Connecticut’s High Tech Plan To Track Sex Offenders Crashes And Burns At Taxpayer Expense

April 30, 2009

CONNECTICUT – Tracking bracelets were supposed to make Southbury residents feel safe. Instead, they are sending the wrong signal – maybe even no signal at all.

In September, the GPS tracking system came under fire when the ankle bracelet worn by David Pollitt, a convicted serial rapist, malfunctioned. Residents who live in Pollitt’s Southbury neighborhood say the bracelets can’t be trusted.

“I don’t feel comfortable with it. It’s not reliable,” Cathy Baisch of Southbury said.

“There are so many cloaking devices and ways to run interference, not to mention the problems with the device’s construction,” said Matt Devan of Prospect.

In the state, 81 sex offenders are equipped with GPS monitoring bracelets like Pollitt’s. Neither the state, nor the company that makes them keeps count of the number of times they malfunction.

The executive director of administrative services for the judicial branch said the technology does “glitch” from time to time.

“Frankly, most of them are false alarms, things like low battery, GPS unit out of position, things like that,” said Thomas Siconolfi.

Earlier this month, New Haven police spent hours searching the Long Island Sound after a jogger found an electronic monitoring bracelet floating in the water. Police said the parolee it belonged to was never found.

Siconolfi said the bracelets use tamper-resistant technology, but will not alarm if the offender is in a dead zone.

Another problem the state is dealing with is response time. Siconolfi said it takes an average of 15 to 20 minutes for police to respond to any GPS alerts — and that’s only if the bracelet has a cell signal to communicate the violation. Some lawmakers are outraged.

“It’s absolutely too much time, because by the time the system responds to the violation of this type, the damage has been done and people have been hurt for life,” Rep. Demetrious Giannaros said.

There’s also concern when it comes to monitoring the offenders. Right now, there are no probation officers on the clock on weekends, meaning a call from the vendor to police reporting an alert could go answered.

“This is the first I’m hearing about this. It’s totally unacceptable,” Giannaros said.

Those in charge of the program wanted to fix the problem by opening a monitoring center here in Connecticut.

Right now, most offenders are monitored by employees in Florida. It carried a price tag of $400,000 and at last check, was put on hold indefinitely.

Appeared Here


Faggot Olmsted Township Police Chief Charles McNeeley Arrested During Park Masturbation/Sex Incident

April 30, 2009

CLEVELAND, OHIO – Olmsted Township Police Chief Charles McNeeley was charged with indecent exposure after being arrested with another man Tuesday morning in the Cleveland Metroparks, rangers said.

McNeeley and Daniel Crown were arrested at 8:30 a.m. after ranger Lisette Gonzalez spotted them masturbating, Capt. Jack Hall said.

McNeeley, 60, told rangers he was going to perform oral sex on Crown, 61, but did not, according to a police report.

Crown and McNeeley were together in Crown’s car when the ranger approached and told them to stop their behavior.

McNeeley jumped in his car and tried backing up. He then moved the car back into a parking space, according to the report.

“I’m sorry,” McNeeley told the ranger. “I’m sorry. I just got scared. I shouldn’t have done that.”

McNeeley then asked the ranger to just issue him a warning. She asked him what he was doing in the park.

He blamed his behavior on the stress of his wife being diagnosed with cancer. McNeeley then told the ranger he was retired and asked if he would have to go through a complete booking process.

Crown, of Brooklyn, told rangers he and McNeeley were talking about the weather.

On the way to the ranger station, McNeeley told the ranger he was a retired human-resources worker in Cleveland. But Ranger Sgt. Gerald McFaul Jr., son of former Cuyahoga County Sheriff Gerald McFaul, told the ranger that McNeeley was a former police commander and current police chief, the report states.

Hall said McNeeley did not try to use his police badge to avoid being arrested.

“He never presented his police identification at all,” Hall said.

McNeeley and Crown were each charged with public indecency, a third-degree misdemeanor, and were scheduled to appear in Parma Municipal Court on May 5. Both men posted a personal bond and were released.

McNeeley was a longtime police commander in Cleveland and was briefly considered a successor to McFaul before deciding not to pursue the sheriff’s office.

McNeeley and Crown did not return calls seeking comment.

Olmsted Township police are standing behind McNeeley.

“The department remains supportive of our chief and unequivocally acknowledges Chief McNeeley is the best chief this department and the community has ever had,” Lt. John Minek wrote in a news release. “We as a department stand united and pledge our support to Chief McNeeley and his family during this uneasy time.”

Appeared Here


Connecticut’s High Tech Plan To Track Sex Offenders Crashes And Burns At Taxpayer Expense

April 30, 2009

CONNECTICUT – Tracking bracelets were supposed to make Southbury residents feel safe. Instead, they are sending the wrong signal – maybe even no signal at all.

In September, the GPS tracking system came under fire when the ankle bracelet worn by David Pollitt, a convicted serial rapist, malfunctioned. Residents who live in Pollitt’s Southbury neighborhood say the bracelets can’t be trusted.

