Thursday, February 11, 2010

Chief Russ Leach Being Investigated for Hit and Run

Riverside Police Chief Russ Leach is being investigated after a hit-and-run crash in his city-issued car at 3 a.m. on Monday morning.

Leach, who was hired in 2000, has been placed on medical leave. The case has been handed over from Riverside Police to the California Highway Patrol to avoid conflicts.

According to the Press-Enterprise, CHP Inland Division Chief Jeff Talbott said that the CHP is probing separate allegations that Leach was driving while impaired and that responding Riverside police officers omitted that suspicion from their initial report.

"At this point, the physical evidence is gone," Talbott told the newspaper. "If there's any impairment, our investigation will be based solely on the interviews of witnesses, which will be Riverside police.

You can read more on this story, by visiting the
Press Enterprise Web Site

Officer Jamey Woods Arrested for Assault

A second deputy with the Chesapeake sheriff's department is out of a job after being arrested.

Jamey Ray Woods, 35, resigned from the Chesapeake Sheriff's Office on Wednesday morning, said Sgt. David Rosado, a spokesman for the office.

Woods, a deputy since August 1997, was arrested Saturday night at the Oceanfront after a confrontation with his girlfriend, said Officer Adam Bernstein, a Beach police spokesman. The incident occurred at 11 p.m., at the Quality Inn & Suites on Atlantic Avenue, the site of the Polar Plunge Festival Center earlier that afternoon. Woods was not involved with the event, which raises money every year for Special Olympics Virginia, event spokeswoman Holly Claytor said.

Woods was arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault and public intoxication. He has been released on $2,500 bond and is scheduled to appear in General District Court on March 22.

Corrections Officer Candy McGuire Accused of Shooting Husband

A Russell County corrections officer has been charged with first-degree assault after police say a domestic dispute ended with her husband shot in the abdomen Monday.Thirty-four-year-old Candy McGuire is accused of shooting her 42-year-old husband at their home.

Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones says deputies responded to the home at 7:17 a.m. and found the unidentified victim suffering at least one gunshot wound.

Police say the man was responsive when he was transported to The Medical Center in Columbus, Ga.

McGuire turned herself in at the sheriff's office around noon. Russell County Sheriff Tommy Boswell says McGuire has been a corrections officer with his department for seven months.
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Officer Paul Barkyoumb Charged with Harassment

The Connecticut Victim Advocate accuses a Holyoke, Massachusetts Police officer of sending her threatening text messages.

Paul Barkyoumb has now been charged with 2 counts of second degree harassment.

Connecticut State Police Trooper Karen O'Connor says the Holyoke man turned himself in to Connecticut State Police today.

"After a lengthy investigation into the allegations, detectives from the State Police Major Crime Squad secured an arrest warrant for Mr. Barkyoumb," O'Connor said.

Barkyoumb's attorney says he is adamant that his client is innocent.

Connecticut Victim Advocate Michele Cruz identified herself as the victim of harassment in a recent article in the Hartford Advocate newspaper.

She said she had been dating Barkyoumb, and he started sending threatening text messages after they broke up.

Barkyoumb is scheduled to appear in court February 16.

Sherriff Department's Volunteer Bruce Tuck Charged with Multiple Sexual Assault

Shelby County District Attorney Bill Gibbons announced Thursday that the state Grand Jury for Shelby County indicted a Gleason, Tennessee man, already convicted for multiple sexual assaults elsewhere, for a string of sexual assaults reported in Memphis and Shelby County last summer.

The Grand Jury returned three separate indictments against Bruce Tuck, 36, on multiple felony charges including aggravated rape, aggravated robbery, and aggravated burglary.

In the first indictment, Tuck is charged with five counts of aggravated rape, especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery, two counts of aggravated burglary, employing a firearm during a felony, and burglary of a motor vehicle. The indictment states the alleged offenses occurred between June 26 and June 28, 2009. This case was investigated by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.

