Thursday, August 28, 2008

Australian Officer Arrested for Having Sex with Child

A NSW Police officer on secondment with the Australian Federal Police (AFP) will face court next month after allegedly having sex with a child.

An AFP media spokeswoman said the 43-year-old Penshurst man had been charged with allegedly having sexual intercourse with a child between the ages of 14 and 16 years and possessing child pornography.

Police have also charged the man with using a carriage service to access child pornography.

He will appear in Downing Centre Local Court on September 9.

Officer Gerardo Dimas Arrested for Assaulting Family Member

A fourteen-year veteran police officer is arrested after he allegedly assaults a family member.

41-year-old Gerardo Dimas was taken to Webb county jail on charges of assault family violence.

The emergency call was taken at about 7 this morning from his South Laredo home.
He is now on administrative reassignment until internal affairs finishes investigating.

He posted a 10-thousand dollar bond shortly after being arrested.

Demonstrators Arrested at the Democratic National Convention

Police officers use excessive force and brutality in arresting two young women, aged 17 and 15 years old, at the Democratic National Convention in Denver for peacefully demonstrating yards away from where Senator Obama is staying.

View video of arrests
Also arrested was the Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition of Washington, DC.

Jayne White, 17, and Julia Giacopuzzi, 15, both from Lake Arrowhead, California, were arrested in front of the Westin Hotel where Senator Barack Obama is staying while at the Democratic National Convention.

View pictures of the young women arrested
The two young women were arrested, without warning, while peacefully writing pro-life messages on the sidewalk in front of the Westin Hotel with sidewalk chalk where Senator Obama is staying.

Rev. Mahoney was arrested and threatened with a felony for leading the event.
After being arrested, the group was later released.

The group had received permission to sidewalk chalk from Denver City Attorney David Fine and Denver Deputy Chief Police John Lamb and had been "sidewalk chalking" for six days prior to the arrests.

Jayne White, age 17, was rushed from behind, physically forced to the ground, had a police officer dig his knee into the back of her neck, pulled her arms and cuffed her behind her back.
Julia Giacopuzzi, age 15, was rushed by a police officer, had her arms twisted behind her back, lifted up off the ground and then cuffed.

Jayne White, age 17, states, "I was peacefully sidewalk chalking when I was forcefully pushed to ground by a police officer from behind. As I was being cuffed on the ground, the police officer pushed his knee into the back of my neck. I was pulled roughly off the ground and taken away. I was given no warning to stop and was completely shocked when I was arrested. My back was throbbing from his knee."

Julia Giacopuzzi, age 15, comments, "As I was sidewalk chalking, I was rushed by a police officer without warning and lifted up off the ground and was cuffed. I was then dragged by the police into the Westin Hotel."

Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, adds, "I am absolutely stunned, sickened and appalled by the excessive use of force by these police officers against these two young women at the Democratic National Convention. They were rushed without warning, physically forced to the ground, had a knee driven into their back, cuffed and dragged away. Their crime was simply writing pro-life messages on the sidewalk yards away from the hotel where Senator Barack Obama is staying. It must be stressed that they had permission from the Denver City Attorney and Police Department to do this and they were given no warning to stop.

I was arrested for simply being accused of being "the leader" of the event.

For the past ten months, I have had numerous news conferences in Denver expressing concerns that free speech rights and the First Amendment might be crushed during the Democratic National Convention. I have said repeatedly that demonstrators are not terrorists and that the city of Denver should do all within their power to ensure civil liberties would be protected.

Sadly, the city of Denver ignored these warnings and the civil rights of two young women and myself were trampled. How is it possible that at the Democratic National Convention two young women could be brutalized by the police just yards away where Senator Obama is staying for writing a political message on the sidewalk? Upon my return to Washington, DC, I will be meeting with our legal team to discuss our legal options against the city of Denver and the Democratic National Convention."

Officer William Wike Jr. Arrested for Sexual contact with Minor


A judge has ordered a Huntington police officer held on $20,000 bond on a charge that he engaged in sexual contact with a 15-year-old girl.

Forty-one-year-old William Wike Jr. appeared in Huntington County Court on Thursday.

