Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Former Firefighter/School Police Officer Accused of Soliciting Sex from Teenager


A former volunteer firefighter and school police officer has been accused of soliciting sex from a teenager online, KPRC Local 2 reported Wednesday.

Paul Dilocker, 33, has been charged with online solicitation of a minor.

Investigators said Dilocker tried to solicit a 15-year-old girl.

Dilocker is a former reserve officer for the Columbia-Brazoria Independent School District and first captain with the West Columbia Volunteer Fire Department.

Police Constable Accused of Running Brothel

A police constable has been accused of running a brothel in Northern Ireland.

A total of 55 officers face separate disciplinary proceedings, according to a Policing Board document.

Alleged misdemeanours include an indecent assault on a child, possession of child pornography and drugs and violent offences.

They represent a tiny proportion of a force with over 9,000 members.

Sinn Fein Board member Martina Anderson said: "In the past criminality within the police would simply have been covered up. We wouldn't even have heard about it."

During the last financial year there were 28 officers repositioned and 27 suspended.

The information emerged at a recent meeting of the Board's human rights committee.

Ms Anderson said several other long-term disciplinary cases had been resolved.

In April it emerged an officer was suspended on full pay for several years.

The Sinn Fein MLA for Foyle added: "I said then that it was unacceptable for disciplinary cases to drag on for months and years at huge cost to the public purse. I am glad that message now seems to be getting through."

Many of the cases are still being processed and guilt has not been proven.

The Board said: "There is rightly public interest in this issue and the committee has been keeping a close watch on how cases are being progressed.

"A detailed report on the outcome of investigations is provided in the Board human rights annual report.

"Whilst committee members have been concerned around the nature of some of the investigations, members are agreed that the number of ongoing investigations sends a strong message to officers that anyone who breaks the law will not escape the law."

A police spokeswoman said the service expects staff to behave professionally at all times. A breach of its code of ethics may prompt a criminal or disciplinary investigation.

She said: "The PSNI, like any other organisation, has a disciplinary process which officers must go through. All disciplinary proceedings in connection with suspected offences committed by officers who have been suspended from duty will be dealt with as expeditiously as possible.

"However the officers must be subject to our disciplinary process and, where applicable, the criminal process.

"Whilst the police service takes extremely seriously any allegation of wrongdoing the number of cases must be put in context of the overall size of the police service, which has over 9,000 full and part-time officers."

More Information:

Trial Set to Begin for Officer Paul Schmidt Accused of Groping Female Ride-Along


A jury of four men and nine women was sworn in Wednesday afternoon in the trial of an Atwater police officer accused of groping a female ride-along participant.

Opening arguments from the attorneys are expected this morning in Kandiyohi County District Court. Paul Reed Schmidt, 35, of Atwater, faces felony fourth-degree and gross misdemeanor fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct charges in Kandiyohi County District Court.

He is acused of groping a female ride-along participant last October while he was working as an Atwater police officer.

The criminal complaint was filed last December against Schmidt and was amended in August to elevate one of the charges to felony level.

His attorney, Julius Nolen, filed a motion to dismiss, arguing there was a lack of evidence that Schmidt used force or coercion. District Judge David L. Mennis denied that motion last week.

Judge Mennis indicated Wednesday morning to the potential jurors that the trial is expected to take three days. The jury includes one alternate, who will be excused before jury deliberations begin.

Several people were excused from serving on the jury by Mennis, including a woman from Atwater, two women who had family members involved in assault and sexual assault cases, a woman for financial hardship and others for other issues.

Michael Lieberg is a Stearns County assistant county attorney and is serving as a special Kandiyohi County attorney to prosecute the case.

Two gross misdemeanor charges were filed against Schmidt on Dec. 27, 2007. According to the complaint, the woman contacted the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office to report a sexual assault. The woman told a detective that she was a ride-along participant with Schmidt, who is a licensed peace officer and was on duty at the time.

During the early morning hours of Oct. 16, Schmidt took her to the Atwater Police Department, where she said they watched video clips on a city computer. The woman said when she got up to move away from Schmidt, he tackled and restrained her. She said he also made a sexual request of her. The allegations also state that Schmidt groped the woman's chest and genitals through her clothing, then pulled her to him and kissed her several times.