In the second indictment, Tuck is charged with five counts of aggravated rape, aggravated robbery, two counts of aggravated sexual battery, two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated burglary, and employing a firearm during a felony. The indictment states the alleged offenses occurred between August 4 and August 6, 2009. This case was investigated by the Memphis Police Department.

In the final indictment, Tuck is charged with six counts of aggravated rape, attempted aggravated rape, two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery, two counts of aggravated burglary, and employing a firearm during a felony.

The indictment states the alleged offenses occurred between August 22 and August 25, 2009. This case was investigated by the Memphis Police Department.

The District Attorney’s office does not release the names of victims of sexual assault. No other information on the cases is available at this time.

Tuck is currently serving a 60 year sentence with the Tennessee Department of Corrections. Tuck pleaded guilty last December in a Weakley County Criminal Court to multiple felony charges including aggravated rape, especially aggravated kidnapping and sexual battery. He will be transported from the Hardeman County Correctional Facility to the Shelby County Jail where he will be held without bond on these most recent indictments. An arraignment date in Shelby County has not yet been scheduled.

“These reported crimes are especially heinous,” said District Attorney Gibbons. “Although Mr. Tuck is already serving a very long prison sentence for crimes committed elsewhere, we intend to hold him accountable here in Shelby County as well,” Gibbons stressed.

Aggravated rape carries a sentence of up to 60 years without parole. Aggravated rape and aggravated robbery are charges covered by the D.A.’s “No Deals” policy on violent crimes. Exceptions are made to the policy for legal or ethical reasons.

Assistant District Attorneys Abby Wallace and Alanda Dwyer are prosecuting this case. Both prosecutors are assigned to Criminal Court Division 8 which is designated a special prosecution court for cases involving repeat offenders.

Officer Mark Taylor Arrested for Child Sexual Assault

The U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force and Arkansas State Police arrested a former West Memphis police officer Thursday.

According to an affidavit, 37-year-old Mark Taylor inappropriately touched and sexually assaulted a young child. Taylor was an officer with the West Memphis Police Department from March 1999 until he resigned in June 2000. He is currently being held in the Crittenden County Jail.

Officer Jacques Mackenson Arrested for Child Rape

An off-duty police officer has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a child.

Police say Jacques Mackenson, 29, of Brooklyn was arrested this morning by the Internal Affairs Bureau.

The Brooklyn District Attorney's Office says he is facing several charges including sexual conduct against a child and second-degree rape.

Sources say the victim is a 15-year-old female who is related to the officer. NY1 has been told the abuse started three years ago when she was 12.

Mackenson became an officer about a year ago and is assigned to the Housing Bureau's Anti-Crime team in Brooklyn.

Officer Angel Montalvo Charged with Misuse of DataBase

In September 2009, while conducting an unrelated investigation, the Tucson Police Department uncovered information that Tucson Police Officer Angel Montalvo was involved in possible criminal misconduct.

The Tucson Police Department initiated a preliminary investigation into the matter and, due to the complexity of the investigation, referred the investigation to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for follow-up. That investigation was completed and referred to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.

On February 2, 2010 the Attorney General’s Office presented the matter to an Arizona Grand Jury in Tucson and received an indictment naming Mr. Montalvo on numerous felony counts. The charges involve misuse of police department computers and inappropriate dissemination of confidential information to members of the public.

Mr. Montalvo was arraigned today at 1:00 pm in Pima County Superior Court on that indictment. He was subsequently released pending further appearances on the felony charges. After his arraignment today, Mr. Montalvo was escorted back to the Tucson Police Department Headquarters Building where he was served with his Notice of Intent to Discharge.

Mr. Montalvo has been employed with the Tucson Police Department since October 19, 2006 and assigned to Operations Division South as a patrol officer.

The Tucson Police Department investigates all allegations of criminal or police misconduct in regards to all employees. The nature of these investigations is serious and thoroughly investigated by our Office of Internal Affairs. Mr. Montalvo is not representative of the 1,400 men and women with the Tucson Police Department who serve the public and put their lives on the line day in and day out.

