, crushing the car's passenger side. The county coroner says Jesse Sperry died. His wife was taken to an Indianapolis hospital.

Police say Foutch was possibly under the influence of prescription medication and was jailed on a preliminary charge of driving while intoxicated causing death. It wasn't clear whether he had an attorney.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Former Officer Jeremy Rose Charged with Sexual Exploitation of Minor

Former Tremonton police officer Jeremy Rose has been charged with 15 offenses in the collection of thousands of photos of a teenage girl in various stages of undress.
Rose was arrested and booked into the Box Elder County Jail Thursday, said Utah Attorney General's Office spokeswoman Missy Larsen, and is scheduled for arraignment April 7 before 1st District Judge Ben Hadfield.
Rose, 37, is charged with nine counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony, and two counts of voyeurism, a third-degree felony. He's also charged with single counts of dealing in material harmful to a minor, communications fraud, obstruction of justice, and stalking, all felonies but the stalking, a class A misdemeanor.
While employed by the Tremonton force, Rose convinced a then-15-year-old Tremonton girl to pose semi-nude for photos he said he would sell for her on the Internet and to private buyers, according to charging documents. That was a ruse in order to collect the photos for himself, the charges say.
He also allegedly hid a camera in the girl's bedroom to record video of her dressing and undressing.
Rose is being held in lieu of $145,000 bail. The case was handed off by the Box Elder County Attorney's Office last year to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest since prosecutors there had worked with Rose for years.
Rose resigned from the Tremonton department in July after investigation began by the Attorney General's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which was assisted by Tremonton police.
The case features a 15-page probable cause affidavit, a document rarely longer than a page.
It details Rose's apparent obsession with the teen beginning in early 2012 and continuing through much of last year until his initial arrest in June. Due to the complex investigation detailed in the affidavit, the charges weren't filed until Thursday by the attorney general's office.  Rose was a 12-year veteran on the Tremonton force.
Rose set up fake email accounts and links to a bogus online company where he told her he was selling the photos, the affidavit says.
He sent emails under assumed names from the fake company encouraging her in her nude and semi-nude posing for photos with Rose, as well as those she took herself and sent to the fake Internet site, according to the affidavit.
They told her she could make more money by wearing less clothing, one of the emails said.
Investigators were informed last June by Rose's wife that he had confessed to her and other family members, according to the affidavit.
The thousands of images of the minor were found on Rose's several cell phones "as well the laptop computer he was assigned through his employment at the Tremonton Police Department," it reads.
The document refers to Rose paying the girl $300 for her pictures and buying her an iPhone for her picture-taking.

Officer Patrick Anthony Klis Charged with Three Counts of Sexual Battery of Juvenile

Patrick Anthony Klis, a police officer with the Long Beach Police Department, has been arrested and charged with three counts of sexual battery of a juvenile, according to a news release Saturday from Harrison County Sheriff Melvin Brisolara.

Brisolara said investigators received information on Thursday that Klis was having sexual relations with a 15-year-old juvenile.

Investigators were able to recover evidence and conduct interviews, which led to an arrest warrant being issued for Klis.

He was taken into custody at the Long Beach Police Department and booked into the Harrison County Adult Detention Facility.

Bond was set at $300,000 by Circuit Court Judge John Garguilo.

The Department of Human Resources was called and took custody of the 15-year-old victim. 

Jury Convicts Officer Jeffrey Holmes of Corruption

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 ( 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.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Officer Johnny Bridges Charged with Domestic Violence

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy has charged Detroit Police Officer Johnny Ray Bridges, 47, with assault with intent to do great bodily harm, unlawful imprisonment, domestic violence and reckless discharge of a firearm.

The charges stem from an event that allegedly occurred on Saturday between Bridges and his girlfriend on March 3.

The woman appears to have escaped the situation by jumping out of a window and running to a nearby restaurant while wearing barely any clothing. An employee at the restaurant tells Isom the woman was only wearing a shirt and her face was "a little bit beat up." Employees gave her some clothes to cover up and called for help.

Prosecutors say Bridges was off-duty when the alleged incident occurred, and both had been drinking. An argument began and, at some point during the argument, Bridges fired a handgun into the air and punched and kicked the victim's face and body.

Bridges was arraigned on Wednesday and a judge set his bond at $5,000. He was ordered to have no contact with the victim and to not possess or purchase firearms.

He is scheduled to be back in court March 13.

Chief Mikel White and Officer Gregory Armstead Arrested on Several Felony Charges

A Louisiana police chief and an officer are now on the other side of the law.

Louisiana State Police arrested Lecompte police chief Mikel White and officer Gregory Armstead on several felony charges Friday.

According to state police, a man says the pair came to his home in March -- and threatened to hurt him if he didn't pay back a personal loan.

He says White threatened to arrest him for theft, and on his orders, Armstead took him into custody.

The man was later released without being charged.

According to state police, the whole thing was caught on camera.

Both the chief and the officer are charged with malfeasance in office and false imprisonment.

Additionally, the chief is charged with extortion.

Both are held on a $500,000 bond each.

