Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sergeant Ed Coulter Accused of Drunk Driving Retires


A long-time Baton Rouge police officer accused of driving drunk and crashing his patrol car is retiring from the police force.

Sergeant Ed Coulter crashed into a truck on South Choctaw while off-duty in October of this year.

Investigators say Coulter had a blood-alcohol level of .11, which is over the legal limit.

His retirement takes effect on Saturday.

He will stay on unpaid administrative leave until his retirement.

Officer Tiffany Morris Arrrested for Domestic Battery


A 26-year-old Temple Terrace police officer was arrested by Pasco County deputies this morning, accused of battering her husband, a paramedic for Clearwater Fire Rescue.

Tiffany Morris of New Port Richey was taken to the Land O' Lakes Jail on a misdemeanor charge of domestic battery. A judge released Morris without bail this afternoon after she acknowledged the charge and agreed to return for court appearances.

Morris has been with the Temple Terrace Police Department since May and is still in her yearlong probationary period, police spokesman Michael Dunn said. She doesn't face immediate disciplinary action, but the department will conduct an internal affairs investigation once formal charges are filed.

According to a sheriff's office report, Morris and her husband, Fred, went for dinner with friends and then to a friend's house, where she became upset over some of her husband's comments. She yelled at him and said he was being "rude and discourteous to women."

Fred Morris told deputies his wife drank a screwdriver, four margaritas and a bottle of wine during the night and was drunk.

As her husband drove home, Tiffany Morris grabbed his head, ears and arms and then bit his right wrist, the report states. At their home, Fred Morris, 28, hid his handgun and his wife's service weapon because he didn't know what she might do.

Tiffany Morris demanded to know where her gun was and grabbed her husband's head, the report states. When he wouldn't tell her, she started throwing things around the bedroom. He called deputies.

Tiffany Morris denied having inappropriate physical contact with her husband and said they just argued, the report states.

Deputy Thomas Hutchins Charged with Attempted Murder

A Milwaukee County sheriff's deputy was being held Tuesday on a possible charge of attempted homicide in connection with a double shooting Monday night that wounded a 31-year-old woman and a 12-year-old neighbor girl, police records show.

A neighbor of the woman said the victim had pounded on her door before fleeing to the girl's apartment, and the neighbor described the incident as "chaos."

Thomas D. Hutchins, a 12-year-veteran of the sheriff's office, was in custody at the Waukesha County Jail on Tuesday night.

Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Kim Brooks confirmed Tuesday that department officials learned of the arrest of a 39-year-old deputy, but did not name him.

An arrest log at the Milwaukee Police Department lists Hutchins as the suspect in the shooting, which occurred at 8:50 p.m. on Monday. Police said the woman was shot in the cheek after a domestic argument in the 8800 block of N. Swan Road.

She ran to the girl's apartment, where the 12-year-old was shot in the leg.

Police later arrested Hutchins in the 4300 block of N. 73rd St., according to arrest records.

Sherrelia King, who lives next door to the woman who was shot, said she heard "arguing and the gunshots and the glass shattering, and then she must have come over here, because I heard banging on my door."

But when she got to the door, nobody was there.

She said she heard more shooting after the initial shots were fired.

King thought the deputy didn't live with the shooting victim, but she said he was there often, and she'd heard arguing.

The buildings are part of the multi-unit Woodlands complex, northwest of Swan and Brown Deer roads. King and the woman shot in the cheek live in adjacent units of one building. The 12-year-old lives in an adjacent building about 15 feet away.

"That had to be traumatic for that baby, that child," said King of the girl. "You just go to the door and the wild, wild west comes in."

The Sheriff's Department's Brooks reported that the deputy is suspended without pay pending the completion of an internal investigation.

Roy Felber, president of the Milwaukee Deputy Sheriffs' Association, said Tuesday afternoon that he and association vice president Rich Graber were on their way to speak with the arrested deputy.

He said they were advised to be there because internal affairs would be speaking with the deputy.

