Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Capt. Travis Mosher Accused of Stealing Fire Chief's Vehicle

A top-ranking member of the Manassas Park police department has been accused of stealing a fire department battalion chief's vehicle during an awards banquet for volunteer firefighters, Prince William County police said.

Capt. Travis D. Mosher was the Manassas Park police department's operations commander, but he resigned Sunday, the day after he turned himself in to police, InsideNova.com reported. A dispatcher at the Manassas Park police department said no one was available to speak to the news media Monday regarding the incident and could not confirm that Mosher had stepped down.

According to Prince William County police, the 30-year-old was attending an awards banquet for the Occoquan-Woodbridge-Lorton fire station at 1300 F St. in Woodbridge on Saturday evening, when he allegedly stole a 2005 Ford Excursion assigned to a Prince William County fire department battalion chief.

Investigators say they saw Mosher stealing the SUV on surveillance videos. The vehicle was recovered a little more than three miles from the banquet near the intersection of Golansky Road and Prince William Parkway in Woodbridge, police said. No one was injured, and no accidents were reported.

Mosher, police said, turned himself in Saturday night, and he was charged with grand larceny and petit larceny. He was released on his own recognizance with a Feb. 10 court date.

Calls to Mosher were not returned Monday.

The Manassas Park police department's Web site says Mosher joined the force as a patrol officer in 1997 and was promoted to captain and head of operations for the 35-member force in 2006. Before that he spent one year as a patrol sergeant.

His profile in LinkedIn.com, a social networking Web site, says he is enrolled in Northern Virginia Community College's criminal justice degree program.

Mosher described himself as a "dedicated proactive law enforcement professional with over twelve years of extensive experience in crisis management, budgeting and administration" on his LinkedIn page. He concluded that he is an "outstanding leader with a firm but fair attitude and a reputation for honesty, loyalty and integrity."

Corrections Officer Curtis Moore Arrested for Shooting His Wife

Police cars and detectives filled the corner of Summerlane Avenue and Summerhurst Street shortly before midnight Monday.

An affidavit says 55-year-old Curtis Glenn Moore called police to his home in the 4800 block of Summerlane Avenue to the report a shooting.

"The husband fired a shot and hit his wife in the torso," said Lt. Col Pruitt from Memphis Police.

Police say they found Moore's wife, 50-year-old Nannette Jefferson shot in the chest. She told detectives that she was trying to walk away from her husband, when he put his foot in the door and shot her. But Moore says Jefferson grabbed him by the collar of his shirt. And then he pulled his gun and shot his wife.

"We don't know what caused the disturbance between them or the argument between them," added Pruitt.

Jefferson was taken to The MED in critical condition, while Moore was brought in for questioning and later charged with aggravated assault.

Family members say that the couple had been married for six years. But the couple had been going through a rough divorce over the past several months.

Moore who worked with the Shelby County Jail for 21 years as a correctional officer is off work with pay pending and administrative investigation.

Neighbors who live on the typically quiet street are still in disbelief.

Moore now sits behind bars at the very jail he worked in as recently as yesterday. Moore is behind bars on a $300,000 bond. He is set to be in court tomorrow at 9 am.

Former Deputy Trenedy Brooks Charged with Rape of Minor

A former Grainger County deputy has been charged with two counts of aggravated statutory rape and solicitation of a minor.

Trenedy Brooks was arraigned on Tuesday and released on a $60,000 bond.

The Grainger County Sheriff's Office arrested Brooks on Friday.

He had previously been put on administrative leave without pay in May of 2009, pending the outcome of a TBI investigation.

TBI spokesperson Kristin Helm indicates the bureau has an open investigation on Brooks, on "similar allegations" but noted it was a separate investigation that included TBI agents seizing a computer from Brooks' home.

Affidavits from investigating officer, Detective Jesse Jarnigan, indicate that the victim is a 16-year-old girl. Brooks is 27.

The affidavit of complaint indicates Brooks picked the girl up at least twice and took her to his home, where he had sexual intercourse with her.

Michael Mineo Awaits Justice for Officer Sodomizing Him

Michael Mineo - the star witness in the trial of a police officer accused of sodomizing him - has a checkered past but says he did nothing to deserve what happened to him.

"I just can't wait for this trial to start," Mineo told the Daily News. "I want justice.

"Do you know how much anger I have? He's going down. He violated me and he tried to sweep it under the rug."

In the trial, starting in Brooklyn Supreme Court this week and expected to last a month, Officer Richard Kern faces 25 years behind bars on charges of sodomizing Mineo with a collapsible police baton on a Prospect Park station subway platform on Oct. 15, 2008.

Officers Alex Cruz and Andrew Morales face four years on charges of covering up the assault.

The three Brooklyn cops, who have all denied the charges and say no assault took place, chased Mineo after spotting him with a joint. Kern allegedly assaulted Mineo as he struggled while being cuffed by a fourth officer.

Mineo's lawyer Stephen Jackson has filed a federal civil suit against the police and says his client is still suffering from posttraumatic stress.

