Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Deputy Joel Arnold Arrested for Domestic Violence

A Wicomico County Sheriff's Office Deputy arrested after allegedly choking and threatening to kill his girlfriend, then damaging the cruiser of a police officer who responded to the woman's call for help, has been suspended from his job with pay, county Sheriff Mike Lewis said Monday.

Joel Arnold also was hospitalized for treatment of an unknown injury, although a Salisbury Police Department report on a domestic dispute early Sunday said Arnold accidentally fell down a flight of steps during an altercation at the couple's residence on Canvasback Court.

The 32-year-old Arnold also cracked or bent a visor on the passenger side of a police cruiser that had arrived at the scene about 6 a.m., according to the SPD report.

The Salisbury Police Department is investigating the criminal case that charges Arnold with second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, false imprisonment and malicious destruction of property at or over $500, according to the SPD.

The county Sheriff's Office also is conducting an internal probe of the alleged incident, Lewis said.

"We are working cooperatively with the Salisbury Police Department in the criminal investigation," the Sheriff said late Monday, "and we are conducting a concurrent internal investigation, as it is also a personnel matter."

A telephone conversation between Arnold and his estranged wife triggered an argument between him and his girlfriend, Joy Powell, with whom the suspect shared the Canvasback Court residence, according to the SPD. The argument preceded the alleged assault and verbal threat on Powell, reports said.

According to police accounts, Powell awakened at about 4 a.m. Sunday to overhear Arnold on the phone "yelling and arguing" with a person he told his girlfriend was his wife. Moments later, Powell and Arnold began arguing, and when he "became extremely angry," she reached for a cell phone to call police, the victim told authorities.

"As she was dialing the number, Arnold grabbed her by the neck with two hands and began choking her while pressing her up against the wall," according to a summary of a statement Powell gave police.

The victim said that Arnold then pressed something against her throat, "cutting off the airway and yelling, 'I'm going to kill you,' " according to a police report.

The victim told police that she escaped, but was unsuccessful in an attempt to flee through the front door, saying Arnold "ran past her and prevented her from leaving ... by shutting the door and locking it, utilizing the deadbolt."

Arnold then grabbed Powell by the right wrist and left arm, pinning her against a wall, and police investigators said in a report that she had bruising in those areas of her body.

Powell told police that during a moment Arnold was distracted, she fled again to the front door, and he "tripped and fell down the entire flight of stairs and landed at the bottom."

A neighbor called authorities, she told police.

Powell refused medical attention or assistance by a crisis agency, according to police.

Arnold, meanwhile, sitting inside a police cruiser, "began damaging the interior of the marked Salisbury Police vehicle," according to a report.

The suspect then was transported to Peninsula Regional Medical Center, police said.

It was unclear whether the charge of malicious destruction of property also included items allegedly broken inside the residence during the confrontation between Arnold and Powell. Police said it was determined that those items belonged to the suspect.


Medina Officer Accused of Raping Woman


A Medina police officer is accused of raping a woman he pulled over on a routine traffic stop.

The officer is a 30-year-old man and a four-year veteran of the department, according to court documents. We are not naming the officer because he has not yet been charged.

According to the court documents, the rape was the result of a traffic stop by the Medina police officer made last November. He cited the driver, a woman from Renton, for driving with a suspended license.

She told investigators that while she was handcuffed in the back seat of his patrol car, he searched her vehicle and found a bag of marijuana. When he returned he looked back at her repeatedly, she said, telling her she was "attractive and beautiful." Then he "reached over to fix her scarf and put his hand on her," documents stated.

At that point, she said she told him she had taken care of the suspended license charge and asked him not to cite her for the marijuana. He allegedly told her not to "worry," that the "charges would go away," documents said.

According to the documents, the rape happened the very next day. The woman said the officer called her that morning to ask her on a date. She said she agreed but told him she would not have sex on a first date.