Whitley County Chief Deputy Prosecutor D.J. Sigler says Wike is accused of touching the girl, then 15, in a sexual manner sometime in late 2006 or early 2007. Sigler says the charges do not relate to Wike's work as a police officer in the city about 25 miles southwest of Fort Wayne.

Huntington Police Chief S. Thomas Emely says Wike faces suspension pending the outcome of the case.

Vincent Cantu Arrested for Bank Robbery


FBI agents arrested a former Pasadena police officer suspected of robbing four local banks and searched his home Wednesday.

Vincent Cantu, 44, is in custody on a federal arrest warrant, according to FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller. She said he is expected to be charged with one or more bank robberies in La Habra.

Cantu, who was being held in a Santa Ana federal facility, is scheduled to appear before a judge today at the Ronald Reagan Federal Building and Courthouse in Santa Ana.

Thom Mrozek, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office, said Cantu hasn't been charged yet.

At their first appearance in federal court, Mrozek said defendants aren't asked to enter a plea but bail is expected to be set.

Cantu's lawyer, Grant Hoagland, said they will ask for bail and hopefully get Cantu out this weekend.

"He's under investigation for multiple robberies," Eimiller said.

Federal authorities suspect Cantu of being the "Polite Bandit" who robbed the Banco Popular at 12333 S. La Mirada Blvd. in La Mirada twice and also hit the Banco Popular at 3160 Colima Road in Hacienda Heights. The armed bandit earned the moniker because he apologized to tellers.

Until Wednesday, Cantu had been out on $50,000 bond. La Habra police originally arrested him Aug. 15 on suspicion of robbing a Banco Popular at 401 E. Whittier Blvd.

Officers got a description of a getaway vehicle. They pulled over Cantu, who was driving a silver Toyota FJ Cruiser, at Las Lomas Drive, west of Euclid Street.

Hoagland said officers found no weapon, no money and no "indication of a crime" in the vehicle.

Eimiller said Cantu is also a suspect in the June 24 robbery of the Pacific Mercantile Bank at 1530 W. Whittier Blvd. in La Habra.

An armed man wearing sunglasses, a hat and a bandanna robbed this La Habra bank at 5:17 p.m. He apologized for the heist.

"He said, 'I'm sorry to do this to you guys but give me all your money. ... Just call the cops in about five minutes,'" Eimiller said.

On Wednesday morning, Hoagland said Cantu got in his wife's vehicle, was followed by officers and pulled over.

"I had a cell call from him at 10 a.m. ... He was pulled over. He indicated 20 officers with drawn guns (were) ordering him out of his car. He was afraid," Hoagland said.

Agents walked out of the Cantu's house in the 16400 block of Janine Drive on Wednesday carrying a computer, paper bags and a small safe. Officers from the La Habra Police Department and sheriff's deputies were also at the house.

FBI officials declined to say what evidence, if any, was found.

Resident Chris George had forgotten something at his home, returned and saw about 10 officers at his neighbor's house.

"He is a good neighbor, a good father. He's a good friend. I am shocked at the allegations that he's a bank robber," George said.

He said one could count on Cantu to help out like taking his kids to school or him to the garage when his car needed service.

Cantu worked eight years as a Pasadena police officer and retired in 1996 after injuring a knee. He has no criminal record.

He has two sons and reportedly coached at Murphy Ranch Little League. The league has declined comment.

Records with the state Bureau of Security and Investigative Services show Cantu was issued a firearm permit on April 21. He is registered as a guard/patrolperson with the state.

Both licenses are valid until April 30, 2010.

FedEx spokeswoman Denise Lauer said that Cantu had worked for their company but left several years ago.

Officer Cantu Accused of Bank Robbery Appeared in Court


A former Pasadena police officer made his first appearance Thursday in federal court in Santa Ana to face a criminal complaint for two bank robberies that took place in La Habra.

Wearing tan, prison-issued clothing, Vincent Edward Cantu, 44, of Whittier, stood handcuffed in front of Magistrate Judge Marc L. Goldman. He is suspected of robbing Pacific Mercantile Bank on Whittier Boulevard of $10,978 on June 24 and a Banco Popular branch of $10,679 on Aug. 15.

Cantu wasn't required to enter a plea and a bail hearing is scheduled for Sept. 3. Cantu remains in custody at least until then.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 12.