Police officials at first scoffed at Mineo's claims, but prosecutors reinterviewed witnesses, viewed Mineo's medical records and took the case to the grand jury, which voted to indict after two police witnesses came forward.

Mineo - who has been busted for marijuana, stolen credit cards and a melee at a tattoo parlor where he was a body piercer - will be the main witness at the trial.

"The evidence will just speak for itself," said Mineo, who now works at Staples. "Talking about [my] arrests doesn't bother me, not one bit. That has nothing to do with me being sodomized.

"I could have been a murderer - that has nothing to do with it. They could say whatever they want about me. They're trying to bring dirt. I'm ready."

Still, how Mineo behaves on the stand may be as crucial as what he says. "I'm going to hold my composure, but I'm not going to be treated like the one who did something wrong," he said. "I'll look him [Kern] in the eye; he won't even be able to look me in the eye. I pray for Richard Kern. ... He crossed the line and he's going to do time," says Mineo.

"I hope that everything ends up well for him, but I don't forgive him. ... I pray for him. I pray for all my enemies."

Former Officer Drew Peterson Had Previous Threatened to Kill Wife

Former police officer Drew Peterson threw his wife to the floor one night, grabbed her throat and told her he "could kill her there and then," a one-time co-worker of the wife testified Tuesday at a hearing to determine what evidence can be admitted in Peterson's murder trial.

Kathleen Savio, Drew Peterson's third wife, who mysteriously drowned in a bathtub six years ago, essentially is testifying from the grave during the hearing. Witnesses are expected to tell a judge how Savio discussed and wrote about her fears that Peterson, a former Bolingbrook police sergeant, would kill her.

The hearing, projected to last three weeks, is expected to provide the first detailed look at evidence prosecutors contend ties Peterson to Savio's 2004 death. It stems from a state law that allows a judge to admit hearsay evidence in first-degree murder cases if prosecutors can prove a defendant killed a witness to prevent him or her from testifying.

Issam Karam, who said he worked with Savio at Parkway Imaging in Romeoville in late 2003, testified that Savio told him she had come home one night looking forward to a bath and glass of wine when Peterson threw her to the floor. Savio said the incident occurred after she had changed the locks to the home.

Karam said Peterson grabbed Savio's throat and had a knife. Savio showed him a bruise on her arm, Karam said.

"(Peterson) said nothing that she could do would make her safe," Karam said. "She could not run or hide. He could kill her there and then."

Another witness, Savio's boss, testified that a number of times a Bolingbrook squad car was parked in front of her Romeoville business while Savio was inside. Lisa Mordente said that on one occasion, Savio was returning from lunch and approached another vehicle parked outside and spoke to a man inside.

"She was very shaken up when she came back in, her hand was shaking, she had tears, she was a mess," Mordente said.

Mordente also testified that Savio told her it was Peterson outside and they were fighting over money.

Mordente's testimony highlighted what is sure to be a key part of the trial - the fact that Peterson was a police officer. His attorneys have raised questions about why witnesses didn't notify police if they believed Savio feared Peterson.

Mordente said she didn't call police when she learned Savio died "because it wouldn't have helped."

"Kathleen had stated on several occasions she had called police," Mordente said.

During the hearing, prosecutors will present to Will County Judge Stephen White about 60 witnesses to testify about 15 hearsay statements. White will then decide if the jury can hear any or all of those statements when Peterson stands trial. Peterson has pleaded not guilty to murdering Savio, whose body was found in a dry tub. A trial date hasn't been set.

The Illinois Legislature passed the hearsay law after authorities named Peterson a suspect in the 2007 disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy, then exhumed the body of Savio and reopened the investigation into her death.

While neither side has talked much about the evidence in the case, from the day Peterson was arrested, Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow has made it clear that allowing Savio to tell jurors why Peterson wanted her dead is crucial to his case.

"In essence, what you're basically allowing the victim of a violent crime to do is testify from the grave," Glasgow, who pushed for passage of the bill, told reporters in May shortly after Peterson was arrested.

The list of witnesses remains under seal, but Savio's niece, Melissa Doman, said her mother, Anna Doman, is among those who have been called to testify.

"It would be about things my Aunt Kitty (Savio) told my mom about how she was afraid for her life, she said she was afraid of Drew," Melissa Doman said, adding that she has not been called to testify.

Also expected to testify are other members of Savio's family, including her sister, Susan Savio. It was Susan Savio who told a coroner's jury shortly after her sister's death that Kathleen Savio had told family members that, "if she would die, it may look like an accident, but it wasn't."

The death initially was ruled an accidental drowning - until Stacy Peterson's disappearance led officials to exhume Savio's body, conduct another autopsy and conclude Savio was the victim of a homicide. Drew Peterson has not been charged in Stacy Peterson's disappearance.

Other possible witnesses who could be asked to testify about the stormy relationship between Drew Peterson and Savio are his former colleagues. Eighteen times in two years, police were called to the couple's Bolingbrook home to respond to reports of trouble between the two, with Savio telling officers that her husband had beaten her and threatened to kill her. Peterson was never charged. Savio was charged with domestic battery and later was acquitted.

