Monday, September 28, 2009

Officer Ray Roberts Suspended for Making Illegal Arrest

A Murfreesboro Police officer faces 10 days suspension and one year of disciplinary probation after a lengthy investigation by MPD internal affairs into an arrest made by him in November 2008.

Officer Ray Roberts made an illegal arrest of a local Murfreesboro man, Anthony Defeo, on Nov. 30, 2008, for driving without a license, according to investigative reports filed by MPD Sgt. Harry Haigh and Capt. Anita Flagg.

The arrest was for a misdemeanor that happened out of Robert’s presence and was therefor determined to be illegal by several police department investigators over the course of the 6-month-long investigation into the incident.

Capt. Michael Bowen initially proposed Ray be suspended for one month for the infraction, but a document signed by Murfreesboro Police Chief Glenn Chrisman and Maj. David Hudgens in May 2009 contained a recommendation that Roberts be terminated from the department for lying during the internal investigation into the matter.

But after an appeals process concluded this week, the proposed firing was reduced to suspension and probation by City Manager Rob Lyons. It was found that Roberts did not lie during the investigation into the matter.

“I find that you exceeded your authority when you made a custodial arrest of Mr. Defeo for a misdemeanor not committed in your presence,” Lyons said, adding that Tennessee law is clear on when arrests are appropriate.

Lyons wrote in a report filed Thursday that Roberts was also investigated for suspicion of violating a general order stating that officers should deal truthfully and honorably with others. It was found he did not violate that order.

“The proposed increase in discipline recommended by Captain Bowen and Major Hudgens centered upon their belief that you were not truthful,” Lyons wrote in Robert’s letter of disciplinary action. “It is apparent that due to your strong headed nature, your failure to accept criticism and advice and the manner in which you sequenced your investigation, you created doubt ... about your truthfulness.”

Lyons goes on to tell Roberts that, even though he did not lie, he will have to regain the confidence of his superiors at the Murfreesboro Police Department.

Officer Joseph Rios Charged with Aggravated Assault

The Passaic County Prosecutor's Office has charged police officer Joseph Rios with third-degree aggravated assault and second-degree official misconduct.

Last May, Rios was allegedly captured on surveillance video beating a mental patient with his baton, sparking allegations of police brutality.

Ronnie Holloway was arrested after the incident. He insists he did not provoke the beating. Four months after the 50-year-old schizophrenia patient was allegedly beaten, an incident that community activists called unprovoked police brutality, the Passaic County prosecutor filed the charges.

Surveillence video shows the beating, which took place outside of Lawrence's Restaurant on Main street in Passaic on May 29th. In the video, Rios' patrol car pulls up, a female officer gets out and orders Holloway to zip his jacket. Moments later, Rios gets out, approaches Holloway and appears to strike him several times with his fists and baton.

Holloway appears not to resist or fight back. He's knocked to the grorund, picked up and slammed onto the police cruiser. He was charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and approaching a location to buy drugs. Holloway, who takes medication and had never been arrested, suffered a black eye and bruised ribs.

Rios has been suspended without pay from Passaic's police force. His attorney says evidence will eventually prove that Rios did nothing wrong.

Officer Jevon Adkins Sprays House with Bullets

An off-duty police officer with a rural Mississippi town opens fire on a home in Hardeman County early Sunday morning.

Investigators say Officer Jevon Adkins was drunk when he sprayed a house on Mecklinburg Drive with bullets, thinking his girlfriend was inside.

But it wasn't even his girlfriend's house. It belongs to an older couple, who was home at the time, asleep in a back bedroom.

The homeowner didn't want to be identified. She tells us one bullet hit the ceiling of their carport, another lodged next to the garage door. A third flew through a living room window and landed inside their TV.

Hardeman County Deputies say the man standing in her yard firing his .40 calibur weapon was an off-duty Byhalia Police Officer.

"I think it's awful," said Bolivar resident Sandra Brown.

She was stunned to find out Adkins' intended target was his girlfriend's home next door and that he'd aimed his gun at the wrong house.

"He could've killed somebody," she said.

The report states Adkins fired his weapon at least 7 times. The victim told deputies while shooting, he was calling out for someone named "Lela."

No one answered when we knocked at that house.

