Saturday, December 12, 2009

Columbus Officer Accused of Giving Student Back Confiscated Drug

A Columbus police officer who was working at East High School has been accused of confiscating an illegal drug from a student and then giving it back to that student.

The officer, who was not identified, faces an internal police investigation, Sgt. Richard Weiner said yesterday. He said he was unable to share more information about the case, including the type of drug involved, while the investigation is under way.

"It was some kind of narcotic," Weiner said.

Hearing Set for Former Officer Rodney Frick Accused of Raping Minor

Rodney Frick, a former Pocola auxiliary police officer accused of raping a minor, will have a preliminary hearing of his case at 9 a.m. Jan. 14, according to court records.

Frick, 51, of Pocola had an initial appearance in District Court on Thursday. Frick is accused of second-degree rape and soliciting sexual conduct or communication with a minor by use of technology.

Preliminary hearings are held to allow the judge to determine if there is sufficient evidence of the alleged offense/s to bind defendants over for trial.

District Attorney Jeffrey Smith has said that Frick, who also owns Hot Rod’s BBQ in Pocola, turned himself in on a complaint he had sex on multiple occasions with a teenager over an up to two-year period.

Smith has said Frick met the teen through his restaurant and is not suspected of illegal activity with any other minors.

Frick was arrested Nov. 10 and released on a $10,000 bond.

He is represented by Poteau defense attorney Gary Buckles.

On Thursday, Pocola Police Chief Dale Fout said Frick was an unpaid auxiliary officer who worked infrequently for the Pocola Police Department.

Fout said as soon as the information came in regarding the pending charges against Frick, Frick was no longer considered an employee.

Former Officer Christopher Dunbar Charged with Stabbing Man

A former Winchester (Va.) Police Department officer has been charged with stabbing a man at his home, according to Berkeley County Magistrate Court records.

Christopher Andrew Dunbar, 25, of 590 Platt Mountain Lane near Inwood, W.Va., was arraigned Friday by Magistrate Sandra L. Miller on one count of malicious wounding.

When Berkeley County Sheriff’s deputies went to Dunbar’s home at 2:23 a.m. Friday, they found Dunbar, a man with cuts to his right hand and neck, and a female applying pressure to the wounds to stop the bleeding, according to a complaint by Deputy Caleb Pearson.

Dunbar told police he understood his rights because he “used to be a cop in Winchester,” and he apologized for having to call the police to his residence for “small stuff like this,” according to Pearson’s complaint.

In a City of Winchester news bulletin in January 2009, Dunbar was listed as one of seven police officers to graduate in November 2008 from Rappahannock Regional Criminal Justice Academy’s law enforcement basic academy. Upon graduation, Dunbar was recognized for placing second in physical fitness, according to the bulletin

A City of Winchester official confirmed Friday that Dunbar no longer was employed with the police department.

Former Officer Thomas Rush Jr Charged with Resisting Arrest

A traffic stop Thursday afternoon in Bonita Springs resulted in the arrest of three family members – one of whom is a former law enforcement officer from New Jersey.

Thomas Rush Jr., 65, a former New Jersey law enforcement officer; his wife, Donna Rush, 48; and son, Raymond Rush, 18, whose addresses were not released but live in South Lee County, were each charged with resisting a law enforcement officer without violence. They posted $1,000 bond and were released early Friday from Lee County Jail.

According to arrest reports:

Michael Rush, 20, was stopped by Lee deputies for an undisclosed reason and began using his cell phone to call family members.

Raymond Rush, driving a Ford Freestar minivan, arrived and asked why his brother was stopped. The deputies told him to leave, and he did, but he returned with their mother, Donna Rush, who was Tasered twice by deputies.

Thomas Rush, the boys’ father, arrived in a Mustang, parked his vehicle in a nearby parking lot and went toward deputies, even though he was told to stay away.

Thomas Rush told deputies: “He is not (expletive) going anywhere and he did not have to leave.” He armed himself with a black walking cane and refused to leave. He was arrested after a struggle.

Raymond Rush then returned with his mother, who began yelling expletives at the deputies, including: “get off my (expletive) husband.” She was told to leave, refused and a deputy deployed his Taser, but only one prong stuck.

She ran to one of the vehicles and jumped in, wrapping her arm around the steering wheel and locked her leg against the door. She was Tasered a second time, again unsuccessfully. After a struggle she was taken from the vehicle and arrested, as was her youngest son.

It was unclear whether Michael Rush received a traffic citation, but he was not arrested.

The parents were taken to Gulf Coast Hospital after complaining of injuries. They were treated and later released to be booked into jail.

