Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Officer D.J Guitierrez Relieved of Duty for Inappropriate Behavior


It has happened again. Houston Police Department officials confirm for the third time this year another Houston police officer has been relieved of duty for inappropriate behavior.

HPD Spokesman John Cannon says officer D.J. Guitierrez has been relieved of duty from the department as of Jan. 21. Cannon would only say Guitierez is being investigated for his conduct.

The officer works in HPD's vehicular crimes division. It was earlier this year when two HPD officers also found themselves under investigation for sexual assault.

Family Sues After 14-year-old Tasered in Jail

KENORA, Ontario

The father of a 14-year-old girl from a remote Ontario First Nation is suing the OPP, claiming his daughter was shocked with a Taser while in jail.

The father alleges she was stunned because she wouldn't stop scratching at the paint inside her jail cell in Sioux Lookout.

The girl -- identified only as Jane Doe -- was being held inside the cell last July for undisclosed reasons.

Court documents say she was not intoxicated, hysterical, excited or presenting a danger in any way.

The lawsuit alleges two officers went in the cell, "violently" pulled her to the floor and applied the Taser to her thigh for three to five seconds.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Her family wants $500,000 in damages, claiming the incident left her with numbness in her leg and "ongoing mental distress."

The lawsuit also calls for an order that would prohibit the use of stun guns on minors except in cases where a life is clearly at risk.



Judge Jess Harris Must Face Trial for Indecent Exposure


Tulsa County District Judge Jesse Harris must face trial on a felony count of indecent exposure, an Osage County judge ruled Monday.

District Judge M. John Kane IV indicated that after "having carefully considered the law and the evidence,” he found sufficient evidence to order Harris to trial.

Kane set a March 3 arraignment for Harris, at a time and place to be determined by a new judge who is likely to be assigned by state Supreme Court Chief Justice James Edmondson.

According to state statute, a judge who conducts a preliminary hearing shall not also handle the trial "except with the consent of all parties.”

Allen Smallwood, one of Harris’ defense lawyers, said a different judge will handle a trial in the case.

What’s alleged?
Harris, 54, was charged April 24 with two felony counts of indecent exposure. He has denied allegations that he exposed his penis on March 9 to two women outside a hotel in the 8200 block of E Skelly.

Kane got the case in May after Tulsa County presiding District Judge Michael Gassett asked then-Supreme Court Chief Justice James Winchester to assign a judge from outside the judicial district.

Harris did not testify at the preliminary hearing, which ended Friday.

One contention of defense lawyers is that Washington County prosecutors, assigned to handle the case, overcharged Harris when they filed two counts — one involving each accuser — for a single alleged act.

Kane said Harris will be tried on one count, which will cover allegations involving both women.

One accuser was Harris’ former girlfriend. The other was sentenced to prison in July on two felony DUI charges.

Lawyers for Harris have focused considerable attention in court on challenging the credibility of the two women.

‘Critical’ witness
Also Monday, lawyers in the case agreed to take a deposition this week from a woman who was arrested Friday on a warrant issued when she failed to attend court to testify.

Rosa Luevano was a cleaning worker who saw people in the parking lot and who was subpoenaed as a "critical” witness for the defense, Smallwood said previously.

After her arrest, Luevano was released on a personal recognizance bond and an electronic monitor.

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Man Dies After Being Tasered by Deputies

A 45-year-old man died in west Stockton on Monday after he was Tasered by San Joaquin County Sheriff’s deputies.

Deputies were called to 2600 block of De Ovan Avenue on a report that a man was acting “crazy” and creating a ruckus, that he damaged property and stole a bicycle, said sheriff’s spokesman Les Garcia.

The victim was uncooperative and started to fight with deputies, the spokesman said, so they shot him with a Taser, which sends a jolt of electricity into a victims body.

When the Taser was “ineffective,” they physically subdued the man, and when it appeared he was having trouble breathing, they called an ambulance, Garcia reported.

The victim had stopped breathing by the time paramedics arrived, and though he was given CPR, he died at a local hospital.

Garcia said the death is under investigation, and an autopsy will be done to determine the cause of death. The spokesman said he does not yet know how many times the man was shot with the Taser, or if he was even hit with it.

“He had a leather coat on,” Garcia said. “I don’t know if the Taser was ineffective because of that. We don’t know if it came in contact with him.”

The use of Tasers is controversial because of their widespread use and the number of people who have died after having been Tasered.

Its manufacturer, Taser International, says more than 375,000 Taser devices have been sold to law enforcement since 1998, and says the guns are perfectly safe.

But Amnesty International has calculated that 290 people have died in North America since 2001 after being zapped by a Taser.

And a recent University of California, San Francisco study of 50 U.S. cities showed that in-custody sudden deaths increased six times in the first year after law enforcement started using stun guns compared to before their use, though the number of in-custody deaths fell in years following.

