Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Ex-Officer Kevin Canty Fatally Shoots Wife

News of the horror came from the mouths of mere babes.

“Daddy shot mommy!” two hysterical children — a 4-year-old girl and 7-year-old boy — screamed inside a Queens bodega. “Daddy shot mommy!”

Around the corner from the Casablanca deli on Saturday, cops were combing a bloody crime scene. An unhinged former cop shot and killed his wife in front of their two young kids in Ozone Park just before 11 a.m., police sources said.

Cops found ex-cop Kevin Canty, 43, stumbling around drunk near the corner of 97th and Centreville Sts. He was arrested without further violence.

Paramedics, meanwhile, were feverishly working on 40-year-old Jessica Mera. They took the mom from the couple’s home on 104th St., past the front door adorned with an Easter bunny decoration and into a waiting ambulance. Mera, blasted in the chest, could not be saved. She died at Jamaica Hospital.

As cops carted the dreadlocked gunman to the 102nd Precinct stationhouse, a neighbor took the traumatized children to the nearby deli.

"The boy told me personally: 'My dad shot my mom and there's blood all over,’” said the neighbor who asked to remain anonymous.

“My wife heard gunshots and the kids were running out on the street,” he added. “They were banging on car doors as cars were passing by. They were trying to get help, someone to listen to them.”

Before Canty was arrested, cops in body armor and carrying bullet-proof shields descended on the home. NYPD helicopters hovered overhead. A 911 caller told police that a man fitting Canty’s description was trying to open the doors of unoccupied cars a mile and a half away from the crime scene, authorities said.

Canty appeared delirious while handcuffed and repeatedly banged his head against the inside of a squad car window.

About 10 stunned friends and family of Mera’s had little to say as they lingered at the entrance of the emergency room.

“They are going through a really tough time right now,” said one man who only identified himself as Mera’s friend.

“You have no idea what this family has been through — this is only the tip of the iceberg.”

Several neighbors said the couple had four children, though it was unclear if any of them were from previous relationships.

The callous crime amounted to a stunning downfall for Canty, sources said. In July 2012 the former transit cop was hailed as a hero for helping save the life of a man who suffered a heart attack in the Union Square subway station.

Police sources said he retired last year due to a disability.

The nature of the disability was unclear.

Canty and his wife had a tumultuous relationship, several neighbors said.

“They were always fighting. They’d fight outside, they would fight everywhere,” said Joanne Bagley, 52. “They were not a happy couple. I guess it was inevitable.”

Shanique Varlack, 22, described Canty as a drunken terror who often threatened his wife.

“He told more than one person - 'I'm gonna kill this b---h one day,’” said Varlack.

“Everybody is just so distraught. He's a cop. He's supposed to protect us. He took an oath and now? He's a murderer. She did not deserve to die.”

The shaken deli worker who consoled the distraught kids said Canty and Mera were regulars.

 “I’d see him everyday,” deliman Fez Atlas said. “I knew what he’d want when he came in. He would come in, get a pack of Newports.

“His wife would come in, in the morning with the kids,” he added. “She’d buy the girl a bag of potato chips and the boy pistachios. Then this happened.”

A man in Laurelton, Queens, who only identified himself as Canty’s uncle-in-law said of the ex-cop, “He’s a nice guy. This is the first I’m hearing about this.”

But other neighbors said Canty had a menacing presence.

“He’s kind of a scary guy, kind of intimidating. You got to talk to him for him to talk to you,” said Danny Ali, 30.

“He told me he was a detective. About a year ago, I saw he had a broken hand. He said he broke it in a fight. He wouldn’t say more about it.”

Chris Ris said he often saw Canty around Ozone Park wearing construction boots and dusty pants, apparently on the way home from a job in construction. On nice days, Canty’s wife sat on the stoop with her children, Ris said. “To me he seemed like a nice guy,” said Ris, a music producer. “I’d never dream he’d kill his wife.”
News of the horror came from the mouths of mere babes.

Former Officer Christopher Hays to Stand Trial for Abusing Women

A former San Diego police officer was ordered Wednesday to stand trial on five counts of mistreating women while on duty.

