Monday, May 11, 2009

Trooper Joshua Giddings Arrested for Sexual Exploitation

A 7-year Delaware State Police trooper has been arrested and charged with sexual exploitation.

Corporal Joshua Giddings, who was assigned to Troop 9 in Odessa, has been arrested on charges of sexual exploitation, receiving a bribe and official misconduct.

State Police say the officer arrested a 39-year old New Castle woman on March 19th for shoplifting at the Christiana Mall. Following the arrest, investigators say Corporal Giddings and the woman agreed that the woman wouldn't be taken immediately to court if she agreed to perform a sexual favor. Instead, the officer issued a a summons to appear in court at a later date.

The woman told investigators the officer then drove to a secluded area and engaged in a sexual act with the woman, then drove her home.

Corporal Giddings has been placed on suspension without pay and benefits with the intent to dismiss him from the police force.

Officer Robert Cirello Arrested for Road Rage

Officer Robert Cirello was arrested over the weekend after Maryland State Police say he was involved in a road rage incident around noon on May 8th.

According to charging documents obtained by ABC2 News, Cirello is accused of cutting off a car along Route 924 near Singer Road in Harford County. That car's driver honked at Cirello, who then stopped, forcing the other car to drive around him. When the two were side by side, the two victims say Cirello threw a cup of "tobacco juice" on them and pointed his 40 caliber Glock handgun at them.

Cirello was arrested by Maryland State Police and was scheduled for a suspension hearing on Monday.

Officer Robert Cirello was shot near Patterson Park in 2006 while on patrol after a rash of robberies. He was saved by his bullet proof vest.

In a separate incident, Officer Joseph Hannerman was arrested on May 8th just before 11pm for allegedly choking and punching his girlfriend in the face. The alleged assault occurred on the front porch of 2935 Mosher Street in Southwest Baltimore.

Hammerman is also scheduled for a suspension hearing Monday.

Former Officer Christian Torres Sentenced to 10 years for Robbing Bank


A former New York transit officer who pulled a gun on three bank tellers, one of them nine months pregnant, during a Reading bank heist was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison.

Christian Torres, 22, still faces charges in New York for two bank heists there.

Torres, of New York City, told the judge he regrets letting down his fiancee and his family, defense lawyer Angelo MacDonald said.

In his youth, Torres had won a scholarship to Rye Country Day School and attended the John Jay College of Criminal Justice before leaving to enter the police academy, the lawyer said.

"It is a shame," MacDonald said. "He's a bright kid, and he seems like a nice kid."

U.S. District Judge Thomas Golden sentenced Torres at the bottom of the sentencing range. Torres has provided authorities information in the New York case, but his lawyers plan to wait to see the evidence before deciding if he will plead to those charges.

He also has met with Sovereign Bank officials since his arrest to discuss security measures, lead defense lawyer Paul Missan said.

Torres admitted he pulled the April 2008 "takeover" heist of the Sovereign Bank branch in Reading, which occurred as the bank was opening for the morning. Wearing a hat and wig, he approached a bank employee in the parking lot, followed her inside and forced employees into a vault at gunpoint before making off with $113,000.

Police had been notified early on, and Torres was arrested , and the money recovered , a short time later.

The Pennsylvania crime followed a pair of 2007 robberies at a Sovereign branch in New York, in which he is charged with teaming up with an ex-girlfriend who worked there. Former teller Christina Dasrath admitted she shared bank security measures with Torres, helped stage the robberies and took a cut of the more than $100,000 in proceeds.

Dasrath is serving a 30-month federal term.

"I think the fact that they got away with it empowered them, it sort of led to the next one, and then the next one," MacDonald said Monday.

Torres has been in prison since his arrest after the Reading robbery. He used his service revolver in that holdup, the defense said. His sentence includes a mandatory seven-year sentence on the firearm charge, Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph A. LaBar said.

Cpl. Joshua Giddings Arrested for Sexual Extortion

The Delaware State Police arrested a seven-year veteran patrol trooper for Sexual Extortion, Receiving a Bribe and Official Misconduct after an investigation revealed he engaged in a sex act with a 39-year-old New Castle woman.

This arrest culminates an investigation by DSP of alleged misconduct brought to the attention of the State Police by a woman arrested by Cpl. Joshua A. Giddings, 32, who was assigned to Troop 9 in Odessa.

The woman alleged that she and Giddings engaged in a sexual act while he was acting in his official capacity as a trooper. Information was provided and the investigation later substantiated that on Thursday, March 19 at approximately 8:06 pm, Giddings was working in a patrol capacity when he was dispatched to JC Penney's at the Christiana Mall for a report of a female shoplifter in custody. The investigation determined that Giddings arrested the woman for a single count of Shoplifting and for capias charges from a local court related to traffic offenses. Following the arrest, the woman and Giddings agreed that if the woman performed a sexual favor that Giddings would not take her forthwith to court to face the shoplifting charges and capiases. Instead, he issued her a criminal summons to appear at a later date in court.

With the woman under arrest and detained in the police vehicle, Giddings drove to a nearby, secluded area and engaged in a sexual act with her. He then drove her home.

Once DSP was notified of this allegation, an investigation was immediately launched and Giddings was suspended with pay and benefits. During the investigation, detectives secured a clothing item belonging to the victim. Consequently, detectives later obtained a search warrant to obtain DNA from Giddings.

