Friday, December 04, 2009

Officer Ted Anderson Arrested for Drunk Driving

Officer Ted Anderson was fired after what police said was a "difficult but necessary" decision.

Anderson was arrested just after 2 a.m. on Nov. 24 for allegedly failing to keep his car in a single lane.

Anderson was off duty and driving his own personal car when he was pulled over at the intersection of North Eighth Street and North Boulevard.

Police Chief Ken Burton issued a statement saying the termination was necessary as a result of the arrest and from issues surrounding the arrest. Also that it was in the best interest of the entire Columbia Police Department.

Anderson was an 18-year veteran of the force.

Deputy Police Chief Tom Dresner failed to return our phone calls asking about the issues surrounding the incident. Anderson's lawyer issued a statement of "no comment."

Officer John Fulmer Charged with Stealing Gas

A police officer in the Orangeburg County town of Springfield, 51-year-old John Fulmer, is charged with official misconduct and petit larceny.

Fulmer's charges were announced late Friday.

An arrest warrant against Fulmer says that between July 2009 and November of 2009, Fulmer went to the Kent's Korner #3 gas station in Springfield. The warrant goes on to state that he took gas intended for Town of Springfield vehicles and pumped it into his personal vehicle while in his official capacity with the city.

In all, the warrant says Fulmer signed $191 worth of fuel tickets that he converted for his own use.

According to State Law Enforcement Division agents, there are video recordings of his transactions at the gas station and employee timesheets that back up their allegations.

Hearing Set for Officer Justin Barrett Accused of Calling Professor "Banana-eating Jungle Monkey"

It has been four months since Mayor Thomas M. Menino of Boston said, “He’s gone - G-O-N-E.’’

At the time, Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis vowed that there would be a termination hearing in seven to 10 days.

But four months later, Officer Justin Barrett, who was accused of writing an e-mail that called Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. a “banana-eating jungle monkey,’’ remains on administrative leave and is still collecting his $70,500 salary.

Yesterday, three days after the Globe began asking about Barrett’s status, police scheduled the hearing for Jan. 6. They planned to serve Barrett notice of the hearing at his Hyde Park Home yesterday, according to police.

Police spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll said the timing was coincidental. The date was decided two days after the internal affairs investigation results were presented to the department’s lawyers and the hearing officer, Deputy Superintendent Norman Hill. According to Davis, Driscoll had been pushing for a hearing date for the past two weeks.

Barrett, who has sued the department and city contending that his civil and due process rights were violated, could not be reached for comment. His lawyer, Peter T. Marano, could not be reached. A phone listed at his Boston office rang with no reply.

Barrett sent an e-mail in July responding to a Globe column by Yvonne Abraham about the controversial arrest of Gates.

In the e-mail, Barrett said that Gates, who is African-American, had behaved like a “banana-eating jungle monkey’’ when Cambridge police Sergeant James Crowley responded to his home for a report of a break-in. Gates was arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct, a charge that was quickly dropped.

The Rev. Dale Robinson, a Dorchester minister, was at a press conference in August at police headquarters in Roxbury when Davis announced that Barrett would be fired following a hearing. Such action was necessary, Robinson said, in order to maintain the fragile trust between police and the city’s minority residents.

“I would like to see fairness done to the community,’’ said Robinson. “It would be hard for the community to swallow . . . if they did not carry out or go forward with what they stated they would do.’’

Davis said yesterday that he does worry about the effect the delay could have on the sometimes rocky relationship between the police and the city’s minority neighborhoods.

“Absolutely,’’ he said. “The trust with the community is paramount and what we’re trying to do here is to do this right.’’

Davis said he has not changed his mind about seeking termination for Barrett, who has not previously been disciplined during his two years at the department.

“There is nothing that I’ve seen that would change any statement that I made before on it,’’ he said.

Davis said he wanted to move forward immediately with a termination hearing, but delayed at the advice of department lawyers, who said rushing the case could help Barrett if there was an appeal.

“I’m frustrated by the process,’’ Davis said. “As egregious as this conduct is and as upset as everyone was about it, we want to make sure that [the hearing] is done properly and that it holds up in appeals.’’

Larry Ellison, a Boston detective and president of the Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers, said he understands why it has taken a long time to schedule a hearing for Barrett, who was a patrolman in the Mattapan district.

“They would have given him a better case if they had terminated him without giving him the due process he’s entitled to,’’ Ellison said.

But he said city officials should have been more careful in August when they announced they wanted Barrett fired immediately.

“You can’t come through; people are skeptical when you say you’re going to do something,’’ Ellison said.

Former Deputy Jack Allen Roberts Sentenced for Stalking

A former Tehama County sheriff’s deputy was sentenced today to more than three years in prison for relentlessly stalking and physically assaulting a Redding woman.

Jack Allen Roberts, 34, of Redding was sentenced by Superior Court Judge James Ruggiero to three years, eight months in prison. He must serve 50 percent of his sentence before being eligible for parole.

