Friday, October 02, 2009

Sgt. Jason McGinness Indicted for Stealing at Traffic Stop

A Clay County grand jury has indicted a former Claycomo police sergeant, alleging he stole more than $500 from a Spanish-speaking worker during a vehicle stop last July.

The jury indicted Jason McGinness on Sept. 22, police said Thursday. A language barrier delayed the investigation, according to Police Chief Matt Coonce.

The victim lives in Laredo, Texas, and travels throughout the country constructing grain elevators. Police also interviewed people who were traveling with him at the time.

McGinness was fired after an initial investigation found he had violated the workers’ civil rights, Coonce said.

Officer Andrew Kelly No Hero

A cop who mowed down a preacher's daughter was no hero at the scene, family members and sources familiar with the probe of the drunk driving crash told the Daily News Friday.

"That story is a bunch of bull," a source said referring to Officer Andrew Kelly's claim that he gave the victim CPR moments after the Sunday morning accident.

"He barely touched the girl. His hands were almost on her stomach, not her chest."

Investigators believe someone who was at the same Brooklyn wedding that victim Vionique Valnord had just attended was desperately pumping her chest and giving her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

"His mouth never even touched her mouth," the source said, adding that a second person who also attended the wedding was helping with the mouth-to-mouth.

Kelly's hero pose outraged Valnord's family.

"I think it's an insult," Valnord's father, the Rev. Varius Valnord told the News.

"He's trying to take the blame from himself. He's the one to blame. I forgive him, but the lord will do the right thing."

The 7-year-veteran cop was charged with vehicular manslaughter and DWI for slamming his Jeep Cherokee into Valnord as she hailed a cab in Old Mill Basin.

Three passengers, including a fellow officer, fled. It took seven hours to get Kelly's blood for an alcohol test. NYPD Internal Affairs investigators are probing for a possible cover-up by cops at the scene.

One officer has been suspended for giving Kelly two bottles of water and gum after the crash, News reported earlier Friday.

Kelly's lawyer, Arthur Aidala, handed a prosecutor a condolence card for Valnord's family in court Friday, and again insisted the officer wasn't drunk.

Aidala earlier this week said that Kelly "brought her back to life" and that she was breathing when he "handed" Valnord over to the paramedics. "She never regained consciousness," a source told The News.

Kelly had worked a regular shift at the 68th Precinct earlier in the day before going to a bar, then to a friend's house to watch the Notre Dame football game, and then to a second bar where he allegedly had six-to-eight drinks.

His blood alcohol level later found no booze in his system. Witnesses told investigators Kelly was unsteady, had glassy eyes and smelled of alcohol, although he was given gum and water and was chain-smoking cigarettes at the scene.

"This would be another example of police attempting to help cover-up for a fellow officer who may have committed a serious crime," said lawyer Sanford Rubenstein, who the family has hired.

"No matter what spin is being attempted, the facts speak for themselves. He was not sober at the time of this tragedy."

Officer Dustin Whitehead Arrested for Misconduct

Illinois State Police arrested a city officer for "actions relating to the officer's official conduct as a police officer," according to a news release sent out by the Marion Police Department.

According to Marion Mayor Bob Butler, the officer is a patrolman who has been on the force five or six years. The officer has been placed on administrative leave by the Marion Police Department pending the results of the investigation.

The officer has been identified as Dustin Whitehead by media reports. Whitehead, a native of Marion, was formerly employed at the Williamson County Jail.

According to Illinois State Police, investigators handed the case over the Williamson County State's Attorney's Office for charges to be filed. Our attempts to reach Williamson County State's Attorney Chuck Garnati were unsuccessful.

Heartland News also contacted the Williamson County Jail to see if the officer in question is not in their custody. Jailers say the officer is not and has not been in their jail.

Illinois State Police continue the investigation into the incident.

Tulsa Officer Shoots Dog with 10-Year-old Boy Standing Near Him

A Tulsa police officer shot and killed a dog with a 10-year-old boy standing about three feet away from the animal on Tuesday night, the parent and dog owner told the Tulsa World on Wednesday.

The officer arrived to the home in the 2900 block of East 74th Street on a dog barking complaint around 10 p.m., said Julia Wilson, 32.

Wilson said the officer knocked on the door, which was answered by her son, and the boxer ran onto the porch barking.

As the dog ran through the door, the officer pulled out his weapon and shot the dog twice, with the boy standing directly behind the dog, she said.

