Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Detectives Testifies Against Gary DeFilippo

A retired detective told jurors a former Staten Island prosecutor and court officer accused of knocking out a man's eye in a vicious bar fight corrected officers filling out a police report on the object he allegedly slammed his victim with.

"It wasn't a bottle, it was a glass," Gary DeFilippo shouted from his holding cell after his arrest on July 1, 2004, Det. Kevin Hanley testified today.

DeFilippo, 50, of Lamoka Avenue in Great Kills, is on trial for the second time for allegedly slamming a drinking glass in Mitchell Miller's face at the South Shore Country Club.

Miller lost his left eye after undergoing surgery following the early-morning attack.

DeFilippo was arrested and charged with first-degree assault and weapon possession.

A conviction on the top count of assault could land him in prison for up to 25 years.

Volunteer Officer Accused of Overly Aggressive Tactics


A volunteer police officer from Medford is accused of using overly aggressive tactics to stop a driver in Northboro, when the part-time officer was riding his motorcycle on Interstate 290.

As a part-time officer in Medford, Joseph N. Teta, 65, of Haverhill, does not have police powers in Northboro or in any community other than Medford. He was charged yesterday in Westboro District Court with impersonating a police officer, reckless driving and improper operation of a vehicle. He was not arrested, but was summoned to court after the incident, which allegedly occurred around 3 p.m. on Aug. 11.

According to state police, Mr. Teta, wearing police patches and a police helmet, activated the red and blue emergency lights on his motorcycle and pointed to the 22-year-old woman driving in front of him to pull over. A witness told police that Mr. Teta swerved in and out of lanes several times to make the woman stop, and later yelled at her. The witness guessed that Mr. Teta “was not a real cop,” according to a state police report.

The woman was visibly shaken and crying after Mr. Teta pulled her over, the report states. She told police Mr. Teta had been pursuing her from Worcester and that he finally swerved his motorcycle at her, forcing her to stop in Northboro.

Mr. Teta was found to be carrying two knives, and he had a licensed handgun concealed in his motorcycle, according to state police.

Frederick Mangone, chief of Medford’s Special Police, confirmed that Mr. Teta is still a member of the 22-member division.

“I was aware that there was an incident,” Mr. Mangone said about charges against Mr. Teta, but said he didn’t know enough to comment on it.

Medford Police Lt. Paul F. Covino said the Special Police is an all-volunteer force that usually is called on to assist during parades and festivals. They carry weapons and have the same police powers as full-time officers, but they are not paid and do not use police department vehicles, the lieutenant said.

Timothy J. Connolly, spokesman for the Worcester district attorney’s office, said Mr. Teta was driving his own motorcycle at the time of the Northboro incident.

Cpl Benjamin Robinson Facing Charges of Impaired Driving


An RCMP officer facing charges of impaired driving causing death in Delta is refusing to comment on the charges against him.

Reached by The Vancouver Sun on his cellphone Wednesday, Cpl. Benjamin Monty Robinson hung up as soon as a reporter identified himself.

Follow-up calls to Robinson went to voice mail and messages left for Robinson were not returned.

Robinson is due to appear in Surrey Provincial Court on Jan. 15 after he was allegedly involved in a collision Saturday night that left 21-year-old Orion Hutchinson dead.

According to Delta police, Hutchinson was riding westbound on his motorcycle along Sixth Avenue when his bike collided with an eastbound Jeep at Gilchrist Drive.

Hutchinson, who was thrown from his bike, suffered serious injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the Jeep, an off-duty RCMP member, was transported to Delta police headquarters where, Delta police said, he failed a breathalyser test.

The officer was released on a promise to appear in court in January.

Because he has not yet been formally charged, Delta police have refused to publicly identify him.

However, media reports identified the officer as Robinson, whose family owns a house just a few blocks from the crash scene.

The RCMP has also confirmed the officer charged is one of the four who was involved in the Tasering of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver airport on Oct. 14, 2007.

Dziekanski died shortly after being Tasered.

Robinson, who was working for the RCMP's Vancouver 2010 integrated security unit, has been suspended with pay.

Before moving to the Lower Mainland, Robinson worked for several years in Merritt and Chase.

In 2002, Robinson won a provincial bravery award along with two other officers after confronting and arresting a man armed with an axe and a bat at the Adams Lake Indian band office.

The suspect in the case, 28-year-old David Arthur John, was shot by police in the chest after he refused to drop his weapons. John survived.

It was not clear from media reports at the time which officer shot John.

Officer Allen Pettit Charged with Stealing Drugs

A former Fallowfield Township police officer is in jail today after he was formally charged Tuesday with stealing drugs from a case he investigated.

Allen E. Pettit, 46, of 824 Maple St., Harwick, was charged with theft by unlawful taking or disposition, perjury, hindering apprehension or prosecution, tampering with or fabricating evidence and obstructing the law.

The case against Pettit stems from 2006, when he arrested Charles Paith, 26, of Van Voorhis. During the raid of Paith's house, Pettit seized 5 ounces of cocaine and nearly a pound of marijuana.

Washington County District Attorney Steve Toprani said Pettit is the last person to have custody of the drugs when he picked them up from a state police laboratory in March 2006.

The drugs were discovered missing when Pettit allegedly falsely testified in court during an April 2007 hearing that the evidence had been destroyed.

Toprani declined comment on the status of Paith's prosecution.

Washington County Chief County Detective Mike Aaron served an arrest warrant on Pettit in Springdale Township.

He was arraigned before Cheswick District Magisterial Judge David J. Sosovicka and remanded to the Washington County Correctional Facility in lieu of $50,000 straight cash bond.

Pettit faces a preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge Larry Hopkins in Charleroi at 2:45 p.m. Nov. 7.

Pettit resigned from the Fallowfield police department, where he was captain, in 2006.

In July 2007, he pleaded guilty to a charge of theft for using his municipal gas card to fill his private vehicle.

He was placed on probation for 12 months in the wake of that incident.

Police Officer Johnny Zamora Arrested for Domestic Violence


A Clovis police officer is on paid administrative leave after being charged with one count of domestic battery.

Johnny Zamora, 26, was arrested Sunday after a police department supervisor learned that Zamora had been involved in a domestic dispute with his wife while he was off duty. Jail officials say Zamora was released Monday on his own recognizance.

Zamora will remain on leave for the duration of the criminal case, said Clovis police Capt. Patrick Whitney.

The department said in a news release that all cases of alleged domestic violence are taken very seriously and thoroughly investigated and that the appropriate action is taken regardless of the people involved.

Zamora has been with the department since April 2006 and is a patrol officer.