Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Elburn Officer Suspended for Firing Warning Shots While In Pursuit

A part-time police officer has been suspended for two of his shifts in December after a department investigation determined he acted improperly when he fired warning shots while in pursuit of a suspect last month.

The disciplinary action against the unidentified officer was announced by Elburn Police Chief Steven Smith in a release Wednesday, bringing to a conclusion the department’s investigation into the Nov. 18 incident.

According to the release, the Elburn police officer, who the village has refused to identify, was in the 100 block of East North Street, just east of the intersection of Route 47 and North Street and about two blocks west of the Elburn Police Department at about 9:30 p.m. on Nov. 18.

At that time, he identified a man on foot who matched the description of a suspect who had about two hours earlier fled from the Elburn Metra station, about a half mile to the east on Keslinger Road, when narcotics officers affiliated with the DeKalb office of the North Central Narcotics Task Force had attempted to arrest him.

Smith said the suspect, who has yet to be identified, was the focus of the narcotic officers’ investigation at the train station.

When the officers attempted to arrest the man, he fled and eluded officers until he was spotted in Elburn about two hours later.

The Elburn officer then attempted to stop the man, but when the suspect turned to flee, the officer fired “three or four” shots into the air. Smith said the officer did not fire in the direction of the suspect and fired his weapon in an attempt to make the suspect stop.

The suspect, however, continued to flee, and eluded capture. He remains at large, Smith said.

Because the officer fired his weapon, an investigation into the matter was conducted by the department, Smith said. The investigation reviewed the officer’s statements, an inspection of the site of the incident itself, review of the dispatch tapes and interviews with people who claimed to have heard the shots.

Smith said no one saw the officer fire the shots.

Smith said the Elburn Police Department has for four years had an informal policy prohibiting officers from firing “warning shots” under any circumstances.

“It’s part of our regular firearms training, to teach our officers not to do this,” Smith said.

While the department is in the process of revising its code of procedures, including its policies governing the use of force, the current policy does not expressly prohibit warning shots.

And since there were no injuries from the incident and no criminal act is alleged, disciplinary action against the officer was limited to a suspension of two days.

Smith said the officer is retired from another police department and works two to three shifts for the Elburn Police Department a month. Elburn employs 10 part-time officers, in addition to its four full-time sworn patrol officers.

Smith said he believes the officer is “a good officer” and remains an asset to the Elburn police force.

He said he would not release the officer’s name, as he was the subject of an internal investigation.

Former Officer Stevie Perry Shows Up at Jail Drunk

A former Detroit police officer who pleaded no-contest to stealing $27,000 from an auto-theft tip line showed up drunk Friday at the Wayne County Jail, where he is serving weekends, a prosecutor and jail officer told a judge today.

Wayne Circuit Judge David Groner was disturbed, especially after learning that Stevie Perry had also violated jail rules on Nov. 13 when he tried to sneak a cell phone,iPod and Tylenol pills into the jail in a sealed plastic bag in his underwear.

Perry, the department’s 2001 officer of the year, pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor theft charge in October in exchange for dismissal of five felonies, if he agreed to make full restitution by his Jan. 27 sentencing date. As part of his deal, Perry was granted permission to begin serving his 32 days in jail on weekends before his sentencing date, and receive two years of probation.

A no-contest plea is not an admission of guilt but is treated as such during sentencing.

Wayne County Sheriff’s Lt. Pat Owen, who oversees the jail’s work release and tether program, said Perry was visibly drunk when he was dropped off at the jail Friday. Groner said his blood alcohol level was more than double the legal limit of .08 for a Michigan motorist to be charged with drunken driving.

Owen said Perry was held in the jail’s segregation unit for the weekend and released at 9 pm. Sunday, as his agreement states.

Perry’s lawyer Paul Bernier said his client was very sorry for his actions.

“What he did was unacceptable and he knows that and he accepts that,” Bernier told Groner. “It did happen and he apologizes.”

Groner said he was also concerned that he never learned about the Nov. 13 jail violation, in which Perry was also placed in segregation for the weekend after trying to sneak in the cell phone and other items.

