Wednesday, October 08, 2008
28 year-old Robert Bennett is charged with two counts bribery and two counts theft by extortion.
The GBI and Atkinson County Sheriff's Office say they arrested Bennett while he was on duty Friday.
He's accuse of pulling over Hispanic drivers and not ticketing them in exchange for money.
A Plymouth police officer accused of sending inappropriate text messages to a female high school student has resigned.
Officer Ken Groppi was a resource officer at Plymouth North High School. He had been under investigation since last week when the student came forward and reported the messages to school officials.
Groppi, 36, submitted a letter of resignation to Plymouth police Tuesday morning.
Police officials say there is no indication that any physical contact occurred between Groppi and the student.
Groppi had been with the Plymouth Police Department for five years and had been assigned to the high school for about three years.
A Lawrence police officer facing rape and kidnapping charges has been released on $10,000 cash bail.
Chief John Romero says Officer Kevin Sledge was released Friday.
The 46-year-old Sledge, a 15-year veteran, allegedly left his post without permission and picked up an intoxicated 23-year-old woman he came upon on Jackson Street last month. He allegedly sexually assaulted the woman in his car in a parking lot near the police station over a two-hour period before the woman got out of his car and went to the station to report the incident.
Sledge, of Salem, N.H., has been placed on paid administrative leave and stripped of his gun and badge.
Romero says a termination hearing scheduled for last Friday was postponed at the request of the patrolmen’s union’s lawyer until later this month.
Information from: The Eagle-Tribune, http://www.eagletribune.com
A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy arrested in Irvine for allegedly attacking his wife and a man he apparently believed to be her lover will be fired today, a sheriff's spokesman said.
Deputy Robert Avery McClain, 34, will be separated from the job he has held since November 2007 by the end of the business day, said Steve Whitmore, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
"Obviously, it was a very brutal attack, and the sheriff feels very strongly about it," Whitmore said.
McClain is also expected to be charged and make his initial appearance in a Newport Beach courtroom today for allegedly attacking his wife and the 23- year-old man, authorities said.
The woman was hurt in the attack but not as severely as the young man.
McClain was in custody in the Theo Lacy branch jail, where he was booked on suspicion of attempted murder and other crimes for allegedly attacking the man and stabbing him near the genitals.
Handfield took issue with press accounts describing the attack on the man as an attempted castration.
"He does have puncture wounds in the area of the groin, on the inside of his leg, but (a castration attempt) is a little too exaggerated for me," he said.
The victim was being kept in a medically induced coma and listed in stable condition, Handfield said.
The father of the injured man said that his son's face was beaten so severely that he could hardly recognize him. He said it was his "understanding" that the woman was trying to leave the deputy, who thought his wife was having an affair with his son.
McClain also allegedly attacked his wife, but police refused to identify her or say how she had been hurt.
Irvine police were sent to an apartment leasing office at 1000 Peyton on Monday in response to reports of an assault, which apparently took place there between 10:30 p.m. Sunday and 1 a.m. Monday, Handfield said. The wife works in the office, and the male victim lives at the complex, according to police and published reports.
Details concerning the case were not released other than the arrest and charge.
Pace, also the president of the Fraternal Order of Police, is on administrative leave from the police department indefinitely.
He was previously charged with assault in Dec. 2003, but those charges were dropped in May 2004.
Pace is the president of the Fraternal Order of Police.
Patrol officer Nicholas Albert Reitmeier, 25, pleaded guilty in Dakota County District Court to a felony charge for the use of minors in pornography and a misdemeanor charge for the reckless use of handguns. He initially faced two charges for each of those offenses as well as two gross misdemeanors for allegedly furnishing alcohol to minors.
Dakota County prosecutor Scott Hersey and defense attorney Jim Carlson reached a plea agreement to dismiss the other charges, which Judge Timothy McManus accepted.
The agreement also stated Reitmeier would serve 30 days in county jail, would not use alcohol or drugs, would not have contact with the victims and would not possess firearms. He will be on probation for up to four years.
"I'm just trying to move on with my life now," Reitmeier said during the court hearing. "I have a kid on the way. I want to be there for that."