"I just want to make sure he's all right, that he has what he needs," Felber said. "As far as anything else, I don't want to know what happened. It was off-duty. That's between him and his attorney."

More Information: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-wi-deputyshooting,0,3151684.story

76-year-old-Man Files Lawsuit Against Officer Who Broke his Arm


A jury heard opening statements Tuesday in a lawsuit filed by a 76-year-old man who says San Francisco police broke his arm after his wife called 911 from their Potrero Hill home as he watched a pornographic movie.

The unusual case began when Raymond J. Miller, a retired city employee who served as a Municipal Railway superintendent and worked at the port, was sitting in an easy chair in the living room of his home on Texas Street, drinking and watching the movie the night of Jan. 7, 2006, according to witness testimony.

His wife of 35 years, Jean Miller, called police but the line soon went dead. It's unclear whether she hung up on her own or her husband forced her to get off the phone, but in any case, the cutoff automatically prompted a police response.

Four officers soon arrived at the Millers' home. Raymond Miller, wearing only shorts, continued to watch the movie and ignored the officers as they walked past him and spoke to his wife, who said she feared he would kill her at any time, authorities said.

When police tried to arrest Raymond Miller for allegedly threatening his wife, he ordered officers to get out, Deputy City Attorney Daniel Zaheer said in his opening statement in San Francisco Superior Court.

Miller testified that his wife's accusations mystified him. He said he had simply invited her to watch a "sexually explicit" movie, but that "she decided she didn't like it."

"All of a sudden, she decided to call 911," he told the jury. "She had no reason to call police - I told her, 'If you don't want to watch it, it's up to you.' "

Miller said he felt his world was coming apart when the officers moved to arrest him.

"I felt that all of a sudden the world had turned around, there was a revolution," Miller said. "There was a police state."

He wants the jury to award him $50,000, claiming the officers used excessive force.

The 270-pound Miller claims the officers pushed him to the ground to handcuff him, then lifted him up by the cuffs, breaking his left arm and cutting his wrists.

"He was upset," his attorney, Norman Newhouse, said outside court. "But however he acted, that doesn't give them the right to pull him up by the handcuffs."

Zaheer, however, told the jury that any injuries Miller suffered were his own fault because he had resisted a lawful arrest. Zaheer said the officers had tried to "subtly glide" Miller's hands back to be handcuffed, but that Miller had pushed them away.

Two of the officers, Kevin Rightmire and Stephen Coleman, then "did what they were trained to do," Zaheer said. "They grabbed him by the wrist and applied pressure," in an officially sanctioned method, to bring a resisting suspect to the ground.

Zaheer downplayed the injuries, saying Miller had suffered only "a minor chip fracture" on the elbow and "a little cut on his wrist and a tiny cut on the side of his lip."

Doctors concluded the injuries were treatable with painkillers and ice, Zaheer said, adding that Miller had not bothered to return for a follow-up medical visit.

Coleman testified that he had taken Miller to the floor because Miller was drunk, angry and moving toward him in a threatening way.

He told the jury that even though he knew Miller was in his 70s, he saw him as a potential risk.

"He was a large, 275-pound man, who was upset and wanted us out of the house," Coleman said. "He was screaming and cussing. I thought he might try to attack me, try to hurt me."

The officer said he did not know how Miller suffered his injuries and did not remember how he and the other officers had gotten Miller off the floor.

Deputy Arthur Staples Arrested for Possessing Child porn


A Prince William County Sheriff's Deputy is under arrest, accused of possessing child pornography.

Investigators say they found more than 900 images on 65-year-old Arthur Staples' computer.

The investigation began last week when the St. Lucie County, Florida, Sheriff's Office contacted the Manassas City Police Department about a child pornography suspect living in Manassas City. Manassas police searched Staples' home in the 8600 block of Liberty Trail in Manassas on Friday. Police say they were looking for evidence he was distributing child porn.

Staples was taken into custody and charged with being a fugitive from justice. He is being held without bond pending extradition to St. Lucie, Florida, where he will then be charged with distribution of child pornography over the Internet.