"By that date, we'll have to have a probable-cause hearing or an indictment, which may be issued beforehand," said Thom Mrozek, spokesperson for the U.S. attorney's office.

Cantu's court-appointed attorney, John Early, would not comment on specifics of the case.

On Wednesday, Cantu was taken into custody by federal agents close to his Whittier home. After issuing search warrants, agents searched the home and seized at least two computers, along with personal items believed to link Cantu to the crimes.

Cantu was a Pasadena police officer for eight years before retiring in 1996 in "good standing," according to a department spokesperson.

He is now under investigation for a series of robberies committed by the "polite bandit," including the two robberies named in the complaint, FBI spokesperson Laura Eimiller said.

The polite bandit was so dubbed because he apologized to his victims.

Cantu also is under investigation for robberies at two Banco Popular branches in La Mirada between August 2006 and May 2008 and one in Hacienda Heights in November 2006, Eimiller said.

"There are similarities in M.O. and description," Eimiller said. "During some of his robberies, he was apologetic and said he needed the money for his family."

According to witnesses of the Aug. 15 robbery, the robber entered the Banco Popular in the 400 block of East Whittier Boulevard shortly after 11 a.m., drew a handgun and asked for money, La Habra Police Department spokeswoman Cindy Knapp said.

At about 11:14 a.m., officers were responding to the call at the bank when they saw a vehicle matching the description of one believed to have been used in the robbery.

The silver Toyota FJ Cruiser driven by Cantu was pulled over on Las Lomas, just west of Euclid Street, police said.

La Habra police recovered a loaded Smith & Wesson .40 caliber handgun, along with a cap and bandana, which were similar to those used by the robber, according to the complaint.

Cantu was arrested on suspicion of bank robbery and booked into Orange County Jail. He posted bond Aug. 16 and was released, until FBI agents arrested him Wednesday.

Cantu had a permit to carry a firearm issued by the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services, that agency's records show. The permit was valid through April 30, 2010.

Trooper Steven Garren Accused of Hitting Man Due In Court Today

Attorneys for SC State Trooper, Steven Garren, are expected to be in court today bringing several requests before a judge in Columbia SC.

Lance Cpl. Garren was shown on his patrol unit’s dash camera chasing and ultimately hitting a man who fled after a traffic stop in Greenwood in 2007. The suspect is shown on video flipping over Garren’s car. Garren is later heard in the video saying to another officer "I nailed the (expletive) out of him."

Along with other requests, Garren’s attorneys are set to ask that prosecutors turn over dash camera video from other officer’s patrol units who were also on scene.

Garren’s trial is scheduled to begin September 29, 2008, in Greenville, SC.

Garren was suspended after he was indicted by a federal grand jury with a charge of willfully depriving a man of his constitutional right to be free from the use of unreasonable force by a police officer. If found guilty Garren faces up to 10 years in prison.

Reserve Officer Mark Rutherford Charged with Sexually Assaulting Teenaged Girls


Genesee County District Court records show 37-year-old Mark Rutherford, of Flint, faces charges of criminal sexual conduct for assaulting at least three teenaged girls. Rutherford, who is also a Birch Run reserve police officer, allegedly touched the girls during a church camping trip, in Mount Morris Township. The incident allegedly happened over the Memorial Day weekend. Rutherford, who also works as a security guard and Kettering University, was chaperoning the Valley Church of Christ in Burton.

Rutherford's case has been bound over to Genesee County Circuit Court and he will likely face trial. He'll be in court again September 8th. We will continue to follow this investigation as it develops. Right now, he's out on bond.

Hearing for Officer Charged with Shooting Woman and Son Delayed


A preliminary hearing for a police officer charged with shooting a woman and her son has been delayed so both sides can have more time to review the evidence.
The evidence includes 3,000 pages of documents and 131 CDs and DVDs, said Rick Pinckard, an attorney for San Diego police Officer Frank White.

"The investigation that was conducted by the Oceanside Police Department was probably one of the most thorough investigations that I've ever reviewed,” Pinckard said.

At a Vista Superior Court hearing Tuesday, Judge Aaron Katz set White's preliminary hearing for Nov. 5. It had been scheduled for Sept. 17.

