Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Officer Michael Percival Arrested for Domestic Violence

An Olathe police officer, Michael Percival, 44, is facing two counts of domestic violence and two counts of third-degree assault in what appears to be years of physical and mental abuse.

An affidavit supporting Percival’s arrest on June 26 claims that for four years, Percival beat his girlfriend, Elisha Cabrera, 42, on a regular basis.

The arrest affidavit states that Cabrera signed contracts given to her by Percival that dictated her behavior. If she failed to please Percival, he would punish her mildly by making her stand in a corner, or severely by spanking her bare buttocks repeatedly with a belt or other object.

Both Percival and Cabrera were arrested for domestic violence on June 24, but the extent of the alleged abuse against Cabrera was not known until she was accompanied to the restroom by a female officer who saw her injuries, which were then photographed.

The abuse took on even worse proportions, according to the affidavit, in that Cabrera was often forced to utter “thank you” each time she was hit to avoid further beatings.

The arrest affidavit, signed by Investigator David Harrison of the Montrose County Sheriff’s Office, reads, in part, about “punishment” administered on June 15 and 16. Cabrera told Deputy Monique Salido that the last beatings were punishment because she asked why she and her daughter were not invited to go on a fishing trip with Percival and his children.

Percival became angry at the question, according to the affidavit, and when he came home made Cabrera strip from the waist down, bend over the bed, and gave her 25 lashes with his police issue belt.

“Cabrera said she had to count each lashing and tell him ‘thank you’ after each strike and if she failed to count or miscounted, Percival would start over from the beginning…” the affidavit states. The next day, Cabrera was hit 25 more times until she “…had received her full measure of punishment.”

After the last beating, Cabrera said she had had enough. She said, according to the affidavit, that the beatings were painful but she allowed them because she loved Percival.

Olathe Police Chief Rick Hawk did not return messages left for him earlier this week.

Percival was released from the Montrose County jail after posting bond of $2,500 the day after he was arrested.

Former Chief Robert Holmes Indicted for Child Sexual Assault

A former police chief in New Jersey has been indicted on child sexual assault charges.

The indictment handed up Wednesday by a Monmouth County grand jury alleges that 61-year-old Robert Holmes sexually assaulted the female victim between April 2005 and March 2007, while she was between the ages of 12 and 14.

Holmes served as chief in Marlboro Township from 1998 until he retired in January.

Prosecutors say Holmes provided alcohol to the child and assaulted her at his home.

Holmes' lawyer, Norman Hobbie, said his client was shocked by the allegations and denies any wrongdoing.

Bail was set at $100,000 pending an arraignment, which has not been scheduled. _______________________

Hearing for Sgt Eric Downey Charged with Battery has Been Delayed

The hearing for a South Bend police officer charged with battery and operating motor vehicle while intoxicated has been delayed.

A hearing for Sgt. Eric Downey that was scheduled for Tuesday was postponed until 8 a.m. July 29.

Downey was arrested May 20 after officers were called to his home by his wife, who alleged abuse. Police said Downey later arrived home drunk while officers were at his home.

Downey has disputed both charges in interviews with The Tribune.

The officer remains on administrative leave with pay.

Officer Daniel Murray Arrested for Rape & Molesting 15-year-old

A Minden, Louisiana police officer is now on the other side of a jail cell.

Officer First Class Daniel Murray was arrested after reports that he allegedly raped and molested a 15-year-old friend of the family.

On Monday, the Minden City Council unanimously voted to terminate Murray.

Murray had been on paid leave since January when an investigation began into the sexual assault allegations.

That changed back on June 19th to leave without pay following a Webster Parish grand jury indictment.

Murray is currently being held in the Webster Parish Jail on a $400,000 bond.

Officer Melbourne Hunnicutt Arrested for Viewing Porn While on Duty

Huntington police officer Melbourne Hunnicutt is on a suspended leave without pay while the city's Board of Public Works and Safety reviews charges brought against him.

"My recommendation is the termination of Officer Hunnicutt from the police department," Chief Tom Emely said.

In June, Emely presented the board of works with a "Notice of Chief's Charges." In the document, he said Hunnicutt repeatedly used department computers while on duty "for the purpose of accessing Web sites, pornographic in nature, which were not job-related and not authorized by Department of City of Huntington policy."

"The city and police department has a policy that does not allow access to that type of information unless it's conducted in an investigation in normal performance of duties," Emely said.

Hunnicutt allegedly searched for porn from May 24 through June 14.

"Where the computer was, one of our other officers happened to notice some things on the computer that were inappropriate and we conduced an investigation from that point on," Emely said.

In the chief's charges, Hunnicutt was accused of neglect of duty and conduct unbecoming of an officer. The board suspended Hunnicutt on June 23rd and set a decision date of July 20. Hunnicutt had until June 30 to request a hearing, which his lawyer did, according to Huntington City Attorney John Branham.

