Friday, August 21, 2009

Cody Crews Harp Arrested for Trying to Hir Hit Man

A 30-year-old Eureka Springs firefighter, medic and reserve police officer, Cody Crews Harp, has been arrested for conspiracy to commit murder for trying to hire a hit man to kill his wife, police say.

The Eureka Springs High School graduate, who is well known in the community, reportedly passed money and information about his wife to an undercover FBI agent in the parking lot of a Eureka Springs lodging facility Tuesday evening.

He and his wife, Latisha Harp, were reportedly embroiled in a custody battle and divorce.

According to a press release issued by the Eureka Springs Police Department, Officer Brian Williams received information on Aug. 11 from a local man who said Harp was trying to hire a hit man to kill Latisha.

An investigation was initiated, and "over the course of a week, Harp made clear his intention to hire someone to kill his wife," the press release stated.

Eureka police said they contacted FBI Special Agent Dave Blakely and requested assistance with additional manpower, equipment and a certified undercover officer.

"The FBI gave their complete support and assisted Detective (Joe) Barbalance with the investigation," police said.

According to the press release issued by police, on Tuesday afternoon, Harp was contacted by an undercover officer posing as the hit man and agreed to meet him at a city motel, the Inn of the Ozarks parking lot.

Harp reportedly told the officer that he would have to go home to get a picture of his wife, the press release stated.

"Just after 5 p.m., Harp arrived and got into the undercover officer's vehicle. He provided a photograph and address of his wife, and paid money to the officer while under surveillance from Eureka Springs officers and FBI agents," police said in their report.

Once the money was paid and the deal was set, Harp reportedly exited the undercover vehicle and began walking back to his vehicle, where officers arrested him without incident.

Harp was transported to the Eureka Springs Police Department for questioning and processing, police say, and later taken to the Carroll County Detention Center, where he was booked on the conspiracy charge.

Authorities say he was a paramedic firefighter for the Eureka Springs Fire Department, and a reserve police officer with the ESPD serving as a medic on the Tri-City Special Response Team.

Officer Johnnie Hicks Arrested for Assault on Neighbor

A Newport News police officer has been arrested for assault and for pulling a gun on his neighbor.

Triesha Elderkin says her neighbor stormed over to her townhouse early this morning, yelling and screaming.

"I don't want to stay here any more. I don't feel safe. He's the cops. He can do anything. He showed his gun and said I will shoot every one of you, all this stuff. I told him to get out of my house. You can't do that. Get out of my house. Get out of my house."

Elderkin's neighbor is a police officer, Johnnie Hicks. She says Hicks was mad his fiance and daughter were at a party at her home. The screaming up outside where Elderkin says she confronted the officer, angry he brought a gun into her house.

"I went towards him and he pulled out his gun, and chocked me. My boyfriend pulled me off and said, baby, he's got a gun. He's the cops. You can't do that. He's the cops. He'll shoot us. He'll shoot us all."

When NewsChannel 3's Mike Mather walked into the townhouse neighborhood, he saw the officer duck into his home. He wouldn't answer the door. Elderkin says officers told her the neighbor would be gone through the weekend, but that hasn't happened.

Court papers show that police first wrote that Hicks pulled his gun. Then they scratched it out and wrote "grasped."

And when a magistrate wrote about the victims, he put "victims" in quotes.

The police report says when officers showed up at Triesha Elderkin's home everyone was drunk, except of course the accused officer. But Elderkin says that's just not true.

Elkerkin says it happened just like she said. And she's not convinced police are taking this seriously because the man she accused came right back home.

"How do I know that, when everybody else is gone, he's not going to come to my back door and try to get payback for getting him in trouble?"


Officer Jared Rohrig Accused of Sexual Assault


An Orange police officer is accused of pretending to be his twin brother in order to engage in a sexual encounter with a woman.

Officer Jared Rohrig, of Milford, was arrested Friday in connection with the sexual assault.

Police said a woman told police that she went to meet Rohrig's twin brother, Joe, whom she was in a relationship with. The woman got into a hot tub with Jared Rohrig, thinking it was his brother, police said.

Police said the hot tub activity moved into one of the home's bedrooms, where the two began having sex.

"During the sexual intercourse, she realized the male she was with did not have a tattoo on his left buttocks. The female victim said she immediately began to cry and asked where his tattoo went," according to the arrest affidavit.

The woman said Joe, whom she had been having a sexual relationship with since March 2009, has a tattoo of a cowboy, according to the affidavit.

Police said when the woman tried to leave, Jared Rohrig pushed her down onto the bed, covered her face with a pillow and continued having sex.

