Wednesday, December 10, 2008

El Reno Police Apologize for Tasering Diabetic Man


El Reno

Police in El Reno are apologizing for a mistake that was made under difficult circumstances. Last month, they arrested a driver who lost control of his pickup on the interstate. He appeared to be drunk, but he turned out to be suffering from diabetic shock.

"Step out of the vehicle! Step out of the vehicle! Sir, step out of the vehicle!"

The man who's being wrestled out of his truck is combative and uncooperative, so officers resort to using a taser gun.

"Sir. Cooperate!"

Only after questioning the suspect in a police cruiser do officers learn that the man had a medical problem. Paramedics were called and the man was taken to an emergency room.

Doctors say the man's blood sugar was so low he wasn't able to respond. El Reno's police chief says the medical emergency wasn't obvious because the man was agitated.

"It's unfortunate for the officers I expect and I know they feel extremely bad. After they learned that in fact it was a medical need and not someone who was under the influence of intoxicant drugs or alcohol."

El Reno's police are trained to recognize medical problems like diabetes. But, this shows some cases aren't clear cut

Officer William Edwards Sr Charged with Sexual Assault Against Minor

New London

State police have obtained an arrest warrant charging William R. Edwards Sr., a well-known city patrolman, with sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor.

Edwards, 45, has been hospitalized under psychiatric care for several days, preventing state police from serving a warrant that charges him with risk of injury to a minor, third-degree sexual assault, unlawful restraint and tampering with a witness, according to several law enforcement sources. Details of the alleged crimes are not available.

Over the weekend, New London City Manager Martin Berliner sent an e-mail to members of the City Council to inform them of the pending charges. Berliner wrote that police Chief Bruce F. Rinehart informed him on Dec. 4 that state police were investigating Edwards for an off-duty incident. The city manager said he did not plan to tell the councilors until Edwards was arrested “in fairness to Officer Edwards.”

”Unfortunately, since the process has taken so long, you may have heard about this situation from someone else. For that I am sorry,” Berliner wrote. “At this point, a signed arrest warrant is on file with state police. You will be informed when the warrant is executed.”

Rinehart said Edwards requested and is currently on paid leave. He said he could not comment on the allegations since the investigation is ongoing.

Edwards is a 20-year veteran of the police department who serves as the city's crime prevention officer, working with various groups of city residents, including children, the elderly, neighborhood watch groups and business owners. His family is well known in New London, where Edwards' father, Kenneth W. Edwards Sr., is a retired deputy fire chief, and his brother, Kenneth W. Edwards Jr., is a retired police captain.

Members of the police union discussed the situation at a meeting on Tuesday so officers would be aware of Edwards' impending arrest and be prepared to respond to any backlash they might hear during the course of their duties in the community, according to a police source.

Edwards is the president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association and was in charge of its finances, according to a source, who said a committee of patrolmen are checking the PBA's finances. He is also a past president of the New London Rotary Club.

Edwards is married and has two children. Court records indicate that Deutsche Bank foreclosed on the family home at 68 Cedar Grove Ave. in July and that the bank repossessed the home.

The New London Police Department and the county's state's attorneys have not been involved in the investigation. To avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, state police detectives at Troop E investigated the allegations involving Edwards and presented a warrant affidavit to be signed by officials in Windham County.

Former Trooper Charlene Green Arrested for Writing Fraudulent Citations


Former Claiborne County Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Charlene Green, 32, was arrested and currently faces 77 felony counts on charges that she wrote fraudulent citations, according to a Tennessee Department of Safety release.

Greene resigned from her job in October instead of being terminated after she was accused of neglecting her duty by failing to submit traffic citations to courts of record, according to the Tennessee Department of Safety.

The THP launched a formal investigation into Green's alleged actions.

"After cross-checking other citations turned in by Green with those on file at the Clerk’s Office, investigators discovered that Green wrote dozens of “fake” tickets, sometimes using information of individuals she issued tickets to years ago," according to the THP release. "In one case, Green is accused of using the name of a driver she issued a ticket to in 2004. She allegedly forged his name on four citations she turned in to her superiors in February, March and July of 2008."

"In all, CID agents were able to determine that from January 12, 2008, through September 2, 2008, Green wrote a total of 60 fraudulent citations involving 28 individuals," the release states.

Green faces 38 counts of forgery, 38 counts of false reporting and one count of official misconduct.

Green was assigned to Claiborne County in the Fall Branch District after being commissioned in January 2004, according the TDOS release.

Officer Robert Cahill Suspended After he Assaulted Iraqi War Veteran


A 31-year-old Vestal police officer has been suspended without pay following an accusation that he punched and kicked an Iraqi war veteran at a local bar.

Robert D. Cahill was charged by Johnson City police with third-degree assault with intent to cause injuries, a misdemeanor, and arraigned Dec. 5 in village court, according to village police Lt. David A. Smith. Cahill was released on his own recognizance.

The complaint, filed in village court by Johnson City Sgt. Mark R. Wallikas, states that Cahill punched Patrick F. Dinottia II in the head and then kicked him at 12:50 a.m. Nov. 26. at Giblin's. Dinottia, of Johnson City, was treated at Wilson Regional Medical Center for a cut above his left eye.

Cahill declined comment when reached at home; Dinottia did not return a call for comment.

Vestal Police Chief John Butler said Cahill has been suspended indefinitely without pay. Butler wouldn't comment further, citing a personnel matter.