Lt Terry Austin Accused of Bribing Fellow Officers to Pull Over His Ex-Wife

A Greenfield police officer is accused of trying to bribe other officers to pull over his ex-wife.

Lieutenant Terry Austin faces charges of bribery and official misconduct.

Police say he offered two McCordsville police officers a $200 steak dinner to pull over his ex-wife because her driver’s license is suspended.

Austin is now on administrative leave.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Officer Matthew Switzer Arrested for Stealing Pain Medication From Senior Citizens

The Concord police officer arrested for illegally obtaining pain medication from senior citizens made his first appearance before a judge Friday.

The officer is facing two counts of first degree burglary, one count of second degree burglary, one count of fraudulently obtaining prescription drugs, and one count of elder abuse.

The Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office says, Matthew Switzer used his status as a police officer to steal prescription drugs from the apartments of several Concord senior citizens.

Friday the judge postponed the arraignment until Tuesday, giving attorneys on both sides more time to work the case.

Switzer's attorney Harry Stern says his client has a drug problem.

"Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the United States. Unfortunately it appears that Officer Switzer is another casualty of that unfortunate trend," Stern said.

Stern says Switzer is battling an addiction, and had checked into rehab for treatment.

"He had prescriptions, and the particular drugs that were involved were essentially heroine," said Stern. Stern continues on to say his client has numerous issues, including suffering from post-traumatic stress.

"He was fighting a very serious addition problem.  It started out with prescriptions. He had an on-duty injury," says Stern.

Officials have not said what that injury was or how it happened.

Concord Police Chief Guy Swanger, who requested the District Attorney investigation, would only say Switzer will be on paid leave, while the department conducts its own internal investigation.

Switzer's bail is now set at $480,000.

Dectective Hassan Hamdy Charged in 2012 Fatal Shooting

Police in New York City say officers involved in a fatal 2012 shooting of an unarmed National Guardsman should face departmental charges.

NYPD Deputy Chief Kim Royster says in a statement Friday the charges were determined based on an internal review of the Oct. 4 shooting of Noel Polanco during a Queens traffic stop.

Royster says a disciplinary process will now commence. She says regardless of the department's findings, the police commissioner will ultimately decide their penalties.

Polanco was shot by Detective Hassan Hamdy through an open passenger window after he believed Polanco was reaching under the seat.

A grand jury cleared Hamdy of criminal wrongdoing and federal prosecutors said Hamdy didn't intentionally violate Polanco's civil rights. The city has agreed to a $2.5 million settlement with Polanco's family.

Former Officer Jeffrey Copeland Arrested for Misconduct

A former City of Greenville police officer was arrested by SLED agents on Wednesday and charged with misconduct in office and unlawful possession of a sawed-off rifle.

According to a warrant, the former officer, Jeffrey Scott Copeland, 36, of Greenville, responded to a call about a suspicious vehicle. He's accused of taking a Glenfield .22. caliber rifle with a sawed off barrel and two knives from the vehicle's occupant.

No arrest was made after the seizure, and the warrant accuses Copeland of keeping the items.

Copeland was booked at the Greenville County Detention Center.

The arrest is the result of an investigation conducted by SLED at the request of the City of Greenville Police Department. The case will be prosecuted by the Thirteenth Circuit Solicitor's Office.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Retired Officer Joseph Ferrante Out on Bail for Child Porn Found Drunk Outside Liquor Store

A retired Peabody cop, out on bail in a child pornography case, was found parked outside a liquor store swigging from separate bottles of vodka and cranberry juice Tuesday morning, police said.

As a result, Joseph Ferrante, 60, of 30 Bresnahan St., Peabody, is being held in custody without bail after a Peabody District Court judge revoked his bail in the child porn case.

According to a police report, Ferrante begged Patrolman Patrick Berardino not to arrest him after Berardino spotted him in a rented Hyundai idling outside of A&L Liquors on Foster Street at 10:25 a.m.

“Pat, please don’t arrest me,” Ferrante allegedly asked the officer. “They will revoke my bail, and I will go to jail.”

Before he approached Ferrante, Berardino watched him drink from the two bottles, one a 200-milliliter (6.8 ounces) bottle of vodka and the other a 16-ounce bottle of cranberry juice. Ferrante then got out of his car holding the two nearly empty bottles and stumbled toward a Dumpster, police said.

Police said Ferrante nearly fell while doing field sobriety tests. There is no indication in court papers that he took a Breathalyzer test.

Ferrante was arrested at the scene and arraigned Tuesday afternoon in Peabody District Court, where Judge Richard Mori not only revoked his $5,000 bail in the child porn case but set additional bail of $500 in the drunken-driving case.

Ferrante is also charged with violating the city’s open container ordinance. He pleaded not guilty to both charges.

In November, he also pleaded not guilty to charges that he stored and shared child pornography on his home computer, which was connected to an online file-sharing service frequently used by pedophiles. Those charges came after an investigator from the Internet Crimes Against Children unit of the state police linked his IP address to one that was offering explicit images of boys.

He is due back in court on April 16 for a probable cause hearing in the child pornography case and a pretrial hearing in the drunken-driving case.