Saturday, August 08, 2009

Officer Joseph Harrison Arrested for Stealing Drugs from Neighbors

A Clatskanie police officer resigned Tuesday after being arrested on charges he stole drugs from his neighbors.

Joseph Harrison broke into two Clatskanie homes to steal Vicodin and oxycodone, according to probable cause documents. A timeline provided by the Attorney General's office claims the first burglary occurred in mid-April and the second burglary took place on April 28.

While being interviewed this week, Harrison told investigators that he was on duty and in uniform during the second burglary, according to the court documents.

"I am kind of sad that it's an officer in my community that got in trouble," said Joseph Maes, who lives in Clatskanie. "Really, it's a disgrace to this town. (I) know it doesn't make our town look good."

The victims in the case did not want to be identified Wednesday.

The Clatskanie Police Chief said the allegations were a "bombshell." Harrison, who was jailed on charges of burglary, theft and official misconduct, was a 9-year veteran of the Clatskanie Police Department.

"For me, to find out that he was really like this was a let down to me and I'm sure to a lot of the community around here," Maes said.

Officer Dewey Pressley Accused of Lying

A Hollywood police officer under investigation after he was recorded discussing how to doctor a woman's arrest report last February is now accused of lying about the existance of a video in a separate arrest.

Officer Dewey Pressley lied during court proceedings about details of an August 2008 arrest involving Steven Berglund after saying the video that recorded the arrest did not exist, said Berglund's attorney Robert Reiff.

According to court depositions, Pressley said last February that he did not record Berglund's DUI arrest because of issues with the department's in-car camera system.

However, Reiff had already received a copy of the video recorded by Pressley's in-car dash camera.

Some details of the arrest laid out by Pressley in his deposition and a transcript of the video, both supplied to The Miami Herald by Reiff, are inconsistent.

``His version of the facts greatly diverged from what appeared on the video that had been recorded,'' Reiff wrote in his motion.

Berglund pleaded no contest July 9 to reduced charges after the state attorney's office learned of Pressley's testimony. Berglund received three years probation, 30 days in a Broward jail and a 10-year suspension of his driver's license, Reiff's motion states.

Now, after learning video existed of Pressley allegedly falsifying a police report during a Feb. 17 crash involving Hollywood officer Joel Francisco and 23-year-old Alexandra Torrens-Vilas, Reiff is looking to fight the charges.

``I'm sure part of it was mistake on his part,'' Reiff said of Pressley's accounts during the deposition.

``But it is also indicative of a culture of embellishment.''

Pressley could not be reached for comment.

Jeff Marano, senior vice president for the Police Benevolent Association, said Reiff and other attorneys are just piling on the recent allegations against Pressley, who he said is a ``thorough investigator.''

``If the state felt it was a material lie and Pressley was clearly intentionally perjuring himself then the state would have moved ahead and dismissed'' the case, said Marano, a retired Hollywood police lieutenant.

The latest allegation comes as defense attorneys continue to pick apart cases involving Pressley and the four other Hollywood police officers accused of doctoring Torrens-Vilas' DUI arrest report.

Two cannabis possession cases against a juvenile have already been dropped and the Public Defender's office is currently reviewing numerous cases pending and closed to see if they could be affected.

``We're pulling old cases,'' said Mindy Solomon, chief assistant public defender.

``We have really made a decision to prioritize this and really work through them.''

Ron Ishoy, a state attorney's office spokesman, said Friday that together, the officers are listed as potential witnesses in 110 felony cases and 250 misdemeanor cases -- though he said the number of affected cases will be less because some of the officers are witnesses on the same case.

Along with Pressley and Francisco, Sgt. Andrew Diaz, Community Service Officer Karim Thomas and Crime Scene Technician Andrea Tomassi are also under investigation.

Deputy Gladys Dauphin Arrested for Attacking Inmate

For the second time in less than a week, a Broward Sheriff's Office deputy has been arrested and charged with criminal misconduct while on-duty.

Detention deputy Gladys Dauphin was charged Wednesday with aggravated battery and official misconduct after an internal investigation found that she attacked an inmate with her portable radio and then tried to cover up the incident.

BSO announced the charges Thursday, one day after Dauphin was arrested by Internal Affairs investigators.

The alleged attack happened about 2:30 a.m. on Feb. 20 inside inmate Darryl Cunningham's cell in the Broward main jail, according to an arrest affidavit filed by Detective Joe Kessling.


The affidavit states that Dauphin, 37, entered Cunningham's cell to talk to him because he had disrespected her.

She had Cunningham sit on his bed and then struck him several times toward the back of his head with her police radio, he told investigators.

``The injuries resulted in permanent scarring and disfigurement,'' Kessling wrote in the report.

Cunningham, 25, received five staples in the jail infirmary after the incident to close a laceration.

``I got him,'' Dauphin allegedly said to Sgt. Edward Pierce after the incident.

Dauphin then tried to cover up the attack, using another deputy's identity to falsify jail records to show that Cunningham refused treatment after falling, according to the affidavit.

BSO spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright said the attack was reported on the day in which it occurred. Dauphin, who was hired in December of 2004, was placed on suspension with pay the day of the incident and throughout the following investigation.


Dauphin bonded out of jail Wednesday on $6,100 and has been suspended without pay.

She did not respond to a message left on her voicemail late Thursday afternoon.

Cunningham, who was in jail after being picked up on several warrants filed by Wilton Manors and Fort Lauderdale police, was released to the custody of the U.S. Marshals on March 6.

He is currently being held at the Federal Detention Center in Miami on charges of felony possession of a firearm, U.S. Marshals spokesman Barry Golden said.

Dauphin's arrest comes three days after Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti held a news conference to announce the arrest of Deputy Jonathan Bleiweiss, who is charged with more than a dozen counts of battery, sexual battery, stalking and false imprisonment.

Investigators say Bleiweiss, who in March was honored as employee of the year for the Broward Sheriff's Office's Oakland Park District, preyed on undocumented immigrants, molesting them while on duty.

Bleiweiss' attorney has said there is no reason to believe the accusations against the deputy.


Coleman-Wright said Thursday that the arrested deputies shouldn't be a black eye for the sheriff's office.

``We're certainly disappointed by these two arrests but it also shows the public that we're dedicated to holding people responsible for actions even if it means arresting our own,'' she said.