Friday, September 19, 2008

Warrant Officer Suspened for Drinking on the Job

A part-time warrant officer in Bethany, Oklahoma, has been suspended on suspicion of drinking on the job.

According to police reports, another officer smelled alcohol on the man's breath while he was booking a prisoner. A supervisor was told and sent the officer home. Police said the warrant officer has been suspended.

No charges were filed.

Officer Christopher Donovan Accused of Having Sex with Dispatchers While on Duty


Officials in Torrington, Conn., said a city police officer had sex with two female dispatchers while on duty and used a city messaging system to arrange the encounters.

The city released nearly 700 pages of documents on the internal investigation into 36-year-old Officer Christopher Donovan on Wednesday.

Donovan resigned in June after the affairs were uncovered. The dispatchers, Catherine Goodfield and Jennifer Street, quit in June after being confronted with evidence of the alleged affair, city officials said.

I think they should have resigned, they are supposed to set examples for high school and younger kids and therefore should not being doing stuff like that," said Torrington resident Michael Koltuniak.

The internal report said Donovan had sex with the dispatchers in the women's locker room at the Torrington Police Department while on duty as well as in the parking lot of Torrington Middle School and the Torrington Industrial Park.

The documents show Donovan flirting with the dispatchers and trading sexual comments using an internal messaging system that's supposed to be used for official communications.

The reports say Donovan began having sex with Goodfield in February or March, and he began an affair with Street in April.

"I think it's ridiculous and immature and it's bad for the community to know they are not doing their jobs," said Torrington resident Amanda Soucier.

Donovan, a seven-year veteran of the department, said in his statement that he knew he had acted inappropriately and wanted help "in getting things straightened out."

"I truly regret everything I've done in regards to this and wish to do what it takes to correct this," he said.

Torrington Police Chief Robert Milano condemned the conduct of Donovan and the dispatchers. He said the inappropriate acts did not jeopardize public safety because they took place during lunch breaks.

More Information:

Former Officer Jimmy Fennell Jr. Found Guilty of Raping Drunk Woman


A judge on Friday convicted a former Georgetown police officer accused of raping a drunk woman after responding to a domestic disturbance call.

Jimmy Lewis Fennell Jr., 35, pleaded guilty in May to kidnapping and improper sexual activity with a person in custody, but state District Judge Burt Carnes later rejected a deal that recommended a two-year prison term, 10 years of probation and a fine.

During Friday's hearing, Fennell waived his right to a jury trial and decided not to withdraw his guilty plea, the Austin American-Statesman reported in its online edition. Carnes convicted Fennell on the two charges and set sentencing for Sept. 26.

Fennell faces up to 10 years in prison for the kidnapping charge and up to two years in state jail and a $10,000 fine for the improper sexual activity charge. The judge will decide on punishment after reading a pre-sentencing report that contains evidence from the case.

In October, Fennell and another officer responded to a disturbance in which a woman and her boyfriend were fighting. Fennell was accused of driving the intoxicated woman from her home to a secluded area, making her dance for him and then sexually assaulting her, according to court documents.

Fennell was fired Dec. 20 but reinstated and placed on paid administrative leave two weeks later. A week after that, he resigned.

Before pleading guilty, Fennell was charged with aggravated sexual assault, aggravated kidnapping, improper sexual activity with a person in custody and official oppression. Those sentences could have exceeded two 99-year terms if he had been convicted by a jury.

Officer Amado Martinez Charged with Forgery and Theft


An officer with the Pinal County Jail has been arrested Friday by invesigators with the attorney's office on theft charges.

A system of checks and balances at the jail triggered suspicions from a staff member of the alleged theft of inmate money.

The staff member filed a complaint with the Pinal County Attorney's Office, requesting an investigation into the matter.

The investigation resulted in Amado Martinez being charged with forgery, theft and identity theft.

Martinez has been booked into the Pinal County Jail with a $100,000 bond.

Three Chicago Officers Fired

Three Chicago police officers were fired last month by the Chicago Police Board, according to records made public Friday.

Officer Nathan Hicks ran away when a shoplifting suspect drew a gun, leaving another officer to confront the man alone, the records said. Hicks had finished his probationary period just a few months before the incident on June 3, 2006, at a Dominick's.

When the suspect, James King, pulled the gun, Hicks and two probationary officers ran toward the back of the store, according to testimony given to the board. The other officer fatally shot King, 47. Hicks and the two probationary officers returned with their weapons drawn after the shooting ended, the records showed. The probationary officers were fired earlier.

Hicks testified that he didn't realize King had a weapon but that he ran for cover when shots rang out. Police officials said officers are trained not to retreat when confronted with a deadly threat but to take nearby cover and protect civilians and other officers from harm by firing at the threat if necessary.

