Thursday, May 28, 2009

Lt Erin Lorraine Giudice Charged with DUI

A Sheriff's lieutenant arrested last month on suspicion of driving under the influence has been charged with two misdemeanor counts in the case.

Lt. Erin Lorraine Giudice, 48, lost her job as Harbormaster and was reassigned to Orange County Jail after she was arrested April 14 by Irvine police.

Giudice was charged with one DUI count and one count of driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or more.

Giudice had a blood alcohol level of 0.14 two hours after the arrest, prosecutors said.

At around 9 p.m. on April 14, Giudice was driving an unmarked Sheriff's Department vehicle north on 5 freeway, and rear-ended another car stopped at a red light on the Jamboree Road offramp, prosecutors said.

When the arrest was initially reported, the Sheriff's Department declined to say whether Giudice had been driving a department vehicle at the time.

The other car had minor damage and the driver was uninjured, prosecutors said.

When Irvine police arrived at the scene of the accident, they found that Giudice was slurring her speech, had bloodshot and watery eyes, and poor balance, prosecutors said.

Giudice is scheduled to be arraigned June 19 at Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach.

The case will be prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Keith Bogardus of the Special Prosecutions Unit, which handles prosecution of law-enforcement officers, among other duties.

Capt. Dave Nighswonger, who oversees the sheriff's internal affairs unit, said after the arrest that the department did not have a specific policy addressing consequences for a DUI conviction.

"We have department policies that require employees to obey the law," Nighswonger said. "Then there's canons of ethics that hold our department employees accountable."

NYC Man Sues City for $220 Million for Police Sodomizing Him

A New York City man who says police beat and sodomized him on a subway station platform sued the city, the police department and the accused officers for $220 million on Thursday for civil rights violations.

Three New York City police officers pleaded innocent in December to criminal charges that one of them sodomized Michael Mineo on October 15 with a police baton on a subway platform and two others helped cover up the crime.

"When you distill it, it was a male on male rape," Kevin Mosley, a lawyer for Mineo, said on Thursday.

"The amount of damages, which is the aggregate of the 11 counts, is reflective of the wrong and the suffering that this young man went through and will go through for the rest of his life," he said.

Detective Richard Kern is charged with aggravated sexual assault and other charges and faces up to 25 years in prison. Andrew Morales and Alex Cruz are charged with participating in an attempted cover up, which included writing a summons for the victim. If convicted, each faces up to four years in prison.

According to prosecutors, Kern and Morales observed Mineo, who works at a tattoo parlor, smoking a marijuana cigarette as they sat in an unmarked police car in the early afternoon on October 15 near Brooklyn's Prospect Park.

Cruz and another officer arrived to provide backup and Kern and Cruz followed Mineo into a subway station where Kern anally assaulted Mineo with a retractable baton, prosecutors said.

The criminal case is due to move forward in state court in Brooklyn in June.

The incident sparked charges of police brutality and recalls the 1997 case of Abner Louima, a Haitian immigrant who was attacked with a broomstick in a Brooklyn police station.

In the Louima case, one New York City police officer was sentenced to 30 years in prison for his role in the attack, and a second officer was given a five-year prison sentence for perjury.

Other information:

Retired Officer David Jones Arrested for Impersonating Officer

A retired police officer ends up arrested by the force he used to be on.

Jeffersontown police say David Jones, a retired police officer, was hired by a local company to work a bad check case as a private citizen.

Jeffersontown's police chief says it was a U.S. treasury check and it was stolen.

Police say Jones went to the man's home that the check was made out to and demanded money.

The man said he was going to call police. Police say Jones said he was the police and showed a badge and a weapon.

Jefferstown police say Jones retired as a police officer back in 1994.

He is charged with multiple charges including intimidation and impersonating a peace officer.

William Nolan Sues City After Wrong Arrest

William Nolan tried to tell the cop who arrested him. He tried to tell the judge. He even tried to tell the jailers who gave him his jumpsuit.

