Thursday, January 07, 2010

Officer Kenneth Tomlinson II Arrested for Sexually Assaulting Boys

The top police officer in a remote Missouri town, a giant of a man who was also a Boy Scout leader, has been accused of sexually assaulting two boys, videotaping the acts and then destroying the recordings.

Kenneth Tomlinson II, 42, was arrested Tuesday and charged with 16 counts of sodomy. Authorities say he admitted having sex with the two boys, who are now 12 and 14. Tomlinson was jailed in Cape Girardeau County on $100,000 cash-only bond. Court records indicated he did not yet have an attorney.

Tomlinson joined the police department in Fredericktown — a community of 4,100 about 80 miles southwest of St. Louis — as a patrolman in 1997. He was promoted to captain, the top job, in April.

Mayor Danny Kemp, who said he was "floored" by the news of the captain's arrest, said the progress Tomlinson made while supervising six full-time officers was impressive.

"He turned the department around," Kemp said, inside his office just off the town square. "He was a great leader."

But Vicky Manche, who owns an A&M Restaurant downtown, said teens derisively referred to Tomlinson — described by one city worker as 6-foot-2 and about 450 pounds — as "Baby Huey."

"They ought to string him up," Manche said. "It's really pitiful when you put your trust in somebody and this happens. My grandsons are Boy Scouts so this hits close to home."

Manche's grandsons were not part of Tomlinson's troops, and it was not known if the alleged victims were either.

The two boys told authorities that the sexual abuse began last spring. One boy is 12, but was 11 when it began, he said. The other is 14.

A probable cause statement from the Missouri State Highway Patrol said Tomlinson admitted to having sex with the boys and videotaping some of the acts. The statement said Tomlinson and the boys viewed the video on the camera screen, then he destroyed the recordings.

Joe Mueller of the Boy Scouts of America's Greater St. Louis Council said he didn't know if the victims were members of Tomlinson's Boy Scout or Cub Scout troops. He said Tomlinson had led the troops in Fredericktown since 1998. His association with scouting has been revoked, Mueller said.

"Our heart goes out to the families of the children involved in the allegations," Mueller said. "We have made it a fundamental part of our organization to protect youth members and adult leaders as well."

Kemp said Tomlinson had no previous criminal record. He has been placed on unpaid leave from the department until the case is adjudicated. Sgt. Jason Gordon has taken over as interim leader of the department.

At the Mills Barbershop across from City Hall, owner Jane Mills said some of those getting haircuts found the allegations too difficult to talk about. Those who discussed it were mostly in shock, she said.

"It's very concerning because he's a policeman and a scout leader," she said. "It's very sad, and it's an embarrassment that something like this could happen."

Family of Doctor Files Lawsuit Against Taser International

The family of a 33 year-old doctor who died after being shot with a stun gun by Nevada Highway Patrol officer has filed a lawsuit against Taser International, alleging that the stun gun maker failed to adequately warn about the potentially fatal effects of Tasers.

The wrongful death lawsuit was filed last week in the U.S. District Court in Las Vegas by the family of Dr. Ryan Rich, a single father who was a licensed physician and emergency room resident. The family seeks compensatory and punitive damages against Taser International, saying that the company fraudulently promoted Taser guns as nonlethal weapons.

According to the complaint, Dr. Rich suffered a seizure while on his way to work in January 2007. As a result of his inability to control the pick-up truck he was driving, he was involved in several minor accidents that left him dazed, confused and disoriented when his vehicle came to a stop.

The erratic driving was observed by a Nevada Highway Patrol officer, Loren Lazoff, who approached the vehicle and broke the passenger-side window and turned off the engine. The family alleges that while Dr. Rich was initially not combative, violent or posing any threat to the officer, he pulled away while being handcuffed and began running in the direction of traffic lanes. The officer grabbed the back of Dr. Rich’s shirt and discharged his Taser Model X26 ECD from about 3 to four feet into the chest, delivering 50,000 volts of electricity designed to incapacitate humans.

After discharing the initial 5-second cycle to the chest, Officer Lazoff then subjected Dr. Rich to two more 5-second cycles to the chest when Dr. Rich continued to try to remove the probes. After the third cycle, Dr. Rich reportedly began to move his legs and the officer applied two more 5-second cycles to his right thigh in drive stun mode, for a total of five cycles.

The Taser wrongful death lawsuit indicates that Dr. Rich subsequently turned blue and was transported by ambulance to Spring Valley Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The family claims that Rich died of a heart attack as a direct result of the use of the Taser.

The family alleges that Taser International misrepresented the safety of their stun guns, failed to disclose and failed to warn Nevada Highway Patrol and their officers about the risks, including the risk of ventricular fibrillation and cardiac arrest when a Taser is applied to the chest and that multiple cycles on a single person increase the risk of injury or death. The complaint also alleges that Taser indicated their weapon was an effective, non-lethal control device, when it is actually potentially lethal.

Scottsdale-based Taser International has vigorously defended the safety of the weapons in the media and in other cases, obtaining dismissals of most Taser lawsuits that have been filed against them. This fall, however, the company issued a memo to police agencies throughout the United States warning about the potential Taser heart risks, recommending that officers avoid chest shots.

The Taser gun is designed to incapacitate neuromuscular function by delivering a shock that uses Electro-Muscular Disruption technology. Many law enforcement agencies have deployed the weapons to allow police to incapacitate someone who poses a threat, but there have also been a number of reports of overuse and abuse of the weapons, which could have fatal consequences.