Any questions regarding specific details of the investigation and subsequent indictment need to be directed to the Attorney General’s Office.



Terry Goddard Secures Indictment Against Police Officer For Computer Tampering Charges

(Phoenix, Ariz. – February 10, 2010) Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced that Tucson Police Officer Angel Montalvo, 30, has been indicted on nine counts of computer tampering, one count of trafficking in the identity of another person, one count of aggravated taking the identity of another person, and one count of fraudulent schemes and artifices. The charges include nine Class 6 felonies, one Class 3 felony and two Class 2 felonies.

According to court documents, Montalvo misused his access to police databases for non-law enforcement purposes. Montalvo accessed the ACJIS database which houses sensitive information relating to driver registrations, criminal backgrounds, home addresses and other personal information of Arizona citizens.

Documents state that Montalvo accessed these databases over 20 times between May 20, 2009 and December 19, 2009 for his personal use. Montalvo is accused of then disseminating this information to non-law enforcement persons.

Montalvo has been with the Tucson Police Department for three years. He is currently on administrative leave.

He is scheduled to be arraigned at 1 p.m. today in the Pima County Superior Court.

This case was a result of a joint investigation by the Tucson Police Department and FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Michael Jette in Pima County Superior Court.

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Officer James Riddick Arrested for DUI

A Virginia Beach police officer is on administrative duty following his arrest on a DUI charge.

James Riddick, a sergeant in the department, has been on the force for 15 years.

Court records show he was arrested February 8 on the misdemeanor charge.

Police say Riddick's alcohol level registered .18.

In Virginia, the maximum blood alcohol content considered illegal to drive is .08 percent.

He's due in court on March 18.

Major Walt Floyd & Lt Don Repec Terminated for Making Offensive Sexual Remarks

North Myrtle Beach officials terminated the department of public safety’s interim director and highest-ranking officer in the city's public safety department, along with a lieutenant who is the head of its detective division following an investigation into allegations the two were heard making offensive sexual remarks about female co-workers and a female crime victim who is a minor.

Police Major Walt Floyd and Lieutenant Don Repec, were terminated Thursday, Feb. 4, according to a news release from the city’s public information officer Nicole Aiello.

Thursday's firings came just days after the men were placed on paid administrative leave following publication of recordings made by former public safety officer Lieutenant Randy Fisher in a local newspaper.

Smithson said during a press conference on Feb. 1 that Floyd and Repec had been asked to leave the workplace until he can talk with them and actions regarding them would be “taken as soon as the investigation is complete.”

The firings are just another chapter in the latest shakeup in the department that has been in turmoil in recent weeks in the midst of allegations of improper behavior, the possible cover-up of a criminal domestic violence case and the suspension and demotion of the department’s director.

William Bailey, the former director of the department of public safety, was placed on paid administrative leave in December following his admission he lied to the city manager about the theft of his city-issued handgun. In January he was demoted to lieutenant and placed on two weeks of unpaid suspension.

Whether he will return to work this week was left open by the city pending an investigation by SLED. The state’s investigative unit was asked by Smithson in January to investigate allegations made against Bailey regarding allegations he covered up a criminal domestic violence case. There is currently no word as to when SLED will investigate the alleged cover-up.

“Once William Bailey’s two-week unpaid suspension is completed, he will remain on leave until the city manager receives a response from SLED as to whether or not they will review the allegations that Mr. Bailey interfered with a charge against a local citizen. If SLED decides to conduct an investigation, Mr. Bailey will remain on leave until the city manager reviews the results of the investigation. Any leave taken at the conclusion of the unpaid suspension will be charged to Mr. Bailey’s accrued vacation leave balance or taken as leave without pay,” Aiello said on Tuesday afternoon.

Capt. Rick Buddelmeyer is now serving as interim director. He is a 23-year veteran of the department.

During a press conference called by City Council on Feb 1, Mayor Marilyn Hatley said City Council was “dismayed, disgusted and sickened at the content and graphic descriptions made by some of the city’s public safety employees.”

