Monday, January 26, 2009

Detective Hector Ortiz Arrested for DUI

An off-duty Merced police detective was arrested by the California Highway Patrol earlier this month on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Hector Ortiz, 46, was taken into custody Jan. 10 after two CHP officers pulled over his pickup truck around 2:15 a.m. for a vehicle code violation on Yosemite Avenue west of R Street, according to CHP spokesperson Shane Ferriera.

Ferriera said the officers smelled an alcoholic beverage after making contact with Ortiz. After being given a field sobriety test, Ferriera said the officers determined that he was under the influence.

Ortiz also submitted to a breath test and was found to have a blood alcohol content above the .08 legal limit, Ferriera said. He was booked into the Merced County Main Jail.

Ferriera described Ortiz as cooperative and "apologetic."

The case has been filed with the Merced County District Attorney's Office. Ortiz is scheduled to appear in court on March 11.

Merced Police Cmdr. Floyd Higdon said Ortiz was placed on leave the day after the incident. He's expected to be back at work Tuesday.

Higdon declined comment, when asked if Ortiz will face any specific disciplinary measures. "All personnel issues are confidential," Higdon said.

Ortiz works as a domestic violence investigator.

Vancouver Officers Facing Charges

Vancouver police are recommending criminal charges be laid against two police officers allegedly involved in attacking and robbing a National Post delivery driver last week.

A New Westminster officer will face charges of assault and possession of stolen property, while a West Vancouver officer is looking at a robbery charge, Chief Jim Chu told a news conference yesterday.

A third off-duty policeman from the Delta force who was arrested after the early morning assault last Wednesday will not be charged, Chief Chu said, citing evidence that the officer may have tried to intervene to stop the assault.

It was the chief's second statement in less than a week, the latest in a recent string of B. C. cops being accused of behaving badly.

"From the moment the Vancouver police were called to the scene, many of us realized that this would be a case that could polarize public opinion, shake their faith in the justice system and offer every police critic a new platform to speak from," Chief Chu said in a statement released yesterday.

"While I abhor the actions that are attributed to these members, I am very pleased with the [police department's] response."

All three officers spent a night in a jail after police responded to a 911 call outside the Hyatt Regency Hotel, where 47-year-old delivery man Firoz Khan claimed the officers attacked him unprovoked, robbed him, racially abused him and threatened to use a Taser. His assailants were alleged to have stolen his cellphone and $200.

Because the victim could not identify the officer who allegedly uttered racial remarks, police were not recommending the case be tried as a hate crime, Chief Chu said, noting the matter would be left to the courts to "take into consideration."

Chiefs from the New Westminster, West Vancouver and Delta departments will also be conducting their own investigations to determine the status of the three officers, he added.

Officer Hubert Teague Charged with Internet Sex-Exploitation of Child

Jefferson County Sheriff's Office arrested a Bent County law enforcement officer.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office says they arrested Hubert E. Teague, 35, of La Junta on January 23. Teague is being charged with Attempted Internet Sex-Exploitation of Child and Attempted Sexual Exploitation of a Child.

Teague was employed as a detention officer with the Bent County Sheriff’s Office. He has been place on administrative leave without pay pending investigation.

The case is being investigated by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and District attorney.

Teague will have his first appearance in court on Monday.

Omaha Man Claims Officers Used Excessive Force

An Omaha man alleges police brutality, saying several Council Bluffs officers used excessive force in apprehending him following a traffic stop earlier this month.

“They broke my whole face open, there was no fight in me," says Matt Petersen. "I understand taking me to the ground and cuff me, but there’s no reason to beat me up. I didn’t try to fight or hurt anybody.”

Petersen’s attorney, James Martin Davis, has filed an excessive force complaint against Council Bluffs Police. “They can’t deliver their own brand of street justice by excessively using force and beating up somebody,” says Davis.

Petersen was stopped by a Bluffs officer late at night three weeks ago. "I did get out and run and I did have a driver's (license) suspension which I shouldn't have done."

Petersen claims after the first officer tackled and cuffed him, backup officers stepped on his head and one hit him in the eye with a blunt object.

"They hit me with a flashlight, something, hit me in my eye right here and that's what did all the damage."