Christopher Hays, an officer for four years before resigning after his arrest in February, was ordered by Superior Court Judge Charles Rogers to stand trial on two counts of felony false imprisonment and three counts of misdemeanor battery.

Rogers' decision came after a preliminary hearing in which three women testified that Hays touched them inappropriately. Hays' attorney argued that the women's drug use and criminal records made their testimony unreliable, but Rogers disagreed.

A police investigator testified that Hays broke into tears when told of the allegations against him and asked if the case would "go away" if he resigned.

Also on Wednesday, officials disclosed that Officer Gilbert Lorenzo was arrested Tuesday in La Mesa on suspicion of domestic violence. Lorenzo, 31, a seven-year veteran of the San Diego department, was booked into county jail after his wife called police to say he had assaulted her.

Lorenzo has been suspended without pay, officials said.

At a news conference, Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman repeated her vow not to tolerate the mistreatment of women by the department's officers.

Hays, 30, received a medal in 2012 for dashing into a burning building to save a woman who was trapped on the second floor. He also served with the Marines in Iraq as a lance corporal.

Lorenzo has not yet been charged or arraigned.

The Hays' case marks the second time in recent years that a San Diego officer has been charged with assaulting women while on duty.

In 2011, Officer Anthony Arevalos was convicted of demanding sexual favors from women after making traffic stops. He was fired after charges were brought. He was sentenced to eight years and eight months in prison.

The City Council has approved a total of $2.3 million in payments to women assaulted by Arevalos. One case has gone to trial.

In the wake of Hays' arrest, the City Council requested that the Department of Justice perform an audit of the police department's hiring, supervision and internal affairs practices.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer said the audit is needed to restore trust in the police department that may have eroded because of the Hays case and other instances of misconduct by officers.

Among other things, officials want suggestions on how to better detect problem officers. The audit will take six months and be funded by the Department of Justice.

Corrections Officer John Kamphaus Arrested for Soliciting a Minor

A Hamilton County Justice Center corrections officer faces a single charge after authorities say he went online to try to meet and have sex with a 15-year-old girl.

The officer, 40-year-old John Kamphaus, was arrested early Wednesday morning near Mills Road Park in Independence, Ky. as an undercover police officer posing as that teen chatted with him on his smartphone.

As court documents show, Kamphaus, known as online, exchanged messages with Detective Stephen Benner, a Kenton County Internet Crimes Against Children task force officer, about 4 times this year.

"Our officer is on-line in chat rooms," said Kenton County Police Chief Brian Capps. "He just is waiting to be contacted by folks out there in cyberland for lack of a better term. He was contacted by this gentleman and a chat begins. Our officer had no idea who he was talking to on the other end."

At about 1:20 a.m. Kenton County police officers initiated a traffic stop and pulled Kamphaus over on Marshall Road shortly after he sent a final message via Yahoo messenger.

"He believed he was going to be meeting this female for sexual activity," Capps said. "The chats leading up to this were sexual in nature."

Officers arrested the father of three young children without incident and took his cellphone as evidence.

"In this particular case, being another law enforcement officer, I just describe it as being very disappointing," Capps said of Kamphaus' arrest. "Kind of a letdown that someone in your profession would be involved in this kind of thing."

Kamphaus appeared for video arraignment on one charge of prohibited use of electronic means to induce a minor to engage in sexual activities Wednesday morning at about 9 a.m.

He received a $2,500 bond and was ordered to surrender all electronic devices to the court. If he posted bond, the judge also ordered Kamphaus to wear a GPS tracking device once released from jail.

Kamphaus, a Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office employee since 1996, was also placed on unpaid administrative leave by Hamilton County until the disposition of his case was resolved.

Hamilton County Sheriff officials said they launched their own internal affairs investigation to see if Kamphaus used county equipment to attempt to communicate with minors online.

Kenton County Commonwealth Attorney Rob Sanders said he was not surprised that even a law enforcement officer could get caught in such an online investigation.