“I don’t feel comfortable with it. It’s not reliable,” Cathy Baisch of Southbury said.

“There are so many cloaking devices and ways to run interference, not to mention the problems with the device’s construction,” said Matt Devan of Prospect.

In the state, 81 sex offenders are equipped with GPS monitoring bracelets like Pollitt’s. Neither the state, nor the company that makes them keeps count of the number of times they malfunction.

The executive director of administrative services for the judicial branch said the technology does “glitch” from time to time.

“Frankly, most of them are false alarms, things like low battery, GPS unit out of position, things like that,” said Thomas Siconolfi.

Earlier this month, New Haven police spent hours searching the Long Island Sound after a jogger found an electronic monitoring bracelet floating in the water. Police said the parolee it belonged to was never found.

Siconolfi said the bracelets use tamper-resistant technology, but will not alarm if the offender is in a dead zone.

Another problem the state is dealing with is response time. Siconolfi said it takes an average of 15 to 20 minutes for police to respond to any GPS alerts — and that’s only if the bracelet has a cell signal to communicate the violation. Some lawmakers are outraged.

“It’s absolutely too much time, because by the time the system responds to the violation of this type, the damage has been done and people have been hurt for life,” Rep. Demetrious Giannaros said.

There’s also concern when it comes to monitoring the offenders. Right now, there are no probation officers on the clock on weekends, meaning a call from the vendor to police reporting an alert could go answered.

“This is the first I’m hearing about this. It’s totally unacceptable,” Giannaros said.

Those in charge of the program wanted to fix the problem by opening a monitoring center here in Connecticut.

Right now, most offenders are monitored by employees in Florida. It carried a price tag of $400,000 and at last check, was put on hold indefinitely.

Appeared Here


Faggot Olmsted Township Police Chief Charles McNeeley Arrested During Park Masturbation/Sex Incident

April 30, 2009

CLEVELAND, OHIO – Olmsted Township Police Chief Charles McNeeley was charged with indecent exposure after being arrested with another man Tuesday morning in the Cleveland Metroparks, rangers said.

McNeeley and Daniel Crown were arrested at 8:30 a.m. after ranger Lisette Gonzalez spotted them masturbating, Capt. Jack Hall said.

McNeeley, 60, told rangers he was going to perform oral sex on Crown, 61, but did not, according to a police report.

Crown and McNeeley were together in Crown’s car when the ranger approached and told them to stop their behavior.

McNeeley jumped in his car and tried backing up. He then moved the car back into a parking space, according to the report.

“I’m sorry,” McNeeley told the ranger. “I’m sorry. I just got scared. I shouldn’t have done that.”

McNeeley then asked the ranger to just issue him a warning. She asked him what he was doing in the park.

He blamed his behavior on the stress of his wife being diagnosed with cancer. McNeeley then told the ranger he was retired and asked if he would have to go through a complete booking process.

Crown, of Brooklyn, told rangers he and McNeeley were talking about the weather.

On the way to the ranger station, McNeeley told the ranger he was a retired human-resources worker in Cleveland. But Ranger Sgt. Gerald McFaul Jr., son of former Cuyahoga County Sheriff Gerald McFaul, told the ranger that McNeeley was a former police commander and current police chief, the report states.

Hall said McNeeley did not try to use his police badge to avoid being arrested.

“He never presented his police identification at all,” Hall said.

McNeeley and Crown were each charged with public indecency, a third-degree misdemeanor, and were scheduled to appear in Parma Municipal Court on May 5. Both men posted a personal bond and were released.

McNeeley was a longtime police commander in Cleveland and was briefly considered a successor to McFaul before deciding not to pursue the sheriff’s office.

McNeeley and Crown did not return calls seeking comment.

Olmsted Township police are standing behind McNeeley.

“The department remains supportive of our chief and unequivocally acknowledges Chief McNeeley is the best chief this department and the community has ever had,” Lt. John Minek wrote in a news release. “We as a department stand united and pledge our support to Chief McNeeley and his family during this uneasy time.”

Appeared Here


Dumbass French Lick Indiana Police Officer Justin Mullis Crashes Motorcycle While Escorting Funeral And Dies

April 29, 2009

MARTINSVILLE, INDIANA – An off-duty French Lick police officer was killed Wednesday when his motorcycle crashed while he was escorting a funeral on Indiana 67 in Morgan County.

Morgan County sheriff’s deputies are investigating the crash that occurred shortly after 3:30 p.m. as the funeral procession headed northbound near Martinsville, about 15 miles southwest of Indianapolis.

French Lick Police Chief Thomas McCracken identified the officer as patrol detective Justin Mullis, 48.

McCracken said Mullis lost control of his motorcycle and drove off the roadway, with the motorcycle coming to rest on its side.

Mullis was airlifted to St. Francis Hospital in Mooresville and then again to an Indianapolis hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

No other vehicles were involved in the crash.