The Sun News, the local, daily newspaper, has recently written a series of news stories based on tape recordings made by Fisher who was forced to resign by city officials in November 2009.

The North Myrtle Beach Times does not have a copy of the tapes.

Hatley laid the blame for the public safety departments problem on Fisher, saying she was “disappointed and disturbed” Fisher would allow “these things to happen while he idly sat by.” She said Fisher recorded the conversations then “failed to go through the proper channels to bring these comments to light.”

During Smithson’s statement he also chastised Fisher saying he should have reported the problems in public safety but didn’t.

“I followed my chain of command in reporting what I knew. I went to Major Floyd and talked to him. I did not go to Bailey because some of the problems concerned him and his actions in the department. When Floyd took no action I went to see the assistant city manager Steve Thomas,” Fisher said.

Fisher said in his conversations with Thomas he reported his concerns about unethical behavior and unfair treatment of some employees.

In a letter to Thomas dated Aug. 26, 2009, Fisher outlined his meetings with Thomas which began on June 2. In the Aug. 26 letter he wrote, “I have many recorded conversations through the years saved on my computer.”

On Jan. 21, after his resignation, Fisher, in a letter to Smithson, offered to let him hear the tapes but requested to have a third party present. Smithson declined the invitation.

Fisher said he went through his chain of command and believed Thomas would follow-up on his complaints.

The city attorney has begun meeting with female officers and administrative staff in public safety to ensure no unfavorable treatment has occurred or is occurring now. In addition, sexual harassment and supervisory training, which had been scheduled last year, will be held in the next few weeks.

Thomas, who is in charge of training programs for city employees, said last fall he began talking with a company who provides training for the city about sexual and anti-harassment training and effective supervisory training.

“We have both of those sessions scheduled for several days in February,” said Thomas.

The city has also engaged the services of a consulting group who is currently interviewing public safety officers and others about the problems in the department.
Aiello says The Institute for Public Service and Policy Research will be assisting the city with an assessment of the public safety department.

“They will be here this week to interview employees in order to address any concerns they may wish to express. Further meetings will be scheduled as soon as possible to ensure that all employees have the opportunity to participate in this process,” she said.

Detention Officer Anthony Lavis Charged with Having Sex with Inmates

A Kern County sheriff's detention officer has been charged with sexually assaulting female inmates in the Kern County jail just weeks after another deputy was charged with having unlawful sex with an inmate, charges filed in court Thursday say.

Sheriff Donny Youngblood has scheduled a news conference Thursday afternoon on the matter, but would not comment further.

Anthony Michael Lavis, 55, is scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 18 on the charges which include four felonies and three misdemeanors. Bail in the case is $170,000.

The incidents first came to the attention of deputies Oct. 15 when one of the alleged victims said Lavis touch her while she was in the shower, court records said. An investigation was begun and audio and video surveillance was set up in the victim's cell.

Audio equipment captured conversation of a sexual nature between Lavis and the victim, and Lavis touched the victim and digitally penetrated her, according to a probable cause declaration investigators filed.

Detectives were soon able to find three other women who said Lavis touched them inappropriately, the declaration filed in Kern County Superior Court said.

The second alleged victim said Lavis kissed and touched her while she was an inmate, and the third alleged victim said that while she was in custody and assigned to a work crew Lavis walked up behind her and rubbed against her, the declaration said.

The fourth alleged victim said Lavis wouldn't allow her to return to her housing unit after she was taken off suicide watch until she disrobed for him, court records said.

A fifth woman was later found who said she had received phone calls and flowers from Lavis after she was released from jail, court record said. She said she never provided contact information to Lavis and was surprised to hear from him. Lavis was able to find her by using a Sheriff's Office criminal database, the records said.

The charges against Lavis are forcible sexual penetration, assault by an officer and three counts of intimate touching, court records say.

The charges come a month after the department arrested Detention Deputy Margarita Young, 48, on charges of having unlawful sex at Lerdo Jail with Death Row inmate Timothy Rodriguez, 41.