But it was only after the Indianapolis man had spent five days in jail last year that authorities realized that what Nolan had been insisting was true: They had the wrong man.

Police, including a top warrants official, now suspect that a detective may have mistakenly slapped Nolan's Social Security number on the auto theft arrest warrant for another man.

But not just any other man. Another man named William Nolan.

"For people that have names that are shared by other people, this is a horror story," said Joel Schumm, clinical professor of law at Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis. "I mean, this is something that should scare them."

Though it remains unclear just how the wrong William Nolan ended up in jail for five days, he is pretty sure someone is responsible -- and he has filed a wrongful imprisonment lawsuit against the city, set for trial in June 2010.

The mistaken-identity mess traces all the way back to August 2007. That's when someone stole a black 1997 BMW from J Frank Motors.

Jan Frank told Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Detective Donna Hayes he suspected a man who had been hired just a few days earlier to wash cars: a tall black man named William Nolan.

According to Hayes' affidavit, a woman who said that William Nolan had been staying with her said she last saw Nolan the day of the theft -- driving a black 1997 BMW.

Fast-forward to March 2008, when IMPD officer Brady Ball was making a routine check of the names in the registry of a Far-Southside motel. One name, he later testified, matched the warrant for a stolen BMW: William Nolan.

Nolan, 48, was staying at the motel while repairs were being made on his fire-damaged home. Ball knocked on his room door. Nolan answered. Ball placed him under arrest in the car theft case.

Still, Ball wasn't quite sure he had the right person. The warrant listed William Nolan as black. This William Nolan was white.
Rest of the story:

Officer Hidayatullah Khalil Arrested for Mortgage Fraud

An Elk Grove police officer has been charged by federal authorities for allegedly lying on mortgage loan applications to buy two homes that later went into foreclosure.

Hidayatullah Ali Khalil, 29, was arrested Thursday by the FBI on a three-count complaint and made an initial appearance in Sacramento federal court before being released on a $75,000 unsecured bond.

According to a sworn statement from FBI special agent John Sommercamp, Khalil bought homes in Elk Grove and Watsonville in 2005, indicating both would be his primary residence.

At the time, Khalil was still a deputy with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Department. Sommercamp said Khalil grossly inflated his income to purchase both homes, and failed to list the other property as a liability.

According to the complaint, Khalil pulled more than $100,000 in cash out of the Elk Grove house in two separate transactions. Property records show both homes were sold at auction last year.

Elk Grove police spokesman Christoper Trim said Khalil has been with the department since 2006, and has been placed on leave pending an internal investigation.

"Everyone's surprised," said Trim, "He's a hard-working officer, dedicated to the community. He takes his job very seriously and it's unfortunate that this incident came to light."

The FBI said its investigation into Khalil was continuing, with possibly more searches and arrests to come.

Khalil's brother and sister-in-law also made an intial federal court appearance Thursday for their role in an alleged equity-stripping scheme involving a house in El Dorado Hills that later went into foreclosure. They, too, were released on bond.

IRS criminal investigator Christopher Fitzpatrick said Amanullah and Muzdha Khalil lied on a refinancing application to pull nearly $200,000 in cash out of the house at 1288 Souza Drive. According to the complaint, the couple said they lived in the house at the time when it was actually a rental.

Indiana Officer Drives Drunk & Crashes Cruiser With Passengers

An Indiana police officer faces drunk driving charges. He's accused of crashing his cruiser with several passengers in the back.

It happened Sunday night.

Witnesses say the officer was speeding and took out two fences before hitting a tree.

"I thought maybe they were chasing somebody or something," said a witness. "It shook our house. That's how hard it hit. It shook the house, and we're two houses down."

The officer blew a point 0.12, well over the legal limit. He was arrested and booked at the local jail.

No one inside the cruiser was hurt.

