Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Police Officer Arrested for Sodomising Suspect

Police in Lilongwe have arrested one of their own for allegedly sodomising a suspect who was being kept in custody.

Central Region Police Public Relations Officer John Namalenga said Sub-Inspector Enock Gibson Chiwanda, Officer-in-charge of Area 47 Police Unit in Lilongwe is currently under police custody for the offence.

"The officer is currently in custody and has been charged with the offence of sodomy," said Namalenga adding the suspect will appear in court any day.

Namalenga said the sodomised suspect has been given bail while the case is still been investigated.

"We can not condone such behaviour by a police officer that's why we have arrested him, actually this is the first time in the history of police in Malawi to hear that," he said.

Namalenga said after the sodomised suspect told a friend about the issue who then reported it to police.

After the arrest, reports have been emerging that Chiwanda has been doing the act to many suspects but they were not reporting for fear of being punished.

This is the third time within two weeks where Police officers have found themselves in the cooler.

The first case involved 997 Police officers who shot dead a Mchesi driver then another Lilongwe police officer who killed her wife at Falls last week after a heavy fight.

Brothers Carl & Earl Yhan Arrested for Grand Theft


The USVI Criminal Investigation Bureau arrested a VI Police Officer and a Bureau of Corrections officer on charges of Grand Larceny on Saturday. The officers were already on unpaid leave from their respective agencies due to previous unrelated arrests, prior to being taken in to police custody.

Police Officer Earl Yhan, 27 and his brother, Bureau of Corrections Officer Carl Yhan Jr, 28 were arrested and taken into police custody based on a warrant issued by the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands.

The brothers were charged Saturday with the August 18 Grand Theft of items totaling more than $5,000 from a hardware store on St Croix where Earl Yhan was employed as a contracted security guard.

Earl Yhan is presently on unpaid leave from the VIPD pending the outcome of a February 19 arrest for Grand Larceny in connection with an Auto Theft. His brother, Carl Yhan is on unpaid leave from the Bureau of Corrections pending the outcome of a March 12 arrest for Assault Third (DV) and Possession of a Dangerous Weapon during the Commission of a Domestic Violence Crime.

USVI Police Commissioner James McCall said on Saturday that it is unfortunate that the VIPD and the BOC have been stained by these arrests, however McCall reiterated the statement he made at his Senate confirmation hearing, “it does not matter who you are, where you work, or who your family is – if you do the crime you are going to do the time.”

Both brothers were unable to post bail of $25,000 and were remanded to the Golden Grove Adult Correctional Facility pending advice of rights hearing.

“This is further evidence that the De Jongh administration and the VI Police Department will not tolerate or attempt to cover up wrong doing by police officers and other government employees,” McCall said.

“We understand that the Yhan brothers are innocent until proven guilty however I am confident that the Criminal Investigation Bureau, working closely with the Attorney General’s office has a solid case against these two,” McCall concluded.

Officer Ross Magnuson Charged with Road Rage Assault

A 12-year Superior police officer has been charged with second-degree assault for allegedly pulling a gun and pointing it at a motorist in the parking lot of a Two Harbors service station in an apparent road rage incident on Sunday.

Ross W. Magnuson, 45, of Knife River, Minn., was also charged Friday with making terroristic threats, recklessly handling a dangerous weapon and disorderly conduct. The first two crimes the officer is charged with are felonies. The other two are misdemeanors.

According to the criminal complaint:

Motorist Philip Hoberg told Two Harbors Police Officer Nathan Gens that he and his girlfriend and her son were driving to Gooseberry Falls Sunday afternoon on Highway 61 when they passed a vehicle with a man driving. Hoberg said that the driver “flipped him off’’ as they passed.

Hoberg said they drove to a Holiday station in Two Harbors and were waiting for their turn at the gas pumps. He said that the vehicle they had passed pulled in next to his. The driver got out and stuck his head in Hoberg’s open moon roof and began yelling at him.

Hoberg said he told the driver to step back and that he was going to close the window. The other driver came around the front of the car. Hoberg said he got out of his car and approached the driver, who then pulled a gun and pointed it at him.