Council Bluffs Police Chief Ralph O’Donnell says an internal affairs investigation is underway into the excessive force allegation. "We have a complete set of reports and the DVD camera from the cruiser has been placed into property as per general orders."

Chief O’Donnell says Petersen has some possible charges of his own to answer to resulting from his actions, including eluding arrest, driving under suspension and resisting arrest. A drunken driving charge is possible pending lab results.

Chief O'Donnell couldn’t say how long the internal affairs investigation would take. Davis plans to file a claim with the city of Council Bluffs for Petersen’s medical bills which he estimates could reach $100,000.

Petersen says he’s spent a total of eight days in an Omaha hospital, undergoing surgery to repair cheekbones and install a metal plate to support his left eye.

Officer Chris Buccelli Accused of Having Sex with Prostitutes While on the Job


New details were released this weekend about the Melbourne police officer accused of having sex with prostitutes while on the job.

That officer was fired on Friday.

Police said it had been going on right on the streets of Melbourne with Officer Chris Buccelli in full uniform.

Streetwalkers were seen this weekend in the area known as the Triangle. Locals said prostitution in the area is rampant.

Prostitutes said one officer was letting them ply their trade in exchange for sex in his patrol vehicle.

One man's businesses, he said, is surrounded by prostitutes. He said he's shocked at the accusations that Buccelli had sex with prostitutes on the job.

In an internal investigation, one prostitute told investigators, "Officer Buccelli had intercourse with her" and that "he was in full uniform."

One undercover officer, who arrested a prostitute, reported, "After making the deal for sex, (the prostitute) made the statement that she 'does a Melbourne cop once a week.'"

She identified the officer as Buccelli, police said. One woman on the street said she knows two prostitutes who were told they would have to give him sex or get arrested.

The police chief suspended Buccelli last month after the accusations were made. Now, after a new report that Buccelli stopped and threatened a man in a pickup truck, Buccelli has been fired.

The report suggests Buccelli was jealous because the driver was seeing one of the prostitutes who were servicing Buccelli.

Residents said they're tired of the rampant prostitution, but said Buccelli is the exception to the rule.

Buccelli denied all the accusations against him, and said the prostitutes were lying.

The police chief said, given his denials, there's not enough evidence to charge him with a crime, but he did violate department policy.

Former Sheriff Bill Keating Pleads Guilty to Forcing Woman to Give Him Oral Sex

The former sheriff of Montague County has admitted sexually assaulting a woman after promising her he wouldn't arrest her when deputies found drug paraphernalia in her house.

Bill Keating, whose four-year term as sheriff ended Jan. 1, agreed Friday to plead guilty to a federal charge of deprivation of civil rights under color of law after he confessed to authorities that he had forced the woman to give him oral sex after a drug raid Nov. 14.

Keating, 61, is expected to turn himself in at a hearing at 10:30 a.m. Thursday before Magistrate Judge R. Kerry Roach in Wichita Falls. His attorney, Mark Daniel of Fort Worth, declined to comment Monday.

The FBI and Texas Rangers are investigating further allegations of sexual misconduct by Keating and other former Montague County employees at the jail, and state charges could result, officials said.

"The citizens of the county will be chagrined at what's going to be shown," said Montague County District Attorney Jack McGaughey. He said that by mid-February he expects to have secured indictments against the former sheriff as well as up to a dozen former jail personnel and prisoners alleging sexual misconduct inside the jail.

Problems at the jail surfaced after the FBI moved a handful of inmates out in December.

Within minutes of his swearing in, the new sheriff found the jail in an upheaval. He transferred out dozens of inmates and began assessing the crumbling infrastructure and security controls. The price tag so far: more than $750,000.

According to court papers filed Monday, on the morning of Nov. 14, Keating and some of his deputies executed an arrest warrant at a home occupied by a woman and her boyfriend.

Keating, wearing civilian clothes but with his gun and badge on his belt, entered the bedroom and found the couple sleeping. Meanwhile, deputies found paraphernalia used to make methamphetamine, and traces of what appeared to be meth in a plastic container.

Keating directed his deputies to arrest the boyfriend, then ordered another deputy to leave the bedroom.

"You are about to be my new best friend," he told the woman after she had gotten dressed and he had closed the door, according to court documents.

