Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Officer Alphonso Charles Sloan Arrested for Domestic Violence

A Pittsburgh police officer was scheduled to appear in city court today on accusations he assaulted his girlfriend and dumped her on a Strip District curb after dinner at a Penn Avenue eatery.

It's the second time Alphonso Charles Sloan, 38, of Stanton Heights has been arrested in connection with domestic violence charges against his girlfriend, according to a criminal complaint.

Police charged Sloan and Yvonne Williams-Hill, 25, of the Hill District with simple assault. Williams-Hill — who also was previously charged with domestic violence against Sloan, police said — is scheduled to appear in court today, as well.

Williams-Hill told officers she and Sloan were dining at Gene's Last Chance Bar around 10 p.m. July 13. Sloan left the establishment before Williams-Hill finished eating, a criminal complaint states, and only returned after Williams-Hill called him and demanded that he take her home.

Sloan told police he ditched Williams-Hill because she was drunk, court records state.

According to the criminal complaint filed against Sloan:

An argument ensued inside Sloan's vehicle, and he demanded Williams-Hill get out. When she refused, Sloan began striking her "with open hands" and Williams-Hill defended herself "with her raised arms." Sloan then exited the vehicle and yanked Williams-Hill from the front passenger seat by her feet and legs at the corner of Liberty Avenue and 24th Street. He threw one of her shoes in a nearby parking lot.

Police said Williams-Hill suffered minor abrasions on her elbows during the tussle.

Another driver called 911 after finding Williams-Hill lying in the street.

"I was assaulted by my boyfriend," the complaint states Williams-Hill told the woman. "He is a cop."

On July 14, Sloan told police Williams-Hill began verbally and physically assaulting him with her fist and a shoe after he agreed to take her home, a criminal complaint filed against Williams-Hill states. Sloan claims Williams-Hill bit him twice while he attempted to remove her from his car.

Williams-Hill further attacked Sloan outside the car "by ripping his shirt off his back," the complaint states.


Deputy Joshua Woodard Fired for Pointing Camera at Women Taking Showers

A sheriff's deputy has been fired for allegedly pointing a security camera at women while they showered.

Corrections Officer Joshua Woodard admitted to using jail security cameras to zoom in on two female inmates who were taking showers last Monday, said police.

It turned out Woodard was being watched, too; there was another set of security cameras in dispatch. When he inappropriately zoomed in on the women, he was arrested and later fired by Sumner County Sheriff Bob Barker.

"We're not going to tolerate it. We will terminate and prosecute anybody who commits this type of activity," Barker said.

Woodard, who has worked at the jail for two years, was charged with unlawful photography, which is a misdemeanor. He has not had any other major disciplinary problems.

April Creasy, one of the inmates Woodward allegedy video taped, is serving time for Tenncare fraud after becoming addicted to hydrocodone. Her mother said Creasy has turned her life around in jail and will hopefully be going home to her three sons in October.

"She sees the light now," said Anna Lawhorn, her mother.

Related: Watch This Story

Officer David Call Charged with Aggravated Battery

An Apopka police commander faces aggravated battery charges for allegedly punching a woman and her brother while off-duty at a bar.

Authorities said Tuesday 41-year-old David Call turned himself in. The 17-year police veteran has been suspended with pay in connection with the February incident.

Robert Henns, of Eustis, suffered broken ribs. He told police he was restrained by one man while another punched him.

Apopka police say Call has no record of discipline on file. The department is delaying its internal investigation until the criminal case is resolved.

Former Officer Donald Greer Arrested for Threatening

The alleged victim in a criminal case against a former city police officer hired a lawyer to defend her credibility in light of comments from the officer's defense attorney last week.

The Stamford woman last week also reported a suspicious object in her mailbox, leading the bomb squad to come to her home, police said. Demolitions experts used a robot to take a three-inch tinfoil ball from her mailbox. It contained burnt match heads, police spokesman Lt. Sean Cooney said.