But according to the report, the address was somewhat familiar to dispatchers. Shortly after arriving on the scene deputies were on the phone with the Byhalia Police Department, asking about Officer Adkins whereabouts.

When they discovered it was his day off, they immediately put out an alert on him and his silver Toyota. But it turns out they didn't need to.

A couple of hours after the incident, Adkins he returned to the scene of the crime. We're told he was intoxicated. Deputies cuffed him, ending what could've been a deadly situation.

He's locked up at the Hardeman County jail, charged with Aggravated Assault.

Officer James Wade Charged with Falsifying Timesheets

A Bayonne police officer and second man surrendered to the Hudson County Sheriff's Office this morning on charges they falsified their timesheets while working as security guards at Global Terminal containerport on the Jersey City/Bayonne border, officials said.

Police Officer James Wade, 33, of Columbus Drive in Bayonne, and Steven Hogan, 53, of Maywood, then made their first appearance on the charge of theft by deception in Central Judicial Processing Court in Jersey City this afternoon.

Bayonne Police Chief Robert Kubert was shocked at the charge against Wade.

"I'd be surprised if it turns out to be a fact because he's one of my best officers, but we will see what happened down the road," Kubert told The Jersey Journal. "I'd be quite surprised if anything came out of it."

Waterfront Commission Executive Director Walter Arenault said both men were employed as port watchmen by the commission through a private security firm.

Both are charged with falsifying their timesheets to show they worked more hours than they actually did, and thereby being paid more money than they should have, officials said.

Eleven people have already been charged in the same investigation, which began more than a year ago and led to a warrant being signed this morning for the arrest of Hogan and Wade, Hudson County Assistant Prosecutor Karyn Pizzelanti.

Wade is the only police officer charged, she said.

The others charged have all entered into pre-trial intervention and if they comply with the terms of PTI, the charges against them will be removed from their record.

Arenault said the continuing investigation led to the charges against Hogan and Wade and he also said charges against additional people are possible.

Wade was not representing the Bayonne Police Department in any way at the time of the alleged crime, officials said.

Wade has been placed on desk duty following his surrender this morning and he will remain in the status pending a review of the charges by Bayonne police, Kubert said.

At today's hearing, CJP Judge Richard Nieto set bail for Wade and Hogan at $20,000 cash or bond for each and he then ordered them remanded to the Hudson County jail in Kearny.

Cpl Donald Bailey Arrested for Taking Money for Favors

A veteran Baton Rouge police officer arrested Monday evening by Louisiana State Police for allegedly accepting cash from an inmate to get the jailed man's charges dismissed and his parole hold lifted bonded out of jail early Tuesday morning.

East Baton Rouge Parish jail officials said Cpl. Donald Bailey, 49, was released on a $10,000 bond around 2 a.m.

Bailey was charged with malfeasance in office and corrupt influencing. Investigators said they found out Bailey extorted money from the inmate and set up an operation to catch him in the act.

Troopers recorded a telephone call between Bailey and the inmate. During the call, the inmate told Bailey he needed help getting out of the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on a cocaine possession charge and a parole hold. According to state police, Bailey told the inmate he would help him in exchange for $12,000.

The officer allegedly then contacted the district attorney's office and the parole office to make the requests. The agencies allowed the requests to happen and once the inmate was out of jail, a meeting was arranged between the inmate and Bailey. Investigators reported Bailey accepted $1,400 in cash. He was then arrested and booked into the parish prison.

Bailey is a 14-year veteran of the department and was the coordinator of the Targeted Violent Offender Program. Bailey was placed on administrative leave "pending a legally mandated pre-termination hearing," the department said in a statement late Monday evening.

"To say I'm disappointed would be a major understatement," Police Chief Jeff LeDuff said. "It hurts me personally and it hurts all of us professionally, anytime an officer violates the public trust."

LeDuff said he asked Louisiana State Police to conduct an independent investigation after first hearing of allegations against the corporal earlier this month.

"Allegations of corruption are taken very seriously and need to be investigated immediately," LeDuff said. "Many times we conduct those inquiries in-house. But in this case, Bailey was assigned to the Criminal Investigations Bureau, and we wanted to be certain we could maintain the integrity of the investigation, so we requested the assistance of Louisiana State Police."