Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Former Officer Jerry Bristow Charged with Taking Weapons from Evidence Room


A former longtime Clinton police officer was arraigned Wednesday afternoon on charges that he took guns last year from an evidence room at the Clinton police station.

Jerry Bristow, 55, wearing an orange DeWitt County jumpsuit, appeared before Judge Chris Freese. He faces eight felony charges and one misdemeanor count.

Bristow acknowledged he understood the charges and said he would be represented by Clinton attorney Kevin Hammer.

DeWitt County State’s Attorney Richard Koritz said Wednesday that Bristow surrendered voluntarily on Tuesday and is cooperating with the ongoing investigation.

Bond was returned to jail in lieu of posting $1,000 and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 4.

Bristow is accused of taking a target pistol and shotgun from the evidence room at the police station on May 12, 2008, a pistol on July 3, 2008, and a revolver on Aug. 1, 2008.

The revolver was valued at less than $300, so that incident carries the misdemeanor charge. The other gun theft charges are felonies.

He also is charged with six counts of official misconduct.

Each felony count carries a prison term of two to five years.

Bristow supervised the evidence room at the department and recently worked as a school resource officer before submitting his resignation Jan. 1. His resignation was not related to theft allegations, officials said.

DeWitt County Sheriff Roger Massey said Wednesday that his department was asked by Clinton Police Chief Mike Reidy on Friday to investigate the missing property.

Massey hinted that Bristow’s financial problems may have contributed to the thefts.

“I think it’s an example of tough economic times that probably led to a very poor and costly decision,” said Massey.

In addition to his time with the Clinton department, Bristow also worked for the sheriff’s department for several years. A year ago Bristow received a watch from the city of Clinton after celebrating 25 years on the force.

Information & Video:

Former Trooper Anthony Keith Carlton Arrested for Drunk Driving

A former Johnston County state trooper is facing drunken driving charges.

Anthony Keith Carlton, 47, of Old Roberts Road, Benson, was arrested in the parking lot of Food Lion on N.C. 210 near Interstate 40 on Friday.

Two concerned citizens called authorities after reportedly seeing Mr. Carlton behind the wheel of his pickup.

He was arrested by Trooper C.J. Bell. Mr. Carlton later registered .34 on the Breathalyzer, more than four times the legal limit of .08 in North Carolina.

According to court documents obtained by WTSB radio station, Trooper Bell said Mr. Carlton had "very red bloodshot eyes (and) a strong odor of alcohol."

Mr. Carlton served on the Highway Patrol from January 1986 until Jan. 5, 2009.

Officials would not say why he left the patrol earlier this month.

He was released into the custody of a former corrections officer pending his next court appearance on March 18.

Chattanooga Detective Accused of Assaulting Elderly Wal-Mart Greeter


A Chattanooga detective accused of assaulting an elderly Wal-Mart greeter who asked to see his sales receipt at the store has been suspended from duty.

Police Chief Freeman Cooper told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that following a disciplinary hearing the officer was suspended 28 days without pay for conduct unbecoming an officer, improper procedure and excessive use of force.

The chief said the officer must also be retrained in the department's use of force policy and take an anger management course.

The detective was accused of pushing the 71-year-old Wal-Mart greeter who touched the off-duty officer's arm while asking if he could see a receipt in December. A report shows the greeter fell and received a scratch on his right elbow.


Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press,

Officer Jimmie AkinsCharged with Attempted Extortion

A Chicago Police scandal widened today with the unsealing of federal charges against an officer for allegedly taking bribes from tow-truck operators — at least the fourth cop ensnared in the corruption probe.

Officer Jimmie Akins is charged with attempted extortion for allegedly taking bribes in 2006 and 2007.

Akins accepted bribes to let tow-truck operators remove vehicles from accident scenes the officer was responsible for in the Near North District, according to an affidavit by FBI Agent Craig Henderson. Akins would use his cell phone to alert the tow truck operators about accidents, Henderson said.

Under police rules, cops are prohibited from advising tow operators that their services might be needed — and from recommending services to car accident victims.

An informant who owns a towing company told the feds he met Akins at a nightclub in 2004 and they began a crooked business relationship, according to the affidavit.

The informant allegedly started paying Akins $100 per towed car and told the FBI he towed about 20 cars from accident scenes in downtown Chicago. The informant also said he paid Akins $500 to pay off the officer’s cell phone bill.

In 2006, Akins was secretly recorded by the FBI demanding $2,300 from the informant for vehicles the informant had towed in 2005, according to the FBI.

“We did one hundred a car — I got you 38 cars,” Akins allegedly told the informant. “So from the 38 cars, out of those you gave me $1,500. So the change is $2,300.”

On April 21, 2006, they met at a McDonald’s and the informant paid Akins $1,000. The meeting was secretly recorded, according to the FBI. The informant paid Akins the remaining $500 about a week later, the FBI says.

Meanwhile, another tow-truck operator said Akins was angry at him for not paying for tows from accident scenes. In April 2006, Akins allegedly tried to get the tow-truck operator to leave an accident scene.

