Saturday, July 26, 2008

Officer Charged with Sexual Battery


A Canyon County Grand Jury has indicted a Caldwell Police sergeant for sexual battery of a 17-year-old female.

The indictment against 38-year-old Dennis Paul Schat was handed down Wednesday.

Idaho State Police investigated the incident when it was disclosed in May 2008. Investigators say the sexual battery did not occur while Schat was on duty.

The case was turned over to the Ada County Prosecutor's Office due to a possible conflict of interest in Canyon County.

Schat was arrested Thursday and bond was set at $100,000. He was ordered to have no contact with the alleged victim or any other minors under 18.

"When state police detectives notified us of Dennis’ arrest we immediately telephoned all of the department employees," Caldwell Police Chief Chris Allgood wrote in a news release. "The employees took the news very hard and feel a mix of both sorrow and anger. We are still a small department and very much like a family; we have pretty much had the wind taken out of our sails."

Schat will be arraigned in Canyon County District Court at a later date.

Topeka Officer Charged in Off-duty Shooting

Jason M. Judd, one of four off-duty police officers who were at the scene in a southwest Topeka neighborhood when two brothers were shot early March 18, has been arrested on charges that he shot the men, District Attorney Robert Hecht confirmed at 5:28 p.m. today.

Judd is charged with two counts of aggravated battery, Shawnee County District Court records show.

Judd was accompanied by defense attorney Tom Lemon as he surrendered at Shawnee County Sheriff's Office headquarters, then was driven several blocks south to the Shawnee County Jail, where he was booked in.

Judd faces charges linked to the shootings of Daniel Llamas 27, and Devin Llamas, 18. The brothers required hospitalization for wounds suffered when they were shot during a confrontation with four off-duty Topeka police officers outside the Llamas home at 7418 S.W. 25th.

Judd will remain on paid administrative leave pending the criminal process, said Topeka police spokeswoman Kristi Pankratz. She said the officer is entitled to due process of the law, the same due process that all citizens are afforded.

Police said an internal investigation into the incident is now beginning.

The three other off-duty officers who were involved will remain on paid administrative leave at this time pending the completion of the district attorney’s review and an internal investigation. Their names haven't been released.

Pankratz said the department is unable to go into further details regarding the matter because it involves personnel.

Officer Faces Charges of Sexual Exploitation of Child


A Colorado State Patrol officer arrested Friday faces charges of sexual exploitation of a child and Internet luring of a child.

Fort Lupton police said they arrested Justin Tolman at his home in Colorado Springs. Inside Tolman’s home, investigators collected evidence in an Internet sting operation that began in early May.

A Fort Lupton police detective posed online as a 14-year-old girl and was sent sexually explicit photos of men and woman in sexual acts, allegedly by Tolman.

Tolman didn't hide he was a state trooper, said Fort Lupton Detective Crystal Schwartz.

"The first conversation he sent a picture," Schwartz said.

"The picture was of a male in a Colorado State Patrol uniform standing next to a Colorado State Patrol vehicle,” said Fort Lupton Chief of Police Ron Grannis.

"I asked if he was a cop and he said, 'guilty,'" Schwartz said.

Detectives said Tolman instant-messaged the undercover detective and made graphic sexual statements in reference to what would happen when they met.

Fort Lupton police contacted the Colorado State Patrol about their suspicions, and the patrol “cooperated on all levels with the investigation,” Grannis said.

“Our children are our most valuable resource. We must do all we can to protect them from predators. The Internet has unfortunately become the stalking grounds of sexual predators,” he said.

Tolman was booked into the Weld County Jail.

"He is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation," Colorado State Patrol Sgt. John Hahn told 7NEWS reporter Lane Lyon Friday.

Hahn said Tolman passed an extensive background check at the time he was hired in July of 2007.

Tolman graduated from CSP's training program and was assigned to the State Patrol office in Colorado Springs in December of 2007, Hahn said.

Former Trooper Pleads Guilty, Avoids Trial

A former state trooper accused of rape will not have a trial or go to jail in Clinton County.

Court officials said Richard Keener pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges just a day before he was trial was supposed to start.

Instead of sexual assault, Keener pleaded guilty to unlawful restraint and indecent assault.

A judge sentenced the former trooper to ten years probation and a $1,000 fine.

Police said keener raped a woman he met in a bar in Lock Haven.

Keener served as a state trooper in central Pennsylvania for 12 years.

Officer Gonzalez Not Charged with Shooting Man but Still Faces Charges of Inappropriately Touching Minor

A Marion County grand jury found that the police officer shooting of Andrew Hanlon on June 30 was a lawful use of deadly physical force.

Hanlon, 20, was an Irish citizen, and his shooting sparked an international outcry against police violence. The grand jury reviewed diagrams, autopsy reports, witness testimony, audiotapes and videotapes before making the unanimous decision.

Members of his family and friends admitted that he may have been suffering from some type of mental problems.