“I went on the porch and told the officer that he killed my dog and the officer responded, 'I don’t care,’ ” she said. “My son looked at the officer and asked if his gun was real.”

Meanwhile, the dog ran back into the house and fell dead in a pool of blood in the living room, she said.

Officer Jason Willingham said he could not find the police report Wednesday afternoon and had no information on the incident, including the officer’s name. The department’s Internal Affairs division is also reportedly investigating the shooting.

“What if the dog would have moved and the bullet would have struck my son?” Wilson said.

Wilson said the boxer had on a shock collar, which wouldn’t allow the pet to walk off the property.

The officer was dispatched to the home about a second dog, an American bulldog, which had been sifting through a neighbor’s trash, but was wandering around the front yard when the officer arrived, Wilson said.

“This is going to scar my son for a long time,” she said.
Other information:

Corrections Officer Christopher Shreve Arrested for Shooting Cat

On a spring morning this year, Eoanna Hoefer's 8-year-old cat Tinkerbelle slipped out of the house for a few minutes while Hoefer carried a load of laundry to a back room; when the orange feline returned, she was dragging her hind legs, a bloody wound visible on her spine.

At first, Hoefer thought an insect had bitten her pet. But when the normally cheerful Tinkerbelle wouldn't eat or go to the bathroom, Hoefer took the animal to the veterinarian. An X-ray showed the cat had a pellet lodged in her spine, probably from a BB gun, a police report shows. The doctor also told Hoefer that Tinkerbelle would likely be paralyzed and never be able to urinate or defecate normally, the report states.

On Sept. 19, Daytona Beach police arrested Hoefer's neighbor, 46-year-old Christopher Shreve. Police charged him with animal cruelty -- a felony -- after he was accused of shooting the cat with a BB gun, the report shows.

A corrections officer with Tomoka Correctional Institution, Shreve has been placed on administrative leave with pay by the state's Department of Corrections, spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger said.

He did not return calls for comment, instead opting to speak through his attorney, Michael Politis. Earlier this week, Politis said Shreve is "pretty adamant that he never hurt that cat."

"My client does not have a BB gun that I know of," Politis said.

But the incident report taken in March and written by Daytona Beach Officer Liz Devlin says differently.

Devlin met with Shreve at his residence on Dach Avenue.

According to the report, Shreve told Devlin he may have made a comment about shooting stray cats at one time, but he never followed through with the threat. Shreve told Devlin that he had lived in the same house for 30 years and had no idea Hoefer had any cats. But then he told Devlin that Hoefer "lets her cats out all the time and they're always roaming the streets."

In addition, Daytona Beach code enforcement officer Tom Clig told Devlin that on April 14 Shreve admitted to him that he shot Tinkerbelle "to scare it off." Devlin also wrote that according to Clig, Shreve conceded he was sick of all the stray cats around his house and that he had "taken up shooting them with his BB gun," the report states.

Politis said his client's statements to Clig and Devlin were misunderstood. He said Shreve, who is to be arraigned today, will enter a plea of not guilty.

For Hoefer, who rescued Tinkerbelle when she was just a kitten, the entire ordeal has been an emotional battle since the beloved pet was injured in early March and forced to spend two weeks at the animal hospital.

The good news is Tinkerbelle is walking again -- albeit slowly -- and she is able to relieve herself, although with pain, Hoefer said.

The friendly feline's slow recovery came through several months of patient therapy by Hoefer, who suffers with a seizure disorder after she was struck by a car in 1988 and walks with an arm brace because of degenerative arthritis.

"Love for Tinkerbelle is what gave me the energy to be able to do the therapy," Hoefer answered quickly at her home this week. "I refused to let this cat live its remaining years dragging herself around on her rear end."

Hoefer, who once worked in orthopedics, massaged and exercised Tinkerbelle's hind legs with her hands daily; she ran a wire brush down her pet's legs to stimulate the nerves. As Tinkerbelle progressed, Hoefer placed a stool near the sofa and taught the feline how to step up and get on the couch again.

Regardless, some of the cat's simplest functions are gone.

"She can no longer scratch herself with her hind legs, so I try to do it for her," Hoefer said smiling at Tinkerbelle and Bandit, another rescue cat. "Sometimes she makes it to the litter box and sometimes she doesn't. Sometimes she cries when she goes to the bathroom because she's in pain."

Hoefer said the worst thing about the incident is that Shreve never came to her house to apologize for hurting Tinkerbelle.

"He came over here and yelled at me," she said.