“I’m pretty amazed you would conduct yourself like that given the fact that you were a police officer all these years,” Groner said.

The judge also wondered whether Perry received special treatment due to his police officer status because the Nov. 13 violation never landed Perry in court.

“If the average Joe does something like that, I guarantee you I would have heard about it,” Groner said.

In the end, Groner ordered Perry to submit to Breathalyzer tests before he enters the jail each weekend. If he tests positive for alcohol of commits any other violations, Groner told Owen to hold him past the weekend.

Perry, who resigned as part of his plea deal, was accused of depositing reward checks from the tip line into his personal bank account between June 2007 and November 2008. As an officer, Perry investigated auto thefts.

Two Teachers Catch Officer Keith Ashley Getting Naughty

Two teachers caught an officer in the midst of what appeared to be a sexual encounter after spotting a leg hanging outside the door of the officer's patrol car on November 24 near the Lighthouse Christian School.

With children just feet away, Angela Russell said the leg caught her eye.

"I saw a leg hanging out of the door, and me and another teacher observed a police officer in the vehicle and when we looked closer we realized they were engaging in improper conduct," she said.

The officer was in a marked police unit and was with a woman in the back seat.

"The children had to leave," Russell said.

Patrolman Keith Ashley is now being investigated as the officer involved. While Ashley wouldn't comment on the allegation, Dallas police confirm he has been taken off the street.

"He's on restricted duty," said Warren Mitchell, Dallas Police Department.

Mitchell confirmed they are "looking at" Ashley.

Two Dallas police sources said Ashley was investigating a burglary at the time of the incident. If so, it would give him an alibi at an apartment near the school. The report said a burglary victim flagged Ashley down in broad daylight to report a break-in, but that crime happened two weeks earlier.

A resident at the apartment complex said that while burglaries have occurred there, they were not at apartment 203, which was the site listed on the report.

"I was so infuriated," Russell said. "Just thinking about it again, it just infuriates me ... because every time you see one you're saying is this officer on his way to see somebody or is this officer doing his job. What is this officer doing?"

In fact, News 8 has learned the Dallas Police Department have been asking the same question. A satellite tracking system allows them to determine the whereabouts of Dallas police cars. They are using those records to determine if Ashley's car was where it was supposed to be on more than one occasion.

The internal affairs department is conducting both an administrative and criminal investigation of Ashley.

Officer Donald D'Amour Charged with Illegally Obtaining Prescription Drugs

An officer with the Round Rock Police Department is on administrative leave after being arrested and charged with obtaining prescription medication through fraud.

Donald D'Amour, who has been with the Round Rock police for four years, surrendered to Travis County authorities Monday night after a judge issued warrants for his arrest, according to Round Rock police spokesman Eric Poteet.

Pflugerville police charged D'Amour with obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, a third-degree felony, according to arrest warrants filed Tuesday.

Round Rock Police Chief Bryan Williams placed D'Amour, 32, on administrative leave Nov. 23 after Pflugerville police notified him that D'Amour was being investigated for fraudulently placing and picking up two prescriptions for hydrocodone, a painkiller, according to the arrest warrants.

A pharmacist at an H-E-B pharmacy notified Pflugerville police after she became suspicious of a call to fill a prescription Nov. 20, the arrest warrants said. The person asked for hydrocodone through a doctor at a pain care facility where he was not a patient, the warrants said. Pflugerville police recovered videos shot at separate H-E-B pharmacies in Pflugerville on Nov. 7 and Nov. 8 showing him picking up the narcotic with fraudulent prescriptions, the warrants said.

Officer Garry Squires Arrested for Drunk Driving

Idaho Falls police officer Garry William Squires, who also goes by Bill, has been on the force for 15 years.

He was arrested and sentenced to three days in jail with probation.

Police officers pull over drunk drivers more often this time of year, But they don't expect to pull over another off duty officer.

"This is a very significant gap in judgement, even though he was honest about it, we can't ignore something like this, police have a special assignment that the public trusts them to take care of business with integrity," says Idaho Falls chief of police Steve Roos.