He told the woman that he found illegal drugs in her house and that "in order to avoid going to jail, she would be required to 'assist' him," or perform oral sex on him, court documents state.

Keating told the woman that "if she complied ... he would assist her in obtaining a job, a place to live and she would not be criminally charged with possessing any drugs or drug-making equipment that was found within the residence," court documents state.

If she did not comply, "she would go straight to jail," court documents state.

Keating then took the woman to his personal vehicle, which was parked outside. He drove her to a secluded area off a farm-to-market road and parked.

"He unzipped his pants, instructed [the woman] to perform oral sex on him, and grabbed the back of her neck and pushed her head down into his lap causing her pain and bodily injury," court papers state.

The sheriff later admitted to federal authorities that he had the woman perform oral sex on him "on multiple occasions" and agree to be a Montague County Sheriff's Ddepartment informant.

If convicted of the federal charge, Keating faces up to 10 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.

"What a jerk," said Paul Cunningham, who replaced Keating as sheriff this year, after learning the specifics of the federal charge Monday afternoon. "There ain't no other way to put it."

Within minutes of taking the oath as sheriff just after midnight on Jan. 1, Cunningham found the county jail in disarray. Inside some cells, he found, among other things: recliners, doors that lock from the inside, pills scattered about, and makeshift privacy partitions fashioned out of paper towels strung on ropes.

He immediately ordered 56 inmates transferred to neighboring Wise County. A few weeks earlier, the FBI took five inmates from Montague County and moved them to Wise County as its investigation showed mounting abuses.

The Montague County Jail is currently accepting inmates, but if they cannot bond out within 48 hours, they are transferred to Wise County, Cunningham said.

Just before the year ended, five jailers resigned "after they talked to federal authorities," Cunningham said. Two dispatchers also resigned before Cunningham took office. The new sheriff has not fired any jail staff.

Cunningham said Monday it will cost $857,000 to repair the jail. That includes repairing or replacing the security camera system, jail control boards, fire alarms and the air conditioning and heating systems.

"All that stuff was either faulty or missing," Cunningham said.

The Texas Commission on Jail Standards is monitoring Cunningham's progress.

"I've got to commend the new sheriff for taking the bull by the horns and doing what he had to do," said Adan Muñoz Jr., the commission's executive director. "I've seen photographs and it's horrible."

The sheriff is expected to testify before the commission on Feb. 5.

In October, state inspectors found that the jail's fire alarm system was still faulty after it had been red-tagged in an earlier inspection.

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Captain Edward Hope Jr Arrested for Forcible Sodomy


Virginia State Police Captain Edward L. Hope, Jr., was placed under arrest in Chesterfield County at approximately 2 p.m. Monday, Jan. 26, 2009, on one felony charge of forcible sodomy.

The Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation in conjunction with the Chesterfield County Commonwealth's Attorney. The investigation is still ongoing.

Hope, 52, joined the Virginia State Police in 1979. His most current position with the Department was as the Division Commander of the Information Technology Division and was assigned to the State Police Administrative Headquarters in Richmond. He was appointed captain in March 2007.

Hope was placed on administrative leave without pay. As is standard procedure, an investigation will be conducted by the Department's Internal Affairs following completion of the criminal investigation.

"An investigation into this matter was initiated as soon as the allegation was brought to the attention of the Department," said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. "To have a state police employee, especially an individual of rank, charged with a crime of this nature is most disturbing and disappointing. I am confident that the Commonwealth Attorney's office will prosecute this case to the fullest extent of the law.",0,1143099.story

Officer Ricardo Moyet Arrested for Battery on an Officer

An Atlanta police officer has been arrested on misdemeanor battery charges after getting into an altercation with two other officers — one of them the mother of his child — at the Police Department’s headquarters.

Ricardo Moyet, 30, was arrested a couple of days after the Jan. 14 incident, according to Atlanta police.

He has been assigned to desk duty and, for now, has been stripped of his law enforcement powers, said Atlanta police spokeswoman Sgt. Lisa Keyes.

The other two officers, Shannon Durham and Stephen McKesey, are still on normal duty.

The fight happened about 8:30 p.m. in a parking lot outside City Hall East on Ponce de Leon Avenue, where the Police Department is housed.