The object did not contain any explosive material and could not have hurt anyone, Cooney said. But now police are investigating whether it was random vandalism or related to the case against the former officer.

"We have to explore that possibility," Cooney said.

Mark Sherman, a Stamford criminal defense attorney, will represent the woman, who alleges her ex-boyfriend, former Stamford police officer Donald Greer, threatened her. The woman told police Greer was a "predator" and had admitted to being with dozens of domestic violence victims, calling them "easy prey," court documents show.

She was a domestic violence victim whom Greer met while on duty in 2005. They allegedly struck up a relationship, and he testified during a trial that led to the conviction of the woman's ex-boyfriend for unlawful restraint charges.

Sherman said while the courts offer adequate support for domestic violence victims, sometimes a victim will hire an attorney to defend them when their reputation and credibility are challenged.

"It's unfortunate that a victim of domestic violence has to take hits like this in the media," Sherman said. "She refuses to throw stones back and will simply let the truth come out in the appropriate forums."

Christopher Caldwell, the lawyer representing Greer, said last week his client dated the woman for weeks following the first domestic dispute, but then tried to exit the relationship. He said the woman kept Greer close by promising to end his career.

Sherman said his client was undaunted by the claims and will not back down with the prosecution of the former Stamford police officer.

Greer is a 46-year-old Stratford man who left the Stamford Police Department after 24 years last week amid allegations he threatened his former girlfriend and illegally transferred a pistol.

In March, Greer was arrested on threatening and disorderly conduct charges stemming from allegations from the woman, who said she met Greer when he responded to the domestic dispute in which she was assaulted.

Last week, the Chief State's Attorney's Office, which took over the investigation in March, arrested Greer on a felony weapons charge for illegal transfer of a handgun.

The state began investigating Greer because it had concerns about his testimony during a trial that led to the conviction of the woman's ex-boyfriend.

Concerning the item left in the mailbox, Caldwell said: "I hope they dust for fingerprints and look for DNA to show my guy has nothing to do with anything."

Trooper Franklin 'Joe' Ryle Jr Pleads Guilty to Plotting to Kill Trucker

Claiming he wanted to clear his conscience, a former state trooper admitted Monday to arresting a truck driver as part of a scheme to kill him, stage a crash and collect settlement money.

Former Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper Franklin "Joe" Ryle Jr., 42, told a federal judge he didn't follow through with the plan because he couldn't bring himself to kill the trucker.

"There is no way I could harm that guy," Ryle said.

Ryle made the admissions as part of a plea deal with federal prosecutors that came six months after he stopped Wal-Mart trucker Richard Smidt while patrolling near Douglas. The trooper planned to murder Smidt and stage a crash with his patrol vehicle in order to collect a settlement from the corporate giant.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, which was laid out during a hearing in U.S. District Court, Ryle pleaded guilty to depriving the truck driver's civil rights and carrying a pistol during the Jan. 8 crime. The government will dismiss a third charge that alleged Ryle solicited a second trooper to participate in the plot.

Prosecutors will recommend Ryle serve a prison sentence of 19 to 22 years. Ryle's attorneys are free to argue for a lesser sentence.

U.S. District Judge Clarence Brimmer asked Ryle why he was pleading guilty, knowing that it will result in a long prison sentence.

"Because that's everything I did," the 12-year patrol veteran replied.

Speaking in a calm voice, Ryle for the first time publicly recounted the traffic stop that led to his arrest and indictment.

Ryle, who lived in Douglas and patrolled the surrounding area, told the court he was on duty when he stopped the Wal-Mart truck outside of town. He handcuffed Smidt and drove him to his house.

Once there, Ryle told his wife he had found a dead Wal-Mart truck driver and wanted to crash the truck into his patrol car.

"Was the basis of the whole scheme to get a lot of money?" Brimmer asked.

"Yes sir," Ryle answered.