Appeared Here


Dumbass French Lick Indiana Police Officer Justin Mullis Crashes Motorcycle While Escorting Funeral And Dies

April 29, 2009

MARTINSVILLE, INDIANA – An off-duty French Lick police officer was killed Wednesday when his motorcycle crashed while he was escorting a funeral on Indiana 67 in Morgan County.

Morgan County sheriff’s deputies are investigating the crash that occurred shortly after 3:30 p.m. as the funeral procession headed northbound near Martinsville, about 15 miles southwest of Indianapolis.

French Lick Police Chief Thomas McCracken identified the officer as patrol detective Justin Mullis, 48.

McCracken said Mullis lost control of his motorcycle and drove off the roadway, with the motorcycle coming to rest on its side.

Mullis was airlifted to St. Francis Hospital in Mooresville and then again to an Indianapolis hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

No other vehicles were involved in the crash.

Appeared Here


Chicago Illinois Deputy U.S. Marshal John T. Ambrose Found Guilty After Leaking Secrets To Mafia

April 28, 2009

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – A deputy U.S. marshal has been convicted in Chicago of leaking secret information to the mob about a protected witness in a federal organized crime investigation.

Deputy marshal John T. Ambrose stared straight ahead as jurors returned the verdict Tuesday following almost three days of deliberation.

Prosecutors say it was the first time in the 39-year history of the government’s witness security program that its secrecy was deliberately violated.

Prosecutors say they realized there was a leak when two mobsters were overheard in a prison visiting room talking about having a “mole” inside federal law enforcement.

The 42-year-old Ambrose was acquitted of two charges of lying to federal agents.

Appeared Here


Chicago Illinois Deputy U.S. Marshal John T. Ambrose Found Guilty After Leaking Secrets To Mafia

April 28, 2009

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – A deputy U.S. marshal has been convicted in Chicago of leaking secret information to the mob about a protected witness in a federal organized crime investigation.

Deputy marshal John T. Ambrose stared straight ahead as jurors returned the verdict Tuesday following almost three days of deliberation.

Prosecutors say it was the first time in the 39-year history of the government’s witness security program that its secrecy was deliberately violated.

Prosecutors say they realized there was a leak when two mobsters were overheard in a prison visiting room talking about having a “mole” inside federal law enforcement.

The 42-year-old Ambrose was acquitted of two charges of lying to federal agents.

Appeared Here


Veteran Polk County Deputy Sheriff Charles ‘Chip’ Buckner Quits After His Convicted Felon Wife Steals His Patrol Car – Article Quotes A-Hole Sheriff Grady Judd

April 28, 2009

LAKELAND, FLORIDA – A woman who went on a Sunday morning car ride with two others cost her husband his job. Police say the trio cruised Lakeland in Deputy Charles ‘Chip’ Buckner’s squad car.

Buckner, 44, a 21-year veteran of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, resigned Monday following the arrest of his wife, Gail, his wife’s mother and a young man. Officials said the three took Buckner’s marked patrol car while he was asleep.

Sheriff Grady Judd said it’s unclear whether Buckner did anything wrong.

‘You shouldn’t have to hide your keys from your wife,’ he said.

Judd said Buckner was not being blamed for his wife’s transgressions.

‘I was shocked that he resigned,’ Judd said. ‘But it’s just fine with me.’

On Sunday about 11:30 a.m. a man driving on Lakeland Highlands Road near County Road 540A called 911 and reported that a sheriff’s patrol car was being driven erratically, and that two blond women were in the front seat and a man was in the backseat, a sheriff’s report said.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Gordon Scherer, who was on a traffic stop on Crews Lake Road, watched the patrol car come toward him and make a U-turn. Scherer followed the squad car

to Deputy Buckner’s home in South Lakeland.

It was unclear whether mother or daughter drove the car, officials said.

Gail Buckner, 38, and Sharon Cooper, 54, were booked into the Polk County Jail on charges of auto theft, theft of a firearm and impersonating a law enforcement officer.

Gail Buckner was also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Alexander James Quintasket, 19, who officials said was riding in the back seat, was charged with grand theft, impersonating a law enforcement officer, grand theft of a firearm and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was also charged with resisting an officer without violence for giving a false name.

Sheriff Judd said there was ‘at least’ a 12-gauge shotgun in the car when it was taken.

The three remained at the Polk County Jail on Monday night.

Judd said he was ‘infuriated and embarrassed by the conduct of Buckner’s family.”

But he added, ‘I really don’t think that Chip had any idea his wife was driving his patrol car.’

Judd said an internal investigation into whether Buckner violated sheriff’s policy will continue. Buckner would have been suspended during the investigation.

Gail Buckner has a criminal record that dates to before her marriage to Chip Buckner.

Judd said sheriff’s policy is for deputies not to cavort with convicted felons. ‘But the lawyers say we can’t stop them from marrying one,’ he said.

The Sheriff’s Office was unaware of the connection until Sunday, Judd said.

‘We can’t do a background check on everyone who dates a deputy.’