There also are court documents that prosecutors are expected to present into evidence, including a 2002 order of protection in which Savio alleges that Peterson knocked her down, ripped off her necklace and left marks on her body.

"He wants me dead, and if he has to, he will burn the house down just to shut me up," she wrote.

Among the more intriguing possible witnesses are members of the clergy at a Bolingbrook church attended by Stacy Peterson. In the days after her disappearance, there were media reports that she had told a clergyman a couple months earlier that Drew Peterson had confessed to her that he killed Savio and made it look like an accident.

Peterson's attorneys have made it clear that they will attack the credibility of at least some of the witnesses.

"All it is, is rumor, innuendo and gossip," defense attorney Joel Brodsky said after a recent hearing concerning information contained in the 15 statements. "People had ulterior motives for saying what they said or are out-and-out unreliable people."

The defense is not expected to call any witnesses of its own during the hearing.

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UpDate On Officer Timothy Carson Charged with Bank Robbery

A Minneapolis police officer charged with bank robbery lived in the Center Point area as a child.

Timothy Edward Carson, 28, was charged Jan. 7 in federal court with robbing a bank in Apple Valley, Minn., and could be connected to up to a dozen Twin Cities robberies in late December and early January, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Center Point-Urbana Superintendent Alan Marshall confirmed Carson attended district schools for the second through ninth grades, before moving away. Efforts to contact Carson’s parents weren’t successful Monday.

Carson was charged after an Apple Valley officer stopped his car the morning of Jan. 6 because it lacked a front license plate. The traffic stop occurred about three miles from a bank that was robbed later that morning.

The officer released Carson after he showed his police identification, but he noticed Carson’s car near the bank while responding to the robbery report about an hour later. Carson was about an hour late for that day’s shift, which began minutes before the robbery.

A police detective and an FBI agent interviewed Carson that evening.

Carson at first denied involvement, but then admitted his role, leading them to clothing used in the robbery, discarded in a trash can outside police headquarters.

Carson began work as a Minneapolis officer in January 2007, according to the Star Tribune. He has been a member of the department’s SWAT unit for nearly two years.

After Carson’s arrest, Minneapolis police named him as a suspect in robberies at convenience stores, a pharmacy, a coffee shop, and at least one other bank in Minneapolis and its suburbs.

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Officer Ramon Reyes Jr. Pleads Guilty to Fraud

A former Irving police officer pleaded guilty to defrauding a Housing and Urban Development program that sought to revitalize slumping neighborhoods by enticing law enforcers to live there with a 50 percent discount off the list price on a home.

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Officer Thomas Seifert Charged with Assaulting Handcuffed Man

A Miami Township police officer on paid administrative leave since August has been charged with misdemeanor assault in Miamisburg Municipal Court.

Thomas Seifert, 39, is awaiting a jury trial and an administrative hearing after Chief John Krug asked the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office to investigate allegations the officer physically assaulted a handcuffed man in August while on duty, according to court records and investigators.

“I cannot release any more details about the ongoing investigation other than there is one,” Krug said.

Krug’s department was working to fulfill a public records request made early Tuesday afternoon of the police incident reports that led to Seifert’s suspension.

Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Mike Nolan confirmed his detectives investigated Seifert’s actions and found “criminal wrongdoing.” The matter was referred back to Krug’s department, and the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office brought the criminal charges in early January, according to court records.

A jury trial has been set in the case for Feb. 25.

Krug said he asked independent agencies to investigate Seifert’s alleged actions because other officers witnessed them and could testify in court.

Seifert, who lives in Miamisburg, has received his normal paycheck for the last five months while the criminal investigation was conducted, per the police union’s contract with the township, Krug said.

“There are two investigations here, a criminal investigation and an administrative investigation,” he said. “The criminal investigation gets priority over the administrative, and now that we have charges, a pre-disciplinary hearing will likely be held within the next week.”

Township trustees will then be presented with the results of that hearing and decide Seifert’s employment status.

Seifert is not in jail on the charge and his attorney was not available for comment this afternoon,

Officer Bryan Platz Arrested for Drunk Driving

A police officer in Coon Rapids, MN, was suspended from his job following a suspected DWI arrest when he was off-duty.

The officer, 35-year-old Bryan Platz, was arrested after rear-ending another car around 10PM Friday night. There were no serious injuries in the accident. When local police noted another officer was involved, they asked the state patrol to handle the situation.

Upon arriving at the scene, state patrol officers believed alcohol may have been a factor in the fender-bender. Officer Platz agreed to provide a blood sample. Those results may take weeks to process, but he has been suspended from duty regardless.

In most cases involving public officials, the department will conduct an internal investigation to consider multiple factors. Those factors include the officer's history of disciplinary problems, whether the officer was in a patrol vehicle or on duty, and if the officer broke department policies in the accident.

Platz has been an officer with the Coon Rapids police force for nearly 7 years. He will be paid during his leave time. No internal investigation was pursued to determine if the officer should be suspended; the action seemed to occur very quickly.
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