Reitmeier is on administrative leave from the Lakeville Police Department, Carlson said. However, he likely will lose his job because of the felony conviction.
A police spokesman could not be reached Tuesday night for comment.
"Mr. Reitmeier has given up a lot more than most individuals in his same situation," Carlson said. "This was a huge error in his judgment."
According to the criminal complaint:
Reitmeier's friend Shin Taniguchi, 26, of Apple Valley, knew one of the teenagers and invited the girls to Reitmeier's house in the early morning of Dec. 23, 2007.
Reitmeier allegedly gave them 40-ounce beers and asked how old they were, the girls told authorities. "Old enough," one girl answered.
Taniguchi later told investigators he knew the age of the girl he invited to the house.
Carlson said Tuesday that Reitmeier did not know how old the girls were.
"These individuals were 17 years of age. These individuals were not 5," Carlson said.
Regardless, the victims, now 18, were affected by the incident, Hersey said.
After the beers, Reitmeier made the teens several mixed drinks in a martini shaker, the girls said. One of them changed into Reitmeier's shirt, which had a police logo on it.
The men also posed with Reitmeier's guns in photos and aimed them at each other. One of the weapons was Reitmeier's police sidearm.
The teenagers said they started kissing each other and became partially undressed while the men took pictures with a camera and videotaped them with cell phones.
Someone who knew Taniguchi later told one of the girls about seeing the videos. News of the recorded images circulated at the girls' school, and a student told a police liaison about them. Authorities refused to name the Dakota County school.
On Jan. 11, Dakota County sheriff's investigators searched Reitmeier's home. They seized a computer with 12 photographs of Reitmeier, Taniguchi and a female posing with the handguns, which detectives found in his house and vehicle.
They found an additional 19 photographs and four short videos of the girls partially undressed in sexual positions with each other.
Taniguchi faces two felony counts for the alleged use of minors in the pornography and two misdemeanor counts each for the alleged reckless use of handguns. He is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 17.
Reitmeier became a patrol officer in 2004 after serving as a nonsworn community service officer for two years in Lakeville.
FOUR Mdantsane residents have accused police of beating them up in an attack last weekend that put one of them in hospital with serious injuries. And the NU1 officers have responded by opening a case of assault against their accusers.
Yesterday Nomava Nonto, Thamsanqa Faku and Bulelani Makeleni were nursing bruises they claimed to have got while being held in the police cells.
One victim , Simbonile Ntongwane, 27, was taken to Cecilia Makiwane Hospital after a fire extinguisher was allegedly slammed into his head by the officers at the station.
Yesterday he was transferred to Frere Hospital to receive stitches to his gums and head.
His mother, Nolakhe Ntongwane, said she couldn’t hold back her tears when she saw him.
“They nearly killed my son,” she said. “He can’t eat; he is in pain; he just can’t do anything.
“He told me that the police said they will kill him to stop the case.”
The other three said they were terrified of the officers who, they claimed, bragged they would dispose of the dockets if any case was opened against them.
The trouble began on Friday when the policemen tried to arrest a group of people playing dice on the street.
The gamblers ran away and at that point Faku, who is Nonto’s brother, was stopped by the officers and questioned as he apparently passed by.
Nonto alleged that the police grabbed Faku and when she stopped them, they pulled out a gun and hit her with it.
In an ensuing melee, the two police officers allegedly pulled out another firearm and arrested Ntongwane and Makeleni, who were on the scene.
Nonto said they were then forced into the back of the police vehicle at gun point and taken to the cells, where the assaults allegedly continued.
Children at the scene captured footage of the incident but none of the cellphone clips showed any assaults taking place, although one officer can be seen with a firearm.
Mdantsane police spokesperson Leon Fortune said he could confirm that an officer was assaulted last week.
“We don’t know about the alleged assault in the holding cells,” said Fortune.
“Anyone who was assaulted must come to the police station to open up a case.”
The three making the allegations against the police appeared in the Mdantsane Magistrate’s Court on Monday on charges of assault and are scheduled to appear again on November 6.