Appeared Here


Veteran Polk County Deputy Sheriff Charles ‘Chip’ Buckner Quits After His Convicted Felon Wife Steals His Patrol Car – Article Quotes A-Hole Sheriff Grady Judd

April 28, 2009

LAKELAND, FLORIDA – A woman who went on a Sunday morning car ride with two others cost her husband his job. Police say the trio cruised Lakeland in Deputy Charles ‘Chip’ Buckner’s squad car.

Buckner, 44, a 21-year veteran of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, resigned Monday following the arrest of his wife, Gail, his wife’s mother and a young man. Officials said the three took Buckner’s marked patrol car while he was asleep.

Sheriff Grady Judd said it’s unclear whether Buckner did anything wrong.

‘You shouldn’t have to hide your keys from your wife,’ he said.

Judd said Buckner was not being blamed for his wife’s transgressions.

‘I was shocked that he resigned,’ Judd said. ‘But it’s just fine with me.’

On Sunday about 11:30 a.m. a man driving on Lakeland Highlands Road near County Road 540A called 911 and reported that a sheriff’s patrol car was being driven erratically, and that two blond women were in the front seat and a man was in the backseat, a sheriff’s report said.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Gordon Scherer, who was on a traffic stop on Crews Lake Road, watched the patrol car come toward him and make a U-turn. Scherer followed the squad car

to Deputy Buckner’s home in South Lakeland.

It was unclear whether mother or daughter drove the car, officials said.

Gail Buckner, 38, and Sharon Cooper, 54, were booked into the Polk County Jail on charges of auto theft, theft of a firearm and impersonating a law enforcement officer.

Gail Buckner was also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Alexander James Quintasket, 19, who officials said was riding in the back seat, was charged with grand theft, impersonating a law enforcement officer, grand theft of a firearm and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was also charged with resisting an officer without violence for giving a false name.

Sheriff Judd said there was ‘at least’ a 12-gauge shotgun in the car when it was taken.

The three remained at the Polk County Jail on Monday night.

Judd said he was ‘infuriated and embarrassed by the conduct of Buckner’s family.”

But he added, ‘I really don’t think that Chip had any idea his wife was driving his patrol car.’

Judd said an internal investigation into whether Buckner violated sheriff’s policy will continue. Buckner would have been suspended during the investigation.

Gail Buckner has a criminal record that dates to before her marriage to Chip Buckner.

Judd said sheriff’s policy is for deputies not to cavort with convicted felons. ‘But the lawyers say we can’t stop them from marrying one,’ he said.

The Sheriff’s Office was unaware of the connection until Sunday, Judd said.

‘We can’t do a background check on everyone who dates a deputy.’

Appeared Here


Crazed Jacksonville Florida Police Detective Robert Hinson Targeted And Exposed Innocent Man Who Blogged About Officer’s Church

April 28, 2009

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – A blogger critical of First Baptist Church Pastor Mac Brunson wants to know why his Web site was investigated by a police detective who is also a member of the minister’s security detail.

Thomas A. Rich also wants the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office to explain what suspected crimes led Detective Robert Hinson to open the probe into his once-anonymous Web site.

Rich also wants to know why Hinson revealed his name to the church despite finding no wrongdoing. Hinson obtained a subpoena from the State Attorney’s Office requiring Google Inc. to reveal the author of the blog.

Rich’s unmasking led to an eventual trespass warning banning the longtime member and his wife from First Baptist, despite the fact that Brunson and a top church administrator conceded the blog never threatened violence.

Rich said he mailed a complaint against Hinson to the Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday. It had not been received as of Wednesday afternoon.

The intelligence detective opened the criminal investigation Sept. 29 into the identity and “possible criminal overtones” of the blog, fbcjaxwatchdog.blogspot.com.

The Sheriff’s Office and church officials defended the complaint and investigation into Rich’s blog, which Hinson concluded Nov. 13.

Undersheriff Frank Mackesy said Hinson’s role posed no conflict of interest because his duties include handling possible threats against the city’s large religious institutions.

Rich said he was never contacted by Hinson. He learned of the investigation well after the church notified him Nov. 28 he had been identified as the blog’s author.

Two additional bloggers investigated by Hinson said they were also not contacted. They learned of the probe in middle or late March. Their blogs do not focus on First Baptist.

Mackesy said the three bloggers didn’t need to be contacted because Hinson uncovered nothing criminal.
“The detective hasn’t done anything wrong,” he said.

It was also proper for Hinson to provide First Baptist’s leadership with Rich’s identity despite finding no criminal evidence, Mackesy said, so it could take whatever internal action it felt necessary for its own safety.

“I’d be disappointed in the detective if [he] didn’t do it,” he said.

The Rev. John Blount, executive pastor of administration, said he contacted Hinson directly regarding increased “vitriol” on the blog about the same time mail was stolen from the Brunson home and someone was surreptitiously photographing Brunson’s wife. Also, someone had contacted vendors lined up for the church’s annual pastors’ conference and made critical remarks about Brunson to them, Blount said.