The District Attorney's Office charged White, 28, with grossly negligent discharge of a firearm, a felony and a misdemeanor count of exhibiting a firearm. The felony charge carries two enhancements for causing great bodily injury to Rachel Silva, who was shot twice in the right arm, and her then-8-year-old son, who was shot once in the left leg.

White, who pleaded not guilty, faces up to nine years in prison. He has been put on unpaid leave.

After the hearing, Pinckard said the couple is disappointed that charges were filed against White.

“Frank believes that what he did was reasonable and necessary under the circumstances,” Pinckard said. “We believe that the evidence at trial is going to bear that out.”

Pinckard said White and his wife were victims of a road rage incident.

“That's probably the hardest part of this for them is the failure to recognize them as a victim,” Pinckard said. “Frank and his wife didn't initiate this contact. They were trying to get away from this woman.”

Pinckard said he hasn't discussed a settlement with prosecutors.

In court documents, police say Silva pulled in front of White on Old Grove Road in Oceanside shortly after 9 p.m. March 15. White, who was off duty in a Mercury Milan with his wife, swerved to avoid her Silva.

White turned into a shopping center, and Silva, who was with her son in a Honda Accord, followed into the parking lot of a Lowe's store, tailgating him.

Silva pulled alongside White, shouting at him. He pointed a five-shot .38 revolver at her and backed up. She called 911 and then drove in reverse toward White car. The vehicles mirrors touched, and the right front of her car hit the left side of White's. White fired five shots into Silva's car as their vehicles passed each other.

Police said Silva's blood-alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit. The state Attorney General's Office charged Silva, 28, with one felony count of child endangerment and five misdemeanor counts. She pleaded not guilty.

Silva's attorney, Michael Pancer, declined to comment.

Officer On Paid Leave Pending Investigation

Curt Suskevich, the Cape Coral police officer who was arrested last week in Key West on a drug-possession charge, generally has had a good record during his nine years of work in Cape Coral, according to his personnel file.

Suskevich and his wife, Christine, were arrested Aug. 19 on charges for possession of marijuana. Christine Suskevich, 34, was also charged with discharging a firearm under the influence of alcohol, according to a Key West police arrest report.

Christine Suskevich told police she was trying to get her husband's attention after an argument when she fired a gun from the kitchen toward a back bedroom, the report states. No one was hit by the gunshot.

Cape Coral police spokeswoman Connie Barron said the department will conduct an internal investigation of Suskevich after the process related to the Key West criminal charges is resolved. Until then, he has been placed on paid administrative leave.

Barron said it's too early to tell whether Suskevich's positive work record will have an impact on the investigation.

"That is up to the investigators," she said. "Since the internal investigation doesn't take place until after the criminal process is over, it's hard to say what factors they will take into consideration."

Suskevich's salary is $59,945, which includes a 1.18 percent merit raise based on his most recent evaluation on June 26.

On that evaluation, he was rated excellent on all criteria, including investigative skills, attitude, communication skills and knowledge. The highest rating is superior, and excellent is the second-highest.

Suskevich received commendations over the years for his help with several incidents in Cape Coral, including responding to a neighborhood disturbance. He received a letter of thanks from someone he cited for a boating violation while he was a member of the Cape Police Department's marine unit, according to the personnel file.

"I'm writing to commend Officer Suskevich on his professional demeanor when he stopped me," Carl Schultz of Fort Myers wrote to the Cape Coral Police Department in a letter dated Nov. 25, 2003. "He could easily have read me the riot act for 'senselessly endangering' my children. He could have levied a big fine. In fact, I expected both. Instead, he was courteous, helpful (discovering that one of my fire extinguishers was expired), and left a positive impression on my children and my guests."

In 2005, Suskevich received his lowest evaluation rating, good, which is third-highest on the scale. His supervisors said he needed to "increase his activity," meaning he hadn't issued enough citations on the marine unit. But they noted that other officers also had not done enough. He was also issued a "performance deficiency notice" that year for taking his assigned Cape Coral police boat outside of city limits.

Those appear to be the only blemishes on his performance record. On the 2008 evaluation, Suskevich was praised for the leadership role he was taking in training younger, less-experienced officers.

He also was cited for his role in the Police Department's quick arrest of Robert Dunn in the fatal shooting of Dunn's estranged wife, Christine Lozier Dunn, at Bobbie Noonan's Child Care in January.

