Sunday, May 03, 2009

Retired Judge James Weaver Arrested 3 Times for Drunk Driving

A retired Muscatine County judge has pleaded not guilty after his third arrest for drunken driving.

James Weaver, 56, of Blue Grass was arrested in March in Scott County. Iowa State Patrol officials say Weaver’s blood-alcohol concentration was more than twice the legal limit.

Weaver was arrested for drunken driving in November 2002 and November 2004. He pleaded guilty both times.

Former Officer Alberto Perez Arrested on Additional Charges


Nearly five months after his initial arrest for extortion, former Avon Park police officer Alberto Perez has been arrested on additional charges.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement Resident Agent In Charge Yolanda Carbia said the newest charges, one additional count of extortion and one count of official misconduct, are related to the original investigation.

In the probable cause report dated April 30, FDLE special agent Vaden Pollard describes an event where Perez told a young Hispanic male that he could avoid jail by giving him $300.

This is similar to the allegations Perez was arrested for on Dec. 2, 2008, when he reportedly asked for $200 from a Hispanic male who ran a stop sign. The traffic stop took place April 19, 2008.

"(Perez) told (the victim) the reason for the traffic stop was because he did not completely stop at a stop sign," the December probable cause affidavit said. "(Perez) told him ... just give $200 and no ticket."

Perez's most recent charges also stem from a separate incident in 2008.

"A new lead came in and we researched investigative reports generated by Alberto Perez," Carbia said. "Some leads can't be substantiated but this one we were able to follow through with an arrest warrant. We were able to locate individuals able to give the sworn testimony we needed."

The FDLE worked with the Avon Park Police Department to corroborate the charges, pulling a report from an accident on Main Street and South Lake Avenue on June 28 when a white van was rear-ended by a truck.

"The man paid Perez $300 so he wouldn't be taken to jail," Carbia said.

Perez allegedly switched the names of an uncle and nephew on the accident report to keep the nephew, who had a suspended license, out of jail.

"The officer gave (the witness) his ticket book and told him to go over to his truck, put $300 in the back of the ticket book, and bring the ticket book back to him," the report said.

The uncle had walked to the scene when he was called by his nephew after the accident, and was not in the truck when the accident occurred.

"(The uncle) walked to the crash scene because it was close to his business," the report said.

The woman driving the van testified that she remembered the nephew as the only occupant of the vehicle at the time of the accident, and saw the uncle approaching the crash scene later.

While the uncle was speaking about the accident with the officer, who he later identified as Perez in a photo lineup, he was asked for his license.

When he asked Perez why he wanted it, Perez reportedly responded, "It will help your nephew."

The uncle agreed to give the officer his license, allegedly asking that his information not be placed in a report.

The uncle, nephew and woman driving the van all testified that the uncle was not the driver and was not in the vehicle when the crash occurred.

Perez was charged with extortion, a second degree felony, and official misconduct for allegedly "knowingly" falsifying an official State of Florida crash report.

Perez remains on unpaid leave from his position with the city due to the extortion charges in December.

He was booked into the Highlands County Jail on April 30, and was released two and a half hours later on $6,000 bond.

Former Reserve Officer Eric Evans Charged with Impersonation


A former reserve police officer has been charged with impersonation after an April incident in which a woman told authorities that a badge-flashing driver tried to pull over her car on U.S. 75.

Eric Dean Evans, 39, was released on his own recognizance this week after appearing in Washington County District Court.

Evans did not enter a plea to the misdemeanor charge, which alleges that he flashed a badge in an attempt to appear to be a law enforcement officer "when he had no authority."

The Bartlesville Police Department fired Evans from his reserve position immediately after investigating reports that he was making unauthorized traffic stops on U.S. 75. Evans had been a reserve officer since October 2007.

Reserve officers serve without pay and must complete 160 hours of training with the Council on Law Enforcement, Education and Training. Evans worked with the department's Patrol Division as a reserve cadet.

According to police, Evans was wearing civilian clothes and driving a private vehicle on April 1 when he allegedly flashed a police badge at a woman who was driving on U.S. 75 near Ramona.

Evans reportedly drove off when a male passenger who had been sleeping in her car sat up.

The driver had not pulled over because she was unsure whether the man was an actual law enforcement officer.

Instead, she called an Oklahoma Highway Patrol dispatcher.

Bartlesville police also received calls from other drivers who encountered similar situations. The investigation was turned over to the Highway Patrol, which has jurisdiction in the case.

Evans is due back in court May 18.