She has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in March.

Fairfax Man Known by Police to be Severely Mentally Ill Shot at Close Range

The Herndon man who was shot by a Fairfax County police officer last week was known by police to be severely mentally ill, and he was wielding a plastic replica of a pistol when he was shot at close range in the chest and stomach, police and family members said.

Ian C. Smith, 25, remains in critical condition at Inova Fairfax Hospital, where he has undergone four operations to repair the damage from two .45-caliber bullets. He was shot Friday morning in the basement of the home he shares with his parents and younger sister on Fallon Drive after a three-hour standoff with Fairfax tactical officers overseen by a police major with extensive experience dealing with the mentally ill.

But Smith's family said the officers reacted rashly by even entering the basement.

"The cop had no reason to do what he did," said Brenda Smith, Ian Smith's mother. "He isn't a murderer out on the street. He was a kid down in his basement having a psychotic attack."

Police said Smith emerged from behind a bathroom door, lunged at two officers and began pulling the trigger of his plastic BB gun. The officer did not know it wasn't a real gun, police said. "It's tragic. My heart goes out to them," said Maj. Shawn Barrett, head of the Fairfax criminal investigations bureau, who did not oversee the situation that day but is the lead investigator.

But he said the gun Smith was holding was "a very realistic-looking replica of a semiautomatic pistol" that did not have a brightly colored tip, which would have indicated that the gun was fake.

Barrett said Smith "pulled that weapon out and pointed it point blank at the officers and was pulling the trigger. At that point, the officer just responds when it's him or the other person. The [tactical] officer reverts to his training. They did everything they could."

Smith's relatives were ordered by police to leave the house as soon as officers arrived, late on Feb. 4. They wondered why, with the house empty and no one else in danger, the two tactical officers entered the house and confronted Smith so soon.

Police spokeswoman Mary Ann Jennings said that negotiators had not made contact with Smith in some time and that they thought he might have been asleep. So Maj. Thomas Ryan, supervising the operation, ordered two tactical officers, one with a dog, to go inside quietly in hopes of taking Smith into custody without violence, police said.

The name of the officer who fired the shots was not released. Fairfax police typically do not identify officers involved in shootings. The shooting of Smith was the second in recent months to involve a mentally ill man. On Nov. 13, another unidentified officer shot and killed David A. Masters, 52, as Masters rolled away from a traffic stop on Route 1.

The officers in the Masters case did not know he had bipolar disorder. But Fairfax police had been regular visitors to Smith's home to deal with his paranoid schizophrenia, his family and police said.

Smith was 17 when he began having hallucinations, said his father, Alan Smith. He graduated from Westfield High School, but when he tried to enter college in Richmond, he had a psychotic episode and was hospitalized for the first of many times, his father said.

In recent years, Smith would make threatening comments or rant excessively until his parents would call for help. His father said that when officers came, Smith would immediately calm down, apologize, take his medication and return quietly to his bedroom in the basement.

But on the night of Feb. 4, the circumstances were slightly different. Smith walked into the house and showed his sister Hayley, 21, the handle of a pistol, she said. She didn't know whether it was real. She told her mother about it as Smith went to his bedroom.

Brenda and Hayley Smith debated whether to call the Mobile Crisis Unit at Fairfax's Woodburn mental health clinic. Brenda Smith said she made the call, thinking the unit would take her son to a mental hospital. She said the clinic told her to call police as well, and she did.

The mention of a possible weapon was a new variable for police, Barrett said. Patrol officers arrived at 11:30 p.m., and rather than speaking first to Smith, they ordered Brenda and Hayley Smith out of the house, the Smiths said.

Barrett said that the patrol officers tried to get Smith to come out of the basement but that he refused. So tactical officers and negotiators were summoned, headed by Ryan, who had launched crisis intervention training for Fairfax officers to deal with the mentally ill and has worked extensively with the mental health community.