Moyet and Durham, 27, were off duty and meeting to exchange custody of their young son, according to a police report.

While Durham was putting her son in his child seat, Moyet pulled her from the vehicle and “started yelling baseless statements,” Durham told police.

She tried to ignore him and continued putting her son in the seat, but Moyet pulled her from the car again, spun her around and pushed her into a vehicle, Durham reported.

Moyet left after a brief argument. Soon after, McKesey, a 31-year-old investigator, came to the parking lot and asked Durham if she was all right.

Moyet returned and accused McKesey of “coming between him and his family,” Durham reported.

Moyet punched McKesey in the face, police said, and Durham stepped between them. But when McKesey tried to get his bag, Moyet hit him in the face again, prompting a fight between the two men.

Both suffered some scrapes and bruises, but avoided serious injury, Keyes said.

Durham and Moyet are not facing criminal charges.

Moyet has been a police officer since 2003.

Officer Monte Montalvo Convicted of Hitting Neighbor with Metal Rod

Monte R. Montalvo has been terminated as an officer with the Buffalo Police Department (BPD) after he was convicted of misdemeanor assault and harassment charges.

According to Michael DeGeorge, spokesman for the BPD, Buffalo Police Commissioner H. McCarthy Gipson terminated Montalvo on Jan. 14, eight days after he was convicted on charges of striking a neighbor outside of his Baraga Street home in August. Montalvo was accused of assaulting the neighbor with a large metal rod.

"His dismissal was pursuant to the Public Officer's law, which basically states that if an officer is convicted of a felony or misdemeanor that affects the oath of office, the officer is terminated," DeGeorge said. "In this case, he was convicted on an assault [charge], which is a misdemeanor that affects the oath of office."

Montalvo is the officer accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old UB student during an incident unrelated to the assault charges. Montalvo allegedly met the female student last year while working security at a fraternity party. Montalvo is accused of bringing the woman to his apartment after the party and forcibly performing oral sex on her.

Montalvo served as a member of the force for 15 years prior to the conviction. The former 38-year-old officer is currently being tried for the alleged incident with the student. DeGeorge said that the BPD is reserving comment pending the outcome of that trial.

"It's in the hands of the courts at this point," DeGeorge said. "The department would have no comment until the case is resolved in court... and until the case is concluded."

Montalvo is also currently facing charges for an alleged December 2007 incident involving a handgun.

Officer Anthony Battisti Investigated for Paying Man to Assault Former Girlfriend

The mother of an NYPD cop accused of hiring a Long Island grifter to stab his ex-wife denied that her son could plot the attack even as investigators moved closer Sunday to arresting the officer.

Officer Anthony Battisti, who was suspended by the NYPD on Saturday, is under investigation for allegedly paying Timothy Gersbeck $5,000 to assault his former flame outside her Franklin Square home.

"He would never, ever do anything like that," said the cop's mother, Mary Ann Battisti, 66. "I can't take this. ... It's killing me."

"Why would he want to hurt the mother of his children?" she asked. "He's the best father in the world."

Gersbeck, 37, told Nassau County cops that Battisti, 42, commissioned the hit because he was jealous of his ex-wife's new love interest, police sources said.

Gersbeck - who had done some odd jobs for the NYPD officer - was arrested Friday after he plunged a screwdriver into the neck of Patricia Battisti, 44, outside the house she used to share with her ex-husband.

Anthony Battisti has not yet been charged with a crime, although sources said yesterday that an arrest could be forthcoming this week.

Patricia Battisti is listed in serious but stable condition at a Nassau County hospital, police said. Sources said she was one of the victims of Michael Mastromarino, who ran a New Jersey biomedical firm that illegally harvested body parts from corpses and sold them to tissue-transplant companies for surgeries around the world.

Patricia Battisti had charged that she contracted syphilis after undergoing a transplant that used a bone from the ghoulish facility, but when subsequent tests came back clean, she was sued for false claims by Long Island Jewish Health Systems.

Former Officer Wilbert Jamison Jr Accused of Beating Son Wants Jury Trial


A former Gaffney police officer accused of beating his 10-year-old son formally pleaded not guilty Monday morning and requested a jury trial.