Taser has said it issued the warning not because it believes that the weapons are dangerous, but as a means of legal risk management for law enforcement agencies using their weapons. However, critics have characterized the recommendations as a passive admission that Taser stun guns can cause heart attacks. Taser has disagreed with this interpretation of their recommendations.

The new recommendations, included in a revised training manual, note that the possibility of someone having a cardiac arrest after recently being shot with a stun gun could place Taser and police in the difficult role of having to determine whether the stun gun was a contributing factor. To avoid that, the company recommends that law enforcement agencies train their officers to fire the gun below the chest.

In 2008, Amnesty International released a report on Taser police use, calling for departments throughout the United States to stop using Taser guns or to strictly limit their use to life-threatening situations. The human rights group linked 334 deaths to the use of Taser guns between 2001 and August 2008. Amnesty noted that 90% of the Taser deaths examined involved people who were unarmed and did not appear to present a serious threat to the officers. A large number of the fatalities involved misuse of the weapons, including multiple Taser shocks or exposing suspects to prolonged shocks.

Deputy Carl Maddox Jr Charged with Child Rape

The Henry County Sheriff's Department has fired a deputy accused of having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl.

Carl Milton Maddox Jr. was fired as a Henry County sheriff’s deputy after being charged with statutory rape and child molestation.

Henry County Sheriff’s Departmen Carl Milton Maddox Jr. was fired as a Henry County sheriff’s deputy after being charged with statutory rape and child molestation.

Carl Milton Maddox Jr., 35, of McDonough was fired immediately after he was arrested on felony charges Monday.

"We're disappointed. We're embarrassed publicly," Sheriff's Chief Deputy David McCart said. "We know that people look at us and we try to maintain a high level of integrity. But we still have officers who are human and make mistakes. And he's accused of making a big one."

Maddox is charged with child molestation, aggravated child molestation, statutory rape and enticing a child for indecent purposes. He was denied bond at a hearing in Superior Court Wednesday afternoon.

Police Capt. Jason Bolton told the Henry Daily Herald that Maddox "was discovered bringing the victim home around 4 a.m. ... by the victim's mother." Maddox's lawyer, Fred Jones, told the newspaper that the alleged victim claimed to be 18 when Maddox met her about six months ago.

Maddox worked in Henry County law enforcement for 12 years, including four years with the police department. He is married with three children, according to the Henry Daily Herald.

Former Officer Shawn Turner Arrested for Disorderly Conduct

A former Royalton police officer is in the Franklin County jail Thursday night. Shawn Turner was arrested on Wednesday and charged with official and disorderly conduct.

Turner made his first appearance in Franklin County court Thursday morning. But, it's not the first time News 3 has been in contact with Turner. In fact, just last month he sent News 3 several documents outlining his complaints against his former employer the Royalton Police Department. And these felony charges apparently stem from those issues.

Until recently, Shawn Turner was a lieutenant with the Royalton Police Department. He'd been in local law enforcement for years, including stints with Sesser and Johnston City. But, on Monday, the Royalton City Council fired him. Two days later- he was arrested.

"He's presumed innocent until proven guilty."

State police investigator John Lewis says, Turner came to ISP with claims against the Royalton Police Department and Chief- including allegations the Chief beat a civilian with a flashlight back in July. Investigating those allegations lead state police to question Turner...

"This investigation lasted a while, and the Franklin County State's Attorney evidently thought we had enough evidence to obtain an arrest warrant."

Turner is accused of forwarding allegations against the Chief while knowing there was not reasonable ground for the claims. He's also charged with breaking into a locked evidence room at the Royalton Police Department. In the letter given to News 3 by Turner, he states he did, in fact, break into that locker. But, Lewis, will not confirm or deny many of the details...

"There is very little we can say, or the state's attorney can say, because we don't want to prejudice his case."

Before Turner was fired, he was on a 45 day suspension from the department. Royalton's Police Chief, who did not want to talk to us on camera, says the reasons for Turner's suspension and termination will eventually come to light. And, as for the allegations made by Turner, the Chief says they're totally untrue.

What will happen if Turner is convicted of these charges?

It's very unlikely he'll have much of a law enforcement career with an arrest record. Law enforcement officials in the area confirm Turner has put in applications at other police departments. Those departments are aware of his arrest.

Turner will appear in Franklin County court again in early February. He is currently being held on $20,000 bail.

Navy Officer Zachary Littleton Charged with Murder

A Florida-based Navy officer has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of a pregnant woman. Zachary Littleton, a 25-year-old petty officer third class is accused of killing Samira Watkins, also 25, because she refused his request to get an abortion.

The case has a similar ring to it as it reminds officials of the killing death of Laci Peterson and her unborn child Conner.

Littleton has been indicted on a first-degree premeditated murder charge.

According to the Pensacola News-Journal, Watkins was last seen alive by her family on October 25 when she left her grandmother's home. Officials say they believe Watkins went to see Littleton, who then took her life.

Littleton is married and has another child but was reportedly having an affair with Watkins, whom he got pregnant. Wanting to keep the pregnancy a secret, Littleton asked Watkins to get an abortion, but she refused.

The newspaper indicates Watkins' body was discovered by two men riding a personal watercraft in Bayou Grande on November 3. They found her body washed ashore in luggage near a scenic overlook. The paper did not indicate how far along in pregnancy Watkins' baby was at the time of their death.