Officer Ray Roberts Suspended for Making Illegal Arrest

A Murfreesboro police officer is facing suspension after he allegedly performed an illegal arrest.

According to the Murfreesboro Police Department, Officer Ray Roberts illegally arrested Anthony Defeo last November. The charge was driving without a license, but it is believed Roberts did not actually see Defeo breaking any laws.

Initially, the department recommended Roberts be fired for allegedly lying during the internal investigation. However, after an appeal, that firing was changed to a 10-day suspension and one year of probation with the department.

Officer Francis Brevetti Arrested on Drug Charges

On Sunday, September 20, Watertown police executed an arrest warrant for Francis Brevetti, 29, of 11 Rustic Acres Drive, Wolcott on drug possession charges. Mr. Brevetti is a member of the Waterbury Police Department.

Mr. Brevetti was allegedly discovered to be in possession of marijuana and less than three grams of cocaine when he was involved in a motor vehicle accident in Watertown in the early morning on Sunday, September 20.

Mr. Brevetti has been charged with possession of narcotics, possession with intent to sell cocaine, possession with intent to sell cocaine within 1,500 feet of a school, possession of marijuana, possession with intent to sell marijuana, possession with intent to sell marijuana within 1,500 of a school and possession of paraphernalia. He was released on $100,000 bond.

Watertown Police spokesman Lt. Mark Raimo reported that Mr. Brevetti "was not arrested at the accident scene," as Mr. Brevetti was taken to a hospital.

"We completed an investigation and arrested Mr. Brevetti on warrant," said Lt. Raimo.

Lt. Raimo declined any comment regarding what the investigation had revealed, but Mr. Brevetti's lawyer has stated that he seized the drugs while on duty, but forgot to turn them over at the police station.

According to police, the drugs were found in Mr. Brevetti's Ford F-150 after he was involved in a head-on accident with a tree at about 2 a.m. Mr. Brevetti was taken from the scene by ambulance for treatment of injuries to his face and head, after he had exited the vehicle and was found stumbling in the roadway, police said.

However, as officers were having the vehicle towed, they discovered a large amount of drugs in the rear of the vehicle.

Officers seized several small plastic baggies stuffed with marijuana, a small baggie containing a small quantity of cocaine, and a digital scale used for weighing small items.

The arrest warrant stated that there were more than 51 grams of marijuana in the baggies. Police seized the drugs and launched a criminal investigation. In a press release issued by the Watertown Police Department, Police Chief John Gavallas stated, "the arrest of a police officer on charges such as these saddens the entire law enforcement community."

Mr. Brevetti was due to appear in court on September 29.

3rd Arrest for Officer Jason Rozacky

A San Antonio police officer has resigned after his third arrest.

Jason Rozacky, 36, has been under investigation since his ex-girlfriend's apartment was broken into and she was assaulted. The 14-year officer resigned Tuesday and remained in the Bexar County Jail on Thursday.

Mike Helle, president of the San Antonio Police Officers Association, emphasized Rozacky is innocent until proven guilty.

Rozacky was charged with burglary and intent to commit assault Aug. 26 after the break-in and assault. He was arrested about a month later on a charge of tampering with a witness. His latest arrest was for allegedly making repeated phone calls to the ex-girlfriend.

If he's doing this to the people he loves....How is he treating the public he has to deal with on a daily basis?

Deputy Victor Goad Jr Charged with Extoring Money at Traffic Stop

Richmond County sheriff's crime suppression team member Victor Goad, Jr. has been fired after being charged with extorting money from a man in a traffic stop.

Sheriff Ronnie Strength announced that Thursday afternoon as he outlined the case against the former deputy. Goad remained in the county jail without bond.

The sheriff said the incident happened last Saturday at 4:30 am during a traffic stop on Battle Row in the Harrisburg area. Strength said Goad stopped a car with four people in it and found a stolen weapon.

The sheriff said Goad handcuffed the suspect and put him in his patrol car. Then Strength says Goad told the supect "I'll make this go away for $200." The sheriff said the suspect had $130 on him, and made a call to a friend, who brought him another $70.

The complaint was filed by the father of a teenage girl who was in the car. The names of the people in the car are not being released and no charges against them are expected.

Deputy Goad had been with the sheriff's office for six years, and on the crime suppression team for three years. That unit is often sent to trouble spots in the city-county. Members work as a team, often saturating areas with several members of the unit to look for criminal activity.

Goad faces charges of extortion and violating his oath of office.