Bar owner William Giblin said the fight was recorded by a digital surveillance camera that he turned over to police the night after the fight. The Main Street establishment is usually calm, said Giblin, adding that this was the first fight he's had in the six years he's been open. Dinottia, who served seven months in 2003 as a U.S. Navy Seabee in Iraq, wrote in a police statement that earlier in the night, a woman he believed to be a state trooper confronted him and a friend about giving her "dirty looks." According to Dinottia's statement, he responded that he didn't know what she was talking about.

Cahill was sitting with the woman later, before approaching him, Dinottia said in the statement.

Dinottia wrote that he doesn't remember what Cahill said to him, but he knew there was a problem when two of Cahill's "friends," who Dinottia later learned were also police officers, stood next to him.

"I made a comment to (Cahill) saying 'so this is how it's going to be.' As soon as I stood up he reached back and threw a haymaker punch that hit me in the face. I then fell to the ground. I was hit so hard that I was almost knocked out," Dinottia in his statement, adding that someone kicked him while he was on the ground. "I never threw a punch during any of the incident, because I never had a chance."

Dinottia, who didn't initially press charges, went to Wilson Regional Medical Center and got eight stitches for the cut above his eye. He then decided to file a complaint with Johnson City police.

Cahill joined the Vestal Police Department in the summer of 2007, after working as a Johnson City police officer since 2003. In 2006, he was one of the first officers who found Matthew Romano unconscious and face down in Calvary Cemetery after being stabbed. Romano said he was stabbed by an assailant, but prosecutors later said Romano stabbed himself and filed a false report about the attack. He was acquitted in November of those charges.

Cahill's father is retired Binghamton Assistant Chief William Cahill, who worked under Butler when the latter was Binghamton police chief.

St. Louis Officer Under Investigation for Child Porn Kills Himself


A St. Louis police officer who was under investigation in a child pornography case jumped out of a police car, ran away, and killed himself, authorities said Wednesday.

The officer's name was not released. He was 37 and had been with the department for 2 1/2 years, city police spokeswoman Erica Van Ross said.

St. Louis County police went to the officer's home in south St. Louis County on Tuesday.

"We had received an IP address belonging to a computer at that residence associated with child pornography, either the possession or transfer of it," Panus said. "We went there to serve the search warrant."

The officer wasn't home but provided a key when investigators tracked him down. Panus said the computer and personal papers were seized, but the officer was not arrested.

Later Tuesday, members of the city police Internal Affairs division picked up the officer and were driving him to police headquarters. Van Ross said he was being taken in for two reasons: To await results of the county search of his computer and papers, and for questioning about why he apparently lived in the county when city officers are required to live in the city.

Suddenly, just blocks from police headquarters, the officer jumped out of the car and ran, Van Ross said. Police searched but couldn't find him.

Hours later, a resident called 911 after finding the officer, reportedly behind a church. He had a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Van Ross said. Police transported the officer to Saint Louis University Hospital, where he died.

Van Ross said the officer was not technically in custody so he was not handcuffed or restrained in the police car. Police Chief Dan Isom has ordered a review of protocol to see if changes should be made in the method of transporting people to the Internal Affairs Division.

Deputy James Doyle Accused of Lewd act on Child


A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy has pleaded not guilty to groping a 15-year-old girl as her dying father was in the hospital.

James Doyle, 45, of Long Beach, entered the plea Wednesday in an Orange County courtroom to a felony count of committing a lewd act on a child. He faces up to three years in prison if convicted.

Doyle, who works as a courtroom bailiff, is free on bail.

Doyle had taken his friend's two daughters out to eat while the man was hospitalized in June. Prosecutors say while driving the girls home, Doyle reached under the 15-year-old's shirt and grabbed her breast.

Authorities say the girl's mother learned of the alleged incident a week later but delayed reporting it to Brea police until after the father died in September.

Riots and Looting Erupt After Police Kill Schoolboy


Riots and looting erupted across Athens yesterday as the Greek Government confronted a sixth day of violent protests over the police killing of a schoolboy.

Demonstrators clashed with security forces outside the country's biggest prison and a university in central Athens, and police said groups of youths were looting shops in various districts. Others blocked main roads.

More demonstrations were expected in Athens last night.

The unrest continued as a police officer appeared in court to be charged with voluntary homicide over the killing of a teenager that sparked nationwide riots.

Epaminondas Korkoneas, 37, has also been charged with the "illegal use" of his service weapon over the killing of Alexis Grigoropoulos, 15, and was ordered by a magistrate to remain in custody. The officer's partner, Vassilios Saraliotis, 31, was charged with being an accomplice and will remain in custody.

Korkoneas is alleged to have killed Alexis on Saturday during a clash with about 30 youths in the Athens district of Exarchia.

Questioned by a magistrate, Korkoneas said he acted out of self-defence when the group began throwing firebombs and other objects while shouting that they "were going to kill them".

Opposition to the Government's conservative fiscal policies and plans to privatise hospitals and schools is unlikely to fade soon. A poll for the newspaper Kathimerini found 68 per cent of Greeks believed the Government had mishandled the crisis, including about half of respondents who voted for the right-wing New Democracy party of the Prime Minister, Costas Karamanlis, in elections last year.

Agence France-Presse; Guardian News & Media; Telegraph, London