Sunday, February 08, 2009
PALM BEACH COUNTY, FL
A Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputy was arrested early Saturday morning around 2 a.m.
Deputy Christopher Grube was arrested and charged with driving under the influence. The 38-year-old refused a sobriety test.
According to PBSO spokeswoman, Teri Barbera, Grube was assigned court service duty.
Grube was arrested by Officer Secord of the West Palm Beach Police Department.
Grube was released about 3 hours later on his own recognizance.
A drunken Jersey City cop plowed his car into a young couple as they crossed a downtown street early today, killing the woman and leaving her friend in intensive care, sources said.
Officer Martin Abreu, 25, from Jersey City, who was off-duty, allegedly mowed down Huang Feng, 26, and her unidentified male friend, also 26, as they walked across West Street, at Albany Street, at about 3:40 a.m.
Feng, who lived nearby, died immediately, cops said.
Her companion was rushed to St. Vincent's Hospital, where he was listed in critical, but stable condition.
Abreu, who was driving a Toyota Camry, was cuffed at the scene and charged with vehicular manslaughter, vehicular assault and DWI, police said.
Abreu, who has been with the Jersey City police since 2005, was suspended without pay.
"The charges surrounding this incident are most serious and this type of activity will not be tolerated by the JCPD," said Chief Tom Comey.
Police arrested the township's fiscal officer, John Dalziel, 40, on a charge of having an unlawful interest in a public contract.
The contract involved Dalziel's insurance agency. Brimfield police Chief David A. Blough did not provide details. The Portage County Prosecutor's Office and the Ohio Ethics Commission assisted in the investigation.
Dalziel was arrested Jan. 30 and arraigned Wednesday. He is free on bond on the 1st-degree misdemeanor charge and is due back in court Feb. 26. The offense carries a maximum sentence of 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Carl Beckman was a respected Sylvania police officer who received several awards over the years and had no disciplinary record in his file.
But the 36-year veteran who was trusted enough to serve in the department's property room is now charged with stealing thousands of dollars of forfeiture money.
Mr. Beckman, 58, was indicted by a Lucas County grand jury on one count of theft in office. The former officer is accused of pilfering more than $23,000 from the department's property-room safe between January, 1996, and January, 2009.
Because the amount taken is more than $5,000, the offense is a third-degree felony. Mr. Beckman faces up to five years in prison if convicted. He is to be arraigned Feb. 19 by Judge Ruth Ann Franks.
"This is not only disappointing but very shocking," Sylvania Police Chief Gerald Sobb said. "Obviously, a person in that position was trusted. If there was any question of his honesty, he wouldn't have been there."
Mr. Beckman joined the police department in April, 1973. In November, 1988, he was assigned to the property room. When he left the department last month, his base pay was $68,800, the chief said.
Chief Sobb said the property room houses all evidence found and seized during the investigation of crimes. Included in that is cash taken from suspects, which is then secured, labeled, and placed in a property-room safe.
After a case concludes, the money is either returned or the court orders it forfeited to the department. That money is deposited into the law enforcement trust fund, Chief Sobb said.
The fund shortage was discovered during an attempt to deposit recently forfeited money, Chief Sobb said.
"He didn't bring me the money on some of these cases. That's when we discovered this," the chief said.
Authorities said $23,711 is believed missing from the property room. The chief said he was not aware of any financial problems that Mr. Beckman was facing or any reason for the alleged thefts.
Mr. Beckman could not be reached for comment. He retired from the department on Monday, Chief Sobb said, and was indicted on Thursday. The chief said that during Mr. Beckman's time on the force, he had no discipline problems and received several awards, including his fourth Police Star in April.
Mayor Craig Stough said the county prosecutor's office was notified soon after money was discovered to be missing.
"It's very sad and disappointing when a trusted officer of 36 years is discovered to be stealing," he said. "But I'd like to emphasize that these are not taxpayer dollars that are missing. These are funds missing from the property room and funds seized from ongoing investigations, although I've been told that nothing missing would impact an ongoing investigation."
Chief Sobb said the department is conducting a full audit of the property room to make sure nothing else is missing.
"We're going through every piece of evidence and property in the property room," he said. "We want to know if anything else is missing. Hopefully, [money] is all that was taken."
The law enforcement trust fund is made up of money seized in criminal investigations and forfeited through the courts. Laws specify what it can be used for, including equipment for officers and for drug programs and education, the chief said.