Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Former Officer Michael Johnson Still Wanted for Rape

Michael L. Johnson can be seen on the America's Most Wanted homepage, and in his YouTube martial arts, "cobrafast" videos, but he has not been found by local, state and federal officials.

Johnson, 40, has been on the lam since Dec. 9, when he was supposed to turn himself in on two new rape charges filed by York City Police.

As of today, Johnson was still a fugitive. Authorities set up a tip line to help them locate Johnson, a former York City Police officer and Penn Township commissioner, last week.

A federal arrest warrant was also filed last week as authorities continued searching for the rape suspect.

On Dec. 1, Johnson, who used to patrol York's streets as an officer and who is a current Penn Township official, was charged with rape, kidnapping and related charges in Baltimore.

Police have alleged Johnson told three women he was a police officer. He raped two York women after they got into his van for a money-for-sex transaction, according to court documents. The woman in Baltimore was raped after she was handcuffed in a van Johnson was driving, police said.

Johnson was first charged with rape in Maryland, and his Pennsylvania charges were filed this week.

To add more resources to the search, a federal unlawful flight to avoid prosecution warrant for Johnson's arrest has been issued. The warrant allows authorities to bring in federal investigators to help look for Johnson.

Authorities also set up a tip line to help police find Johnson. He was last seen leaving his Penn Township home Tuesday morning.

Those with information on Johnson's whereabouts are asked to call the tip line or York County 911.

Law enforcement in both Pennsylvania and Maryland say they continue to follow leads in trying to locate Johnson.

York City Police Commissioner Mark Whitman said Friday his officers are aggressively pursuing leads. He declined further comment.

State troopers in Maryland have been on alert watching the neighborhoods where Johnson's family lives and where his ex-wife lives in New Windsor, Carroll County, said Sgt. Andrew Eways.

Troopers have also been monitoring Francis Scott Key High School where Johnson's two children from his first marriage attend, he said.


Michael L. Johnson Jr. was last seen driving a blue Chevy Cobalt sedan. The car has a Pennsylvania Masonic Lodge license plate, number MB11785.

If you see Johnson, "do not approach on your own," said York City Police Lt. Tim Utley. Instead, call police at 846-1234 or 911.

Those with information can also call a tip line set up for the case at 1-866-437-9847.

More Information:

"We'll Kick Your ASS!!"

The Kern County Sheriff's Department probably thought the embarrassing episode was well in the past.

Since the former sheriff lost a 2006 re-election bid, a slogan on the side of a few patrol cars proclaiming "We'll kick your ass" has fallen off the front pages and been relegated to urban-legend status and a few snarky mentions on the Internet.

But the infamous slogan is news once again as a key part of an excessive-force lawsuit filed by a Georgia long-haul trucker and his wife that is being heard in a Fresno federal courtroom.

Thomas Philip tussled with Kern County sheriffs deputies, was pepper-sprayed and then badly bitten by one of the department's patrol dogs before he was arrested in the fall of 2003. His wife, Brenda Gross Philip, also was arrested.

They claim in a trial brief that the department's slogan shows that an "intent to do harm" is part of the department's culture.

Bakersfield attorney Andrew Thomson dismissed the charge. The slogans "were done in humor," he told jurors last week.

No cars that were on the streets featured the slogan, and no deputies changed the way they acted or reacted or changed their perception of the law based on the decals, he said. And, he added, then-Sheriff Mack Wimbish ordered the slogans removed when he saw the cars.

At the time, the slogan caused a minor uproar in Bakersfield. The Bakersfield Californian newspaper cited it as one reason it supported Wimbish's opponent when he sought re-election in 2006. Wimbish lost.

"It was an unfortunate attempt at public relations when it happened, and it was immediately renounced," Kern County spokesman Allan Krauter said. "That's certainly not the attitude the county wants to portray to the people whom it serves, and it's certainly not the attitude of the current sheriff."