"I think it's just a sense that it's not going to happen to me, I'm not the one that will get caught. I'm not the one that's going to end up on the news," said Sanders, whose office will prosecute the case. "Obviously in the situation we're talking about with the most recent charges, it's a law enforcement officer that got caught -- that's been arrested -- and been charged. He's innocent until proven guilty, but certainly if a law enforcement officer is getting arrested they more than anybody should know that there are cops out there looking for this and investigating this and just setting a trap for somebody to walk into."

Sanders said he believed such potential sexual predator situations are only increasing online, and that the job of such undercover officers as Benner were so important.

"I'm glad there's cops out there like Detective Benner that are trolling the Internet looking for these predators and doing whatever they can to try and take them off the streets before they actually get their hands on another young girl," Sanders said.

Officer Jodi Royer Arrested for Stealing Money from Evidence Room

A Reading cop is under arrest for allegedly stealing money from the Reading Police Department’s evidence room. Investigators say Jodi Royer, 47, of Sinking Springs, took over thousands of dollars of cash evidence from criminal investigations for his own personal use.

Reading Police Chief William Heim reported the suspected theft to the Berks County District Attorney’s Office on March 18th. Berks County Detectives started an investigation that led to Royer’s arrest. On March 14th, Royer was caught by his supervisor trying to replace over $2,000 of U.S. currency from a criminal case with his own money. Police knew it was not the evidence cash because the denominations of the bills were different.

Detectives conducted an audit and discovered six additional criminal cases were tampered with. In four of those cases, the money was stolen and not recovered. The total loss in those cases is $14,484. In the other cases, the stolen money was replaced by Royer.

Royer surrendered this morning and taken to the Berks County Sheriff Department’s Central Processing Center for processing and arraignment.

Royer joined the Reading Police Department in the fall of 1990 and has worked in the Evidence/Property Unit since April of 2011.

Officer Investigated After Man Severely Injured After Arrest

An internal investigation is underway into an incident between a Chillicothe Police officer and a man he arrested.

The officer arrested the man for public intoxication Saturday morning.

While in police custody he ended up with a black eye. He also says he has a concussion.
The Chillicothe Police officer involved says he found 24 year old Matt Mitchell apparently drunk and urinating on a building on the corner of North Paint and East Second Streets when he took him into custody.

Mitchell denies that, and disagrees with just about everything else police say happened during an incident that ended with him being airlifted to a hospital in Columbus.

Matt Mitchell admits he has a criminal record.

He admits he'd been drinking at a Chillicothe bar late Friday into Saturday.

But he says nothing in his past, or his actions this weekend, justify the injuries he suffered while in police custody.

"From right here, all the way down here, back in through here, all the way down through here is fractured,” Mitchell said, pointing to his blackened eye. “And I got a mild concussion in my head."

He says he was being booked inside the Ross County Jail when he lost his footing and ended up on all fours.

"And I heard them- they thought I was doing something, reach down to my socks or something,” Mitchell said. “They said ‘lay down on the ground now!’ I said ‘okay, that's where I'm going’ then. And I looked over to see who said it to me, and the next think I know, just boom. I got hit, right here in the side of my face by something. I don't know what it was."

The incident report tells a different story, describing Mitchell as disorderly and uncooperative.

Here’s the series of events as written by the officer, whom 10TV is not naming because he has not been found guilty of wrongdoing:

"(Officer) told him numerous times to stop trying to pull away so (officer) could take the handcuffs off but as before he continued to refuse.  As (officer) went to take off one of the handcuffs, Mr. Mitchell started pushing his body off of the wall and trying to pull his arms back toward him yelling...  He then tried to spin around so he would be facing Ofc. At this point (officer) grabbed a hold of Mr. Mitchell and tried to put him on the ground so he could be better controlled, however he continued to resist causing (officer) to use more force to put him down. Just as he started to fall with (officer) coming down behind him, (officer) heard Mr. Mitchell's head strike the ground. Mr. Mitchell was knocked unconscious."
"That did not happen at all,” said Mitchell.  “There was nobody that fell behind me on top of me. No. I know exactly what happened. I got hit in the face."