Barrett said police also were told that Smith was a "chronic drug user" and often used PCP, a hallucinogen. His parents denied that, saying they told police that trace amounts of PCP were found in a blood test last year but that their son had never tested positive in his mental hospitalizations and had never been found with any drugs.

Police told the Smiths that they tossed a remote camera into the basement and could see Smith, in his pajamas, unarmed. But Barrett said Smith moved out of the camera's view.

Brenda Smith said that her son often brought BB guns home and that she or her husband always threw them out. What he pointed at the officers "must have been a new one," she said. The confrontation and shooting happened about 3 a.m., police said.

Police had obtained an emergency custody order, and Smith's family thought he would be taken to a mental ward for treatment. Brenda Smith said police should not "shoot to kill somebody when they're supposed to take them to a hospital. They do that too often."

Corporal Randy Braaksma Accused of Keeping Cash & Seized Drugs

Vancouver Police chief Cliff Cook has fired an officer accused of keeping cash and drugs seized from suspects.

Corporal Randy Braaksma was terminated Wednesday after a year-long investigation into mishandled evidence.

The Vancouver Columbian reports a lawyer for Braaksma says the firing is retaliation for his speaking out in a discrimination case. Braaksma has filed a claim against the city, intending to sue.


Information from: The Columbian,

Officer's Name will be Released in Child Porn Case

The name of the city police officer involved in a child pornography probe will be made public Friday barring appeal.

A day after Rutland District Court Judge Thomas Zonay redacted the name and identifying information related to the officer from documents related to the investigation, the judge said Wednesday in a decision there was no legal basis to continue keeping the officer's identity from the public eye.

"In sum, the court simply cannot find that the privacy issues advanced … are such that they can be found to be exceptional circumstances which provide a basis for sealing the name and identifying information of the target," Zonay wrote in his six page decision.

However, Zonay didn't immediately release the name, instead giving the officer until 1 p.m. Friday to file an appeal to the Vermont Supreme Court. The officer's attorney, Matthew Harnett, could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Robert Hemley, a lawyer for the Rutland Herald, which sought the release of court documents related to the investigation, said Wednesday that Zonay's decision reached a balance in preserving the rights of access for the press and the public and what privacy rights exist for the officer in question.

"By giving time for an appeal, the judge is giving an opportunity to have the decision reviewed if the individual disagrees with it," Hemley said.

On Tuesday, Zonay released more than 30 pages of documents related to a search warrant executed at the police department in September. Those documents described an investigation that started in August after state police discovered more than 150 images of suspected child pornography on a computer issued to the officer.

Additional images, discs, DVDs and VHS tapes of adult pornographic material and suspected child pornography were obtained through execution of a search warrant at the department on Sept. 22, 2009.

Zonay redacted the name and identifying information about the officer after hearing arguments Tuesday from a lawyer representing the officer, who was identified in court only as "John Doe."

Regarding the potential damage to the officer's reputation, the judge concluded that the potential stigma for the officer was not significantly different from what any other subject of a criminal investigation would face.

"The issue for the court is whether there are 'exceptional circumstances' specific to this case. … The circumstances and impact advanced by counsel are not exceptional. Rather, they are typical for any search pertaining to the underlying subject matter. Indeed, a stigma and impact may be expected to attach in any case where a warrant is executed, irrespective of the nature of the crime being investigated."

Former Officer Gene Tomatani Pleads Guilty to Grand Theft

A former Redondo Beach police officer accused of taking more than $75,000 from a law enforcement officers' association pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of grand theft by embezzlement, authorities said.

Gene Tomatani, 40, is expected to pay $75,388 in restitution between now and his sentencing March 15, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said. He has already paid $12,000 toward the restitution.

Tomatani agreed to a settlement and is expected to be sentenced to 90 days in County Jail and three years' probation. He must attend a year of Gamblers Anonymous, the district attorney said.

Tomatani was the president and treasurer of the Redondo Beach Police Officer's Assn. and was accused of embezzling the money between May 2004 and May 2008.

He resigned from the department in October.