Akins wound up hitting the tow-truck operator, handcuffing him to a steering wheel and arresting him on charges of theft, illegally using a cell phone in a vehicle and resisting a peace officer, records show. Those charges were later thrown out.

In 2007, they apparently had repaired their relationship and the tow-truck operator paid Akins at least $1,800 in exchange for towing jobs, the FBI said.

Even after the Chicago Police Department stripped Akins of his police powers because of the FBI investigation, he continued to call the tow-truck driver and inquire about accident scenes, the FBI said. Akins was still interested in getting paid for towing jobs, according to the FBI.

In one secretly recorded meeting with the second tow-truck operator, Akins told him that he expected an additional $2,000 for billings on repairs to vehicles towed from accident scenes, the FBI said.

Three other cops have been charged in the corruption investigation, which involves at least five Chicago Police districts and began in 2003.

In April 2008, federal prosecutors charged Chicago Police Officer Scott Campbell with setting up a scheme to make it look as if someone had stolen his 1996 green Volkswagen Passat.

Federal prosecutors said Campbell arranged to have the car taken and sold in pieces. State Farm Insurance paid Campbell about $4,000 for what they believed was a stolen vehicle. Joseph DeMichael of Chicago was charged with scheming with Campbell by taking the car home, dismantling it and selling the parts.

In March 2008, Chicago Police Officer Michael J. Ciancio, who also served as an assistant athletic director at a west suburban high school, was accused of extorting up to $800 a week from a tow truck company. He pleaded guilty in federal court earlier this month and is awaiting sentencing May 13.

Chicago Police Officer Joseph Grillo and Collision Towing owner Jim “Meatball” Athans were previously charged in the investigation.

Grillo and Athans were charged with helping Campbell carry out the insurance scam. Grillo, who pleaded not guilty, is scheduled to change his plea on Feb. 17, records show.

Retired Officer Walter Fournier Arrested for Growing Marijuana

A retired Detroit police officer was arrested at his Waterford Township home last week after federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) personnel executed a search warrant at the home and discovered drugs.

According to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit, DEA personnel executed a federal search warrant on Thursday, Jan. 22 at Walter Fournier's residence in the 3000 block of Megan Street.

Fournier was home at the time of the search.

The DEA reportedly found a dedicated indoor marijuana grow room in the basement of Fournier's home. According to the federal court documents, the basement contained 157 marijuana plants, two paper grocery bags containing approximately three pounds of marijuana, a heat sealer, packaging and pre-packaged marijuana in a heat-sealed bag.

A loaded revolver was also found inside a nightstand in the home's master bedroom. The court documents didn't indicate whether the gun was registered.

DEA Information Officer Rich Isaacson said he couldn't comment on the case because it's still under investigation.

Fournier, who retired from the Detroit Police Department in 1974, has been charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. He was released on a $10,000 bond and appointed a public defender. The attorney's name hasn't been released.

While free on bond, Fournier will have to participate in random testing for prohibited substances, participate in abuse therapy and counseling, and refrain from possessing a firearm, a destructive device, or other dangerous weapons.

Fournier will appear in court again on Wednesday, Feb. 11 for a preliminary examination.

Judge Says Tasering Was Excessive Force

BANFF, Alta.

A judge says an Alberta man was wrongly arrested and Tasered multiple times, before and after he was handcuffed - and he's slamming the arresting Mountie's testimony as "deliberately false."

Judge John Reilly this week dismissed an obstruction charge and a bylaw ticket for being a nuisance against Adam Dormer stemming from an incident in Banff in 2007.

The judge said Dormer was subjected to excessive force when he was Tasered while in handcuffs.

"I am not even sure, on the basis of what I hear here, there was a justification for arrest at all," Reilly told court Monday.

He issued a stern rebuke to Banff RCMP Const. Casey Murphy, whose evidence he called "deliberately false."

Dormer, a 26-year-old carpenter and resident of Exshaw - 85 kilometres west of Calgary - testified he and two friends were walking from one bar to another on July 21, 2007, giving random people high fives.

He said when he encountered the constable, he offered the officer a high five, which did not go over well. Dormer testified he then tried to express to the officer that he has a lot of respect for what the RCMP do, adding that his brother was training to join the force.

He said he attempted to shake Murphy's hand, which was refused.

"After he wouldn't shake my hand a second time, I took it as offensive," Dormer said, adding he told Murphy his refusal is one of the reasons why people view cops as "f-- pigs."

Dormer said that after he was Tasered twice while being handcuffed, the weapon was discharged another three times while Murphy held the Taser to his back and pushed him toward a police cruiser.

Const. Murphy testified that he only approached Dormer after a woman complained the six-foot-nine Dormer had been bothering her earlier in the evening, trying to look up her skirt.

"I directed him to go home, he had been drinking and I was going to leave it at that," he said.

Murphy said the accused became combative, swearing at the officer.