Mitchell was flown to a Columbus hospital and was released Sunday.

He says he is confident security camera video of the incident will back up his version of events.
Chillicothe Police Chief Roger Moore has asked the Sheriff's Office not to release video of the incident until his internal investigation is complete.

He says that should take a couple of days, but says even then, he will have no comment on this matter.

Officer Bradley Wax Arrested for Child Porn

A New Orleans police officer has been arrested and booked under allegations of possessing child pornography.

According to the Louisiana Attorney General's Office, Bradley Wax, 54, has been arrested and charged with 38 counts of possessing pornography involving juveniles.

Wax, a 16-year veteran assigned to the New Orleans Police Department's 4th District, was arrested in St. Tammany and has been booked in the St. Tammany Parish jail.

According to the attorney general's office, an undercover operation led investigators to securing a search warrant on Wax's home in January. After searching his computer and other electronic devices, investigators found Wax had child pornography.

The NOPD has placed Wax on emergency suspension without pay pending the outcome of an ongoing criminal investigation. He faces 20 years in prison on each count of child pornography.

The case was a joint investigation by the attorney general's cyber crimes unit, the St. Tammany Sheriff's Office and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Officer Gilbert Lorenzo Arrested for Domestic Violence

A San Diego police officer with seven years on the force faces possible felony prosecution following his arrest on suspicion of beating his wife, department officials announced Wednesday.

Gilbert Anthony Lorenzo, 31, was taken into custody Tuesday in La Mesa, where he lives, then jailed and placed on compulsory leave without pay, SDPD Chief Shelley Zimmerman said.

"Our department fully cooperated with this investigation with La Mesa (police) and coordinated the arrest of our officer," Zimmerman told reporters. "I immediately revoked his police powers and suspended him from our department."

Lorenzo's arrest opened another in a series of cases involving alleged misconduct on the part of San Diego police officers. Among the accusations are sexual abuse of female detainees and drunken driving.

La Mesa police Lt. Matt Nicholass said his department was alerted to Lorenzo's alleged violence by an SDPD representative around 1:45 p.m. Tuesday.

"La Mesa detectives immediately began investigating the case and coordinated with San Diego Police Department and ultimately determined that he (Lorenzo) was, in fact, a suspect, and he was arrested," Nicholass said.

The officer's spouse did not require hospital treatment, the lieutenant said. Nicholass declined to disclose other details about the alleged abuse, including where it purportedly occurred.

Lorenzo, who is assigned to the SDPD Northern Division, was booked into county jail on suspicion of felony domestic battery. He posted $50,000 bail and was released.

Zimmerman told news crews during a late-morning briefing that someone alerted the San Diego police communications center about the alleged domestic abuse. She would not say who made the call.

The chief described the allegations against Lorenzo as a blow to the morale of her entire agency.

"I was very disappointed -- very disappointed -- to hear this news, and I can tell you our officers were very disappointed to hear this news," Zimmerman said.

She said SDPD officials would not tolerate the choices of  "a very few" officers to "discredit our badge" and "dishonor our noble profession."

Two months ago, SDPD officer Christopher Hays, 30, was charged with felony false imprisonment and misdemeanor sexual battery in connection with his detention of several women. He resigned from the department the next day.

On Wednesday morning, following a two-day preliminary hearing, a judge ordered Hays to stand trial in the case. The ex-officer faces up to three years and eight months in prison if convicted.

Also in February, SDPD officials announced that another one of their officers had been placed on leave amid similar accusations. A woman alleged that patrolman Donald Moncrief, 39, groped her and exposed himself after arresting her last year.

On Feb. 22, SDPD Detective Karen Almos, 47, was arrested on suspicion of DUI after being found passed out in a parked car in Balboa Park. She pleaded guilty this month to driving while intoxicated and was sentenced to five years' probation and ordered to pay a fine of about $2,100.

In 2011, then-SDPD Officer Anthony Arevalos was accused of sexually assaulting five women during traffic stops for suspected drunken driving in the Gaslamp Quarter. He ultimately was convicted and sentenced to almost nine years in prison.