The board also agreed with the Chicago Police Department's recommendation to discharge Wentworth District Officer David Gonzalez for knocking down a Summit police officer in a fight with another bar patron while drinking off-duty in a suburban bar in September 2004, the records show.

The board also agreed to fire Officer Marisol Rodriguez, a Lincoln District officer accused of submitting false medical documents while on the medical roll.

Officer Roger Edwards Accused of Beating Man

A man serving jail time on drug and other charges has accused the Bradenton Police officer who arrested him of later beating him and using a stun gun on him, according to an internal affairs report.

Internal affairs investigators found Officer Roger Edwards' actions violated 10 general departmental orders during the March 5 incident, and have recommended that Edwards, a two-year veteran, be fired for using excessive force and lying in an official proceeding.

Police Chief Michael Radzilowski declined to comment on the case, citing state law that prohibits him from speaking about open investigations involving officers. Police officials said they mistakenly released the report before a disciplinary hearing set for next week.

Edwards' accuser, Raymond Adams, 44, could not be reached for comment because he is serving a seven-month jail sentence for cocaine possession charges stemming from an arrest by Edwards two weeks before the March 5 confrontation. Considered a career criminal, Adams has been arrested 56 times in Florida, according to the report.

Edwards, who has been suspended with pay since Wednesday because of the investigation, could not be reached for comment.

According to the internal affairs report drafted by Lt. Warren Merriman, the incident in question started when Edwards stopped Adams while he was walking in the 800 block of Eighth Circle East about 11 a.m. March 5.

He asked Adams if he could question him. Adams said no and walked away.

The men gave different accounts of what happened next.

Adams said Edwards threw him against his squad car before he managed to break free and run. He said Edwards then fired a stun gun at him but he managed to pull out one of the prongs before jumping a chain link fence. Edwards followed and punched him in the face before handcuffing him, Adams said.

When other officers arrived on scene, they said Adams' mouth was bloody, according to the report.

Edwards consistently changed his story about the confrontation when he was interviewed by different law enforcement and withheld information when he was interviewed by Julie Binkley, an assistant state attorney, according to the report.

Both Adams and Edwards were offered the chance to take a polygraph exam. The test indicated Adams was being truthful in his account. Edwards declined to take it, according to the internal affairs report.

Officer Daniel Coronado Charged with Illegally checking Backgrounds

A Mesa police officer has been charged in connection with illegally checking backgrounds on 10 people over the course of more than three years.

Officer Daniel Albert Coronado, 37, of Gilbert, was indicted Tuesday on four counts of computer tampering and four counts of unauthorized access to criminal history.

The case was first investigated internally by Mesa police after it was uncovered during a separate criminal investigation. It has since been turned over to the Arizona Department of Public Safety. Coronado has been suspended with pay, police said.

"I don't know his motives," said Mesa police spokesman Sgt. Ed Wessing.

According to the indictment, Coronado is accused of using police computer terminals to access the Arizona Criminal Justice Information System and computerized criminal history records between January 2005 and June 2008. The indictment accuses Coronado of illegally logging onto the computer terminals 149 times and accessing the criminal records of about 10 people, police said.

Since officers are assigned a login ID number, it's easy for investigators to see every time someone logs in and who they search.

Wessing said the people whom Coronado allegedly looked up were those he associated with in some manner.

"This (issue) is grilled into officers from Day One," Wessing said. "This is something we expect every officer understands clearly."

Two NYPD Officers Accused of Brutally Beating Firefighter


Two police officers are on the wrong side of the law, accused of brutally beating a firefighter on Long Island.

The two New York City Police officers assigned to the 101 surrendered in Long Beach, where they were fingerprinted, photographed and charged with third degree assault.

Officer Douglas Rome of Floral Park and Officer Jason Ragoo of Long Beach have been suspended without pay -- their weapons confiscated -- accused of beating up a local firefighter who objected when the off duty officers allegedly made a rude remark to the firefighter's sister.

The firefighter's colleagues had filled the courtroom.

Early Saturday, Long Beach police say off duty Long Beach firefighter Brian McNamara was leaving a bar near his home with his sister, and passed by a group of five men, when a crude remark was uttered.

According to court documents, 32-year-old McNamara said: "...they made comments about my sister. I yelled back at them. They walked over to me and the next thing I knew I was wrestled down to the pavement. I remember my sister screaming as they kicked my face and head."

The firefighter's housemates describe their friend as shaken to the core. Witnesses to the attack say McNamara doesn't want to stir up trouble between the many cops and firefighters who live here.

And that is why the firefighter was at first reluctant to press charges. Long Beach police say they are looking for a third suspect, but it is unclear if he, too, is in the NYPD.

The officers pleaded not guilty and were released on their own recognizance. They were represented by police union attorneys.