Now, Littleton is being held without bond at Escambia County Jail and he faces a bond hearing on January 15.

Circuit Judge Terry Terrell will preside over the bond hearing, the paper says.

The killing of pregnant women who refuse abortions or attempts to force them to have abortions using certain drugs is becoming commonplace.

Yesterday, reported on a Utah man who formerly lived in western Colorado who stands accused of giving his pregnant girlfriend the second part of the two-part abortion drug in an attempt to force her to have an abortion.

In this case, 31-year-old Jared Merril Ahlstrom appeared in Mesa County District Court on Tuesday where he faces a felony charge of unlawful termination of pregnancy. The drug eventually caused a miscarriage and the death of the unborn child.

Last month, a Seattle-area man found himself in police custody after allegedly killing his girlfriend and their infant daughter after the woman refused his request to get an abortion.

Daniel Thomas Hicks is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the death of 28-year-old Jennifer "J" Morgan and 13-month-old Ema Morgan.

Hicks was charged after he was apprehended following the discovery of the bodies by Morgan's mother and cooperation with other relatives who aided them in locating Hicks.

Legal papers the Times obtained say Hicks wanted Morgan to have an abortion and claimed she "was just trying to trap him with the pregnancy." They say Hicks made several threats about killing Morgan and himself.

Officer Chad Dojack Pleads No Contest to Snooping on Sarah Jessica Parker

Chad Dojack, the second Ohio police chief charged with snooping on Sarah Jessica Parker’s surrogate, pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor, according to Wonderwall

On Thursday Dojack entered the plea to a charge of dereliction of duty. Dojack is chief of Bridgeport Police Department in eastern Ohio. Prosecutors dropped charges of complicity to burglary and complicity to receiving stolen property.

Dojack and the ex-chief of Martins Ferry Police were accused of taking things from Parker’s surrogate’s home to sell to the paparazzi.

Dojack is facing a 90-day jail sentence. Sentencing will take place next week.

Former Officer Paul Whitmire Indicted for Illegally Obtaining Prescription Painkillers

Suspected drug dealing has been cleaned out of Catoosa's city hall tonight.

Seven arrest warrants were issued today after a five-month long drug investigation.

Two of the people arrested work for Catoosa's city government, including the assistant police chief.

Nobody likes to hear about possible corrupt cops.

My sources tell me what really makes them mad about this case is a high ranking police officer using drugs in his uniform and using his job to obtain even more drugs.

They plan to arrest more people before it's over, including a former Catoosa police officer.

Catoosa Assistant Police Chief Paul Whitmire, who's been on paid suspension after the investigation began, arrived at the police station after receiving a phone call informing him he'd been indicted for obtaining prescription painkillers illegally and U-S marshals were waiting for him.

City court clerk Phyliss Matthews was the next to leave in handcuffs.. she's been indicted for distributing painkillers.

She cried while the two were arraigned in federal court a short time later.. both pleaded not guilty and were released on five-thousand dollars bond.

Chief Raymond Rogers, Catoosa Police, said, "Yes, it hurts, as sheriff Walton says, gives law enforcement a black eye. It comes to a lot of communities. We really have a problem with drugs in our society, yes it hurts."

Investigators believe Whitmire is addicted to Hydrocodone and used his position at the police department to obtain as many pills as he could get his hands on, even approaching a local doctor.

Three other people were also arrested, Jessica May and Art Spencer were booked into the Rogers County jail, the third was arrested in Fort Smith.

Affidavits show former Catoosa police officer, John Mines, who was suspended because of the investigation, then resigned, turned into a police informant and made undercover drug buys from the three of marijuana and cocaine.

The Drug Task Force, Claremore police department and Rogers county sheriff's office were the lead agencies on the case.

They say it's never fun to investigate people in your own profession.

"As sad as it is, as sickening to see one from our profession fall in this fashion, the positive note is we made a great effort to clean up dirty law enforcement," Walton said.

The Catoosa mayor says the city council just passed a drug and alcohol policy last month that allows them to randomly drug test city employees in hopes of preventing this type of thing in the future.

She says no services or protection were compromised.

SWAT Officer Timothy Carson Arrested for Bank Robbery

A Minneapolis police SWAT team member was arrested Thursday in a string of robberies in suburban Dakota County.

Officer Timothy Carson, 28, a Minneapolis police SWAT team member has been charged with bank robbery. The officer, from Rosemount, Minn. was ordered held without bail after a federal court hearing Thursday. Carson is accused of robbing a Wells Fargo bank in suburban Apple Valley on Wednesday, when $4,580 was taken.

Police Chief Tim Dolan said Thursday that officers in his department helped break the case, and the FBI was investigating.

Dolan told reporters that he was shocked by the arrest, and that his department spends a tremendous amount of resources trying to recruit the best people to the force.

"We do have a few that fail," he conceded. "It does tarnish the badge, the badge of the Minneapolis Police Department."

The officer was not immediately charged and authorities did not immediately say which specific robberies they believe he committed. FBI spokesman E.K. Wilson said he couldn't comment.

Officer Timothy Edward Carson was initially booked into the Dakota County Jail, but officials said he was no longer there late Thursday morning and is the custody of the U.S. Marshal's Service.

The 28-year-old officer had been assigned to the 3rd Precinct of south Minneapolis.

"It's disgusting," said John Delmonico, president of the Minneapolis Police Federation. "I don't even know what words I could use ... The actions of this guy have a bad reflection on every Minneapolis cop today. For all the cops who go out and do a good job every day, it's pathetic."

Delmonico said the union will do nothing to help the accused officer.

"Whatever they do to this guy, in my opinion, won't be enough," he said.

Former Officer Lt. Mike Brown Charged with Malfeasance in Office

An Assumption Parish grand jury indicted a second former law enforcement officer in connection with the unsupervised auto parts shopping trip by two then-Assumption Parish jail trusties in October 2008, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

The grand jury returned a true bill Wednesday against former Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Lt. Mike Brown on one felony count of malfeasance in office in connection with the Oct. 2, 2008, ride, the prosecutor said.

Lafourche Parish District Attorney Camille A. “Cam” Morvant II said the grand jury issued a warrant for Brown’s arrest.

Assumption Parish Sheriff Mike Waguespack said his office was informed Wednesday the paperwork would be ready this morning and then he would seek to arrest Brown.

The sheriff declined further comment Wednesday. Brown is Waguespack’s former assistant jail warden. The sheriff fired Brown June 30 after conducting an internal affairs investigation into the trusty incident. The trusties, who worked in the jail motor pool, reportedly were on an errand to buy auto parts when they were arrested in Lafourche Parish.

The investigation found Brown and Thibodaux Police Cpl. Rodney Rhodes conspired with others to set up an arrest of the trusties in Thibodaux in Lafourche Parish, thereby embarrassing Waguespack.

The report said Brown saw the trusties leave the Assumption jail in Napoleonville and did not alert the sheriff but called Rhodes to make the arrest at an auto parts store miles away in Lafourche.

The sheriff’s report said Brown was known to have it in for the trusties and that Brown was not truthful with internal affairs investigators. Waguespack had previously terminated Rhodes as Assumption Parish jail warden.

On Oct. 9, a separate grand jury impaneled by Morvant in Lafourche Parish indicted Rhodes on one count of felony malfeasance in office.

Rhodes is accused of filing a police report with a false statement of material fact about the trusties’ arrest. Some three weeks before the indictment, Rhodes was dismissed for not following police procedures unrelated to the trusties.

Rhodes has pleaded not guilty to the charge, is out on bond and goes before Lafourche Parish Judge Jerome Barbera III Feb. 4, Morvant said.

The trusties, who were state Department of Corrections inmates being held at the Assumption jail, were never charged in the incident and returned to state custody.

Brown’s attorney, Marvin Gros, could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Officer John Thompson Fired for Sending Nude Photos to Female Officers

A Longview police officer has been fired following a three month investigation into reports that he had been sending nude photos of himself female officers.

John Thompson has been on administrative leave for the past three months.

Officer Joseph Kraus Turns Over Driver's License

An off-duty Westchester County police officer charged with drunken driving in a Dec. 27 accident in Scarsdale that left a village officer injured pleaded not guilty Wednesday and turned over his driver's license to the court.

Officer Joseph Kraus did not speak during his brief arraignment before Village Justice Arlene Katz in Scarsdale. The plea was entered by his Tuckahoe-based attorney, Thomas Vallely.

Neither would comment afterward. Kraus was accompanied to court by several plainclothes county police officers, in an apparent show of support.

Kraus was arrested about 2 a.m., almost a half-hour after, Scarsdale police said, he drove past a red light in his pickup truck, then hit a village police car at East Parkway and Popham Road, injuring Scarsdale Officer Jessica Knatz. She suffered facial and back injuries and had to be cut from the cruiser by emergency responders.

Kraus told investigating officers he'd had "two or three beers" earlier in the evening. Kraus, 35, of Mount Vernon refused to submit to a chemical test to measure his blood-alcohol level. He was charged with driving while intoxicated, a misdemeanor, and issued a traffic ticket in connection with the red light.

According to police records, he was released without bail from Scarsdale police custody at 5:45 a.m.

In court, Kraus was ordered to turn over his driver's license, pending a state Department of Motor Vehicles hearing scheduled for Wednesday.

DWI suspects who refuse to submit to a chemical test can have their licenses revoked for a year.

Katz adjourned the case until Feb. 3.

Kraus, a county police officer since 2005, remains free without bail and has been suspended with pay pending a county police investigation .

He is one of four off-duty law enforcement officers from Westchester arrested in drunken-driving accidents in recent weeks.

Dobbs Ferry Officer Michael Huffman was charged with DWI and two traffic violations after a Dec. 11 rollover in Tarrytown. He recently returned to modified duty and is due in Tarrytown Village Court on Wednesday. He lives in Dobbs Ferry.

County Correction Officer Patricia Yancy-Johnson remains at work after she was charged with DWI by Greenburgh police after being accused of rear-ending an ambulance. The Yonkers resident is due in Town Court on Feb. 5.

White Plains Police Officer Joe Zepeda is to be arraigned on a DWI charge in City Court on Monday. He was arrested Dec. 31 by state police. He was accused of hitting a tractor-trailer on Interstate 287.

Zepeda, a Mahopac resident, has been suspended without pay pending an internal investigation.

Previous Post

Officer Robert Tracy Buck Charged with Drunk Driving

An Ogden police officer charged with drunken driving resolved his case this week by pleading guilty to "impaired driving."

Officer Robert Tracy Buck, 35, was pulled over Aug. 30 after a Harrisville officer observed him speeding and drifting over the center line.

Buck, who failed a field sobriety test and admitted to police he "had too many to be driving," had a blood-alcohol content of 0.12, according to a police report.

Charged with class B misdemeanor driving under the influence, Buck was scheduled for trial Thursday in Harrisville's justice court.

Instead, the officer pleaded guilty on Wednesday to the impaired driving charge, which is also a class B misdemeanor.

Harrisville Justice Court Judge James Beesley suspended a potential six-month jail term and ordered Buck to pay a $1,340 fine, perform 48 hours of community service and complete counseling.

Buck is to remain on probation until the fine is paid and he has completed the other sentencing requirements, according to a docket entry.

Neither the prosecutor nor Buck's defense attorney were immediately available for comment on Thursday.

Buck remains on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal affairs investigation, Ogden Police Chief Jon Greiner said Thursday.

Last month, another Ogden police officer charged with DUI, Jared Ingalsbe, resolved his case by pleading guilty to a non-alcohol-related reckless driving charge.

On June 30, Ingalsbe crashed into two power poles, four cars and a house in Harrisville.

There was both alcohol and a prescription sleep medication in Ingalsbe's bloodstream and he was initially charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

Prosecutors said the plea deal was the result of problems proving in court that Ingalsbe was driving while impaired.

Ingalsbe, who claimed he simply fell asleep at the wheel, has been returned to duty.

Officer Brandon Loverde Accused of Ripping Woman's Shirt & Feeling Her Breasts

An Orlando police officer bonded out of jail Thursday after turning himself in on charges of battery and false imprisonment stemming from an incident at a local night club.

In a sworn statement the 21-year-old victim said officer Brandon Loverde ripped her shirt and felt her breasts outside Club Firestone in downtown Orlando. OPD ...

"Anytime you have an officer that's been arrested for a felony, that's a big deal to OPD," said Sergeant Barb Jones.

Loverde was working off duty security at the time but was in uniform. He's been suspended with pay pending the outcome of the case.

Reserve Officer Jason Walker Charged with Faking Degree

Police in suburban Saanich are combing their files to see whether a therapist accused of falsely claiming to hold two doctoral degrees testified in criminal cases during his 21/2 years as a reserve constable with the force.

Jason Matthew Walker, 31, was charged Dec. 31 with fraud after he reported to police in August that a client of his counselling clinic, a six-year-old child, claimed he had been abused by his father. In his sworn affidavit in the case, which was part of a custody battle, Walker indicated he held two doctoral degrees.

Reserve constables testify as witnesses in criminal cases, but those cases are unlikely to be serious, said Saanich police spokeswoman Sgt. Julie Fast. "The vast majority of calls are about noise complaints, shoplifters and incidents of that nature."

Corporal John Quigg Charged with DUI

Do as I say, not as I do. That could well be the new motto of the Pennsylvania State Police, as one of their own is facing disciplinary action following an alleged drunk driving incident last month. It's not uncommon for a police officer to be involved in an accident, or even for one to receive a citation, but this story has a twist.

According to the Philadelphia Daily News, Corporal John Quigg, a 24-year state police veteran and crash reconstructionist was involved in an off duty accident. That in and of itself isn't particularly noteworthy, but there's even more to the story.

What makes the story newsworthy is that Quigg is also one of the officers that oversees Philadelphia's DUI checkpoints. Not only that, but Quigg is apparently a drug-recognition expert as well, meaning he can tell what somebody is on based on their behavior. Maybe he should have been checking out the man in the mirror.

The accident occurred a week before Christmas last year, when Quigg crashed his Honda Accord into a guard rail, according to the police report. There wasn't much damage to his car because he was going pretty slow, but the responding trooper found Quigg unresponsive and slumped over.

He was taken to a local hospital for evaluation and later charged with driving under the influence and careless driving. He also had an open container in the vehicle according to a police spokesperson. While everybody makes mistakes, we generally want to believe that our officers are held to a higher standard. According to the spokesperson, Cpl. Quigg is on administrative leave

Officer Andrew Gill Investigated for Attacking Teen

A Lancaster teenager claims he was viciously attacked and beaten by an off-duty town police officer during a “Beer Pong” game at a New Year’s party attended by underage drinkers.

Town Police Chief Gary F. Stoldt said two captains in his department are investigating the allegations against Andrew Gill, 23, a probationary police officer who has only been on the streets for a couple of weeks.

“It’s a tough situation, but it isn’t going to be whitewashed,” Stoldt told The Buffalo News. “If it turns out there was wrongdoing, the appropriate action will be taken.”

No charges have been filed against Gill, whose father, Gerald Gill, is a lieutenant in the department’s Detective Bureau.

Justin Mangold, 17, alleges that Andrew Gill beat him without provocation sometime between 3 and 4 a. m. on New Year’s Day, according to Mangold’s attorneys, Scott F. Riordan and David S. Kelly. The News contacted police and Mangold’s attorneys about the incident Wednesday after a town resident called the newspaper to ask what was happening with the investigation.

“We have witnesses who verify that my client never said anything bad to Andrew Gill, never threw a punch, never became aggressive toward Gill in any manner,” Riordan said. “[Gill] just attacked my client. He was yelling, ‘I’m a cop, I can kick your ass and get away with it!’ ”

The attorney said Mangold was treated in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Amherst, after suffering a broken nose, a cut lip, a chipped tooth and two black eyes.

Mangold’s attorneys gave this version of events, based on information they received from their client:

During the New Year’s party on Via Donato Drive in the town, teenagers and other young people began playing “Beer Pong,” a drinking game in which contestants try to bounce a pingpong ball into a beer cup.

Mangold was standing in line, getting ready to play, when Gill cut in front of him.

“My client said, ‘You took my spot,’ and that’s when Gill began yelling that he was a cop and could do anything he wanted to do,” Riordan said.

He said Mangold — trying to avoid a fight with the off-duty cop — then walked away from the “Beer Pong” table and went to sit down on a nearby couch.

“Before [Mangold] could even sit down, Gill punched him in the face, and he kept punching him,” Riordan said. “Gill was yelling, ‘I’ll kill you!’ ”

The attorney said his client tried to duck away from Gill’s punches but never threw any punches at the police officer. Ultimately, some other party goers stepped in to stop the attack, Riordan said.

Mangold did not report the incident to police until later in the day, after he had received hospital treatment, Riordan said.

So far, Mangold has only given a brief statement to Lancaster police and has been reluctant to talk to detectives in detail about what happened, Riordan said.

“[Mangold] will cooperate in the investigation, but he’s understandably concerned about the Lancaster police investigating one of their own,” Riordan said. “We want to see this whole incident brought to light.”

Andrew Gill’s attorney, Patrick J. Brown, asked that people withhold judgment until all the facts come in.

“There is another side to this story,” Brown said. “Andrew is a great kid from a terrific family. We’re trying to sort out all the facts and determine what actually happened.”

Stoldt and Detective Capt. Timothy R. Murphy declined to comment in detail on Riordan’s version of what happened, but both promised a full investigation will be conducted.

“We’re handling this the same way we’d handle any incident of this kind, no matter who is involved,” Murphy said.

Murphy and Capt. Marco Laurienzo are both investigating the incident, Stoldt said, adding that he has spoken to the town attorney and other town officials about it.

The two captains have been trying for several days to track down young people, including teenagers, who attended the party and might have seen the incident, Stoldt said.

Efforts by The News to reach Gill were unsuccessful Wednesday. His father, the lieutenant, said he is not involved in the investigation.

“It’s my understanding that the facts are being collected by the Police Department,” Lt. Gill said. “As a dad that loves his son, I can only hope the facts support his actions.”

Andrew Gill was appointed to the department last year and recently graduated from the police academy. He began patrol work with a field training officer about two weeks ago and has been doing well, Stoldt said.

In addition to possible criminal charges, the rookie officer could face departmental charges that could lead to his suspension or firing, the police chief said.

Asked about Gill’s current status in the department, Stoldt said: “He’s not working right now. He’s taking some personal days, and after that, he might be placed on administrative leave, or some other action could be taken while this investigation is pending.”

Officer Thomas Jones Fired After Punching Wife

A Boynton Beach police officer acquitted of punching his wife and nearly strangling her after a night of drinking at a strip club last year was fired Wednesday.

Officer Thomas Jones was acquitted of strangulation and domestic battery charges stemming from the Jan. 31, 2009, incident in April.

In Jones' termination letter, City Manager Kurt Bressner said that although Jones was acquitted of the charges, "the legal standard of proof for a criminal case is different from the standard of proof for a disciplinary action as in this matter."

According to an internal affairs report, Jones became annoyed with his wife's continued questioning about where he had been, who brought him home and where the vehicle or the keys were, so he punched her in the face, knocked her to the floor and repeatedly kicked her.

The report said Jones then called her names, cursed at her and told her how much he hated her before placing her in a chokehold as she tried to get up from the floor.

Bressner wrote in his termination letter that he was concerned about Jones' insistence that his wife had been unfaithful. Bressner wrote that Jones stated he found out about the infidelity from his mother after being released from jail.

Former Officer Marcus Tafoya Testifies in Excessive Force Case

A former Fresno police officer accused of using excessive force testified this morning in his trial that fear prompted him to use his police baton on rowdy partygoers for a Marine returning from Iraq in March 2005.

“I’m scared to death,” Marcus Tafoya said in his criminal trial in Fresno County Superior Court.

Tafoya said partygoers were punching and kicking him, cursing him, calling him “pig,” and resisting arrest. Because the attackers came at him from all directions, Tafoya said he deployed a police baton for protection.

Tafoya testified he hit two men with his police baton several times, but the blows didn’t stop the attacks.

A baton blow to the head finally caused one man to quit his attack, Tafoya said. The other attacker gave up after being struck in the leg with the baton, he said.

For the first time, Tafoya, 39, is publicly revealing his account of what happened at the disturbance that led to his firing from the Fresno Police Department. He also criticized some officers who stood around and did nothing while he needed help.

Tafoya faces eight felony counts of using excessive force and one count of burglary involving four incidents. He has pleaded not guilty.

His testimony will resume after the lunch break.

Corrections Officer Charles Walker Accused of Sexually Assaulting Female Inmate

A correctional officer at the Allegheny County Jail has been accused of sexually assaulting a female inmate.

Police said Charles Walker was arrested and is facing several charges including sexual assault and indecent assault.

The alleged incident occurred on Dec. 27 and Walker was awaiting arraignment Thursday at the Allegheny County Jail.

Officer Valerie McFarlane Attended Festival Without Paying Admission

A local attorney is questioning the credibility of an Aspen police officer who wore her uniform while off duty and attended the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day festival in September without paying for admission.

Attorney Lauren Maytin contends that Aspen police officer Valerie McFarlane’s “misconduct … is relevant, exculpatory and probative of truthfulness or the lack thereof” as it pertains to a drunken-driving arrest McFarlane made. Maytin, who represents the DUI defendant, filed a motion last week in that case requesting officer McFarlane’s personnel file.

“It is believed that the documents [in the file] will show that on or about Sept. 4 and Sept. 5 [2009], Officer McFarlane while off duty dressed in her Aspen Police Department uniform, trespassed onto the 2009 Jazz Aspen Labor Day Festival grounds by deceitfully ‘badging’ her way into the concert and failing to pay for admission,” according to Maytin’s motion. “This occurred two days in a row but on the second day, Officer McFarlane, again off duty but dressed in her APD uniform, returned to the festival with her boyfriend and children and flashed her badge to gain access for her group. Not only did she gain access to the festival on this second day by use of her badge but she also trespassed into the VIP section of the festival where she was able to obtain free food and libations for her group.”

In an interview Wednesday morning, McFarlane admitted to attending the Labor Day festival on two separate nights while wearing a uniform off duty and not paying, but she said the first night she went there after her shift ended to scout it out for her 14-year-old daughter who planned to attend the following evening. “I knew my daughter would be attending the concert,” she said. “I came, I looked, I left.” The second night she said she again entered the festival off duty and in uniform without paying for admission but that she was there to watch over her daughter and daughter’s boyfriend — both of whom McFarlane claims paid for admission.

“I stayed off to the side and waited for the concert to end,” she said. “I was there really to protect her. … I couldn’t even tell you who the headliners were.”

McFarlane confirmed that she moved her daughter and daughter’s boyfriend from the general admission section of the concert to the VIP area, but she said none of them ate or drank from the free banquets and bars available to only the festival’s highest-paying customers.

“I cannot tell you how deeply sorry I am,” McFarlane said, adding that she feels she hurt the department and the community. She added that her supervisors and fellow officers have been extremely supportive of her.

Aspen Police Chief Richard Pryor declined to discuss details of the incident or any disciplinary action that was taken, saying his “hands are tied” because it is a human resources/personnel issue. But he did say that another officer reported McFarlane’s misconduct. He also confirmed that unless they are commuting to and from work, officers are not allowed to wear uniforms off duty.

Maytin contends the incident casts serious doubt on McFarlane’s credibility as a police officer.

“Officer McFarlane did not pay for any of these admissions or for any of the services she received in the VIP section of the concert,” her motion states. “The total amount stolen from the Jazz Aspen Labor Day Festival is not known at this time but a rough estimate would be at least $2,000. It is believed Officer McFarlane was officially sanctioned by her superiors at the Aspen Police Department.”

Jazz Aspen Snowmass staff said they were unaware McFarlane appears to have illegally attended the show.

A motions hearing over whether Maytin can obtain access to McFarlane’s personnel file is scheduled for next week, but a ruling may not come until later.

Officer Stacy Conway Arrested for Trying to Hire Someone to Commit Burglary

A rookie Hereford police officer was behind bars Wednesday evening accused of trying to hire an undercover Amarillo police officer to burglarize then burn down the home of two employees of the Randall County Sheriff's Office.

Stacy Lavon Conway, 24, of Hereford, was arrested Tuesday evening outside an Amarillo business where, police allege, she was meeting the undercover officer to arrange the deal. She was arrested and charged with second-degree felony solicitation to commit burglary to commit another felony, said Randall County Criminal District Attorney James Farren. She remains in the Randall County jail on $50,000 bond.

Farren said police launched an investigation into Conway about two weeks ago. The undercover police officer was "playing the part of a bad guy," who posed as an experienced criminal, Farren said. Conway reportedly offered the officer an undisclosed amount of money to burglarize and torch the residence in Randall County.

"Obviously she's unhappy with the folks that live there, but I can't reveal why," Farren said.

A Randall County Sheriff's official identified the two intended victims listed in the criminal complaint as a female dispatcher and a female deputy jailer.

"For a police officer to solicit someone to commit an offense is very rare," Farren said. "Obviously it is very disturbing. No group of people are more concerned and upset about this than police officers and prosecutors. But at this point it is an accusation, and nothing has been proven."

Amarillo police spokesman Cpl. Jerry Neufeld deferred questions about the arrest to Hereford officials.

"They've asked to pretty much handle any media request," he said. "It is their incident. We're respecting their request to be able to give out information on their employees."

The city of Hereford has suspended Conway indefinitely without pay, said Hereford City Manager Rick Hanna .

Hanna said Conway started with the Police Department on Sept. 4, just days after she graduated from the Panhandle Regional Law Enforcement Academy.

Hanna said Conway had not faced any disciplinary action for her work with the city.

"Actually she was doing a pretty good job," he said.

Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education , which regulates peace officers in the state, issued a peace officer license to Conway on Sept. 9 , according to state records. Conway has been a peace officer for four months, and her only law enforcement job was with Hereford.

If convicted, Conway faces two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

Animal Control Officer Alonzo Esco Fired for Shooting Dog and Cats

An animal control officer for Canton and Madison County has been fired amid accusations he shot numerous dogs and cats and dumped their carcasses in a creek in Canton.

Canton Police Chief Vickie McNeill would not confirm the number of carcasses and suspected manner of death.

"I will not discuss any specifics, but we have some animals that are dead," McNeill said Wednesday.

Alonzo Esco has been accused of mishandling animals, McNeill said. Esco served as a shared animal control officer for Canton and the county for three years. His salary was not immediately available.

Esco could not be reached for comment.

The Canton Police Department investigation is complete, and the findings have been turned over to the Madison/Rankin district attorney's office, McNeill said. Officials there would not discuss the case other than to say Esco has not been indicted.

McNeill said a citizen's complaint made with the Madison County Sheriff's Department led to the firing, which the Board of Aldermen approved Tuesday.

A woman filed the complaint after a pet she wanted to adopt never turned up at the Mississippi Animal Rescue League. The Sheriff's Department then forwarded the complaint to Canton police, McNeill said.

"That led us to conduct an investigation when the animal wasn't there," she said.

Debra Boswell, director of MARL, said if the allegations against Esco are true, "I'm extremely disappointed and certainly saddened for the animals that their end was met this way."

Boswell said Esco was doing a good job when he started out bringing the Rescue League animals.

If he was doing what he's accused of, Boswell said, "It's a blemish on the animal control officers who have worked so hard to professionalize what they do."

"I don't know why he would select that method of disposal," she said.

"Healthy animals are put down in shelters every day," Boswell said. "While the results may be the same (as killing them outside a shelter), it's how you get there."

Robbie Wilbur, spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Quality, said the agency has received no complaints about the dumping of carcasses in Canton and has no investigation pending.

Wilbur would not address the allegations against Esco. But he said dumping animal remains into the water could cause "public health issues."

The creek has since been cleaned up, McNeill said.

Officer Reginald Jones Changes His Story

An on-duty D.C. police officer charged with murder in a street robbery gone wrong initially told supervisors that he was at police headquarters writing search warrants the night of the Dec. 1 shooting, a homicide detective told a D.C. Superior Court judge Tuesday.

But, the detective testified, Officer Reginald Jones changed his story after a suspect in the case said Jones was involved in the crime. Jones then told police that he was at the scene of the shooting, sitting in his marked patrol car. But Jones told them that he was alone, investigating a tip about illegal guns. He has denied involvement in the shooting and robbery.

Prosecutors have charged Jones, 40, a six-year member of the department, with felony murder in the shooting death of Arvel S. Alston, 40, during the robbery in the 4200 block of Fourth Street SE. One of the co-defendants, Rashun M. Parker, 27, of Temple Hills, the first of five suspects arrested in the case, identified Jones as being involved in planning to rob a suspected drug dealer. Parker has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and conspiracy.

Jones, his ankles and wrists shackled, sat next to his attorney during the three-hour hearing.

Also seated at the defense table was Arvel Crawford, 19, Alston's son. Parker has said Crawford accidentally killed Alston during a scuffle with the intended robbery victim. Police said Alston had about $4,200 in cash stuffed in his pockets.

The courtroom was filled with family members of the victim and the suspects, as well as uniformed police officers and detectives. Jones, of Upper Marlboro, was assigned to the department's narcotics and gun recovery unit.

Also charged in the case are Jarvis Clark, 19, of Temple Hills and Lynn Daniel Wilkerson, 33, of Hyattsville.

Detective Anthony Greene testified Tuesday that police recovered from Wilkerson's home two police-issued bulletproof vests, one of which had "property of R. Jones" written inside, portable flashing red lights and a home-invasion battering ram that was marked "gun recovery unit."

Greene said the suspects discussed the plan to rob Tyrone Herring, 45, while hanging out at an auto detailing shop in Suitland owned by Wilkerson and frequented by Jones. Greene testified that detectives recovered surveillance video from the auto shop that showed Jones there, sitting at a computer, while the other men were discussing the robbery and distributing guns.

After his arrest in the shooting, Parker accompanied a detective in a stakeout of the auto shop and saw Jones drive up. Parker then identified Jones as the officer involved in the robbery's planning.

Herring, who was also shot during the robbery but suffered injuries that were not life-threatening, was charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute after police said they found 31.4 grams of crack in his pants while he was being treated for the gunshot wound at a hospital. Investigators said Herring told them that he was robbed of nearly $5,000.

According to charging documents, Parker told detectives that Jones drove his cruiser on the night of the shooting through the courtyard of the housing complex in Washington Highlands to shoo away loiterers who might see the planned robbery. He then parked his car at the end of the driveway near the complex and sat on the driver's side, the documents state.

Greene testified that the other men approached Herring at the apartment complex, struck him over the head and tried to push him into a car with Alston in the driver's seat. Herring tried to wrestle away from his attackers. During the struggle, Crawford's gun accidentally went off, striking his father in the upper right chest, according to the documents and Greene's testimony.

Attorneys for Jones and Crawford urged Judge Michael L. Rankin to release their clients, saying Parker had a criminal history and was biased because he was cooperating with prosecutors after pleading guilty. The attorneys also argued that Herring, another witness, was a known drug dealer.

Rankin said the evidence presented at the hearing was "strong" and ordered Jones and Crawford to remain held in the D.C. jail until trial. Another judge signed an order allowing Jones to be separated from other inmates.

Jones is on paid indefinite suspension, said Assistant Police Chief Michael Anzallo. Department policy is to suspend an officer's pay 30 days after felony charges are filed, Anzallo said. Jones was arrested and charged in the fatal shooting Dec. 15.

Female Officer In Trouble for Posting Photo of Dead Body on Facebook Page

A possible scandal is brewing in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The police department has suspended an unnamed female officer while they investigate whether she posted a photo of a dead body on her Facebook page.

The image in question appears to show a dead body, face down in what looks like a crime scene. The police department says they will do thorough investigation.

If the photo is verified, the officer could be fired. It is against department policy to post crime scene photos on the Internet.