Hoberg said he was scared and he attempted to calm the other driver down and apologized for making him mad. He provided a license plate number that eventually led police to Magnuson.

In a follow-up interview, Hoberg told the Two Harbors police officer that Magnuson had been intimidating and alarming and used a hostile tone. He said his body language, his red complexion and the words he used were inappropriate and unacceptable with or without a child present.

Hoberg said that Magnuson, who was off duty and not wearing a police uniform, drew the weapon from a holster on his right hip and pointed it at his chest. He said Magnuson gritted his teeth and moved in his direction with his gun drawn, saying something like, “Do you want to go?"

He said he asked Magnuson to put the gun away and calm down. He said he placed a “friendly warning hand on Magnuson’s chest and assured him that whatever set him off was unintentional, hoping that he would just leave.”

Hoberg said Magnuson holstered his firearm, which appeared to be silver with black trim or dual tone with black and silver, but continued to argue.

Hoberg was able to pick Magnuson’s photo from a phone lineup of six men.

Police executed a search warrant at Magnuson’s home on Friday. Magnuson opened his gun safe and provided a silver and black Smith & Wesson semi-automatic pistol.

Magnuson told officers that he had been driving on Highway 61 that day when he was approached by a car driving erratically.

He admitted stopping at the Two Harbors Holiday station where the car was parked. He said he approached the car and spoke with the driver about his driving conduct. He said the other driver got out of his car and approached him. Magnuson said he felt threatened and “broke leather" on his firearm.

Superior Police Chief Floyd Peters said it was fair to say that he was shocked by the allegations when notified of the charges Friday afternoon. “He’s been a very well respected officer in our department and in the community,’’ Peters said.

The chief then read from a prepared statement. “It is the position of the Superior Police Department that it would be in-appropriate to comment on or in any way interfere with this investigation at this time," he said. “The Superior Police Department will conduct its own internal investigation into this matter only after the criminal investigation is complete. Officer Magnuson will be placed on administrative leave pending these investigations.’’

Magnuson appeared in court Friday afternoon in handcuffs. He told the court that he’s married and has two children, 9 and 12 years old.

Because of a scheduling conflict, Magnuson was arraigned in St. Louis County District Court in Duluth instead of in Lake County District Court in Two Harbors where the crime is alleged to have occurred.

Retired Judge John T. Oswald, who occasionally fills in for other judges in the 6th Judicial District, set bail at $4,000 and referred the defendant to a probation officer to be considered for supervised release. Neither the Lake County Jail nor Two Harbors police would say if Magnuson was being held in the Lake County Jail after the arraignment.

UPDATE: Officer Anthony Smith


An IMPD officer suspended over a sexual assault allegation says the act was consensual. Meanwhile, the alleged victim's attorney is speaking out.

Prosecutors say police officer Anthony Shaun Smith forced himself on a 19-year-old woman driver. He was charged Thursday on several counts.

The victim's attorney spoke to Eyewitness News.

"The conduct of the allegations is very disturbing considering it's a 19-year-old victim, female, in the middle of the night," said Patrick Baker, attorney.

On Friday, August 15th shortly after midnight, prosecutors say Officer Smith first approached the victim at this North Emerson Speedway gas station. Then he reportedly stopped her at this nearby Shell Gas station and ran her license plate. Smith allegedly threatened arrest for a warrant or get in his cruiser, which led to demands for sex.

The victim reported the encounter. Officer Smith, who first denied it, now insists it was consensual.

Prosecutors charged the 37-year-old with rape, criminal deviate conduct, two counts of sexual misconduct, three counts of official misconduct and two counts of intimidation.

Police Chief Michael Spears joined the prosecutor, saying there may be other victims.

"Any actions he's had in the past because we would like to hear about it because we want to continue our investigation," said Spears.

"The investigation led by Chief Spears is very appropriate and very swift and much needed," said Baker.

Investigators confiscated Smith's department-issued handgun, ammunition, bullet proof vest, three police badges, work ID other police equipment.

"We hope that this stops any future action by this particular police officer or any other police officers that have this tremendous power that they have with a badge, a police car and a gun," said Baker.

The jailed policeman declined interviews about the charges and now awaits his first day in court.