Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Officer Craig Taylor Charged with Elderly Mans Death

Park Forest Police Officer Craig Taylor is charged with felony reckless conduct in the death of a 95-year-old man at a senior facility.

He was allowed to remain free without posting bond Wednesday.

John Wrana, 95, died during an altercation with police at the Victory Centre Senior Living Facility in the south suburb. Officer Taylor used a stun gun and fired beanbag rounds at the elderly man, prosecutors say.

Workers at the senior home called paramedics in July 2013 when Wrana became belligerent. They called police, who used a stun gun on Wrana. When that didn't work, Officer Taylor allegedly shot Wrana, who was sitting in a chair, in the stomach with six beanbag rounds from a shotgun.

Police say Wrana threatened workers and officers with a cane, 2-foot-long metal shoehorn originally thought to be a machete and 12-inch butcher knife.

Wrana died from internal bleeding hours after the altercation.

Wrana's family believes excessive force was used, and their attorney said he would have preferred an upgraded charge.

"In an ideal world, perhaps involuntary manslaughter because the statute says where there is a death. There is no question, there was a death that resulted here," Nicholas Grapsas, Wrana family attorney, said.

Taylor, 43, and the father of five, has a spotless record, according to attorney Terry Ekl, and was following orders.

"This is a tragic incident. There no question about that but every tragic incident does not translate into a criminal act. From what I know about this case, I don't believe Officer Taylor engaged in any criminal behavior whatsoever," Ekl said.

Last year, Wrana's family called for an investigation into the case. That led to the charges announced Wednesday. Prosecutors said Taylor was 6 to 8 feet from Wrana when he fired the beanbags, and the required minimum distance is 15 feet.

If convicted, Taylor, a 10-year-veteran with the Park Forest Police Department, faces a 1 to 3 year prison term, according to the Cook County State's Attorney. No other officers are charged in the case.

Officer Mike Russo Arrested for DUI

A Spokane Police Officer has been  placed on administrative leave after he was arrested for DUI Saturday night.

Mike Russo was not on duty at the time of the incident, according to Police spokesperson Monique Cotton.

Russo was arrested after a single car crash in North Spokane. Spokane Police responded to the crash, but the Washington State Patrol was called to the scene and arrested Russo.

The Washington State Patrol is investigating the incident while the police department has launched an internal administrative investigation into Russo's DUI.

Russo was hired by the Spokane Police Department in 2003 and has received eight commendations during his time on the force.

Officer Edward Sawicki III Charged with Assault and Disorderly Conduct

A Philadelphia police officer is charged with disorderly conduct, terroristic threats, assault and related charges in connection with an off-duty incident last year.

The district attorney's office said that at around 3 a.m. on Oct. 20, Edward Sawicki III backed his car into a man walking on a south Philadelphia street, hitting his knee.

The victim banged his hand on the trunk of Sawicki's car when he was struck.

Prosecutors said Sawicki got out of his car, pulled up his shirt to show his city-issued handgun and rushed at the victim, yelling racial epithets and threatening to kill him.

The victim contacted police and Sawicki was identified as a Philadelphia police officer.

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said Wednesday that the 34-year-old officer is suspended with the intent to dismiss.

Officer Frederick Allen Pleads Guilty to Two Counts of Sexual Abuse of Minor

A Baltimore police officer has pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual abuse of a minor. Baltimore City State’s Attorney said Frederick Allen, 49, sexually abused a child after knowing her and her family for years. Allen met the victim when she started attending the Fort Worthington Police Athletic League after-school program at the age of six or seven. During the years, Allen forged a close relationship to the victim and her family, frequently driving her home from school and attending family gatherings, officials said. The victim's mother also allowed her and her sister to visit Allen at his home, where the two girls would babysit for Allen and help him with minor home-improvement projects, officials said. In 2005, when the victim was 15 years old and working at the Fort Worthington PAL program, Allen, her on-site supervisor, began to engage in sexual acts with her. Officials said the sexual abuse continued through the victim’s freshman and sophomore years of high school. Allen also sent inappropriate text messages to the cellphone that he bought for her. Allen is scheduled for sentencing on May 23. As a condition of the plea, he was to resign from the police department within one week; however, Police Commissioner Anthony Batts immediately terminated Allen. The police department released a statement saying, "Frederick Allen's reprehensible acts only serve to bring discredit to the hard work of the women and men of the Baltimore Police Department. Due to his felony guilty plea for sexual abuse of a minor, Commissioner Batts rejected any resignation offer and immediately terminated Allen."

Corrections Officer Richard Hanson Accused of Sex Crimes

Continuing coverage on the Presque Isle County corrections officer accused of sex crimes against a woman outside the jail.

The victim says Richard Hanson touched her inappropriately at her home in Rogers City.
Today, Hanson was charged with two counts of force or coercion, which are sex crimes.

State police say the charges involve touching another person for personal gratification.

Hanson is on administrative leave from his position in Presque Isle County.

The case is being handled in Cheboygan County to avoid a conflict of interest.

DOC Lt. John Randall Charged with Child Sexual Assault

A 36-year-old lieutenant with the Texas Department of Corrections was arrested Tuesday afternoon after being indicted by a Bexar County grand jury Monday on a charge of aggravated sexual assault of a child, deputies say.

Members of the Bexar County Sheriff's Office Fugitive Apprehension Unit arrested John Randall at his place of work, the Ruben M. Torres Correctional Facility in Hondo.

Deputies said Randall has worked at the facility since May 1, 2012.

Randall is accused of repeated sexual assault of a child from incidents dating back to the summer of 2012, according to the Sheriff's Office.

According to SAPD spokesman Officer Roger Zuniga, the incidents occurred between June 20 and July 5, 2012, at Randall's home on the Northwest Side.

The victim was a 13-year-old female.

The case was originally reported to Hays County Sheriff's officials, who passed it on to San Antonio police after it was determined the incidents occurred in San Antonio.

The victim's guardian said that Randall had assaulted the girl several times in his residence during that two-week period.

It is unclear what the victim was doing in Randall's home or what their relationship may have been.

After his arrest, deputies said Randall was brought to the Magistrate's Office in San Antonio. His bond is set at $75,000.