A deputy received a cut under his eye during one of the struggles.

Former Officer Robert Forman Convicted of Forcing Woman to Perform Sex Act

A former Riverside police officer was convicted today of forcing a woman to perform a sex act on him so she could avoid being arrested.

A seven-man, five-woman jury, however, acquitted 39-year-old Robert A. Forman of sexually assaulting another woman and deadlocked on whether he had assaulted a third. The panel announced its findings after two and a half days of deliberations.

Forman, who was also convicted of a misdemeanor petty theft charge, faces up to eight years in prison when he is sentenced Jan. 11 by Riverside County Superior Court Judge John Molloy.

The defendant asked Molloy to permit him to remain out of custody, on $50,000 bail, until the sentencing hearing, but the judge was not inclined.

“The last thing on the planet that I want to do is take Mr. Forman into custody,” Molloy told the defendant’s attorney, Mark Johnson. “But these are very serious charges. Mr. Forman was in a position of trust.

“If it was anyone besides a police officer, I wouldn’t be taking him into custody today. I wouldn’t.”

Forman broke down in tears and asked again if he could remain free until sentencing.

“Sir, the jury has spoken,” Molloy replied.

Forman was handcuffed and allowed a few minutes to speak privately with his family before being led away.

“Our office wants people to know that we will speak for anyone, no matter who they are,” said Deputy District Attorney Elan Zekster outside the courtroom, following the verdicts.

Johnson said he was “disappointed” by the jury’s findings, but did not believe his client would face the maximum sentence.

“There are a lot of factors in mitigation,” the attorney said, adding that because Forman has no prior criminal history, he could be eligible for probation.

The ex-cop was charged with two counts of forced oral copulation and one count each of felony sexual battery and petty theft for three alleged assaults between February and April 2008.

The 11-year law enforcement veteran, who was fired from the police force shortly after his arrest in October 2008, testified in his own defense, denying all the allegations against him.

He testified last week that he had consensual sex with a woman while he was in uniform but not on duty. However, the woman, identified as Kathryn, testified she performed oral sex on Forman because she felt that was the only way to avoid arrest.

Kathryn said the April 18, 2008, encounter occurred a few hours after Forman and other officers searched her residence in response to a domestic disturbance complaint. According to trial testimony, the officers discovered drug paraphernalia, including bags of methamphetamine and used syringes, as well as evidence of check fraud.

Kathryn testified that she feared being booked for violating her probation, but Forman assured her she would not be taken into custody “as long as you cooperate.” She alleged that the defendant returned to her apartment after his shift and demanded sex.

The jury found him guilty of the offense.

A sometime-prostitute and drug user identified as Tessa testified that in February 2008 Forman gave her a ride to a bus station near Chicago and University avenues and, at the end of the encounter, told her he liked her, then thrust his hand down her pants and kissed her. The woman said she quickly got out of the car.

Forman testified that Tessa had wanted to report a rape but repeatedly drifted “off track” during their 30-minute conversation, failing to provide details about her alleged assailant. He said he gave her a ride to the bus station as a courtesy.

The jury hung 8-4 in favor of guilt, prompting Molloy to declare a mistrial. Zekster would not say whether the D.A.’s office intended to retry Forman on the sexual battery count. He was found guilty of petty theft for taking the victim’s money.

Nadia, a prostitute and admitted cocaine addict, testified that in March 2008, Forman drove her to a secluded location and ordered her to “give me some head.” She said she complied, believing she had no alternative.

According to Forman, his interaction with Nadia was limited to gathering information on drug suppliers, which the jury believed.
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Investigation Under Way Against Officer Jesus Cisneros

An investigation is under way after a woman was killed Friday in a collision involving an off-duty Fort Worth police officer in the 3800 block of Columbus Trail, police said.

At about 2:30 a.m. Officer Jesus Cisneros, 37, was driving westbound in an unmarked police vehicle when he collided with Sonia Baker's southbound Chrysler PT Cruiser as she attempted an eastbound turn in front of his vehicle, police said.

The 27-year-old woman died in the crash and Cisneros was transported to John Peter Smith Hospital in serious condition, police said.

Baker, a wife and mother of two boys ages 4 and 5, was on her way to pick up breakfast before heading into work, her family said.

Investigators said alcohol may have been involved on the part of the off-duty officer, but test results have not been returned.

Cisneros has been an officer with the Fort Worth Police Department since September 2001.

"This is a tragic incident and a very, very serious matter. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families," Lt. Paul Henderson said in a statement released Friday.