“We became concerned enough to ask law enforcement, ‘Is there the ability to find out where this is coming from?’ ” Blount said.

Police reports were not filed about the mail and photos, Blount said. The Sept. 29 police report launching the investigation quotes Blount telling police only about “an ongoing Internet incident that has possible criminal overtones.”

At no time was the blogger accused of being behind the other incidents, Blount said.

Rich said he never stole mail, photographed Brunson’s wife or contacted vendors. Rich said he wonders if those issues were raised simply to obtain a subpoena to uncover the identity of a blogger critical of Brunson.

That was not the case, Blount said. In an age of church shootings and other violence, he said, they simply wanted to determine if any of the events were related.

Brunson said police have interviewed him about the photos and stolen mail. He refused to elaborate.

Rich said he launched his blog in August 2007 — more than a year after Brunson became the pastor — because he was alarmed by what he described as Brunson’s “abusive preaching,” especially during fund-raising campaigns.

The blog has included criticisms of Brunson’s $300,000 salary, his plan to open a church school, his construction of a “lavish” office suite, accepting a $307,000 land gift from church members for his home and putting his wife on the payroll.

Brunson declined to discuss his home and salary but maintained he is one of the lowest-paid mega-church pastors in the Southern Baptist Convention. He said people are welcome to criticize his preaching style and ministry goals, including the school, but usually do so openly, not anonymously.

Rich’s letter from the church cited his anonymity and sharp criticism as “a violation of Scripture” and church bylaws. He said the trespass warning came after he refused to appear before a discipline committee without a representative.

But Brunson said Rich’s persistent criticism over nearly two years indicates the writer has an “obsessive compulsive problem” and is “not very stable at all,” Brunson said.

“What you’re dealing with is a sociopath,” Brunson said.

“The imbalance is him refusing to address the concerns of his congregation,” Rich said of Brunson’s comments. Rich said his blog gets about 1,000 hits a day and that he regularly hears from people who agree with his criticisms but are afraid to come forward.

“He’s been trying to convince his administration that I am some kind of a nut,” he said. “I am not a nut … and the things I have raised on the blog are valid concerns.”

Blount said he had no idea why Hinson looked into two other blogs, tiffanycroft.blogspot.com and newbbcopenforum.blogspot.com.

Mackesy would say only that Hinson was obligated to look at those blogs if he felt it could help the initial investigation.

Jacksonville resident Tiffany Croft said the aim of her blog is to be an online source of information about the accusations against the Rev. Darrell Gilyard, the former Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church pastor accused of sexual misconduct. Gilyard regularly preached at First Baptist in the early 1990s.

Croft said she also plans to file a complaint against Hinson demanding to know why her blog — which has never been anonymous — was the target of a subpoena to Google.

The Times-Union doesn’t know the identity of the third blogger, critical of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis.

The subpoena requests that Hinson submitted to the State Attorney’s Office may have listed the criminal activity the detective wanted to investigate, but those documents were destroyed after 90 days, according to the policy at the time, said Assistant State Attorney Stephen Siegel , who signed the subpoena. The actual subpoenas do not cite a reason for the request.

Rich said he will hire an attorney if necessary to get more information from the church and Sheriff’s Office and to clear his name.

“It’s hardball,” Rich said of the church’s tactics in uncovering his identity. “It’s hardball religion, is what it is.”

Appeared Here


Update: Two Dumbass Okaloosa County Florida Deputies Pick A Fight With An Armed Soldier At Shooting Range And Die

April 27, 2009

PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – Two deputies killed by a soldier they were trying arrest for beating his wife exchanged multiple rounds with the man who began shooting while on the ground after he was shocked with a stun gun, authorities said Sunday, a day after the men were killed.

“When that Taser released after five seconds, he came up shooting,” Interim Okaloosa County Sheriff Edward Spooner said.

“He went from just being disagreeable to using deadly force in a matter of seconds. It was a very aggressive move with a concealed weapon on his part.”

Spooner said that between 30 and 40 rounds were exchanged between Cartwright and the two deputies.

Investigators were working to determine the extent of 28-year-old Joshua Cartwright’s military and militia weapons training, Spooner said.

Cartwright was killed by deputies in a neighboring county after he fled a shooting range parking lot near Crestview where he killed deputies Burt Lopez and Warren “Skip” York.

Cartwright’s truck flipped on its side after the tires were punctured by spikes at a roadblock.

“When he had his crash, the truck flipped upside down, nose first and he came out of the backside of the truck firing immediately and using the truck for cover,” Spooner said.

Investigators say Cartwright and deputies exchanged about 60 rounds in 30 to 40 seconds before he was shot and killed. They are awaiting autopsy results to determine whether either of the slain deputies struck Cartwright before they died.

Destiny Harder lived next door to the Cartwrights at their Fort Walton Beach apartment complex.

Harder said she was often disturbed by their loud arguments and had banged on the wall between the two apartments Saturday morning after she was awakened by their fighting.

