Friday, April 11, 2008
New York city police officer Christian Torres robbed a bank in Pennsylvania on Thursday, making off with $113,000 in cash. When he was caught he had a blond wig stashed in his car.
This 21 year old rookie officer decided being a cop didn’t pay well enough, and decided robbing a bank would pay better. He approached a bank employee in the Sovereign Bank branch around 8am and asked about mortgage rates. She told him that she would help him when the bank opened. He turned away, but when the employee entered the bank, he pushed his way in. An employee already at her desk saw the disturbance and triggered a silent alarm, that obviously this officer forgot that banks have.
This law breaker then ordered the employees into the vault, as he ordered one employee, at gunpoint using his police issued weapon, to put money in a shopping bag. As they were doing this he threatened to harm the employees, and then fled.
Another officer was in his patrol car when he heard about the bank alarm, and arrived to find Officer Torres, dressed in business attire leaving the bank with the bag full of money. Officer Orvech watched as the man got into a car and started to drive away, but noticed that the license plate was turned backward so the numbers were facing the bumper. A bank employee step outside and pointed to the car, so Officer Orvech pulled it over.
When questioned, he said he was a New York City police officer, and showed his badge and identification. Officer Orvech pulled him out of the vehicle and found a 9millimeter Glock handgun in the officers waistband, and discovered the wig, the derby and the bag with bundles of cash on the floor of the vehicle.
As he was being handcuffed, “he was very calm, almost like he was going to talk his way out of it,” Officer Orvech said. Officer Torres was charged with two counts of robbery, assault, theft, as well as other counts. The most serious charge, felony robbery, carries a prison sentence of 10 years or more, said Judge Dean R. Patton of Berks County Magisterial District Court in Reading, Pa., who set bail at $500,000. Judge Patton scheduled a preliminary hearing for April 21. Officer Torres was being held in the Berks County Prison until trial. Better hope he doesn’t run across someone he put in there.
An Elgin police officer accused of beating a suspect while off duty on New Year's Day was indicted Tuesday on battery charges, authorities said.
Officer Christopher Darr, who had been on restricted duty since January, was indicted by a Kane County grand jury on two felony counts of battery, special prosecutor Charles Colburn said.
Darr, an officer since 2001, was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the criminal charges, a police spokeswoman said.
Darr is accused of beating Kevin Schwartz, 29, of South Elgin, one of the suspects charged in a brawl during the early hours of Jan. 1 at the Holiday Inn in Elgin. Darr's father, Jack, a hotel security officer and a retired Elgin deputy police chief, suffered broken ribs, a punctured lung and cuts when he tried to break up the fight, police said.
Police stopped Schwartz a short time later on Illinois Highway 31. Officer Christopher Darr is accused of going to the scene.
"He is not alleged to have been on duty at the time," said Colburn, of the state appellate prosecutor's office, which handled the investigation at the request of State's Atty. John Barsanti.
A lawyer for Schwartz has said the attack on his client "had nothing to do with what happened at the hotel." He said Schwartz had been handcuffed with his hands behind his back before and during the beating in the back of a police car.
The lawyer, Michael D. Oppenheimer, said Tuesday that he expects to file a lawsuit against Darr and the Elgin Police Department.
"Obviously, a grand jury has spoken," Oppenheimer said. "They heard the facts and decided he should be indicted."
Bail for Darr was set at $5,000. He is to appear for a hearing April 18.
Elgin Police Chief Lisa Womack declined to comment on the charges against Darr. She said the police internal affairs division will investigate whether Darr violated any of the department's regulations or policies.
Eight other people have been charged in the hotel brawl at 495 Airport Rd.
According to another paper:
"Darr was accused of stopping a car on New Year's Day on Illinois Highway 31 and beating Kevin Schwartz, 29, of South Elgin. Schwartz is one of the suspects charged in a New Year's Eve brawl at the Holiday Inn in Elgin that injured Darr's father, Jack, a hotel security officer and a retired Elgin deputy police chief. A lawyer for Schwartz has said the attack on his client "had nothing to do with what happened at the hotel." He said Schwartz had been handcuffed with hands behind his back before and during the beating."
So it doesn't look as though he was protecting his father but perhaps seeking revenge. Understandable maybe, but not acceptable for a law officer. Unfortunately, this opens the city of Elgin up to a lawsuit.