Rohrig was charged with sexual assault in the first degree and criminal impersonation. His bond was set at $50,000 and he is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 8.

He was put on paid leave from the Orange Police Department.

Officer Evangelin Carr Charged with DWI

A Fort Worth police officer has been placed on restricted duty after his arrest this week in Keller on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

Evangelin G. Carr, 28, was charged Thursday with DWI, according to Tarrant County records.

Keller police Lt. Brenda Slovak said Carr was pulled over in the 300 block of Bear Creek Parkway shortly after 3 a.m. Monday because his Chevrolet pickup had a defective tail light and he failed to use his turn signal.

Slovak said Carr was given a field sobriety test after the officer noticed a strong odor of alcohol and Carr acknowledged having had two drinks. She said that in addition to failing the test, Breathalyzer results showed that Carr was over the legal limit for driving.

Sgt. Pedro Criado, a Fort Worth police spokesman, said an internal investigation is under way into the DWI allegations against Carr, as well as allegations of neglect of duty and causing unfavorable criticism to the department.

"As a Keller officer approached, he did indicate he was a police officer and he did not want to lose his job," Criado said.

He said Carr, who was hired in October 2007, also briefly struggled with officers as they tried to handcuff him.

While on restricted duty, Carr is prohibited from wearing a uniform or carrying a gun or badge.

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Officer Dina Hoffman Charged with Perjury


Montgomery County police say an officer is facing perjury charges.

The Howard County State's Attorney's Office announced the indictment of Officer Dina Hoffman on Friday, charging her with one count of perjury and one count of misconduct in office.

Hoffman is accused of testifying in court in April that a driver, who was cited for drunken driving in May 2008, had been behind the wheel of the vehicle when she first encountered him. But surveillance video from a building shows the driver was in the back seat of the car when she arrived.

Police say Hoffman, a three-year veteran of the Montgomery County force, is now on administrative leave. Officials asked Howard County to handle the case because two Montgomery County state prosecutors were witnesses to Hoffman's testimony.

Former Officer Humberto Delgado Jr Shoots Officer

"I shot a police officer," Humberto Delgado Jr. told his uncle by cell phone. "I think I killed him."

Those words, related by Tampa police Thursday, were spoken just before police arrested Delgado and charged him with killing Cpl. Mike Roberts.

It stunned those who knew he had mental health issues but never saw him display violent tendencies.

Told Thursday that the father of her 2-year-old son has been accused of killing the officer, Shayla Evans asked, "Are you serious? Oh, my lord. Oh, lord."

Delgado, a former police officer and U.S. Army private, may have mental health issues, but he wasn't the type of man who would shoot a cop, Evans and his friends said. Delgado was arrested late Wednesday and charged with murder of a law enforcement officer.

Delgado is confined in Orient Road Jail on suicide watch, with a deputy keeping an eye on him 24 hours a day. He is being held in the highest security level, meaning any time he leaves his cell, he will be in handcuffs and box chains, Hillsborough County sheriff's Col. Jim Previtera said. Delgado only will be allowed to leave the cell one hour a day, and during that time he can shower or walk around inside his jail pod.

Evans said Delgado, who served as a police officer in the Virgin Islands from April 1996 to October 2000, had been staying with family in Oldsmar since April but had become "basically homeless." He declined to get real help for his health issues, she said.

Family at the Oldsmar home declined to comment. But Evans said he had been clinically diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

"I knew something was wrong, because I hadn't heard from him," she said.

She said he has a temper and doesn't know what he's doing, and that he had been medically discharged from the Army because of an injured back and the mental health issue.

According to Army spokesman Lt. Col. Richard McNorton, Delgado was a former private first class for the Army, joining in August 2004 and serving until December 2005. McNorton said for privacy reasons he could not say why Delgado left, but that his character of service was "honorable."

Delgado was a petroleum supply specialist, fueling vehicles or aircraft. He earned the National Defense Service Medal, given to soldiers who serve honorably during a time of national emergency, McNorton said. He did not serve in Iraq or Afghanistan during his time of service.

He worked at Fort Lee in Virginia and had his last duty station with the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, according to his separation records from the Army. He then was sent to Company C, Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg, N.C., a base hospital. Separation papers don't indicate whether he worked at the hospital or received treatment there.

Delgado has three children, including two who live in the Virgin Islands, Evans said.

Glenda Cruz, who has known Delgado since she was 15 and they grew up in St. Croix, said his life has been filed with trials and tribulation but that she always considered him a sweet person and a good father.