"Officer Suskevich is a well rounded police officer and a valued member of our team," this year's evaluation states. "He is always eager to provide assistance both professionally and personally whenever he has been asked. He has worked hard to earn a positive image in the agency and has increased his responsibilities within the (field training officer) and firearms programs."

Suskevich also was cited for being part of a group of Cape Coral police officers who helped in Port St. Lucie after Hurricane Jeanne struck there in 2004.

Former Officer Jack Bowen Arrested for Drunk Driving


A former Belfast police officer was arrested for operating under the influence Monday, Aug. 25, after being warned not to drive by the Searsport chief.

Jack Bowen, 64, who was a patrolman in Belfast in the 1970s and later ran a High Street bar, was stopped by Patrolman Mike Rolerson on High Street after the local department was asked to be on the lookout for his vehicle.

Bowen, now a resident of Nebraska, had reportedly been warned by Searsport Chief Dick LaHaye not to drive after he was allegedly found drinking outside a Searsport restaurant.

Officer Yells "Back it up, bitch!" to Member of Women's Peace Group


A member of the women's peace group CODEPINK was arrested Tuesday after a police officer yelled, "Back it up, bitch" and struck her with his baton, knocking her to the ground.

Alicia Forrest, 24, of Los Angeles, was knocked off her feet onto the pavement and appeared in pain.

A few minutes later, she began answering reporter's questions when police pulled her away and took her to jail.

She was booked for investigation of interference.

Forrest said she saw an unidentified man arrested in the street near Civic Center Park and was asking why the man was being arrested. That's when the officer moved in and confronted her.

Police to Forrest to the warehouse processing center, dubbed "Gitmo on the Platte" by protesters. She was then transferred to the city jail and posted a $580 bond.

The Rocky Mountain News posted video of the confrontation on YouTube.

Officers from several departments were working in the park at the time, and it is not clear on the tape what department the officer works for, though Denver police said they would begin a review of complaints about the incident.

Concerns Raised

A journalism advocacy group raised concerns Wednesday about whether police are interfering with press coverage of anti-war protests at the Democratic convention.

Washington-based Reporters Without Borders cited a video posted by USA Today in which a videographer taping protesters and police is knocked to the ground by an officer trying to clear a street.

Police Chief Gerald Whitman reminded officers in writing Tuesday that Colorado law gives journalists some privileges when they are covering riots.

Whitman said reporters and photographers don't have to obey any order to disperse in riot conditions, though they are supposed to move to the edge of the crowd.

Officer Bill Wike Arrested for Sexual Misconduct with a Minor


An eight-year veteran of the Huntington Police Department is behind bars tonight facing one charge of sexual misconduct with a minor. That is a class c felony.

According to officers, last night, state police arrested 41-year-old Huntington police officer Bill Wike. Wike is currently being held in the Whitley county jail.

In this letter from Huntington police chief Thomas Emely, it states that neither the Huntington police department nor the Huntington county prosecutors office were directly involved in the investigation.

Prosecutors have started the proceedings to ask the board of works in Huntington to suspend officer Wike without pay pending the outcome of the charges in this case.

There will be an executive session next Tuesday in the Huntington mayor's conference room to discuss this issue.

Tomorrow morning at 8:30 officer Wike will appear in a Huntington county circuit courtroom. A special prosecutor has been assigned to the case which is standard practice considering the suspect is a Huntington police officer and the Huntington prosecutor’s office closely works with the police

LAPD officer accused in bizarre plot to kill neighbors, August 26, 1938

An officer is suspended from the force after being charged with molesting the child of a neighbor (an LAPD detective) and is accused of trying to kill the family by digging a tunnel that police say could have been used to set off an explosion. The officer said his attorney told him to dig the tunnel so he could plant bugging equipment to see if the child was being coached by the parents. The officer was convicted of molestation in 1938. He was granted a retrial on appeal in 1939, but The Times did not report the outcome.

Also: A judge finds The Times guilty of contempt for editorials on pending court cases: The Douglas strike, the Helen Werner case and the "goon squad case" (a labor dispute) as well as two editorials about a committee of the Los Angeles Bar Assn.

Tunneling case
In sports, here's a deck worth noting: "Hollywood curvist shuts out Seraphs by 5-0 score." The curvist is Wayne Osborne of the Hollywood Stars, who threw a shutout against the Los Angeles Angels in the "Civil War series."