When he took her to his home in the Issaquah Highlands, he allegedly ignored her protests -- "took her hands and put them above her head, then raped her." The allegations came to light just last month -- after the victim accused her boyfriend of sexual assault.

Medina's Police Chief Jeff Chen said he took action against the officer as soon as he learned about the Issaquah investigation.

“Upon my realizing what some of the allegations were, I immediately placed the officer, he is a four year officer, on paid administrative leave,” Chen said.

The chief said that means the officer has not been on duty for the last two weeks.

According to the documents, the officer did urge the King County prosecutor to drop the charges against the woman.

Former Deputy Steve Romero Charged with 10 Counts of Child Exploitation


A former Cache County Sheriff's deputy is in jail with charges of 10 counts of child exploitation. The Utah Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force says Steve Romero was arrested in Las Vegas without incident. Investigators say they got a tip in January that Romero had child pornography on his home computer. They interviewed him, searched the computer and allegedly found what they were looking for.

"It does impact me personally that a law enforcement officer would be engaged in this kind of behavior, just as it would a teacher or a minister, anybody who works with young kids," said Ken Wallentine of the Utah Attorney General's Office.

Romero will be brought back to Cache County to face charges.


Deputy Murray Campbell Arrested for DWI

A Harris County Sheriff’s deputy arrested for suspicion of driving while intoxicated in Montgomery County remains on desk duty during the investigation.

He was in his uniform and driving his patrol car at the time of the incident.

Deputy Murray Campbell, an HCSO veteran since 1992, was arrested around 9:53 p.m. Saturday on Honea Egypt Road, south of FM 2854, near the Montgomery Trace subdivision, Department of Public Safety spokesman Tom Binger said.

Campbell’s address is listed in Montgomery Trace, according to Public Data.

A DPS trooper saw Campbell’s marked patrol car northbound on Interstate 45 in Montgomery County, Binger said.

“The trooper observed the unit driving at excessive speed and erratically,” Binger said. “My understanding is he (Campbell) was headed home.”

The trooper followed Campbell onto FM 2854 and eventually to Honea Egypt Road, where a constable’s deputy had pulled someone over, Binger said.

“The deputy (Campbell) did stop briefly on Honea Egypt Road,” Binger said. “What his purpose was, I’m not sure. He was getting back into his car, and that’s when the trooper pulled up.”

Binger could not say whether Campbell had stopped to assist the constable’s deputy.

But Precinct 2 Constable Gene DeForest said one of his deputies had initiated a separate traffic stop on Honea Egypt Road.

“He had heard bits and pieces (of the DPS pursuit of Campbell) over the radio but knew it was on I-45 and didn’t think anything of it until he heard them say they were turning onto 2854,” DeForest said. “The next thing he knew, the deputy’s car pulls up next to him, and he’s (Campbell) asking him if he’s OK and needs help.”

About that time, DeForest said, the DPS trooper, along with an unmarked DPS car, pulled up and the trooper got out.

“That’s when they could smell the alcohol (on Campbell’s breath),” DeForest said.

The trooper asked Campbell to take a field sobriety test, which Campbell refused, and the trooper took him to the Montgomery County Jail, Binger said. There, he refused a breathalyzer test.

The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office obtained a search warrant for a sample of Campbell’s blood and he was arrested for DWI based on the test results, Binger said.

He was released that same night on a $1,000 bond, according to officials with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.

Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon, who served as legal counsel for the Houston Police Officers Union before taking office as DA in January, only represented officers with the Houston Police Department and not with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Assistant District Attorney Warren Diepraam said.

“If he had at any time represented Deputy Campbell, that would disqualify this office (from prosecuting him),” Diepraam said. “However, we have no reason to suspect he ever represented him.”

Campbell had worked two shifts beginning at 6 a.m. Saturday, HCSO Maj. Robert Doguim said. The deputy remains on administrative duty, or a desk job, until the “situation is resolved,” he said.