Neighbor Aaron Walp worked as a bartender at the same Fort Walton Beach bar where Joshua Cartwright was a bouncer two years ago.

“He had a difficult time leaving his personal problems at home. If you gave him a chance he’d start talking,” Walp said.

And Walp said Cartwright’s brooding ways made his fellow employees uncomfortable.

“He had a violent side,” he said.

Cartwright carried a flashlight with a sharp attachment that he threatened to use on customers who got out of line, he said.

In November, when authorities arrested Cartwright for domestic battery, they listed his employer as the U.S. Army Reserves. But Spooner said Cartwright was a member of a Florida National Guard unit based in Crestview. He said Cartwright also was interested in militia groups and weapons training.

Spooner said he did not believe Cartwright was a war veteran, but that investigators are continuing to check his background.

The November domestic charge was pending against Cartwright.

Deputies went to arrest him at the gun range Saturday afternoon after taking a second domestic abuse report from his wife Elizabeth Marie Cartwright, 21, who was being treated for injuries at a local hospital.

“I don’t think they did anything wrong. There was nothing to indicate he would be escalating this to any great level of violence,” Spooner said.

Both deputies were wearing bulletproof vests but were shot in areas not protected by the vests, he said.

The two men were pronounced dead after being airlifted to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, about 45 miles away.

The slain deputies, both 45, were retired from the U.S. Air Force. Lopez had five children and York had a 10-year-old son.

On its Web site, the Shoal River Sporting Clays and Shooting Center said it would be closed until Wednesday as a result of Saturday’s shooting.

Capt. J.D. Peacock supervised both men during his 20 years at the sheriff’s office.

Peacock said Lopez was a family man who spent much of his time talking about his children. He said Lopez was especially good at bringing calm to tense situations such as domestic abuse reports.

Peacock rode with York as part of a Harley Davidson motorcycle club that recently took a trip to the Florida Keys.

“He was fun-loving, free spirit,” he said.

Peacock said the department was “numb” from the loss.

“It’s been a rough year and a rough nine months,” he said.

Sheriff Spooner was appointed by Gov. Charlie Crist to takeover the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office just eight weeks ago after Sheriff Charles Morris was arrested by FBI agents while on a gambling trip to Las Vegas.

Morris and his former office manager, Teresa Adams, were indicted by a federal grand jury on Thursday on theft, money laundering and conspiracy charges. Prosecutors say Morris and Adams created fictitious bonuses for sheriff’s department employees then pocketed some of the money.

Spooner spent Sunday morning with the families of the slain deputies and planned to meet with his 370 employees Sunday evening to discuss the shootings.

“I think we need bring everyone together, explain what has happened and make sure their needs are being met,” he said.

Appeared Here


Orange County Flordia Deputy Sheriff Armando Harwood Runs Down And Kills Pedestrian With Patrol Car – Minutes After Man Was Released From Jail

April 27, 2009

ORLANDO, FLORIDA – An Orlando man was struck and killed by a sheriff’s deputy’s cruiser outside the Orange County Jail minutes after he was released from the facility.

Orange County sheriff’s Deputy Armando Harwood, 43, of Orlando, was driving northbound in a marked patrol vehicle at about 3:10 a.m. when he approached 33rd Street and had a green light and struck the man, Florida Highway Patrol troopers said. The victim was not in a crosswalk when he was hit, troopers said.

The 56-year-old victim’s name has not been released. He had been released from the jail at 2:55 a.m. after being arrested Saturday night on two counts of contempt of court.

An investigation into the crash is ongoing.

John Young Parkway was closed during an investigation but has since reopened.

Appeared Here


Update: Two Dumbass Okaloosa County Florida Deputies Pick A Fight With An Armed Soldier At Shooting Range And Die

April 27, 2009

PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – Two deputies killed by a soldier they were trying arrest for beating his wife exchanged multiple rounds with the man who began shooting while on the ground after he was shocked with a stun gun, authorities said Sunday, a day after the men were killed.

“When that Taser released after five seconds, he came up shooting,” Interim Okaloosa County Sheriff Edward Spooner said.

“He went from just being disagreeable to using deadly force in a matter of seconds. It was a very aggressive move with a concealed weapon on his part.”

Spooner said that between 30 and 40 rounds were exchanged between Cartwright and the two deputies.

Investigators were working to determine the extent of 28-year-old Joshua Cartwright’s military and militia weapons training, Spooner said.

Cartwright was killed by deputies in a neighboring county after he fled a shooting range parking lot near Crestview where he killed deputies Burt Lopez and Warren “Skip” York.

Cartwright’s truck flipped on its side after the tires were punctured by spikes at a roadblock.

“When he had his crash, the truck flipped upside down, nose first and he came out of the backside of the truck firing immediately and using the truck for cover,” Spooner said.

Investigators say Cartwright and deputies exchanged about 60 rounds in 30 to 40 seconds before he was shot and killed. They are awaiting autopsy results to determine whether either of the slain deputies struck Cartwright before they died.