"And you were going to have to kill the truck driver?" the judge replied.

"Yes sir," Ryle answered again.

Ryle said he never took his gun out during the encounter but did touch it at one point. He ultimately drove Smidt back to his truck and let him go.

A week after the traffic stop, Ryle's brother-in-law -- a Casper police officer -- told the highway patrol about the incident. Smidt reported the encounter to patrol officials around the same time.

The patrol put Ryle on leave in mid-January. He was arrested two months later following a state and federal investigation. A federal grand jury indicted him on three charges in May.

Ryle's wife told investigators she suspected he might have been planning to kill her as part of the scheme. He was never charged with plotting to kill her.

She filed for divorce in February.

After the hearing, one of Ryle's attorneys said the former trooper suffered from serious depression and has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. The disorder came as a result of Ryle's experiences in the U.S. Marines and with the highway patrol, as well as in his personal life, Assistant Federal Public Defender David Weiss said.

"Joe was kind of a mess," Weiss told reporters.

Police officers should be offered more help to deal with mental health issues that come from their work, the attorney added.

"These guys are under a lot of stress," Weiss said.

Jim Barrett, another federal defender who also represents Ryle, said his client has been depressed for a long time. However, evaluations performed after Ryle's arrest did not show he suffered from a serious enough psychiatric issue to render him incompetent for trial.

Justice Department attorney Edward Caspar, who is prosecuting the case, declined to comment after the hearing and referred questions to his agency's public affairs office.

Ryle will remain in federal custody until sentencing, which is a few months away. He is being held in Scottsbluff, Neb.

Officer Benjamin Miles Cordova Arrested for Fraud

A North Las Vegas police officer has been arrested on charges of fraud after allegedly misusing a department credit card.

North Las Vegas police spent the past week investigating one of their own, 39-year-old Benjamin Miles Cordova. They determined he'd been using a department credit card for personal use.

Police said he used the card for personal gain on three separate occasions and has been booked into the North Las Vegas Detention Center on suspicion of three counts of fraudulent use of a credit card and three counts of receiving property obtained by unlawful use of a credit card.

The investigation began a week ago when investigators learned a card was missing.

“There are two things in law enforcement that can’t be tolerated – dishonesty, and the other is theft,” said NLVPD spokeswoman Chrissie Coon. “Those are things that administration takes very seriously, and I think all officers know they’re all held to the same standard.”

Cordova was a patrol officer who had served 6 1/2 years with the NLVPD.

Police said they have the necessary checks and balances in place to make sure police officers do not get away with this.

Cordoba is on paid administrative leave, as Nevada state law requires.

Previous Stories:
July 21, 2009: North Las Vegas Police Officer Arrested
July 16, 2009: 2 Fired NLV Officers Bound Over For Trial

Oklahoma Paramedic Sues Trooper Over Scuffle Caught on Video

A paramedic has sued an Oklahoma highway police officer over a scuffle that occurred while a patient waited inside the paramedic's ambulance, FOX News has learned.

Paramedic Maurice White is seeking punitive and compensatory damages against Trooper Daniel Martin in a case that rose to national prominence this summer after a cell phone video of the conflict appeared on YouTube — showing Martin at one point grabbing White by the neck.

The suit claims that Martin used unreasonable force while seizing White and criticizes the Oklahoma Highway Patrol for failing to take action on the matter over the course of the past two months.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is preparing this week to announce how it will deal with Trooper Martin, who has been on administrative leave since June 1, FOX News has learned.

Click here for a squad video excerpt.

Martin stopped the ambulance May 24 for failing to yield to his squad car.

White says he got out of the ambulance to tell the trooper they were taking a patient to the hospital. The argument quickly escalated into a scuffle and Martin put White in an apparent choke hold.

Martin's attorney says the trooper either didn't hear that there was a patient in the ambulance or it didn't register. He says White failed to comply with the trooper's orders.

Click here for the YouTube video.