In their last conversations, which occurred via email months ago, Cruz said Delgado told her he felt lonely. She said he told her a lot of bad things happen to him but he keeps hopeful in God's name.

"I did not invent a lot of stuff to happen, but I'm still trying to overcome all the evil and trying to keep it real," she said he wrote.

She said she always knew he had a mental health issue, but that when she spent time with him years ago, he didn't display violent tendencies. "He's a very, very smart, very bright kid, very artistic. I'm just surprised. I'm surprised."

Asked whether there was anything else to say about what had happened, she said, "There's nothing really right to say at this moment. The only thing is that we'll pray for him. Pray for him and pray for the family that lost their dad or their husband or whatever that police officer was."

Tampa Police Chief Steve Hogue said the fact that Delgado himself had been a police officer "makes it even more difficult to understand how somebody with a law enforcement background could do something like this."

But in the years after leaving the police force, Delgado's mental health deteriorated, said Gabriel Reyes, who also attended St. Croix Central High School with Delgado. Still, Reyes said he had never known Delgado to be a violent person. In fact, in school, Delgado protected Reyes from bullying.

Wednesday's arrest wasn't Delgado's first encounter with local law enforcement this week.

About 1 a.m. Monday, Pinellas County Deputy Russell Klar saw Delgado, who "appeared to be living at the Veterans Memorial Park in the city of Oldsmar," a report states. Delgado was sleeping near a restroom in the picnic pavilion at the park's northeast corner. Delgado had been seen walking east on Lafayette Boulevard with a large tan desert camouflage backpack.

"Delgado stated that he is a disabled veteran who is trying to gain additional financial assistance from the government in order to obtain or arrange some housing," the report states. "Delgado does have family in Oldsmar to whom he is currently not talking."

Delgado told the deputy he had a nearby storage locker.

The deputy warned Delgado about the park's hours and that Monday would be his last morning to spend there. He told Delgado to make other arrangements. Delgado said he understood he could be issued a trespass warning or be cited for violating an ordinance if he continued living in the park, the report states.

Nearly three days later, he was arrested for Roberts' death. He is scheduled to have an initial court appearance this morning before Hillsborough County Circuit Judge Walter Heinrich.

Assistant State Attorney Pam Bondi said her office would oppose any bail for Delgado.

Prosecutors have 45 days from the time a suspect is arraigned to decide whether to seek the death penalty.

Legal experts said that decision is based on the nature of the crime and the personal and criminal history of the accused.

In March 2007, while living in Fayetteville, Delgado and Shayla Evans had a son – Gadieloh Delgado.

On Facebook, Delgado said he believes in a higher power. He said he loves his children, that his activities include dominoes, fishing and real estate.

On his MySpace profile, Delgado wrote: "Hi people of the world I am here just chilling in my own meditation. Enjoying life without any judgment because we all got the same blessings, we just have to wait patiently and we receive, One Love. In this world of transgression we go through our differences and disagreements a whole lot more than we really notice but that's why we survive. We survive through realness."

Naked Man Dies After Being Tasered

A naked man who reportedly was running around a convenience store parking lot Thursday died hours after Mesa police used a Taser to restrain him.

At approximately 1:45 p.m. Thursday, Mesa police officers were dispatched to the QuikTrip convenience store at Southern Avenue and Country Club Drive after a report of a disturbance.

When the first officer arrived, he found the suspect near the front door of the store. Prior to the officer's arrival, witnesses had reported the man was naked and running around the parking lot jumping on parked vehicles.

According to the Mesa Police Department, back-up officers arrived and were able to restrain the suspect with a Taser.

The officers noticed that the suspect stopped breathing. Paramedics were called and were able to revive the man, who was transported to a local hospital.

The suspect's condition continued to deteriorate and he was pronounced dead just before 9 p.m.

The Mesa Police Department is investigating the case. Police are awaiting autopsy results in order to determine the cause of death.

Former Officer Michael Ciancio Pleads Guilty to Extortion

A former Chicago police officer has been sentenced to two years in prison for taking cash from a tow-truck driver to help him beat rivals to accident scenes.

Prosecutors say veteran officer Michael Ciancio got $600 to $800 a week from 2005 to 2007 from a tow-truck driver who was working undercover with the FBI.

Ciancio is accused of using scare tactics, including the threat of arrest, to chase away other tow-truck drivers.

The 21-year veteran pleaded guilty in January to attempted extortion for taking cash one time in 2007.

But two tow-truck drivers who testified at his sentencing say he'd been shaking down truck operators since the 1990s.


Information from: Chicago Tribune,