Thursday, August 27, 2009

Two Deputies in Trouble for Stealing Lobsters

An Orange County sheriff's deputy has been charged with misdemeanor lobster poaching, while a former deputy is accused of trying to obstruct an investigation to protect his friend and colleague.

District attorney's officials say Deputy William Robb was charged Wednesday with a misdemeanor count of having 13 undersized spiny lobsters during an off-duty fishing trip with two other deputies last November.

The law allows a maximum of seven lobsters per person, which must measure at least 3 1/4 inches.

Phillip Glenn Romero is charged with a misdemeanor count of obstructing an officer, a state Fish and Game warden who confronted the pair in Dana Point Harbor.

Prosecutors say Romero told the game warden that Robb was a confidential informant for the sheriff.

Former Officer Michael Burch Arrested for Making Meth

A former Bennington police officer is behind bars following an arrest for methamphetamine manufacture, authorities said this morning.

Michael Shane Burch, 34, Bennington, was booked into jail late Wednesday afternoon for suspicion of methamphetamine manufacture and possession of a firearm in commission of a felony.

Deputies said he was arrested at a residence east of Bennington and that he had items used in the manufacture of methamphetamine inside a diaper bag.

Another person, Jessica Kay Saddler, 21, Bennington, was arrested for endeavoring to manufacture methamphetamine, according to jail records.

Burch had been a Bennington police officer in the late 1990s, according to court records.

No one answered the telephone at the Bennington Police Department this morning.

The Bryan County District Attorney’s Drug Task Force was preparing an affidavit at press time on the arrests and additional details were not available.

In other crime news, a man stole a 30-pack of beer this morning after the store clerk told him he could not purchase it because it was after legal hours.

According to a report by Durant Police Patrolman Drew Hale, the man placed the beer on the front counter at EZ Mart on Washington Avenue. He grabbed the beer and ran after the clerk told him it was after 2 a.m.

The store has video surveillance that the clerk said would be available from the store’s manager.

Patrolman Scott Phelps arrested a man at Walmart Wednesday morning who was walking around the store eating a package of meat he had picked up at the deli. Police were dispatched to the store called about an intoxicated person. When Phelps arrived, he found a 33-year-old man and saw a half-empty bottle of vodka in a pants pocket.

Phelps also found a camera that the man had concealed, plus two mosquito repellent devices attached to his belt, according to the report.

A manager told Phelps that the man also took a package of sandwich meat and was eating it while walking around the store. He was booked into jail.

Also at Walmart on Wednesday, Patrolman Damon Lewis arrested a woman store personnel had seen put drill bits in her purse and drink a soda pop without paying for it.

Officer Sgt Eddie Webb Accused of Beating Teen With Flashlight

An Upstate officer accused of beating a teen with a flashlight has been fired and is now under investigation.

Veteran Sgt. Eddie Webb was fired from the Honea Path Police Department after the police chief saw the video of the incident.

In his report, Webb said several young people were driving an all-terrain vehicle without lights and wouldn't pull over, even when the officer turned on his siren.

From dashcam video, Webb can be seen using a flashlight to knock a teenage suspect off the ATV. The 16-year-old was hit two more times before Webb pulled out his handcuffs.

It was Aug. 15 when the teenagers were first spotted on Sanders Street at 3 a.m. When Webb's blue lights came on, dashcam video showed that the teenagers didn't stop, but they did pull over for a moment.

A chase lasted for about two minutes. Webb's report said the teenagers ran four stop signs and, when the driver pulled over, the report said the ATV was still running and in a position to "pull back off." That's when Webb said he pushed the teenager off the vehicle.

Webb's report said he hit the teenager in a "straight baton technique to gain compliance" and that he found a "BB pistol" on the driver.

Due to the ongoing investigation, the Honea Path police chief wasn't able to go on camera but gave a statement to News 4.

"We have dealt with this situation that occurred on Aug. 15," the chief said. "Sgt. Webb was relieved of duty from the town of Honea Path on Aug. 17. Our findings in this case were forwarded to SLED and Solicitor Chrissy Adams. Because we're dealing with a personnel issue, there's no further comment."

Webb had been with the department for six years but was in law enforcement for about 20, according to the town.

SLED is investigating to determine if Webb should face charges.

Legally, police could only release the name of one of the four suspects because the other three are underage.

Former Officer Calvin Schaffer Accepts Plea Deal

A former Goddard police officer accused of sending naked pictures of himself from a police department computer to a woman he had arrested apparently will accept a plea deal.

U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch told a federal judge Thursday during a hearing that he anticipated the case against Calvin Schaffer would be resolved with a plea agreement.

A change of plea hearing was set for Sept. 2 before U.S. District Judge Wesley Brown.

Prosecutors say Schaffer offered to seek dismissal of drunken driving charges against a Wichita woman in exchange for a sexual relationship.

The 44-year-old former officer was charged with one count of wire fraud after the woman, Angelique Mason, went to investigators with secretly recorded tapes.

Defense attorney Roger Falk and Schaffer declined comment.

Officer Jason Rozacky Broke into Woman's Home & Assault Her

A San Antonio police officer has been arrested and accused of burglary and assault.

Investigators say Officer Jason Rozacky broke into a woman's home back on August 20th and assaulted her.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit, the 36-year-old officer made harassing phone calls and sent text messages to the woman that afteroon after she told him she did not want to see him that night and had other plans. The calls and messages continued throughout the evening as the woman and a guest had dinner.

Investigators say Rozacky then showed up at the woman's home around 10 p.m. and began banging on the front door. Police say after the woman refused to answer the door, Rozacky searched the exterior of the home, found a hidden key, and used it to enter the woman's home. The woman told police Rozacky charged at her after she pulled a gun and ordered him out of her house. After a brief struggle over the gun, the woman said Rozacky let her go and left her home.

The woman suffered minor injuries.

Rozacky now faces "burglary with the intent to commit assault" charges.

Sgt. Diron Carter Accused of Shooting into Crowd of People

The attorney of a police officer accused of pulling the trigger in a drive-by shooting said her client is innocent regardless of what the District Attorney has said.

Pattye High is the attorney for Sergeant Diron Carter who is accused of firing a shot at a crowd of people outside of Night Trips Club on June 16.

High said her client did not fire a shot that night and that Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater's words are ruining her client. Prater was quoted calling Carter and Officer Michael McKethan, who has also been charged in the incident, "gangbangers"

She said that has unfairly labeled Carter as a criminal.

"I think it's unfortunate that people would go on TV and call someone who they charged but who has not been proving to do anything wrong a ‘gangbanger,'" High said.

But according to the probable cause affidavit, Carter admitted to firing a shot outside of Night Trips Club.

The report states Carter called the incident an "accidental shooting," something Carter's attorney said is by no means an admission of guilt.

"He categorically and unequivocally denies that he did what he is charged with," High said.

But while High said her client is innocent, she also said she has yet to get any of the documents about the case from the District Attorney's office.

"If they are so certain my client did these acts, why won't they provide the information to him and to me so we can start the process of evaluating this case?" High said.

High said she thinks the case has been a witch hunt to destroy her client.

"In this country we are presumed innocent until we're proving guilty regardless of what people say in press conferences," High said.