Sunday, April 26, 2009

Corrections Officer Angelo Vickers Arrested for Molestation Teen

A corrections officer at Terrebonne’s Juvenile Detention center is accused of having sex with two teen inmates and offering the teenage girls favors in exchange, deputies said.

The officer denies the allegations.

Angelo Knighton Vickers, 47, 390 Monarch Drive, Houma, was arrested Thursday and charged with two counts each of molestation of a juvenile and sexual malfeasance in prison.

The investigation is ongoing, said Maj. Malcolm Wolfe of the Sheriff’s Office.

It’s unclear whether there are more victims.

The investigation began after a former inmate of the center contacted officials and claimed she had sex with a corrections officer while incarcerated, according to deputies. Another girl made similar allegations during the investigation.

In exchange for sex, Vickers offered the girls favors, such as free phone calls and snacks, deputies said. The inmates were 15 and 16 at the time.

The incidents happened within the past year, Wolfe said.

Vickers was questioned at the Sheriff’s Office before his arrest and denied the accusations, deputies said.

Vickers, who was fired after the allegations surfaced, worked as a corrections officer for Terrebonne Parish government, Wolfe said.

He has worked at the Juvenile Detention Center for six and a half years, said Jason Hutchinson, the center’s director. At the time of his arrest, Vickers was working as a watch commander, supervising a security team of about nine.

“We’ve all been devastated by this,” Hutchinson said. “We’re terribly disappointed. It’s a sad situation for everyone.”

Vickers is being held at the Terrebonne Courthouse Annex Jail on $200,000 bond.

Chatham Officer Investigated for Firing Shots at Fleeing Vehicle

The Sangamon County Sheriff's department is investigating an incident in which a Chatham police officer fired shots at a fleeing vehicle after a traffic stop.

A 19-year-old Springfield man, Anthony Crawford Jr., was arrested shortly after the incident Friday night.

Sangamon County Sheriff Neil Williamson and Chatham Police Chief Roy Barnett declined to release the officer's name on Saturday. Barnett confirmed the officer is on leave and that the sheriff's office has been asked to handle the investigation.

Williamson said Chatham police arrested Crawford on an outstanding warrant for retail theft as well as driving on a suspended driver's license, fleeing and eluding a police officer and an equipment violation for not having a front license plate.

Information from: The State Journal-Register,

Tulsa PD Suspends 3 Officers in Drinking Probe

Drinking during a barbecue at the Tulsa Police Department's training center last year led to the totaling of a police car and the suspensions of three officers, Police Chief Ron Palmer told the Tulsa World.

Nearly 20 Tulsa police officers, including one who crashed the patrol car, drank alcohol during the cookout, an investigation has revealed.

The Oct. 16 cookout ended a week of training for the agency's Special Operations Team, Palmer said.

Officer Danny Bean told investigators that he drank two beers before heading home in his department- issued squad car, Palmer said. He reportedly knocked over a power pole and crashed into a security gate as he left the facility at 6066 E. 66th St. North.

Bean was suspended for 80 hours without pay and will not be allowed to take his new patrol car home for 120 days, Palmer said.

Neither Bean nor his lawyer, Scott Wood, returned telephone calls seeking comment.

Palmer said the suspensions were handed down this month and emphasize the increased level of responsibility that officers must meet.

"It should be a higher standard; there's no doubt in my mind," he said. "Anybody, lay person or police person, can see that it's conduct unbecoming" an officer.

The department's Internal Affairs Unit found that Bean was not given a field sobriety test and that his blood-alcohol level was never measured. Palmer said it also wasn't clear who brought the beer or how many officers were drinking at the event.

Several supervisors talked with Bean after the crash and said he didn't show any signs of intoxication, Palmer said.

Bean, who works in the department's Gilcrease Division, was a newer member of the Special Operations Team and stayed late to help clean up after the barbecue. He was driving nearly 55 mph when he rounded a curved stretch of road as he was leaving, police records show.

His 2007 Dodge Charger police car crashed into a power pole shortly after 10:30 p.m. and then hit a gate, according to an accident report. The cruiser, valued at $19,774, was destroyed.

Sgt. Luke Sherman, who was in charge of the barbecue, was suspended for five days without pay for failure to supervise and for conduct unbecoming an officer.

Capt. John Brooks was suspended for two days without pay and was removed as the Special Operations Team's interim commander for the same offenses, Palmer said.

The police union appealed the decision shortly after the officers were suspended, said Ron Bartmier, chairman of the union's board.

Bartmier would not discuss the appeal because it is an ongoing personnel issue.

Palmer said the department's lack of a specific alcohol policy likely is behind the appeal.

Beer isn't specifically banned at the training center, but Palmer said the department follows the city of Tulsa's broader rules about drinking, which prohibit city employees from drinking at work or coming to work drunk.

"It's my desire to make those policies stricter so there's no misunderstanding," he said.