UCLA prepares for the beginning of football practice in September ... "South Gate jitterbug jockey" Bob Swanson wins a 50-lap midget car race at Gilmore Stadium.

And the New York State Racing Commission suspends groom Raymond Smith to investigate allegations that he drugged racehorses at Saratoga.

Officer in '07 Shooting is Arrested at Mental Facility

A former Tempe police officer, accused of opening fire in a Scottsdale hospital last year, was to walk out of a mental-health facility Tuesday a free man.

But as Gilbert Tuffli, 55, left the Mesa outpatient clinic, he was arrested by detectives from the Maricopa County Attorney's Office and sent to jail.

Tuffli, who was declared unfit to stand trial in September, has been re-indicted on six felony charges including aggravated assault and unlawful discharge of a firearm.

"We acted to ensure public safety," Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas said.

Tuffli allegedly went to Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn in downtown Scottsdale July 23, 2007, to seek revenge against employees who had barred him from the hospital.

Employees wrestled the gun from him.

Tuffli's arrest underscores Thomas' battle with the Legislature, which has not passed laws requiring prosecutors to be notified when defendants are released from mental-health facilities.

The mental-health system is a "revolving door" that doesn't "force defendants to be accountable for their alleged crimes," Thomas said.

Tuffli was found incompetent to stand trial in September, but doctors said treatment may have restored his mental health.

Last month, he was again declared unable to stand trial, but doctors reversed their decision that his mental health would be restored.

Prosecutors are seeking to have him civilly committed to a mental institution.

Thomas said his office would not have been aware of Tuffli's release if Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn officials had not alerted him.

Hospital officials opposed Tuffli's release, saying he remained a danger to patients and employees at Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn.

"We are very happy that he was rearrested today," said Keith Jones, hospital spokesman. "And we appreciate the county attorney's diligence in this case."

Officer Damien Amalfitano Arrested for Child Pornography Appears In Court

The Metro officer accused of having sex with a minor and possessing child pornography was in court Tuesday.

Damien Amalfitano was arrested last year.

Police say an investigation turned up dozens of graphic images of kiddie porn on his computer.

He is also accused of having sex with his ex-girlfriend's 13-year-old daughter.

Amalfitano faces thirty criminal charges.

Tennessee officer accused of snooping on reporter

A Tennessee Highway Patrol officer apparently ran an unauthorized background check on a reporter who had written about ongoing agency woes, The (Nashville)Tennessean said.
Lt. Ronnie Shirley is accused of running illicit checks on more than 180 people, including longtime cops reporter Brad Schrade, The Tennessean said. Authorities are still trying to figure out why. But Tennessean editor Mark Silverman wasted no time in condemning the alleged snooping.

"For a state police agency or one of its agents to investigate a reporter who has produced legitimate and critically important coverage of the agency smacks of the intimidation and retribution you would expect to find in a totalitarian state," Silverman told the newspaper.

Shirley looked up Schrade's driver's license in January, days after the reporter wrote about four troopers accused of leaking sensitive information, The Tennessean said. Schrade's name is one of the first to become public from the list of people Shirley is said to have looked into, which also includes a country music figure and another reporter, the newspaper said.

The state's Department of Safety is seeking a legal opinion as to whether the full list ought to be be released, as the governor says it should.

In an article the newspaper ran on Saturday, Schrade wrote, "Get ready, Tennessee. A pair of armed Tennessee Highway Patrol detectives may be showing up at your house during dinner unannounced, on the weekend or at some other time in the coming days and weeks. That's if you're among up to 182 Tennesseans on whom THP Lt. Ronnie Shirley has done unauthorized criminal portal background checks."

Schrade reportedly got the call from the Highway Patrol himself that very morning.

Officer Wayne Simoes Pleads Not Guilty To Body Slamming Woman


A Yonkers police officer has pleaded not guilty to a charge that he body-slammed an unarmed woman onto a tile floor, breaking her jaw.

Yonkers Officer Wayne Simoes entered the plea to charges that he violated the civil rights of the woman in an appearnce in federal court on Wednesday.

If convicted, Officer Wayne Simoes could face up to 10 years in prison.