Idaho Falls police department sergeant Bill Squires is suspended from the department for three weeks- unpaid. He was arrested for *driving under the influence of alcohol about two weeks ago. Idaho State Police made the arrest.

This is how it went down, the ISP trooper was making a regular traffic stop on Saturn and Broadway when he pulled over officer Bill Squires, he gave him the breathalyzer test and with those results took him straight to jail.

Squires did not take a mug shot after he was arrested because he was immediately sited and released. Earlier that night, he had some drinks with his wife and some friends. ISP stated he was a model arrestee and the judge game him a "typical sentence."- which means, the majority of DUI cases are handled like this. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail, with 87 suspended and 18 months of supervised probation with a $500 fine.

"It's important that the public has confidence in us to take care of business. So we just want to have more transparency just so we are not questioned and people can see we are doing the right thing," says Roos.

Squires' associates describe him as an effective leader and someone they look up too. They add, it's a loss for the department.

Officer Bill Squires will be allowed to re-test for sergeant in one year. When he returns to work, his new rank will be *senior patrol officer. His pre-trial conference is set for December 29th.

Officer Anthony Abbate Found Guilty of Beating Female Bartender

The Chicago Police Board has fired the officer whose 2007 beating of a female bartender was captured by a surveillance camera and shown around the world.

The board's decision Tuesday to fire Anthony Abbate comes about six months after a judge found him guilty of a felony count of aggravated battery. He was sentenced to two years probation, anger management classes and ordered to perform 130 hours of community service.

At the time of his conviction, Abbate's lawyer says it meant that he could no longer serve as a police officer. But under Chicago Police Department rules, only the police board can fire an officer.
More Information

Former Officer Johannes Mehserle Charged with Killing Unarmed Man

The former transit officer charged in the killing of an unarmed man on an Oakland train station platform is scheduled to appear in a Los Angeles court next month.

Johannes Mehserle nodded and indicated he understood when Alameda County Superior Court Judge Morris Jacobson told him during a brief hearing Tuesday that his next hearing was set for Jan. 8 in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

The judge had ruled in October the trial should be moved out of Oakland because of excessive media coverage and racial tensions.

Mehserle is charged with the murder of 22-year-old Oscar Grant on a Bay Area Rapid Transit station platform on New Year's Day.

Attorneys for the 27-year-old Mehserle say he mistakenly pulled out his Taser instead of his handgun.

Mehserle has pleaded not guilty.

Officer Reginald Jones Arrested for Fatal Shooting

A D.C. police officer was arrested Tuesday and charged with felony murder in connection with a fatal shooting about two weeks ago in Southeast Washington, police officials said.

In a case that appeared to be without recent precedent, police said Reginald Jones, who has been a member of the force for six years, was arrested in the death of Arvel S. Alston, 40.

Police said Jones "basically served as a lookout" and did not shoot Alston, who was killed in the 4300 block of Fourth Street on Dec. 1. A police source said Alston had been attempting a robbery that went awry.

Jones was on duty at the time and was at the scene in a patrol car assigned to the gun-recovery unit that he works for, a police source said. He fled when shots were fired, the source said.

Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier called Jones, 40, "a disgrace to the uniform."

"We will not allow this department to be judged by one bad apple," she said in brief remarks during a news conference at police headquarters.

Rather, she said, "we should be judged on how we handled that bad apple."

Alston and at least one other man were to carry out the robbery, according to police sources. However, the sources said, the intended victim resisted, and in the ensuing moments, Alston was fatally shot.

Three police sources said the shot that killed Alston was fired by his son.

In addition to Jones, two other men have been arrested in Alston's death, and police sources identified one of them -- Arvel Crawford -- as Alston's son.

The charge of felony murder, which faces the officer, Alston's son and the third suspect, may be brought when a death occurs during the commission of a serious felony. The death need not be intentional and may be accidental.

The intended victim of the robbery was wounded and taken to a hospital. The robbery victim's name has not been released.
More Information: