Friday, January 15, 2010

William Bumbrey III Dies After Being Tasered for Shoplifting

Police Tasered a shoplifting suspect and now he is dead, raising new concerns about the use of what is supposed to be a "non-lethal" weapon. It happened in Pentagon City, Virginia after an officer spotted the suspect inside the metro station.

William Randolph Bumbrey III was accused of stealing some store items from a nearby pharmacy. How that routine shoplifting case led to the use of a Taser and a Bumbrey's death is now under investigation. Arlington County police were on the lookout around 8:00 p.m. Sunday for a shoplifting suspect.

An officer went into Metro knowing it could be a quick and easy getaway. That's where police say the officer found Bumbrey, the stolen goods on him.

"When the officer approached the suspect he became combative and fought with the officer," said Detective Crystal Nosal, with Arlington County Police.

Police say the officer then used his Taser. It should have immobilized the 36-year old suspect but it didn't. A second officer arrived for backup. After Bumbrey was handcuffed, the officers noticed he was having problems breathing and called for medics. Bumbrey died shortly after.

"The officer deployed their Taser. It didn't appear to have an effect on the suspect and the suspect continued to struggle with the officer," said Det. Nosal.

State records show Bumbrey has a conviction on racketeering charges and is a registered sex offender in South Carolina who moved to the District in October. Bumbrey's father lives in Northwest DC.

A friend says the elder Bumbrey called him this morning with the news. "I said your son's dead? What do you mean your son is dead?" Leonard Dixon recalled asking his friend. Dixon says the details were scared.

"All he told me is that they used a Taser gun on him and they couldn't subdue him. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand what goes on," said Dixon.

Metro does have cameras inside the Pentagon City Metro, but Metro officials are unaware if the confrontation between the officers and suspect was caught on tape. It's unclear if the Taser even hit Bumbrey. The results of an autopsy and toxicology tests are pending.

Arlington County police say they have more than a hundred Tasers in the department but use them less than 20 times a year. The department says until now it's never had a possible Taser related death.

Police say officers only use the Taser when a suspect fails to comply with orders and the officer fears bodily harm. Unlike the use of a gun, which requires an officer fear for his life, the standards for Tasers are lower because Tasers are not considered deadly force.

Deputy Leo Thao Arrested on Gun Charges

A veteran deputy who recently resigned from the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office was arrested on a gun charge in New York near the Canadian border Sunday.

An officer in New York told the Herald-Journal Thursday that Leo Thao, 39, remained in the custody of Jefferson County authorities. Thao is accused of carrying a loaded 9-mm handgun in New York without the gun being registered. New York state law classifies carrying a gun without it being registered as a misdemeanor if it is empty and as a felony if it is loaded. The Jefferson County officer said it is a common charge filed against truck drivers.

Thao submitted a resignation letter last week, Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Tony Ivey said.

"He tendered a letter of resignation, and the next thing we know, we're getting a call from authorities in New York," Ivey said.

Thao worked at the sheriff's office 14 years, was a master deputy and member of the court security team at the time of his resignation. Ivey said Thao "turned in all equipment," including his service weapon, when he resigned.

The Watertown (N.Y.) Daily Times reported Tuesday that Thao was arrested at U.S. Customs on Wellesly Island and charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. The paper reported that Thao was denied entry to Canada by its Customs officials and sent back to U.S. Customs for further investigation.

Sgt. Greg Huerta Charged with Domestic Battery

A veteran Pocatello police officer has been suspended until he can resolve the domestic violence allegations prosecutors have filed against him.

Police Chief J.R. Miller says Sgt. Greg Huerta, a veteran of more than 20 years with the department, has been suspended with pay. Huerta, 50, was scheduled to be arraigned in one count of misdemeanor domestic battery Thursday.

Huerta did not appear, but has 14 days to do so.

Miller says the department takes domestic violence allegations seriously and has authorized a separate internal investigation.

Citing police reports, the Idaho State Journal says the allegations span several years and include verbal and physical abuse of the victim, with some of the physical confrontations leading to injuries.

Information from: Idaho State Journal,

Murder Trial for Former Officer Brian Brush Faces Delays

There are more delays in the murder trial of Roseburg-based North River Boats Owner Brian Brush.

47-year-old Brush is accused of shooting his former girlfriend to death in Long Beach, Washington last September. He was set to be arraigned Friday on first-degree murder charges, but his attorney has requested a week long delay. This comes after a mental competency hearing was called off by Brush's lawyer earlier this week.

Brush's formal arraignment has been postponed three times.

Long Beach Police say Brush shot 45-year-old Lisa Bonney in broad daylight on Sept. 11, during an annual classic car rally that draws thousands of people to the Long Beach Peninsula. Bonney was Brush's on-again, off-again girlfriend. According to documents filed with South Pacific District Court in Long Beach, Bonney said she thought Brush was going to kill her during a violent outburst in July of last year.

Brush was hired as a patrol officer with the Medford Police Department in 1988. He left on a medical disability in July of 1994. North River Boats is currently under investigation by the FBI for fraud.

Officer Jerry Nava Resigns After Improperly Pursing Vehicle

A Fort Myers police officer resigned in lieu of being fired today for improperly pursuing a vehicle, according to a department report.

On Dec. 1, Officer Jerry Nava attempted to pull over a Nissan Altima for speeding near the Sam’s Club Plaza on Cleveland Avenue. The vehicle did not stop, so a sergeant gave orders to stop pursuit of the vehicle.

According to internal reports, Nava kept sight of the vehicle and then arrested the driver when he parked in a parking lot.

Nava’s actions break department rules for what constitutes a proper pursuit, the internal report said. Plus, he did not obey orders given by a senior officer.

Top police officials, including Chief Baker, recommended Nava be terminated, but instead he resigned.
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Former Officer Robert Helphenstine Accused of Having Sex with Teen Boy

A former Fallowfield Township police officer accused of having sex with a 17-year-old boy will stand trial.

Officer Robert Helphenstine appeared in court Friday for a preliminary hearing.

He’s accused of picking up a 17-year-old runaway at a Greyhound station in downtown Pittsburgh and having sex with him at his home.

“I believe the hearing went very well. We found that the main witness for the prosecution was incredulous, admitted on the stand that he lied on more than one occasion,” said defense attorney Stephen Misko.

Channel 4 Action News' Sheldon Ingram previously reported that police said Helphenstine, the former officer-in-charge of the department, met the Virginia boy on Liberty Avenue while his trip to California was on a layover.

A new court date has not been set for Misko.

Former Officer Ryan Moore Pleads Guilty to Possession of Marijuana

A former Huntsville Police Officer was sentenced after pleading guilty to possessing marijuana.

Court records showed a small amount of marijuana was found in an equipment bag inside the trunk of Ryan Moore's patrol car.

Moore resigned from the police department and pleaded guilty to charges on September 14th.

Moore, his attorney, prosecution and Moore's friends and family were given a chance to speak before sentencing.

Moore spoke on his own behalf telling the court, "I made a mistake. I didn't turn in the marijuana. I'm sorry to the Huntsville Police Department, my friends and family for dragging them into this. This was truly a misunderstanding."

Moore also explained it's been difficult to find a job with a pending felony charge.

Moore said he has applied to many places but was turned down when the employer found out about his criminal record.

Moore said he is now employed at Publix and found out Friday he passed his managers test.

Moore's friends and family testified Moore knew by 7th grade he wanted to become a police officer.

He graduated from Grissom High School, went on to graduate from Auburn, and then from the police academy.

His father, Douglas Moore told the judge, "I ask for mercy. Ryan has been punished enough. It's been 21 months since he was charged. He was forced to quit the police department."

Prosecutor Don Rizzardi said this has been a hard case.

"I feel Ryan fell under bad influence. He confessed, pled guilty. It takes a man to admit he was wrong. It doesn't make sense to me that he doesn't remember turning in 4 bags of marijuana in his car," he said.

Huntsville Police Internal Affairs Officer also stood before the court.

"It gave us cause for concern but I don't think Ryan Moore belongs in prison," he said.

During sentencing, Judge Karen Hall told Little, "This is not an easy case. I know from what I've read that you must be an upstanding person that made poor decisions. And it seems you were under the influence of a fellow officer whose record wasn't as clear."

Moore was sentenced to a five year split sentence.

He will serve six months at the Madison County jail in active work release.

He has until January 19th to turn himself in.

The balance of his sentence will be suspended. Then he will be placed on a 2 year probation.

The defense has 42 days to appeal.

Former Officer Maurice Morris Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison

A former Riviera Beach police officer who attempted to rape a woman after writing her a traffic ticket was sentenced to more than seven years in prison, according to the State Attorney's Office Friday.

Maurice Morris was convicted of attempted sexual battery by a law enforcement officer, bribery by a public servant and official misconduct.

Morris made a traffic stop October 2008 on a woman in Riviera Beach and wrote her up two traffic citations before following her home to West Palm Beach, the State Attorney's Office said.

The GPS on his police car showed that he was at her home for almost an hour and a half. The victim said that Morris tried to rape her on her couch.

Morris never turned in the victim's tickets and a jury last month convicted Morris.


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Sgt. Scott Krause Convicted of Beating Handcuffed Suspect

A Milwaukee County sheriff's sergeant was convicted Tuesday of beating a suspect handcuffed inside a squad car, where a video camera recorded the entire incident.

Scott Krause, 38, was arrested Oct. 16, within hours of when Ray Calderon had complained to sheriff's officials about being slugged in the face after he asked to use the restroom.

Four days later, Krause was charged with misdemeanor battery and misconduct in public office, a felony. He pleaded no contest to both charges Tuesday, was found guilty, and faces up to nine months in jail on the battery and up to 3½ years in prison on the felony at his sentencing March 5.

Deputy District Attorney Kent Lovern said his office would recommend prison but not a specific term. Lovern said the video is clear and explicit.

"Obviously, such conduct is completely unacceptable . . . and intolerable for a law enforcement officer," he said after the plea hearing.

He said he planned to play the dash cam video at the sentencing but declined news media requests for the video.

His office has reviewed the actions of three other deputies on duty at the jail at the time of the incident and decided no further criminal charges were warranted.

Sheriff's Capt. Aisha Barkow said the three remain on administrative duty pending an internal investigation.

Krause, who has been free on bail and suspended with pay since his arrest, appeared in court with his attorney, Michael Steinle; neither wished to comment after the hearing, held before Circuit Judge Dennis Cimpl.

Calderon's attorney, Jonathan Safran, also attended. He said his client was pleased Krause was found guilty of a felony and is considering a civil lawsuit in the matter. He said Calderon is still receiving treatment for injuries to his eye and his back.

According to the criminal complaint, deputies had arrested Calderon, 34, early Oct. 16 and had taken him to the County Jail, where Krause arrived to assist in the processing. As Calderon sat in the back of the car, he told investigators, he had a strong urge to urinate. Because his hands were cuffed behind him, he tapped on the window with his foot.

Krause opened the door and told Calderon to stop, that he'd get his turn and closed the door. When Calderon again tapped on the window, Krause opened the door, leaned in, slapped Calderon and said, "I told you to stop (expletive) kicking the window, you hear me?" Krause then grabbed Calderon and struck him several times in the face with a closed fist.

An initial news release from the sheriff's office said Calderon was stopped for suspected drunken driving. At a news conference after Krause was charged, Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. said the Wisconsin State Patrol had stopped Calderon - who hasn't had a valid driver's license since 2007 - because he was wanted on two warrants from Winnebago County. Sheriff's deputies were called as backup and transported Calderon to the jail.

Calderon was released from the Winnebago County Jail in November after serving time for driving after revocation.


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Chief Mike Akins Arrested for Child Sex Crimes

A top central Kansas law enforcement officer is accused of rape and child molesting after being arrested Tuesday night at his Inman home.

Inman Police Chief Mike Akins is charged with 17 felonies, including rape, indecent liberties and battery, involving four children 14 years old and younger, and two misdemeanor battery counts.

McPherson County deputies and Kansas Highway Patrol members forcibly entered Akins' home to arrest him after he failed to answer the door.

The 38-year-old joined the Inman Police Department in 2005 and became chief in January 2007.

The Kansas attorney general's office and Kansas Bureau of Investigation are handling the case after being asked a week ago to investigate the chief.

Akins was being held in McPherson County Jail on $250,000 bond.
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