In their trial brief, the Philips also say a Kern County Sheriff's Department K-9 car featured the slogan, "We'll Bite Your Ass."

The series of events leading up to the Philips' arrests started in Georgia, where the couple live. At the time, they were seriously dating, and Brenda, a hairdresser, decided to accompany Thomas on one of his cross-country drives to see how they would get along.

Thomas Philip had a high-security military clearance and often handled items such as missiles, torpedoes and humvees. He was carrying a load to the Lemoore Naval Air Station.

By the time the couple reached Las Vegas, things were going so well that they decided to get married.

Three days later, they pulled into Bakersfield and settled in at a Days Inn near the Scotsman Restaurant.

Thomas Philip had raved about the Scotsman's patty melts and Reuben sandwiches, and he couldn't wait to introduce them to his new bride.

By midnight, Philip was under arrest and on his way to the hospital after the exchange with Kern County sheriff's deputies.

In opening statements to jurors, Fresno attorney Dean Gordon outlined an unprovoked assault on Thomas Philip by deputies responding to a 911 call to the restaurant. Gordon said the disputed slogan was not a fluke or a joke, but rather it reflected how deputies actually conducted themselves.

"Tom was a bloody mess," he told jurors.

He portrayed Philip as a compliant person facing aggressive deputies. Philip only resisted because the arrest appeared unlawful to him, Gordon said.

Thomson -- who is representing Kern County, Wimbish, the Sheriff's Department and two deputies -- doesn't deny that Philip was pepper-sprayed or bitten by a police dog. But Thomson said deputies acted within the law.

He portrayed Philip not as an innocent diner ambushed by deputies, but as a man who was agitated, aggressive, unruly and intoxicated. Philip refused repeated requests to stop resisting arrest, Thomson said.

"The entire situation could have been stopped by one person at any point," Thomson told jurors. "Mr. Philip could have stopped resisting."

The incident itself features two wildly divergent accounts -- one by the Philips, the other from Kern County sheriff's deputies.

For instance, the Philips' trial brief says the couple were asked to leave the restaurant, but the waitress "thought they were slow in doing so," so she called 911. The trial brief says the restaurant's bartender said the couple only had "a small amount of beer and did not appear to be intoxicated."

But Thomson said the Philips were both drinking, and that Thomas Philip was belligerent and refused to leave the restaurant.

The couple are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. Closing arguments in the trial, being heard by U.S. District Judge Oliver W. Wanger, are expected on Wednesday.

Deputy Arthur Staples Charged with Distributing Child Porn


A Prince William County sheriff's deputy has been charged with distributing child pornography after authorities say he traded a nude photo of an underage girl with an undercover Florida detective.

Manassas city police arrested 65-year-old Arthur Staples on Friday after Florida authorities charged him in a warrant with transmission of child pornography. Authorities say a search of Staples' home turned up pornographic images on his computer.

Staples is being held without bond and is awaiting extradition to Florida. Manassas police say additional local charges are possible.

Deputy Stephen Thomas Jr. Arrested for Having Child Porn in His Patrol Car

He's an Indian River County Sheriff's Deputy and recently returned from a tour of duty overseas. Now, Stephen Thomas Junior is behind bars.

It was a routine check in Indian River County for people viewing child pornography online. Indian River County Sheriff's Spokesman, Jeff Luther, says, "Unfortunately his name came up."

The name of Deputy Stephen Thomas Junior. Luther says, "We started an investigation on it and at this time we had enough information to place him under arrest."

Investigators say Thomas had 14 videos of children engaging in sex acts on his personal computer. That computer was found in his patrol car. The children range in ages of five to 12 years old. "We do investigations into this all the time to see what is going on out there," says Luther.

Thomas was hired as a deputy in 2005 and served in the Army. We are told he recently returned from a tour of duty overseas. We viewed his personnel file. He's been disciplined three times for minor offenses: turning his patrol camera off during a pursuit and leaving his weapons in his car. All of his recommendations to the department said he was loyal and trustworthy. Luther says, "Anytime you have a brother or sister in law-enforcement get arrested it's a shameful thing, but at the same time it's something we have to do."