“We’ve got to wait until the blood tests come back,” he said. “It could be up to 30 days.”

In addition to the DPS investigation, the HCSO’s Office of Inspector General is investigating the incident, Doguim said.

Campbell, who patrols parks in Harris County, had been asked to work an extra shift at a park after his normal shift ended, Doguim said. He was off duty but still in his uniform and driving his patrol car when he was stopped.

The sample of Campbell’s blood was sent to the Houston DPS lab, said Capt. Patrick Mulligan, of the DPS district office in Conroe.

“It could be a few months (to get results back) because of the backlog of blood tests,” he said.

Campbell was shot in 1996 while working as an off-duty security guard at a Houston restaurant, according to information on www.the100club.com. He and HCSO Deputy Randy Eng were attempting to intervene in a disturbance at the restaurant. Eng was shot in the head, and Campbell was shot in the arm.

Eng died from his injuries, according to information on the website.

Officer Travis Rector Arrested for Domestic Violence

Hendersonville Police Officer Travis Rector was arrested over the weekend and charged with assaulting his wife.

Rector, 29, was arrested Saturday and charged with hitting Kelli Rector in the eye, according to court records.

The police officer turned himself in to authorities Saturday, according to Henderson County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Charlie McDonald.

Rector was released from jail on Saturday on a $500 unsecured bond.

State law allows law enforcement to keep anyone arrested on suspicion of domestic violence in jail for 48 hours. Rector was not required to serve the 48-hour sentence after Judge David Fox waived that requirement by telephone Saturday night, according to court records.

Fox said in a telephone interview Monday afternoon that he treated Rector as he would have any other defendant with these charges.

“I received a call from Mr. Rector’s attorney on Saturday,” he said. “He gave me his version of the incident. I told him if he would have the magistrate judge call me, I would act accordingly. The magistrate indicated there was the charge, the woman had been poked in the eye and that she was not keen on taking out charges, but once the officers saw the mark they took out charges.”

Fox said because Rector had no prior record, the couple were not living together at the time and due to the nature of the incident, he waived the 48-hour provision.

Rector has been suspended from the police department with pay while an investigation is conducted, Hendersonville Police Chief Herbert Blake said.

Rector is slated to appear in court on April 16.

He started working with the Hendersonville Police Department on May 3, 2003, according to city Human Resource Manager David Sapp.

Rector’s current salary is $37,078. He has been placed on a non-disciplinary suspension.

Former Officer Katherine Leese Charged with Theft found Dead


A former suburban Philadelphia police officer charged with stealing more than $87,000 from a police group she helped run has been found dead at her home.

Authorities say 42-year-old Katherine Leese, of Langhorne, was found by her mother on Monday.

The former Falls Township officer had pleaded no contest to theft charges and was to have been sentenced Tuesday for diverting funds from Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 53 while she was its treasurer.

The group's past president, 66-year-old Gerald Conaway of Southampton, embezzled another $5,500. Conaway is retired from the Upper Southampton force. He was sentenced in January to 23 months in prison.

An autopsy is pending to determine the cause of Leese's death.


Officer Silvio Filipovich Arrested for Sexual Assault

An officer with the Los Angeles Police Department was arrested Friday in Austin and charged with criminal attempted sexual assault, according to court documents.

Silvio Filipovich, 43, is accused of attempting to assault a woman who works at the Mountain Star Lodge motel on FM 620, according to his arrest affidavit. About 10:30 p.m. Friday, Filipovich asked the woman for a crib for his 3-month-old child, then pushed her inside a closet and forced his hand under her shirt and inside her pants, the affidavit said.

She fought to get away from him and called a co-worker for help, the affidavit said. The affidavit says it’s been confirmed that Filipovich is a Los Angeles police officer, but he was not on duty at the time and did not identify himself as an officer to the victim. He is no longer in custody at the Travis County Jail, records show. His bail was set at $20,000.

Los Angeles police officials have not yet returned calls for comment.