The physical evidence obtained by detectives from the victim’s clothing and the DNA sample obtained from Giddings were sent to the state’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) for comparison. The two samples matched the DNA profile of Mr. Giddings and supported the allegation.

Arrest warrants were obtained and today, Giddings was informed of the arrest warrant and voluntarily turned himself in to investigators at Troop 2 in Glasgow. He was formally charged and upon arraignment, was issued an $8,000.00 unsecured bond.

Because of the arrest, Colonel Thomas F. Mac Leish has placed Giddings on suspension without pay and benefits with the intent to dismiss him from the division.

Angry Crowd Throws Rocks & Bottles After Police Shoot Two Men

An angry crowd threw rocks and bottles at police in riot gear in Austin, Texas, hours after an officer shot two men, killing one of them.

Police say eight officers had minor injuries and eight patrol cars were damaged as authorities tried to break up the crowd of about 100 people that gathered after the Monday morning shooting.

Police Chief Art Acevedo said the shooting occurred after police investigating complaints of shots fired over the weekend approached a car with three men inside. He said an officer shot one man who made a movement toward a weapon when the officer tried to wake him up, and shot another who ran toward him.

Acevedo said the unidentified officer who fired will be placed on standard administrative leave.


Youtube Video:

Officer Christopher Rojas Accused of Sexual Misconduct

Christopher Rojas admits to one vice that may have cost him his job in law enforcement: "Women."

After 15 months on paid administrative leave, the veteran Sunrise police officer was fired Jan. 28 amid allegations of sexual misconduct, as revealed in documents recently obtained by the Sun Sentinel.

Rojas, 39, who is married with children, denies the allegations and is trying to get his $75,300-a-year job back through arbitration. He declined to comment through his union representative.

An internal investigation by the Sunrise Police Department found Rojas used his authority as an officer to romance and prey on women he met on the job. The 12-year veteran had consensual sex on duty with one woman over the course of two years, police say, while in another case, a burglary victim accused Rojas of forcing her to kiss him at least twice.

"In both cases, Officer Rojas was found to have used his position as a police officer to obtain or try to obtain sexual favors, or otherwise take advantage of these women who were in need of police assistance," Capt. Robert Voss wrote in his Jan. 28 report to the chief.

In the case of the burglary victim, police records state Rojas returned to the young woman's home the day after the burglary and threatened to kick in or shoot down her door if she didn't let him in.

According to Lt. William Glennon, who handled the 615-page internal investigation, Rojas violated 20 departmental policies, including conduct unbecoming an officer, making false statements and failing to document a burglary.

Police Chief John Brooks has recommended the Florida Department of Law Enforcement permanently revoke Rojas' police certification. The agency is reviewing the case.

John Puleo, union representative for Rojas, denied the burglary victim's allegation that Rojas kissed her. In May 2008, the Broward State Attorney's Office declined to file criminal charges in that incident, saying their investigators had not been able to track down Rojas' accuser.

Puleo and Anthony Livoti, Rojas' attorney, both accuse Sunrise of failing to conduct a thorough investigation. They said Rojas was off duty during the trysts and only wore his uniform to fool his wife into thinking he was at work.

"The bottom line: [The sex] wasn't on duty," Puleo said.

But the woman Rojas was seeing told investigators the couple had sex countless times while he was on duty. She made the allegations on June 3, 2008, after the relationship soured.

According to her testimony, she met Rojas in 2004 when she was having an argument with her then-husband and called police. Rojas responded.

Both parties agree their friendship turned sexual. She told investigators they only had sex when he was on duty "because he had a wife" and wanted their affair kept secret.

When Glennon asked Rojas if he had sex on duty, Rojas answered: "Not that I'm aware of" and "I can't remember."

Rojas told Glennon he may have taken vacation time in the middle of his shift to have sex. But Glennon said a review of attendance records shows Rojas never did so.

Rojas said he may have had sex on his lunch break. Police officers are still on duty and paid during breaks, Glennon said.

The woman said Rojas came to her house up to three times a week during his 7:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. work shift, staying from 10 minutes to an hour. Neighbors interviewed by Glennon confirmed her story.

Glennon tape-recorded conversations between the woman and Rojas to determine the validity of her claims.

In one conversation, Rojas told her: "The one vice I have in life ... I like women, and you know I like women, OK. That is my vice in life."

In the second case, a woman claimed Rojas kissed her against her will and failed to take a police report after her apartment was burglarized.

Later, she told Glennon why she didn't fight him off: "I thought he was going to hurt me if I didn't" go along with his advances.

According to police, Rojas first met the woman on Oct. 9, 2007, when she reported a suspicious person at her apartment complex. Rojas gave her his business card and cell number. A week later, on Oct. 17, she called Rojas about the burglary.

The woman said Rojas showed up, insisted on talking in her bedroom, kissed her against her will and told her she was going to give him a key after she got the locks fixed. Hours later, the woman left messages for Rojas asking why he hadn't taken a report.

In the meantime, she told her boyfriend, who called police to file a complaint.

On Oct. 18, Rojas showed up at the woman's apartment and knocked on the door. Terrified, she slammed it in his face.

"He began kicking the door, yelling obscenities and threatening to shoot the door" then went around back and forced open the sliding glass doors, according to police.

The woman's boyfriend called 911. Soon Sunrise police swarmed the area.

The next day, Rojas was placed on paid administrative leave.