Thomas is in jail charged with possession of child porn and currently suspended without pay until the investigation is complete.

Thomas also lists he worked for the Sheriff's "Explorer" program and for a church program called "Royal Rangers" which works with young boys. We tried to contact that group and his current church in Vero Beach, but no one wanted to speak to us about Thomas.

Four People Arrested for Opposing Sheriff Joe Arpaio


The authorities arrested four people Wednesday at a meeting of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, a development that heightened months of tension between county officials and a vocal group of activists who oppose Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Those arrested, during the public comment part of the meeting, had been warned by the board earlier that they were being disruptive with their applause for speakers critical of the sheriff.

Finally, after standing and applauding another such speaker for 20 seconds, they were seized by sheriff’s deputies and county security agents. All were charged with suspicion of disorderly conduct and trespassing, said Lt. Brian Lee, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office.

One of the four accused is Jason Odhner, who was identified by the director of the anti-Arpaio group Maricopa Citizens for Safety and Accountability as a member of the organization. The three others are Joel Nelson, Monica Sanschafer and Kristy Theilen, who all belong to Acorn, the activist group whose members have frequently worked alongside the Maricopa Citizens organization in an anti-Arpaio campaign.

The groups want the Board of Supervisors to have greater oversight of Sheriff Arpaio, whose get-tough tactics have gained him nationwide attention but who has been accused by critics of racial profiling and maintaining deplorable conditions at the county jails, among other things.

The crackdown at the meeting brought the tally of arrested anti-Arpaio activists to nine in the last three months. Four people affiliated with Maricopa Citizens for Safety and Accountability, including Ms. Sanschafer and Ms. Theilen, were arrested Monday for refusing to leave the lobby outside the office of the chairman of the Board of Supervisors. And on Sept. 29, a co-founder of the Maricopa Citizens group was arrested outside a Board of Supervisors meeting on suspicion of trespassing on government property and disorderly conduct.

Sheriff Arpaio, who was not at Wednesday’s meeting, said the arrests there were justified.

“When you’re in a government building,” he said, “when you have a forum, when you’re trying to have proper decorum and they keep interfering, they violated the law.”


This JACKASS needs to be removed from office!!! He degrades men by making them wear pink underwear, feeds people spoiled food, and just degrades them at every turn. The fucker needs to be treated by some bad ass criminals the way he has treated them. Maybe one of them will take his sorry ass life.

Former Trooper Justin Tolman Pleads Guilty to trying to Lure Child

A former Colorado State Patrol trooper pleaded guilty Monday to trying to lure a child over the Internet.

Justin Tolman, 22, was arrested in July. He pleaded guilty to the felony in Weld District Court. He will be sentenced at 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 11.

* Fort Lupton police arrested Tolman at his home in Colorado Springs. Tolman, who had been a Colorado State Patrol trooper since July 2007, is no longer with the organization.

Fort Lupton police began investigating Tolman after Det. Crystal Schwartz set up Internet accounts on and Yahoo! Chat posing as a 14-year-old girl. Soon after the account was set up, Tolman began messaging the posing Schwartz and began sending her pornographic images and telling her what he would do sexually when they met.

Police said Tolman even sent a picture of himself in a state patrol uniform standing next to a state patrol vehicle, and that Tolman sent a message to the girl every day for two months.

Officer Erick Ericksen Accused of Drunk Driving

The Bennington Police Department is doing away with its canine unit after its handler was accused of drinking and driving.

Officer Erick Ericksen pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of careless and negligent operation of a motor vehicle.

The Bennington Police Department will not say if Ericksen was disciplined. But they eliminated his position.

The department is now looking for another police force to take its canine, because no other officer with the Bennington Police Department is trained to use a canine.