According to the complaint, Schmidt told the sheriff's office detective in a statement that some "wrestling" took place at the Police Department and that he grabbed the victim's breast "by accident." He did not remember grabbing her genital area.

Deputy Joshua Williams Convicted of Killing Motorcyclist Arrested Again


While a deputy in training, he killed a motorcyclist in a crash. Now he's been accused of drunken driving.

A Dakota County sheriff's deputy who was convicted of careless driving after he hit and killed a motorcyclist last year was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving over the weekend.

Joshua J. Williams, 29, was stopped by another Dakota County sheriff's deputy for speeding around 2 a.m. Saturday in Empire Township, said Sheriff Don Gudmundson. He failed the field sobriety test and was booked into the Dakota County jail. He has not been charged yet, but Gudmundson said the case has been forwarded to the county attorney's office.

In August 2007, Williams was a deputy-in-training when he was involved in the crash that killed 58-year-old Billy Wallace. Williams and his training officer, Deputy Daniel Michener, were on their way to a domestic disturbance near Farmington around 7:20 p.m. on Aug. 30, when Williams moved his squad car into the bypass lane on the right side of the road and began to turn left.

Wallace was driving his motorcycle behind Williams and the two collided as the squad car began to turn. The squad car did not have its lights or siren turned on. Wallace died at Regions Hospital in St. Paul a day later.

Williams was convicted this April of misdemeanor careless driving, the only charge filed against him. His license was suspended after the conviction, but Gudmundson said at the time of his arrest this weekend, he had a valid license. He is now on paid administrative leave.

"I am disappointed and not happy about it," Gudmundson said. "On the other hand, I am proud that our deputy [who pulled over Williams] did what was right. It's what I would have expected."

More Information:

Deputies Punished for Tasering Pallbearer at Fathers Funeral

Deputies really botched the arrest of Gladwyn Russ III.

The Star-News says investigators chose to grab Russ, who was wanted on charges of making threats, while he was serving as a pallbearer at his father's funeral Saturday in Wilmington, N.C.

"Family said that two men who turned out to be undercover deputies walked over to Gladwyn Taft Russ III, grabbed him by the arm, kneed him in the back of the leg and eventually used a Taser to subdue him while he was loading the casket into the hearse," the paper reported Tuesday. "At one point, one of the deputies’ handguns fell out of its holster and bounced onto the asphalt. People cried. The confusion alarmed family and friends so much that some of them went home instead of going to the cemetery where Russ’ father was buried with military honors because he served in the Navy."

Yesterday, New Hanover County Sheriff Sid Causey announced that five people will be disciplined for the way they handled the arrest. “I apologize to anyone that was there,” Causey tells the Star-News. "Family, friends, relatives. ... That was a bad decision.”

Russ was charged with threatening to kill his wife. He's now being held at the local jail. “I was just in awe. I didn't know what was going on because I was watching my daddy's casket pass through my hands for the last time," he tells WWAY-TV during an interview about the arrest.

Cpl Jeffery Webbs Bond Set at $400,000 for Rape


The Baton Rouge police officer charged with raping a 16-year-old girl in his Livingston Parish home had his bond set Wednesday morning.

Judge Ernie Drake set Cpl. Jeffery Scott Webb's bond at $400,000.

The 36-year-old Webb is accused of raping the teenage girl at his home in Watson.

Alcohol was allegedly involved.

Until enough money is raised to bail him out, Webb will remain in the Livingston Parish Detention Center.

More Information:

Battle Of The Badges Flares Up Over Arrest

It’s a battle of the badges, West Palm Beach style.

A local police officer arrested the son of the second-highest ranking member of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office the other day.

And now Col. Mike Gauger, head of all of PBSO’s law enforcement operations, says the arresting cop really was out to embarrass him.

“The officer really has a personal issue against me, not my son,” Gauger said. He added his son suffered a broken clavicle when he was cuffed. “Two months ago, the same officer filed an Internal Affairs complaint against me.”

The younger Gauger, a 23-year-old who shares his dad’s moniker, was in line at a Clematis hot-dog stand at 3 a.m. Oct. 19 when he and West Palm officer Johnny Radziul, in uniform, had words.