Officer Gilbert Lorenzo Arrested for Domestic Violence

A 7-year veteran officer with the San Diego Police Department was arrested on domestic violence allegations Tuesday. Now, both SDPD and La Mesa police are investigating 31-year-old Gilbert Lorenzo, known as Anthony.

San Diego police officials have taken swift action against one of its officers who was arrested and booked into county jail Tuesday evening for a domestic violence, marking another in a long list of troubles currently plaguing the police department.

“I was very disappointed to hear this news, and I can tell you that our officers were very disappointed to learn this news,” said SDPD Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman at a press conference about the arrest on Wednesday.

According to SDPD officials, La Mesa police contacted their communications center at about 1:45 p.m. Tuesday and reported that an SDPD officer who lived in La Mesa may have been involved in a domestic violence incident.

SDPD said they quickly began investigating the incident alongside LMPD officials.

Both investigations later determined that 31-year-old SDPD officer Gilbert A. Lorenzo was in fact a suspect in a domestic violence incident, according to police.

SDPD said the incident involved domestic battery against the suspect’s wife. They said they were in contact with the woman and were working with her after the incident occurred. According to police, she did not require medical treatment.

Once police determined Lorenzo was the suspect, he was arrested and booked into county jail on $50,000 bail Tuesday evening, SDPD officials said. He later posted bail.

Lorenzo was working SDPD’s Northern Division and worked in the Mid-City Division in the past, according to police. He’s said to be a seven year veteran of the department.

Although Lorenzo has not yet been charged, due to his arrest, SDPD officials said his police powers were revoked and he was suspended without pay as the investigation continued.

At Wednesday's press conference, Zimmerman highlighted the swift action SDPD took against Lorenzo after investigating the incident.

“We are not going to tolerate misbehavior on the part of our officers," Zimmerman said.

Lorenzo’s arrest is yet another setback for SDPD which has dealt with a string of troubles in recent months, including allegations of misconduct against its officers.

On the same day as Lorenzo’s arrest, a now former SDPD officer Christopher Hays was held over for trial on sexual misconduct charges.

Zimmerman made clear her determination to combat officer misconduct.

“Our officers, civilians and volunteers serve everyday with honor, distinction, professionalism and to the… very few again, this incident right here and those others that have acted as individuals and made the terrible decision to discredit our badge and to dishonor our noble profession, we are not going to tolerate it, and as you can see this happened very quickly,” Zimmerman said referring to the officer's suspension.

Former Officer Christopher Inserra Pleads Guilty to Fraud

A former police officer accused of rocking out on stage as the lead singer of a metal band called Cousin Sleaze while he claimed he couldn't work because of an arm injury pleaded guilty to fraud on Tuesday.

Christopher Inserra entered the plea in federal court in Brooklyn. He left court without speaking to reporters.

Inserra, 32, was arrested last year on charges accusing him of fraudulently collecting more than $30,000 in disability payments in the nearly two years he was out sick from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department. He returned to work in March 2012 but resigned on Monday.

According to a criminal complaint, Inserra had told the police department that while on duty at the World Trade Center in June 2010, he hurt his arm helping take an injured Port Authority employee to a medical facility. At an initial evaluation, he claimed that he suffered from a "tremendous amount of pain" around his right elbow and lower biceps, it said.

The department agreed to give him time off with full pay. He also filed claims with an insurance company that resulted in two payments totaling $30,486.

Authorities alleged that Inserra, despite collecting disability, continued to perform as the frontman of Brooklyn-based Cousin Sleaze. Photos of performances from April 2011 show him "repeatedly moving his arms in a punching motion" and "violently flailing his arm in an up-and-down motion," a criminal complaint said.

In September 2011, after Inserra told doctors he was still in intense pain, the band hit the road for a tour called "Miles of Mayhem." Video footage from performances in Athens, Ga., Cocoa Beach, Fla., and elsewhere shows Inserra fist pumping and thrashing around without any signs of discomfort, the complaint says.

Inserra faces up to 14 months in prison at sentencing on Aug. 5. He also must forfeit the $30,486.