Destiny Harder lived next door to the Cartwrights at their Fort Walton Beach apartment complex.

Harder said she was often disturbed by their loud arguments and had banged on the wall between the two apartments Saturday morning after she was awakened by their fighting.

Neighbor Aaron Walp worked as a bartender at the same Fort Walton Beach bar where Joshua Cartwright was a bouncer two years ago.

“He had a difficult time leaving his personal problems at home. If you gave him a chance he’d start talking,” Walp said.

And Walp said Cartwright’s brooding ways made his fellow employees uncomfortable.

“He had a violent side,” he said.

Cartwright carried a flashlight with a sharp attachment that he threatened to use on customers who got out of line, he said.

In November, when authorities arrested Cartwright for domestic battery, they listed his employer as the U.S. Army Reserves. But Spooner said Cartwright was a member of a Florida National Guard unit based in Crestview. He said Cartwright also was interested in militia groups and weapons training.

Spooner said he did not believe Cartwright was a war veteran, but that investigators are continuing to check his background.

The November domestic charge was pending against Cartwright.

Deputies went to arrest him at the gun range Saturday afternoon after taking a second domestic abuse report from his wife Elizabeth Marie Cartwright, 21, who was being treated for injuries at a local hospital.

“I don’t think they did anything wrong. There was nothing to indicate he would be escalating this to any great level of violence,” Spooner said.

Both deputies were wearing bulletproof vests but were shot in areas not protected by the vests, he said.

The two men were pronounced dead after being airlifted to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, about 45 miles away.

The slain deputies, both 45, were retired from the U.S. Air Force. Lopez had five children and York had a 10-year-old son.

On its Web site, the Shoal River Sporting Clays and Shooting Center said it would be closed until Wednesday as a result of Saturday’s shooting.

Capt. J.D. Peacock supervised both men during his 20 years at the sheriff’s office.

Peacock said Lopez was a family man who spent much of his time talking about his children. He said Lopez was especially good at bringing calm to tense situations such as domestic abuse reports.

Peacock rode with York as part of a Harley Davidson motorcycle club that recently took a trip to the Florida Keys.

“He was fun-loving, free spirit,” he said.

Peacock said the department was “numb” from the loss.

“It’s been a rough year and a rough nine months,” he said.

Sheriff Spooner was appointed by Gov. Charlie Crist to takeover the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office just eight weeks ago after Sheriff Charles Morris was arrested by FBI agents while on a gambling trip to Las Vegas.

Morris and his former office manager, Teresa Adams, were indicted by a federal grand jury on Thursday on theft, money laundering and conspiracy charges. Prosecutors say Morris and Adams created fictitious bonuses for sheriff’s department employees then pocketed some of the money.

Spooner spent Sunday morning with the families of the slain deputies and planned to meet with his 370 employees Sunday evening to discuss the shootings.

“I think we need bring everyone together, explain what has happened and make sure their needs are being met,” he said.

Appeared Here


Orange County Flordia Deputy Sheriff Armando Harwood Runs Down And Kills Pedestrian With Patrol Car – Minutes After Man Was Released From Jail

April 27, 2009

ORLANDO, FLORIDA – An Orlando man was struck and killed by a sheriff’s deputy’s cruiser outside the Orange County Jail minutes after he was released from the facility.

Orange County sheriff’s Deputy Armando Harwood, 43, of Orlando, was driving northbound in a marked patrol vehicle at about 3:10 a.m. when he approached 33rd Street and had a green light and struck the man, Florida Highway Patrol troopers said. The victim was not in a crosswalk when he was hit, troopers said.

The 56-year-old victim’s name has not been released. He had been released from the jail at 2:55 a.m. after being arrested Saturday night on two counts of contempt of court.

An investigation into the crash is ongoing.

John Young Parkway was closed during an investigation but has since reopened.

Appeared Here


Two Dumbass Okaloosa County Florida Deputies Confront Man At Shooting Range And Die

April 26, 2009

CRESTVIEW. FLORIDA – A man accused of beating his wife killed two north Florida sheriff’s deputies who caught up with him at a shooting range, then fled across the county line, where he died in an exchange of gunfire with deputies, authorities said.

It happened around 1 p.m. Saturday when the two Okaloosa County deputies went to Shoal River Sporting Clays and Shooting Center in response to a domestic violence call, sheriff’s officials said.

Deputies Burt Lopez and Deputy Warren “Skip” York were pronounced dead after being airlifted to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, about 45 miles away, the sheriff’s office said. Officials identified their killer as Joshua Cartwright, 28, of Fort Walton Beach.

Authorities said Cartwright, a U.S. Army Reserve soldier, shot both deputies and took off toward neighboring Walton County, where Walton County deputies killed him after an exchange of gunfire at a roadblock.

“It must have been like 30 or 40 shots,” witness Mark Illich told The Northwest Florida Daily News.

Illich said he saw one officer putting down spikes at the intersection and knew “something’s about to happen.”

Then, “(Cartwright’s) truck, he started coming. And we saw him, and he seemed calm as a cucumber,” Illich said.

