Monday, June 22, 2009

Lafayette Police Investigating Complaint of Police Brutality

Lafayette Police are investigating complaints of police brutality. The investigation stems from an arrest made early Sunday morning, near the intersection of Jefferson Street and Garfield Street. The man arrested, who KATC is not identifying, says just after 2 a.m. became involved in an alcohol-fueled fight, which police tried to break up.

"One of the cops came from behind, put me in a bear hug and I guess when I turned around, I thought he was one of them, so I accidentally hit him and I took off running," the man said.

Police followed and arrested him on charges of simple battery on a police officer, resisting arrest and public intoxication.

"Once they got me, they pepper sprayed me, threw me on the ground, and I don't remember much after that because of the pepper spray," the man said.

Regina Toce and her son Fabio witnessed the arrest, they say police crossed the line.

"It was horrible, it was a horrible scene, one that I'll never forget," said Regina. She and her son have also filed a complaint against the department. They've also set up a facebook page in support of the man who was arrested.

Meantime Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft says as with any complaint of misconduct, his department is investigating.

"We have initiated an internal affairs investigation regarding that incident to determine if our officers violated any departmental policies or procedures, or if in fact the force they used was excessive," said Craft.

Officer Walter Reyna Arrested for Assault & Shooting Weapon

A local police officer has been put on leave after being arrested for an assault on a family member.

Rogers police responded to a report of shots fired early Monday morning at a home on Pinewood Drive in Rogers. They said the man who fired the shot was 28-year-old Walter Reyna, a Lowell police officer.

Reyna was put on administrative leave soon after his arrest. He has been an officer with the Lowell Police Department since 2004, and received an Officer of the Year award just a few years ago. The Lowell police chief said Reyna has no history of disciplinary problems, but that might have changed on Monday morning.

"The call reflected that the male subject was intoxicated and had a firearm and the family left the residence. When they walked outside was when they heard what they believed to be the weapon discharging," said Cpl. Angel Murphy-Pearce, with the Rogers Police Department.

Rogers police officers were the ones who responded to the call, which ended up involving a Lowell police officer.

"Officers did go inside to check the welfare and status of the individual. He did not have the weapon on him at that time. It was seized later from the residence -- when he was arrested, the weapon was seized as well," Murphy-Pearce said.

Rogers police arrested Reyna for second degree assault on a family member, as well as discharging a firearm inside the city limits. Murphy-Pearce added that the weapon used, a shotgun, was not station-issued, and that the officers who responded to the scene probably knew where Reyna worked.

"The report does not reflect that he stated where he worked, but one of the officers present did know him, so they may have known where he was employed," Murphy-Pearce said.

As for one department arresting an officer with another department, Murphy-Pearce said it's unusual.

"It's not something that happens on a daily basis," Murphy-Pearce said.

Veteran Officer Arrested for Sexual Assault

A 22-year veteran of the Springfield Police Department has been arrested on charges of criminal sexual assault and sexual relations with family.

The Associated Press isn't naming the 51-year-old officer because he hasn't been formally charged.

He's in custody at the Sangamon County Jail on $250,000 bond.

Springfield police say the officer was arrested Sunday evening on charges of predatory criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual abuse and sexual relations with family.

No other details have been released about the alleged victim or the victim's relationship to the officer.

Springfield police say the officer has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of criminal and internal affairs investigations.