Sunday, December 27, 2009

Officer Joseph Kraus Charged with DWI

An off-duty Westchester County police officer was charged today with driving while intoxicated after going through a red light and hitting into a Scarsdale police cruiser, sending the on-duty Scarsdale officer inside to the hospital.

The county officer, Joseph A. Kraus, was suspended with pay pending a county police investigation after the 1:24 a.m. crash at the intersection of East Parkway and Popham Road.

"I was upset and angered and surprised," Deputy County Executive Susan Tolchin said about hearing the news this morning. "This does not reflect at all on the Westchester County Police Department. This reflects on what one police officer did and shouldn't have done."

Kieran O'Leary, a county police spokesman, said Kraus' immediate suspension and a pending internal investigation were standard procedures for any officer arrested and accused of a crime.

"Our best wishes for a speedy recovery go out to the Scarsdale police officer who was injured in this incident," O'Leary added.

A press release by Scarsdale Det. Lt. Bryant Clark detailing the incident was read to The Journal News by phone this morning.

A Scarsdale officer who read the release to the paper said the detective was unavailable to answer further questions and there was no additional information being released at this time, including the injured Scarsdale officer's name or the extent of her injuries.

According to the release, Kraus passed through a steady red light while driving a Chevy pickup truck, then hit into the Scarsdale officer's cruiser.

The officer had to be extricated from her vehicle by the Scarsdale Fire Department and she was transported to Westchester Medical Center by the Scarsdale Volunteer Ambulance Corps.

Kraus was charged with a single count of driving while intoxicated and released on his own recognizance after being processed at Scarsdale police headquarters.

Officer Stephane Prevot Charged with DUI & Hit and Run

A Virginia Beach police officer – the second this year – was charged with driving under the influence and hit-and-run Saturday morning.

Dorienne Boykin, Chesapeake police spokeswoman, said Stephane Prevot was charged after striking a neighbor’s mailbox in the 1100 block of Myrtle Ave. about 11:30 a.m. She had no additional details about the incident and would have no more until after the weekend.

Prevot has been a police officer in Virginia Beach since January 2005, said Adam Bernstein, Virginia Beach police spokesman. He said that if an officer is arrested, the officer is automatically placed on administrative duty. Bernstein was unaware of Prevot’s status and said a decision will likely be made this week.

In June, Bryan K. Womble, an off-duty Virginia Beach police officer, was involved in a car crash at the Oceanfront. He was charged with hit-and-run and drunken driving with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.15.

A General District Court judge convicted Womble on Sept. 21 and sentenced him to five days in jail, which he served last month. The judge also suspended his driver's license for a year and ordered him to pay $500 in fines, attend alcohol safety awareness classes and use an ignition interlock device for six months.

Womble, 37, joined the police force in 2002. He was a celebrated member of the Police Department's Traffic Safety Unit, formerly the Selective Enforcement Team. The unit specializes in stopping impaired driving. On May 15, he arrested retired NFL star Bruce Smith for DUI.

Womble is no longer with Virginia Beach police.

Officer Edward Stapinski Charged in Drunk Driving Crash

The Lockport police officer charged in connection with a fatal crash on the Stevenson Expressway is out of jail on bond.

Edward Stapinski, 34, was released after paying $75,000 bond.

The crash last Sunday night near Cicero killed Man Wong, who was on his way home from his second job.

Witnesses reported seeing Stapinski's car weaving and traveling at a high rate of speed before the crash.

The hospital where he was taken revealed his blood alcohol content was three times the legal limit.

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Officer Andre Ellison Charged with Domestic Violence

Montgomery Police units responded to the 6700 block of Taylor Ridge Road in reference to a domestic violence dispute.

A female complaint indicated that she and her husband, Montgomery Police Officer Andre L. Ellison, were involved in a physical altercation.

After determining that Officer Ellison was the primary aggressor, he was taken into custody and charged with domestic violence in the third degree (harassment).

No injuries were reported.

Ellison was placed on administrative duties as MPD prepares to conduct an internal investigation.