Garcia said a Taser is one of the tools deputies use “to help minimize injuries to deputies” and to the people they arrest.



Officer Robert Creamer Arrested for Assault

ELIOT, Maine

A longtime patrolman with the Kittery Police Department and former school resource officer at Traip Academy was arrested over the weekend after allegedly assaulting a staff member at the Regatta Banquet and Conference Center.

Robert Creamer, 57, of Kittery, was arrested at 7 p.m. Saturday on allegations that he shoved one of the employees and then refused to leave the premises during a comedy show featuring Bob Marley.

Creamer was arrested by Eliot police after they responded to the banquet hall, located at the Eliot Commons, following a 911 call from staff regarding an "unwanted person."

He faces two misdemeanors, one charge of simple assault and one count of criminal trespass, which could result in fines and a possible year in jail.

According to Eliot Police Chief Ted Short, Creamer had been drinking alcohol during the show and after becoming disruptive was asked to leave by employees.

Short said Creamer was escorted out of the banquet center by staff after the alleged shoving and when he was later asked to leave several times by staff and police he became "argumentative."

It was for that alleged refusal to leave the premises that Creamer was charged with criminal trespass.

No one was injured in the physical altercation, Short said.

Following his arrest, Creamer was taken to the Eliot police station and released on $300 cash bail, with an arraignment date of April 9 at the York District Court.

Kittery Police Chief Ed Strong said Creamer has since been placed on administrative leave with pay pending an internal investigation.

Creamer has been with the Police Department since 1983, said Short, and was once the school resource officer at Traip Academy before his position was eliminated due to budget cuts.

Strong said he could not comment further on Creamer's alleged conduct because of the internal investigation.

Information: http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20090203-NEWS-902030395

Officer James Gaddis Accused of Robbing Bank Free on Bond


A Carbondale police officer accused of robbing a bank is free on $1 million bond.

A Jackson County jailer says 26-year-old James Gaddis posted bond Monday afternoon.

He'd been jailed since his arrest last month with neighbor Anthony Fike. Authorities accuse them of robbing the First Southern Bank in Carbondale last October.

Authorities say two suspects wearing motorcycle helmets robbed the bank of more than $22,000 at gunpoint, then fled by motorcycle.

Police contend Gaddis made a bogus 911 call to divert police to a trailer park on the other side of town during the robbery. A prosecutor says investigators later recognized Gaddis' voice in the taped 911 call.

Gaddis is suspended without pay. Fike already has been free on bond.

School Resource Officer Jonathan Kelly Arrested for Theft


A Palm Beach County school resource officer is accused of helping himself to other people's property.

Jonathan Kelly was arrested Monday, accused of breaking into homes and cars, stealing credit cards and thousands of dollars worth of electronics.

"The officer has been with the district since 2002," school district spokesman Nat Harrington said of the former Delray Beach police officer. "He has a clean record. He was stationed and assigned to John I. Leonard High School, where he did a good job, so obviously these allegations are very shocking and very disappointing."

Kelly is accused of sending the stolen goods to a high school friend, who sold the loot on the Internet and then wired the money to Kelly. It was that friend who turned Kelly in.

The officer posted bond, but he won't be returning to school anytime soon. Kelly has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, Harrington said.

"We have two officers at that school, so they will not lose their police protection," Harrington said. "We will likely reassign an officer to that school if and when needed to cover his duties."

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Judge James Peck Charged with Slapping His Wife

A federal judge charged with slapping his wife hired a big shot defense attorney as he faces a misdemeanor charge that could land him in the clink.

James Peck, 63, the bankruptcy judge overseeing the breakup of Lehman Brothers, hired Barry Bohrer, a prominent criminal defense lawyer whose clients have included Sam Israel, the hedge fund swindler who went on the lam last summer after faking his own suicide to avoid a 20-year jail term.

Peck, who was briefly assigned to handle the Bernard Madoff bankruptcy until he recused himself in December, told cops when they came to his Park Ave. apartment Saturday afternoon that "I was defending myself."

He said his wife, Judith Peck, 64, was late in returning to the city from their home in the Hamptons and then they argued over a ladder that she had put in his closet.

"I was moving the ladder out. She slapped me in the face," he told cops. "I put the ladder down and slapped her back. We slapped each other back and forth."

Then Judith Peck locked herself in a room and called 911. Police said she had "substantial pain" in the area of her jaw and was treated at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

The judge was charged with attempted assault in the third degree, a B misdemeanor that carries a jail term of up to 90 days, and harassment, which is a violation.

"We've been married 42 years. We love each other very much. I've never hit her before. This was not about tonight. It was about complications beginning in October," Peck told a cop, without elaborating, according to court papers.

Criminal Court Judge Lenora Gerald released Peck without bail and told him that he could return to his home as long as he did not assault, stalk, harass, menace, intimidate or threaten his wife.