Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Officer Christopher Sutherlin Arrested for Hit and Run, DUI

New Port Richey, Florida

A New Port Richey Police officer is out of jail on bond, facing numerous charges in an early morning hit and run crash.

The Florida Highway Patrol says 30-year-old Christopher Sutherlin slammed his 2006 Nissan pickup into the back of another truck around 3:00 a.m. on Sunset Road in Pasco County.

Troopers say Sutherlin took off, but was forced to stop because of heavy damage to his vehicle.

A passenger in Sutherlin's truck, as well as the driver in the other truck, were slightly injured.

Troopers say Sutherlin's breath test registered a .148 and a .151 blood-alcohol level.

Florida law presumes drivers impaired at .08.

Officer Johnny Zamora Arrested for Domestic Battery

A Clovis police officer was arrested Sunday on charges of domestic battery, according to police.

Johnny Zamora was placed on paid administrative leave for the duration of the criminal case, Capt. Patrick Whitney said.

Jail officials said Zamora was released Monday on his own recognizance.

Whitney said because of personnel issues, he was unable to comment further on the arrest.

Zamora told officers he choked his wife during an argument in the early morning hours Sunday after a coworker reported knowledge of the incident to a supervisor, according to a police report released Tuesday.

Officers documented marks on the woman’s neck and wrists, the report said, and witnesses gave statements that the couple had argued while in their vehicle.

“All cases of alleged domestic violence are taken very seriously and thoroughly investigated by the Clovis Police Department. The appropriate action is taken regardless of the people involved,” the release said.

Whitney said Zamora, 26, has been with the department since April 2006 and is a patrol officer.

Efforts to reach Zamora Tuesday were unsuccessful.

Persons convicted of domestic violence are precluded from owning a firearm and often serving in law enforcement, District Attorney Matt Chandler said. Chandler said Zamora faces a maximum penalty of 364 days imprisonment and or a $1000 fine if convicted.


Officer Who Shot and Killed 18 year old Arrested

A police officer who shot and killed an 18-year-old in Antalya for allegedly ignoring a call from the police to stop was arrested yesterday.

According to the Anatolia news agency, a police officer, whose name was withheld, ordered two motorists riding in the Ye?ildere neighborhood to stop. One of the young men -- whose name was also withheld -- stopped and got off his motorcycle. The other biker, identified as Çağdaş Gemik (18), allegedly was trying to get away on his bike when the officer fired at him. The man, who was shot in the left side of his neck, died at a hospital a few hours later.

The suspect was first questioned by a regional public prosecutor, who referred him to a court on charges of "homicide with probable deliberation." The man was placed under arrest by the court and jailed until trial. In a statement released shortly after the incident, Antalya Police Chief Feyzullah Arslan said the police officer had not deliberately killed the man. The officer was suspended, and a legal and administrative probe had been launched, Arslan said.

Allegations of police brutality have not been uncommon in the past two years. One such incident occurred in November when Baran Tursun (20) was shot in the head and killed, allegedly by an officer as he tried to escape from the police. The trial is still ongoing. Another incident, also in November, occurred in İstanbul's Avcılar district at a community park where two men were reportedly drinking beer when a police patrol approached them in response to calls accusing the two of disturbing the peace. According to witnesses, the men were attacked by the officers. Feyzullah Ete, whom a police officer allegedly kicked in the chest, died at the scene.


Officer Terry Cozad Arrested for Drunk Driving

An off-duty Council Bluffs police officer who was named Officer of the Year earlier this year was arrested on suspicion of operating a vehicle while intoxicated Oct. 19 in rural Mills County.

Officer Terry Cozad, 38, a member of the Council Bluffs Police Department since 1999, was pulled over by a Mills County Sheriff's Deputy around 8 p.m. along U.S. Highway 275 north of Glenwood.

A Glenwood address is listed for Cozad on an arrest report.

After he was pulled over, the deputy determined Cozad was under the influence of alcohol. Cozad refused a breath alcohol test at the scene to determine his blood alcohol level, according to Mills County Sheriff Mack Taylor. Cozad was arrested and charged with suspicion of operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Cozad posted bail and was later released.

A Nov. 3 preliminary hearing has been set.

Neither Cozad nor his attorney, Joseph Hrvol of Council Bluffs, could be reached for comment.

A first offense conviction for operating a vehicle while intoxicated is a serious misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,500. A conviction may also result in suspension of driving privileges.

Council Bluffs Police Chief Keith Mehlen said his department was aware of the incident and that Cozad has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

Cozad was the recipient of the department's Officer of the Year award in May for his work with the Police Area Representative Unit (PARU), a special unit dedicated to community policing, gang identification and cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Cozad was awarded the department's Medal of Valor in 2006 after preventing a carjacking. In that incident Cozad shot and killed John Raymond Bothwell after Bothwell backed a stolen vehicle into another officer. The Pottawattamie County Attorney concluded Cozad acted appropriately in the case.

The Oct. 19 incident isn't Cozad's first with Mills County officers. In a July 2001 incident Cozad was charged with first-degree harassment and interference with official acts while armed with a firearm in connection with a 40-minute standoff with Glenwood Police and Mills County Sheriff's Deputies.

In the 2001 incident, officers were called to a domestic dispute at 1102 Sixth St. in Glenwood. When officers arrived, they found Cozad in the driveway of the residence locked in his sport utility vehicle with a firearm. After 40 minutes of communication between officers and Cozad he surrendered to police. Cozad was transported to Council Bluffs hospital for an evaluation.

The harassment charge was later dropped and Cozad received a deferred judgement on an amended interference charge. He was ordered to serve 40 hours of community service and undergo an alcohol evaluation.