Last week, U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia said Simoes' takedown of Irma Marquez on March 3, which was caught on video, amounted to assault. The U.S. attorney said it violated her right against unreasonable force from a police officer.

A federal civil rights lawsuit was filed on June 27 against Simoes, who arrested the 44-year-old home health aide after allegedly slamming her to the ground, leaving her unconscious.

The 38-year-old Simoes was freed on $300,000 bail in June after being charged with using excessive force against a woman at a restaurant.

Federal prosecutors said several officers responded to a call to assist an injured person at the restaurant.

They said Marquez was leaning over the injured person when an officer moved her out of the way. They said Simoes then grabbed her around the waist from behind, lifted her into the air and threw her on the floor, face down, before handcuffing her.

The violent attack, captured on surveillance video, resulted in the hospitalization of Marquez with a fractured jaw, concussion, two black eyes and facial lacerations, as well as bruises and swelling over her neck, torso and numerous other parts of her body, according to the complaint.

The videotape, which was reviewed by the Westchester County District Attorney Office’s, clearly demonstrates the officer lifting Marquez off her feet and driving her face first into the ceramic tile floor of the restaurant where the incident occurred, the original complaint said.

Marquez was accosted by police when she leaned over to get a better view of the medical assistance being provided to her niece who was earlier rendered unconscious when struck by another assailant while patronizing the La Fonda Restaurant at 57 Palisade Avenue, Yonkers, N.Y., on March 3, 2007, according to the indictment.

The indictment said that Simoes slammed Marquez to the floor, then handcuffed and charged the unconscious and seriously injured woman with obstruction of governmental administration and disorderly conduct. On May 9, 2007, a jury acquitted Marquez of all charges.

The indictment charges Simoes with violating of federal civil rights laws, which make it a crime to willfully deprive a person of rights secured and protected by the Constitution of the United States, in this case the right to be free from the use of excessive force by a law enforcement officer in the course of an arrest, stop, or seizure.

If convicted, Simoes could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

Officer Joseph Yelko Charged with Using Cocaine


A Cleveland police officer accused of using cocaine was charged with drug abuse Monday.

Police say an investigation ordered by Police Chief Michael McGrath uncovered evidence of cocaine abuse by Joseph Yelko, a 10-year veteran.

"We will not tolerate drug use and abuse among our officers," McGrath said. "This officer will be suspended from work without pay and we will move towards terminating him from employment with the Division of Police."

Yelko surrendered to Internal Affairs detectives Monday morning and was taken to Cleveland City Jail.

He was released on bond and is scheduled to make his initial appearance at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Officer Eric VanKerkhove Charged with Kissing Woman Without her Permission


An Elyria police officer is on administrative leave pending the outcome of a criminal case in which he was charged with kissing a woman in a store restroom while he was working an off-duty security job.

Patrolman Eric VanKerkhove was charged Monday in Elyria Municipal Court with criminal trespass and disorderly conduct.

Police said VanKerkhove was charged with entering the restroom of a Marc's store on Midway Boulevard on June 13 and kissing a woman without her permission.

Officer John Cooper Indicted for Reckless Homicide

A western Kentucky police officer has been indicted on a charge of reckless homicide.

The Paducah Sun reports that a Calloway County grand jury returned an indictment Monday against 29-year-old Murray police officer John Cooper. The charge stems from a March 18 wreck in which 68-year-old Ray Walker of Murray died.

The accident happened as Cooper was responding to a burglar alarm and hit Walker’s vehicle in the driver’s side. State police have said that Cooper’s lights and siren were on.

Police Chief Ken Claud declined to comment on whether Cooper would face internal disciplinary action.

Cooper is scheduled to be arraigned on Sept. 8.

Officer Jay Simon allowed to Visit Sons While out on Bond


The Gurnee police officer accused of sexually assaulting two young girls can visit with his sons while out on bond.

With various provisions in place, Jay Simon will be allowed to see his two sons, ruled Associate Judge Theodore Potkonjak.

If an impartial third party is present Simon and his sons can meet at a public place, Potkonjak said Monday. The meeting has been green lit by Simon's ex-wife, who is also the boys' mother.

Another condition of the visit is that Simon cannot talk to the boys about one of the alleged victims, who is known to the boys.