Branham told NewsChannel 15 Hunnicutt requested a full hearing before the board of works. In that hearing, Hunnicutt can challenge the allegations against him and/or the termination recommendation. Chief Emely will also present his side.

A date for the hearing hasn't been set yet, but Branham doesn't expect it to happen before August 15.

Hunnicutt had been with the department for about 18 years and was most recently a detective. The recent allegations, Emely said, have shaken the department.

"It's mixed emotions and disbelief that someone would do that. Some disappointment also," Emely said.

Hunnicutt and his lawyer couldn't be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Officer Shea Brown Arrested for Tampering with Evidence

The person arrested following an investigation into missing evidence turned out to be...a police officer.

Officer Shea Brown was arrested by the Columbia County Sheriff's Office on a felony warrant issued by the State Attorney's Office for tampering with evidence.

This warrant was issued after the Florida Department of Law Enforcement conducted an investigation on some missing evidence from the Lake City Police Department.

Brown turned herself in and she was booked at the Columbia County Detention Center. Bond was set at $5,000. She bonded out of jail and was placed on administrative leave without pay by the Lake City Police Department. The department is conducting its own internal investigation.

Officer Alex Alvarez Arrested for Drunk Driving

Police arrested one of their own Sunday night, charging an off-duty officer with drunk driving after he crashed into a parked car.

Alex Alvarez apparently argued with the manager of Chili's Grill & Bar on Nolana, refused to wait for a taxi that had been called and then backed into the same manager's truck just after 10 p.m. Sunday, according to police records.

The 39-year-old Alvarez was arraigned in McAllen Municipal Court on Monday and released on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond. He has been suspended without pay until the criminal charges are resolved, said McAllen police Chief Victor Rodriguez.

"In our business, these kinds of matters have the potential to have very, very serious consequences," Rodriguez said. "The outcome of last night may determine his future."

Aside from the criminal charges he is facing, Alvarez could lose his job and be stripped by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards of Education of his license to be a police officer, Rodriguez said.

"(Alvarez) has been a ... good officer for us," Rodriguez said. "We've been lucky to have his services; however, you have what happened last night."

A 14-year veteran of the force, Alvarez repeatedly asked officers to let him drive home when they arrived Sunday night. Officers found Alvarez behind the wheel of his Ford truck, a red security steering wheel lock still clamped on the steering wheel, according to police records.

Witnesses and Chili's employees told police that Alvarez had been bothering four female customers and had to be escorted from the table. A manager at the restaurant said that Alvarez was "too intoxicated" to drive home, so he called a taxi, according to the records.

When the manager tried to stall Alvarez until the taxi arrived, Alvarez apparently stripped a pair of glasses from the manager's head and threw them to the floor.

A security camera in the parking lot then captured Alvarez get into his truck and back into the other vehicle, according to police records. Police suspect that he forgot to remove the security lock from the steering wheel before backing up, according to the records.

Alvarez refused to take a Breathlyzer tests and refused other sobriety tests once at the police station. When officers arrived at the scene, Alvarez said he couldn't remember "doing anything to the manager" and he repeatedly asked officers to let him drive home.

But after officers recounted what witnesses described, Alvarez apologized to officers for putting them in the precarious situation of arresting a fellow policeman, according to the records.

"(Alvarez said) that we should do what we had to do and that it was all his fault," according to the report. "(Alvarez said) that he did not want us to get in trouble for his actions."

Trooper Ephraim Montemayor Arrested for Domestic Violence


Police arrested a Department of Public Safety trooper on a misdemeanor charge of assault/family violence Monday night.

DPS spokeswoman Tela Mange identified the trooper as Ephraim Montemayor. She said he is 30 years old and has been a DPS trooper since 2000.

Montemayor has been suspended with pay pending the outcome of an internal investigation, she said from the Austin DPS headquarters.

Montemayor was not in uniform when he was arrested, Mange said, but she would not say that he was off duty at the time.

Because HPD was in the process of moving into the new station, the records computers were not operating all day, Osborne said.

Jail lists and incident logs were unavailable all day Tuesday, Sergeant John Parrish said.

Osborne said that he did not know the time or circumstances of the trooper's arrest and that the information will be available today when the station opens.

The trooper, Osborne said, has been released on bond but he did not know the amount.

HPD responded to the incident from a 9-1-1 call, Osborne said, but could not release the caller's name.

Osborne said that it is customary to segregate any law enforcement officer taken into custody from other prisoners in the city jail, which was done in this case.

"Anytime a law enforcement officer is taken into custody, we would definitely be concerned about him showing up in uniform in a jail section with other prisoners," Osborne said. "There is always a call to worry about the safety of all prisoners. It wouldn't be just for police officers."

Tangipahoa Parish sheriff's deputy Kevin Whittington is behind bars after being arrested for possession of crack cocaine.

Whittington, 44, was arrested Monday after he allegedly accepted 24 grams of crack and a cell phone intended for an inmate at the parish jail.

If convicted, he could face a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison and a $2 million fine.