Monday, August 24, 2009

Deputy Paul Wagner Charged with Soliciting Prostitution

A rookie Marion County Jail guard was arrested and accused of soliciting sex from a customer at a gas station where he moonlights on security duty.

Deputy Paul Wagner, 25, was charged preliminarily with soliciting prostitution and official misconduct while working at the Speedway station in the 5100 block of East Washington Street, said Col. John Layton of the Marion County Sheriff's Department.

Wagner was under surveillance by the Sheriff's Department when he offered a female customer a candy bar and Coke or a pack of cigarettes for oral sex, authorities said. Layton said the woman, who was not a prostitute but a regular customer at the gas station, had complained that Wagner had harassed her before.

The Sheriff's Department set up the sting and arrested Wagner early Saturday.

Wagner was charged with official misconduct because he was wearing his sheriff's uniform at the time.

Wagner has been with the department for 10 months and was suspended without pay.

Moonlighting by Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers, more than half of whom work second jobs, has come under close scrutiny over concerns the system in place now leaves the city open to safety and liability issues, as well as embarrassing or even potentially criminal instances of corruption.

Officer Dirk Piggott Returns to Work After Drunk Driving Arrest

Dirk Piggott has returned to work as an Aurora police officer after being arrested on suspicion of drunken driving.

Piggott, 52, of Ravenna, pleaded guilty May 16 in Morrow County Municipal Court to being in physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, just north of Columbus, where a trooper arrested him March 13. The "physical control" violation is a lesser charge in the state's DUI law.

Piggott was found guilty, fined $499, required to attend a three-day alcohol seminar and placed on probation for two years. His driver's license was suspended for six months, but he can drive for work.

Aurora Mayor Lynn McGill removed Piggott from unpaid leave, acknowledging his otherwise unblemished 24 years with the department. The mayor disciplined him for improper conduct. Piggott was demoted from sergeant to patrolman and he was suspended without pay from May 11 through June 12.

Officer Anthony Plummer Accused of Using Excessive Force on Councilman's Daughter

Cincinnati Police Chief Tom Streicher says an officer used excessive force when tasing a city councilman's daughter over the weekend.

Cincinnati Councilman Cecil Thomas says Chief Streicher has apologized for the incident.

Chief Streicher released video of the incident that led up to the early Sunday morning tasing of 26-year-old Celeste Thomas.

Investigators say 33-year-old Demetri Washington was driving at the time of the incident in Clifton Heights.

Officers pulled the vehicle over after Washington allegedly struck a garbage truck along West McMillan Street around 1:10 a.m.

A female officer asked Washington for his driver's license several times. He could be heard on the tape offering his social security information. The officer eventually had him step out of the car where he was taken into custody for an earlier felony warrant of burglary as well as resisting arrest.

During the arrest, Thomas gets out of the vehicle. She asks what's going on and officers order her back into the vehicle.

You can see a third police officer, identified as Anthony Plummer, arrive on the scene.

The two other officers ask him to keep Thomas away from them and Washington.

That's when you can hear Officer Plummer ask Thomas to get on the ground.

Thomas says my father is a councilman. What did I do wrong?

She's ordered to the ground again and warned she would be tased.

Chief Streicher says a preliminary investigation shows Thomas fell to her knees and put her hands in the air but was then tased by Officer Plummer.

Streicher says the tasing was excessive force.

Officer Plummer's police powers have been suspended until an internal investigation is complete. Plummer was investigated by the Cincinnati’s Citizen Complaint Authority in a 2006 complaint stemming from another Tasing incident in which use of excessive force was alleged. In that incident, Plummer was found to have used excessive force.

Thomas was processed at the Hamilton County Justice Center and then released. Washington remains jailed on a $53,000 bond.

Streicher says he wants the internal investigation to be completed by the end of the week.

Officer Suspended After Man Found Dead in Police Cruiser

Punxsutawney's police chief says an officer is on paid leave until authorities finish their investigation of how a man died in police custody more than a week ago.

Chief Tom Fedigan isn't releasing the name of the officer suspended in connection with the death of 48-year-old Stephen Obbish on Aug. 15.

Obbish had been picked up on suspicion of public drunkenness about 9:50 a.m. and was found dead in the same police cruiser about five hours later. Authorities aren't saying if the man was in the car the entire time, on a day when temperatures were in the 80s.

State police are trying to determine if a crime was committed and are awaiting autopsy results to determine if Obbish was drunk or suffering from a diabetic condition instead.

Punxsutawney is about 60 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

Officer Davy Jones Arrested for Choking 15-year-old

An Abbeville police officer has found himself on the opposite side of the law, arrested for allegedly choking a juvenile until he passed out.

The incident took place in the early morning hours of Saturday according to the Henry County Sheriff's office.

Investigators say Davy Jones, 22, was off duty when he assaulted the 15-year-old boy.

The victim's mother signed a warrant Monday morning and Jones turned himself in to authorities.

Jones was charged with reckless endangerment and posted a $500.00 bond.

Abbeville Police Chief Mike Jones placed the officer on administrative leave without pay until further notice. He said the city would continue to seek updates from the Sheriff's Department and would make futher decisions when the investigation is completed.

Jones faces up to one year in jail and a $6,000 fine.

Officer Jonnie Hicks Arrested for Assaulting Woman

A Newport News police officer was arrested early Friday morning and charged with assaulting a woman in her home.

Johnnie Hicks, 30, assigned to the South Precinct High Impact Patrol Unit, is charged with assault and battery and brandishing a firearm. He has been with the Newport News police almost two years.

Hicks has been placed on paid administrative leave pending an internal and criminal investigation.

Police spokeswoman Holly McPherson said Hicks was arrested about 1:48 a.m. on Youngs Mill Lane.

She said officers responded to the address after receiving reports of a person with a gun.

She said investigators determined that, while off duty, Hicks got into "a confrontation" with a 30-year-old Newport News woman, described as "a neighbor," in her residence.

During the incident, he assaulted her and brandished a firearm, McPherson said.

Officer Joseph Mellon Wanted for Stealing Car

A McKeesport police officer was on the wrong side of the law after he allegedly stole a car.

Port Vue police are searching for Joseph Mellon, 64. Police said Mellon was helping a woman pay off a car that she could no longer afford.

When the woman didn't pay him back, police said Mellon took the car.

Police said the woman got the car back and called police, but they were unable to find Mellon to arrest him.

Port Vue police said Mellon will be charged with theft by unlawful taking.