Police Officer Accused of Raping Child Remains Free Until Court Date

Despite facing a potential life sentence for the offense, the senior-constable — who was charged by colleagues at his own station — was never arrested. Instead he was handed a court attendance­ notice instructing him to ­appear at Goulburn Local Court on June 18.

The 40-year-old, attached to the southern region, was charged with aggravated sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 10 years and assault occasioning actual harm. The complaint was made in October over offences that allegedly occurred earlier last year.

The policeman’s colleagues chose to issue a future court attendance notice with strict conditions, including an ­apprehended violence order protecting his alleged victim, despite the offenses carrying maximum penalties of life ­imprisonment and five years in jail respectively.

He continued to work as a police officer while under ­investigation and was only formally suspended, with pay, at 5pm yesterday.

Police Minister Mike Gallacher last night said he would “be making formal inquiries with the Commissioner (Andrew Scipione) to ascertain the full facts relating to this matter”.

Child protection advocacy group Bravehearts founder and CEO Hetty Johnston said she was concerned by the police court notice process.

“These are two serious charges against a child and this person should not be released. If there’s a legality that has ­allowed this person to be freed, it must be changed,” Ms Johnston said.

A NSW police spokeswoman said the decision to issue the court attendance ­notice instead of arresting the officer came after advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions that there was “sufficient evidence to lay charges”.

“An interim apprehended violence order is in place for the protection of the alleged victims and witnesses,” she said. “There is no automatic presumption against bail.”

The spokeswoman said ­investigators considered it ­appropriate to issue the court notice, as was allowed under the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act.

Police also defended the four days it took to publicly release information about the charge — at 9.07pm on Monday. “As per NSW Police protocol, a media release was issued once the appropriate approval processes were completed,” she said.

In January it emerged one in 40 serving officers in NSW had committed an offence, with 437 serving officers having criminal convictions. Ten police officers have been charged in the past month. On March 28, a 29-year-old senior-constable was charged with aggravated indecent ­assault and indecent assault of two other officers between 2011 and 2012 at a city police station.

The police spokeswoman said no police officer was ­“exempt from the law”.


April 20: Constable charged with low range drink driving at Tempe. Will appear at Balmain Local Court on May 14.

April 18: Constable charged after running red light and involved in police pursuit at Eastwood. Charged with police pursuit under Skye’s Law and two counts of not stopping at red light. Will appear at Burwood Local Court on June 4.

April 17: Senior constable charged with aggravated sexual intercourse with child under 10 and assault occasioning actual bodily harm in Southern Region. Will appear at Goulburn Local Court on June 18.

April 11: Constable charged with common assault and police officer take detrimental action for reprisal. Will appear at Newtown Local Court on May 27.

April 11: Senior constable charged with make false official instrument to pervert course of justice, allegedly creating a false record. Will appear at Maitland Local Court on May 19.

April 2: Police officer attached to specialist command charged with making threats over the telephone against a private business. Charged 38-year-old constable with using carriage service to threaten serious harm. Will appear at Downing Centre Local Court on April 23.

April 1: Senior constable charged with low-range drink driving at Glebe. Will appear at Balmain Local Court on April 30.

March 28: A 29-year-old senior constable charged with aggravated indecent assault and indecent assault of two other officers between December 2011 and April 2013. Will appear at Downing Centre Local Court on April 29.

March 27: A 47-year-old constable charged with intimidation after domestic-related incidents. Will appear at Port Macquarie Local Court on April 24.

March 24: At 10pm, senior constable driving Toyota RAV-4 charged with mid-range drink driving after registering a 0.102 reading. Later charged with assaulting police and resisting police. Will appear at Orange Local Court on April 24.

Officer Ben Erskine Arrested for DUI

A Cocoa police officer is off the streets after being arrested for DUI.

Cocoa police said Officer Ben Erskine was pulled over for speeding in late February and charged with driving under the influence.

Officer Erskine has been on administrative duty since then.

He is a been with the Cocoa Police Department for six years.

The State Attorney's Office is investigating the case.