Wilbert Jamison Jr. was indicted on Jan. 13 on three counts of unlawful conduct towards a child. He is also charged with criminal domestic violence, accused of injuring his wife.

Monday, he was in court for a preliminary hearing, that quickly turned into a bond hearing.

Jamison's attorney had asked the judge to let his client remain out on the $5,200 bond Jamison had already paid in connection with a domestic violence charge. But the judge set a bond for the abuse charges at $50,000

The judge ordered that Jamison be tracked by GPS monitoring and not leave his home except to go to work, to church, to meet with his lawyer or to go to the doctor.

He was also ordered to have no contact with his son or his wife.

A trial date has not yet been set.

According to a grand jury indictment, Jamison used handcuffs and a belt to abuse his son -- on one occasion locking him in a closet face-down while he was handcuffed.

According to a warrant, Jamison also shoved his wife, causing her to fall to the ground and hit her head.

Jamison was a Gaffney police officer starting in the late 1990s, and he served as both a patrol officer and a school resource officer at Gaffney Middle School.

Jamison resigned late last year, citing personal reasons. The alleged abuse took place while Jamison was an active duty officer.

The indictment says that between April 1 and Aug. 30, 2007, Jamison handcuffed his son and forced him to run back and forth in the yard while Jamison beat him with a belt, causing him severe physical and mental injury.

In the second count, the indictment alleges that between Jan. 1 and April 30, 2007, Jamison handcuffed the boy, and locked him faced own in a closet.

The third count of the indictment says that between Dec. 6 and Dec. 8, 2006, Jamison beat the child with a belt, and the belt and buckle caused severe injury to the boy's ankle and foot.

Current Gaffney Police Chief Rick Turner said that he cannot comment on why Jamison continued to work for the department during the investigation because he was not chief at the time.

Jamison's wife, Teresa Jamison, said that she still married to Jamison, but is seeking a divorce so she and her son can move on.

Teresa Jamison said, "We've formed … a new family without the abuse. And any time you get rid of abuse, it can only go up from there."

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Officer Dexter Yarbrough Accused of Making Troubling Comments

DENVER, Jan. 26

The student newspaper for Colorado State University alleges a former Chicago police officer detailed illicit police activities during a 2008 visit.

The Rocky Mountain Collegian reported former Chicago police officer Dexter Yarbrough told students Chicago police routinely beat suspects and paid informants for information with drugs.

The alleged comments by Yarbrough, who was a Gresham District community policing officer, were recorded by a student when the former cop lectured at the university last year.

"If there's a news conference going on, I can't get in front of a crowd and say, 'He got exactly what ... (expletive) he deserved.' You know the police should have beat him, you know. I used to beat (expletive) when I was in Chicago too. I can't say that," Yarbrough was quoted as saying in reference to alleged police violence against suspects.

Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis responded to the alleged comments by saying the formation of the Bureau of Professional Standards assured improved supervision of police, the Chicago Tribune said.


Officer P. Payton Arrested for DUI

A Fort Worth police officer was arrested this morning on suspicion of driving under the influence, authorities said.

Officer P. Payton was arrested by North Richland Hills police, said Fort Worth police Sgt. Pedro Criado. He was released after posting bail.

Payton has been placed on restricted duty pending the outcome of an internal investigation. Payton has been with the department for approximately a year, Criado said.


Judge Curtissa Cofield Arrested for DUI Uses Racially Offensive Language


A surveillance video released of a judge facing several alcohol-related charges shows the woman using racially offensive language aimed at a Connecticut state trooper.

According to the police report, when Judge Curtissa Cofield was pulled over for sideswiping a police cruiser, she smelled of alcohol. Police stated in the report that Cofield appeared confused and not aware that she was in accident.

She also failed the field sobriety test, it states.

However, officers said things got worse during processing. They said she used racially offensive language in addressing a state trooper.

On the video, Cofield, who is black, asked Sgt. Dwight Washington, who is also black, "if a Negro was sent to arrest a Negro." She also called herself the most intelligent person in the room.

Another judge granted Cofield admittance into an alcohol rehabilitation program. Her record will be cleared upon completion.

Previous Stories:
Dec. 8, 2008: Judge Granted Entrance To Alcohol Program
Nov. 24, 2008: Trooper Objects To Clearing Judge's Name