According to his arrest report, Radziul said he heard a male voice say “f…… cops” as he walked past the hot dog line.

Things escalated, with Radziul and the younger Gauger (who smelled of booze, according to the police report) jawing at one another. Eventually, Junior allegedly chest-bumped Radziul and was arrested.

Radziul wrote in his report that he asked the young man if he was related to PBSO’s Gauger. The handcuffed suspect said yes, adding: “That’s why you’ll be flipping my burgers by next week, punk!”

The younger Gauger was charged with felony battery on a police officer and disorderly intoxication. He spent a night in the jail, administered by his dad’s department, and was sprung on $3,000 bail. There was also a post-arrest $2,000 hospital bill, says dad.

“A felony for chest-bumping,” wondered Col. Gauger sarcastically. “My son is a good boy. He’s working full time for the Palm Beach County Housing Authority and he’s going to Palm Beach Community College.

“My son disputes the officer’s recollection of the words exchanged. He doesn’t talk that way.”

So, what kind of history do the elder Gauger and Radziul have?

The way Gauger explains it, Radziul’s longtime girlfriend was referred to him by a fellow Rotarian last year. She wanted to swear out a theft complaint against Radziul in connection with a missing cell phone. While it’s unusual for a high-ranking PBSO official to get involved with petty disputes, Gauger said: “All I did was refer the complaint to the right people.”

Records show a lengthy custody battle was taking place between Radziul and the galpal over their daughter.

In time, according to PBSO records, Radziul filed the I.A. complaint claiming that Gauger was trying to have him arrested without cause, which Gauger denies.

I.A. brass found no reason to initiate a full-fledged investigation.

“It’s sad that this is the kind of incident that happens when your children drink,” Gauger said. “I’m a drug and alcohol counselor, and I’ve spoken about this stuff to my son and daughter. But all kids make mistakes. If he hadn’t been my son, this would already have been absolved.”

Despite the fact that Sheriff Ric Bradshaw once was West Palm’s chief, relations between the two agencies have remained chilly at best. In August, representatives of the West Palm department were noticeably absent from Bradshaw’s reelection party.

Former Officer Bridges McRae Pleads Not Guily to Beating Transgender Prostitute


A former Memphis police officer pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to civil rights charges in the jailhouse beating of a transgender prostitution suspect that was captured on video.

An indictment unsealed Wednesday accuses Bridges McRae, 28, of using unreasonable force by repeatedly striking Duanna Johnson with his fist and handcuffs in the intake area of the Shelby County Jail in February.

Johnson, a biological male who lived as a woman, was being booked on a prostitution charge when the incident happened. A videotape of the beating was broadcast on Memphis TV stations and online in June, leading to McRae's firing. His former partner, James Swain, 25, was also fired.

McRae pleaded not guilty at a brief hearing on Wednesday before a federal magistrate and was released without bond. No trial date was set.

He is charged with violating Johnson's civil rights while in a position of authority, an offense that carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Johnson, 43, who had a long history of prostitution arrests, was shot to death on a Memphis street by an unknown assailant earlier this month. The killing is still under investigation and no arrests have been made.

McRae declined comment as he left the federal courthouse. His lawyer, Ted Hansom, said McRae was "in a scuffle" with Johnson, who stood 6-foot-5, and was doing what he had to do to defend himself. Johnson was knocked bleeding to the jailhouse floor but was not seriously hurt.

The beating and Johnson's murder have drawn the attention of advocates for gay and transgender rights, including the Human Rights Campaign, a national group that has called on the Memphis Police Department for a "commitment to treating transgender people with respect and fairness."

Officer Maria Leon Indicted on Six Counts of Fraud

A Tucson Police Officer who has been indicted on six counts of fraudulent scheme or practice has been removed from the police force. The investigation of Officer Maria Leon stemmed from improprieties that were discovered during a review of documents relating to tenant occupation of public housing by the city’s Housing Management Division.

The results of that investigation were turned over to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office in September, after which TPD served Officer Leon with a Notice of Intent to Terminate. On November 18, a termination hearing board upheld the recommendation for the termination of Officer Leon.