Simon, 36, of Round Lake Beach, was released from the Lake County Jail on Aug. 15, after posting $100,000 bond. He had been jailed since early June on several sexual assault and misconduct charges.

The decorated six-year Gurnee police veteran is accused of fondling and molesting two pre-teen girls in 2006 and 2007. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges and has been placed on unpaid administrative leave from his $69,000-a-year job.

Officer Aaron Hughes Arrested for Attempted Grand Larceny


An Elko city police captain has been placed on leave with pay following his arrest for allegedly attempting to steal equipment from a closed mining operation, authorities said.

Aaron Hughes, 36, was arrested early Sunday on suspicion of attempted grand larceny following the incident at the Jerritt Canyon Mine, Elko County Undersheriff Rocky Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez said security guards at the mine found Hughes’ truck with a trailer, and saw a man sitting on an all-terrain vehicle belonging to the mine around 1 a.m. Sunday.

The guards said the man jumped off and hid when approached before they found him and confronted him, Gonzalez said Monday.

The man, matching Hughes’ description, gave the security officers a different name and indicated he was a recently laid-off Jerritt Canyon employee who had returned to retrieve property, Gonzalez said.

The security officials let the man leave, Gonzalez said, but then found damage to the ATV from improper removal from a trailer. Another security officer also found an ATV parked on a mine road, the location “inconsistent with where it was supposed to be,” Gonzalez said.

Security contacted law enforcement with a description of the man and license plate information from the truck, which was registered to Hughes. The truck was stopped at approximately 5 a.m. Sunday about 11 miles south of Jerritt Canyon.

Hughes was questioned and denied wrongdoing, but officers determined there was probable cause to arrest him, Gonzalez said.

Elko Police Chief Don Zumwalt said he was “shocked” and “disappointed” in Hughes’ alleged actions. Besides the criminal investigation, which is being handled by the sheriff’s department, Zumwalt said there will be an internal investigation.
Gonzalez said the investigation is ongoing and will be forwarded to the district attorney’s office when complete.

Domestic Violence Officer Kim Keith Accused of Assaulting her Husband


A Putnam County woman faces is accused of assaulting her husband.

Kim Keith is a domestic violence officer with the Putnam County Sheriff's Office.

Since 2003, if there's been a domestic violence case in the county, more than likely Keith has investigated it.

But now she's on the other side of the law and suspended from her job.

"Absolutely not," Keith said when asked if she has ever shoved or physically assaulted her husband.

A police report indicates that her husband told investigators that she assaulted him.

"My husband and I got into an argument," she said.

Keith insisted that her husband is trying to get back at her because she wanted out of the marriage.

"I would just like to say that I didn't do all of what I'm accused of doing," the deputy said. "I'd just like to get it taken care of and clear my name."

"The fact that she's an officer, the fact that she got arrest is enough for me," said Keith's boss, Putnam County Sheriff David Andrews.

Andrews said he takes the charges seriously.

He put Keith on unpaid administrative leave, took her gun and patrol car.

"We'll see what happens in court," he said. "I have to, as the sheriff, as the administrator here, look at the total circumstance. When this is all over with, I'll make a decision as to what we do from there."

"He did push me. He left and went to a chiropractor appointment," Keith said.

Keith said her husband was never treated at a hospital for any injuries. She also said he waited five hours to summon police after the initial fight on Friday.

Keith is scheduled to appear in court for the assault charges on Sept. 15. She was placed on unpaid administrative leave.

Officer Jeffrey Buckson Caught Stealing


A Milwaukee police officer accused of taking money while on the job was taken into custody after a sting operation Wednesday.

Detective Jeff Buckson was called to investigate a suspicious vehicle and man loitering, a situation set up by police.

Buckson and his partner searched the car and recovered $530, planted as part of the sting operation.

When Buckson filed his report at district three headquarters, investigators said he inventoried and handed over $430. Police searched Buckson’s work locker and found the missing $100 in his gym bag.

According to the criminal complaint, Buckson told investigators he, “took the money because he was having money problems … and has had family issues for the past 14 years.”

Milwaukee Police issued a statement about the incident that stating that it was other officers that raised the issue with the department.

According to court documents, Buckson told police he took the cash because he was having money problems.

A judge ordered Jeffrey Buckson to stand trial on charges of theft and misconduct.