The Marion County District Attorney's Office put out a lengthy press release in order to "combat the accusations of a conspiracy or a cover-up that have arisen in the last three and a half weeks."
They said the incident started when Shannon Kelley heard pounding on her front door at 11:20 p.m. and saw a man, later identified as Hanlon, acting strangely.

Kelley asked him to leave, but Hanlon demanded to enter. Hanlon, according to Kelley, said he had a sword and yelled phrases such as: "Thou shalt let met in!" Though Hanlon didn't have a sword, he gestured as if he had one.

Kelley, who phoned police, said Hanlon howled at the moon and at one point screamed that he was the "angel of death." Kelley said she and her parents visiting from Montana had to put their bodies against the door to stop Hanlon from breaking it down.

Officers later found blood, blood spatter and even skin tissue on the family's front door where Hanlon had tried to knock it down, according to the report.

After repeatedly hurling his body against the door, Hanlon ran barefoot toward Oak Street, where he would meet Silverton officer Tony Gonzalez.

Gonzalez told investigators he heard the sound of shattering glass and thought Hanlon might be armed with a broken bottle. Kemmy and Hanson noted that investigators think Hanlon merely bumped into a recycling bin.

Gonzalez said he ordered Hanlon to show his hands and get down on the ground. After repeating the command, Hanlon appeared ready to comply.

But then he leaped at the officer, kicking and screaming. Gonzalez backpedaled, but could never get more than 5 feet away and started firing.

Gonzalez's version of events was backed up by Jeff DeSantis of Silverton, who was driving along Oak Street and stopped his vehicle when he saw the patrol car.

Witnesses -- including Hanlon's sister, his roommate and his best friend -- were called to testify to his character to give a better picture of whom he was as a person, according to the release.

Four officers were also called as witnesses to testify about the scene of the shooting, the proper use of force and the shooting officer's condition after the incident.

Gonzalez still faces charges from a separate incident in Salem where he is accused of touching an underage girl inappropriately.

Officer Clay Adams Charged with Various Drug Charges Remains in Jail

Master Police Officer Clay Adams was arrested and charged with various drug and weapons charges during a joint operation conducted by the The Bureau of Alcohol and Firearms and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

A U.S. magistrate today ordered an Altamonte Springs police officer to remain in jail while authorities continue to investigate drug and weapons charges against him.

Clay Adams, 36, of Altamonte Springs, is accused of operating marijuana-grow houses. He was arrested earlier this week. According to charging documents, Adams operated two grow houses and transported the drugs, keeping his police credentials ready should he be challenged.

He also gave a police informant the identifications of Seminole County drug agents.

Adams said little at today's hearing. Adams' attorney on Tuesday asked for a detention hearing, which prompted today's hearing. However the attorney today waived his right to the hearing, and U.S. Magistrate David Baker ordered Adams to remain in custody.

Adams was suspended by the Altamonte Springs police department immediately after his arrest. His wife, Robyn Adams, 32, was arrested on similar charges on Monday night.

Trial Starts for Trooper Steven Garren Who Hit Suspect with his Patrol Car

The South Carolina trooper whose dash camera showed him in his patrol car hitting a fleeing suspect was in federal court Friday. Trooper Steven Garren has been suspended from the Highway Patrol, after a federal grand jury indicted him on a charge of violating the suspect’s civil rights by using excessive force. The incident happened in Greenwood in June of 2007.

The court hearing was to handle defense motions and to set a trial date. Chief U.S. District Judge David Norton decided that the trial will be held in Greenville either September 29th or October 6th, depending on when defense lawyers get the evidence they’re requesting. They want the dashcam videos from other troopers and Greenwood County deputies who were part of the chase.

Troopers and deputies had been chasing the driver when he stopped his car, jumped out and started running. In Garren’s dashboard camera video, you can see the man running down the street then cross in front of Garren. Garren hits the man, who tumbles over the hood and off to the passenger side of Garren’s car. The man continued to run and was not caught. He later came forward after the videotape was released as part of an overall investigation into accusations of trooper misconduct.

After the incident, Garren can be heard on tape talking to other officers. “He went flying up in the air,” Garren says. “You hit him?” another officer asks. Garren replies, “Yeah, I hit him. I was trying to hit him.”

The Highway Patrol had turned over the case to 8th Circuit Solicitor Jerry Peace after it happened. Peace did not file charges, determining that Garren did not intend to hit the man and that the talk afterward was just Garren trying to act macho in front of other officers.

After the court hearing Friday, one of Garren’s lawyers, John O’Leary of Columbia, said that will be Garren’s defense at trial. “The argument’s pretty obvious. He didn’t do it. There’s no way it could’ve been avoided,” O’Leary says of the collision.

U.S. Attorney for South Carolina Walt Wilkins said, “I have no comment on the defense position. We...this case was indicted by a grand jury, and we’re ready for a jury to make the final decision.”