EMT in Confrontation With Trooper

An Emergency Medical Technician who was involved in a scuffle with an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper is speaking out about the incident.

Maurice White, Jr. is a critical care paramedic with the Creek Nation EMS. He was nearly arrested after the confrontation, which was captured by the cell phone of Kenyada Davis.

Paul Franks was the driver of the ambulance, which was transporting a patient to a hospital in Prague.

White says he saw the trooper approaching from behind at a high rate of speed with lights activated, but he did not hear a siren. He says Franks had a car in front of him that his attention was focused on and hadn't seen the trooper before he was within a few feet of the ambulance.

"I called out to my partner and told him to pull to the side because there was a State Trooper behind us," White says.

White says as the trooper passed them, he made radio contact, telling Franks "you should consider checking your rearview mirrors".

White says a few blocks after this incident, another trooper entered the road at a high rate of speed, cutting in front of a car driven by a family member of the patient. White says he then saw another trooper approaching from the rear.

"As my partner was pulling onto the shoulder, the cruiser came alongside our unit and gestured for my driver to pull over," White says. "When the officer came to a complete stop behind the ambulance, I noticed a woman in the front seat. Based on the officer's erratic driving behavior, I thought that the woman in the front seat of the cruiser was in need of immediate medical attention; hence I exited the rear of the ambulance in order to assess the situation."

White says the officer was in a rage when he approached them and yelled "get your a-- back here! I am giving you a ticket for failure to yield." White says he told the trooper they had a patient in the ambulance and that they were on their way to the hospital.

"He ignored my statement, became even more belligerent, and demanded my partner come to his patrol car so he could write him a ticket," White says. "I calmly told the officer that we were transporting a patient and we could continue this at the hospital."

White says the trooper then approached him and shouted "you are under arrest for obstructing a police officer" and grabbed his arm to handcuff him. A brief struggle followed, at which point the trooper grabbed White by the throat. The cell phone captured this incident on video.

White says the trooper later told him they could continue on to the hospital, but that he would be under arrest once they got there. White was never arrested, but says troopers told him he should be prepared to turn himself in if a warrant was issued.

To read White's entire statement, click here.
Watch video of the confrontation
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Officer Adam Tietchen Pleads Guilty to Lying to Officers


A police officer today pleaded guilty in Superior Court in New Brunswick to lying to officers conducting an investigation of a township company.

Officer Adam Tietchen, 64, who has more than 29 years service with the department, pleaded guilty to a disorderly person's charged of obstruction of the administration of law, Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan said in joint statement Edison police Director Brian Collier and Edison Police Chief Thomas J. Bryan.

Tietchen, an Edison resident, admitted providing false and misleading information to police during an investigation, Kaplan said.

Under a plea agreement reached with Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Brian Gillet, Tietchen must resign from the police department, can never work in law enforcement, and will be sentenced to a probationary term of one year, according to the statement.

Tietchen has been suspended without pay since he was charged May 21, 2009.

According to Kaplan, Edison police were investigating the Birnwell Apparel company on Brunswick Avenue, where Tietchen had performed security work. Authorities today said the investigation of the company is on-going and declined to release any details.

On Feb. 3, police asked Tietchen if he knew an employee of the company, and Tietchen admitted knowing the man, but said he rarely spoke with him, Kaplan said.

However, investigators later determined Tietchen frequently talked with that employee, the prosecutor said.

Jim O'Neill, spokesman for the prosecutor office, said there was no allegation of Tietchen tipping off the employee about the investigation.

"Officer Tietchen not only betrayed the public trust, but he betrayed the dedicated men and women of the Edison Police Department. My administration has a zero tolerance policy concerning any type of police misconduct," Police Chief Bryan said.

Anyone with information on the on-going investigation of Birnwell Apparel is asked to call Lt. Greg Formica of the Edison Police Department at (732) 248-7424.

A message left with Steven Cahn, the Edison lawyer representing Tietchen