Roberts was arrested in April after Redding police placed a tracker on his vehicle to follow his movements in the weeks before his arrest, prosecutors said.

That tracker placed Roberts in the parking lot of the woman’s workplace at the time when gasoline was poured on her vehicle, prosecutors said.

He was later arrested by police outside the woman’s home around 4 a.m., dressed all in black, prosecutors said.

At the time of his April arrest, he had with him a black face mask, binoculars, paint stripper, weed and root killer, a container filled with BBs, sling shot, glass cutter and other items that police and prosecutors believe may have been used in previous vandalism.

Roberts pleaded guilty in July to stalking, battery and related charges.

Prosecutors said that Roberts stalked the woman for about a year, sending anonymous letters to her, making threats and harassing telephone calls, followed her and vandalized her home and vehicle.

He resigned from the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office last year after he had fired a handgun inside his then Cottonwood residence, a law enforcement investigative report says.

According to the criminal complaint, the stalking began around April 2008 and, despite restraining orders issued against him, continued for about a year.

Although Shasta County probation officials recommended that Roberts be granted probation, Deputy District Attorney Stephanie Bridgett, who prosecuted Roberts, has said that officials with the state Department of Corrections evaluated him after he pleaded guilty to the charges and determined that he was not a good candidate for probation.

He faced a maximum of five years, four months in prison.

Roberts was charged with 13 felony counts, including stalking, first-degree residential burglary, vandalism, possession of flammable material for malicious use, corporal injury and battery.

In the police report, Robert was described by some witnesses as a “loose cannon,” and had a long relationship with the Redding woman.

But, it said, she learned about three years ago that he was having an affair with a co-worker while he was working as a Tehama County sheriff’s deputy.

Attempts to save the relationship failed and she eventually met another man, the report noted.

She told Redding police investigators in March that she was reluctant to move forward with the case because Roberts had been trying to get a job with a private contracting company to go to work in Iraq and work as an independent contractor.

“Victim stated if she went forward with this case, it may hinder his ability to get that job and he would remain here in Shasta County and continue to be a problem to her,” the Redding Police Department report says.

She said that she was also afraid of him, noting that he can have a violent temper, and feared what he might do to her and her boyfriend, it said.

She later changed her mind, it said, when she found one of her vehicles vandalized and believed he was the one responsible for it.

According to the report, which described a number of instances of physical and emotional abuse, the woman said that he once pushed her against a wall, placed his hands around her neck and began to choke her until her son intervened.

She said that he also, among other things, once pushed her down and slammed her head against the ground, the police report said.

Alabama Officer Arrested for Aiding His Brother

The Birmingham News is reporting that a Trussville, Alabama, police officer was arrested for aiding his brother, who is suspected of fatally shooting a Pelham police officer during a late night traffic stop on I-65. The suspect and brother were arrested together by the Hoover Police Department.

The Birmingham News reports that the suspect was observed by a homeowner attempting to break into a vehicle, and was then picked up a short time later by a man in a pickup truck.

The homeowner gave a description of the truck to local police who stopped it and arrested the two a short time later. Both men were being booked into the Shelby County Jail.

The name of the Pelham officer who was fatally shot is being withheld pending notification of all family members.

Deputy Albert Surratt III Charged with Manufacturing Meth

A Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office deputy was arrested in the Pageland area and taken into custody Thursday on drug related charges.

Chesterfield County Sheriff Sam Parker said Deputy Albert Eugene Surratt, III (Brent), 28, of 1469 Hillian Edward Road, Cheraw, was charged and taken into custody for alleged conspiracy to manufacturing meth and for possession of a firearm during a drug crime.

Surratt is a 1999 graduate from West-Oak High School in Westminster, S.C. He was also a former employee of the Cheraw Police Department before being hired with the Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office on June 8.

“This is a shock to all of us and it is a sad situation because he always seemed to be a good guy,” said Cheraw Police Chief Jay Brooks.

Parker echoed some of the same comments.

“It is hard to believe that this happened with Brent. It is a terrible shock and very disappointing because Brent is a good person. However, we are going to try to help him get the help he needs in order to get his life back on track. It goes to show you that bad things happen to good people.”

Parker added that the case is an ongoing investigation and other arrests would result and surface as the investigation progresses.

“The Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office, State and Federal Agencies as well as the DEA, are all involved in this investigation,” Parker said.

Officer Daniel Gent Charged with Using Excessive Force

A former Culpeper County deputy is scheduled to appear in court next week to answer charges that he used excessive force at the county jail.

Sheriff Jim Branch says 44-year-old Daniel T. Gent of Orange County was arrested Wednesday and charged with assault and battery. Gent was released on a uniform summons.

Gent is accused of using excessive force while escorting a male inmate from one room to another on Nov. 21.

Public information officer Corey Byers says the inmate complained of a sore neck but refused to go to a hospital.

Branch says Gent is no longer employed by the sheriff's office. The sheriff wouldn't provide details, saying it was a personnel matter.

Gent's first court appearance is set for Dec. 9.


Information from: The Free Lance-Star,