Cartwright veered around the spike strip, and an officer opened fire at the back of his truck, Illich said.

The incident began shortly after 10 a.m. when the Fort Walton Beach Medical Center notified the sheriff’s office that Cartwright’s wife said she had been beaten by her husband, according to a timeline released by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the sheriff’s office.

The two deputies found Cartwright at the shooting range and began trying to arrest him shortly before 1 p.m., but they reported that he was refusing to cooperate.

At 12:51 p.m. dispatchers received a call that an officer had been hit and began their search for Cartwright, who had left the shooting range in his truck.

Deputies shot and killed Cartwright around 1:10 p.m.

Cartwright had been arrested in November on a charge of domestic battery against his wife, Elizabeth Marie Cartwright, 21. That charge was still pending.

According the sheriff’s office incident report, the couple had argued in a store parking lot. Cartwright told deputies that “things got out of hand when he heard enough of her shouting at him,” and that he pushed her in the face with his open hand.

The Daily News reported that Cartwright had worked as a bouncer at a Fort Walton Beach bar. The sheriff’s office said Cartwright also served in the U.S. Army Reserves and the 2008 arrest report listed the Army Reserves as his employer.

Lopez and York were wearing bulletproof vests, said Michele Nicholson, spokeswoman for the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.

“We’re experiencing a range of emotions, from heartache and disbelief to numbness, that these men were taken from our agency, their family and friends, and their communities,” Nicholson said. “Our focus right now is to take care of their loved ones, and each other, and continue to serve the public, as we work through this latest devastating event.”

The slain deputies, both 45, were retired from the U.S. Air Force, Nicholson said. Lopez had five children and York had a 10-year-old son, according to the Daily News.

It was the latest in a series of traumatic episodes for the department.

Another Okaloosa County sheriff’s deputy was shot and killed in July following a standoff with a man who had barricaded himself inside a home.

Gov. Charlie Crist suspended Okaloosa County Sheriff Charles Morris in February after he was arrested by FBI agents while on a gambling trip to Las Vegas.

Morris and his former office manager, Teresa Adams, were indicted by a federal grand jury on Thursday on theft, money laundering and conspiracy charges. Prosecutors allege Morris and Adams created fictitious bonuses for sheriff’s department employees then pocketed some of the money.

A man who answered the telephone at the shooting center near Crestview said he had no comment.

Appeared Here


Two Dumbass Okaloosa County Florida Deputies Confront Man At Shooting Range And Die

April 26, 2009

CRESTVIEW. FLORIDA – A man accused of beating his wife killed two north Florida sheriff’s deputies who caught up with him at a shooting range, then fled across the county line, where he died in an exchange of gunfire with deputies, authorities said.

It happened around 1 p.m. Saturday when the two Okaloosa County deputies went to Shoal River Sporting Clays and Shooting Center in response to a domestic violence call, sheriff’s officials said.

Deputies Burt Lopez and Deputy Warren “Skip” York were pronounced dead after being airlifted to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, about 45 miles away, the sheriff’s office said. Officials identified their killer as Joshua Cartwright, 28, of Fort Walton Beach.

Authorities said Cartwright, a U.S. Army Reserve soldier, shot both deputies and took off toward neighboring Walton County, where Walton County deputies killed him after an exchange of gunfire at a roadblock.

“It must have been like 30 or 40 shots,” witness Mark Illich told The Northwest Florida Daily News.

Illich said he saw one officer putting down spikes at the intersection and knew “something’s about to happen.”

Then, “(Cartwright’s) truck, he started coming. And we saw him, and he seemed calm as a cucumber,” Illich said.

Cartwright veered around the spike strip, and an officer opened fire at the back of his truck, Illich said.

The incident began shortly after 10 a.m. when the Fort Walton Beach Medical Center notified the sheriff’s office that Cartwright’s wife said she had been beaten by her husband, according to a timeline released by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the sheriff’s office.

The two deputies found Cartwright at the shooting range and began trying to arrest him shortly before 1 p.m., but they reported that he was refusing to cooperate.

At 12:51 p.m. dispatchers received a call that an officer had been hit and began their search for Cartwright, who had left the shooting range in his truck.

Deputies shot and killed Cartwright around 1:10 p.m.

Cartwright had been arrested in November on a charge of domestic battery against his wife, Elizabeth Marie Cartwright, 21. That charge was still pending.

According the sheriff’s office incident report, the couple had argued in a store parking lot. Cartwright told deputies that “things got out of hand when he heard enough of her shouting at him,” and that he pushed her in the face with his open hand.

The Daily News reported that Cartwright had worked as a bouncer at a Fort Walton Beach bar. The sheriff’s office said Cartwright also served in the U.S. Army Reserves and the 2008 arrest report listed the Army Reserves as his employer.

Lopez and York were wearing bulletproof vests, said Michele Nicholson, spokeswoman for the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.

“We’re experiencing a range of emotions, from heartache and disbelief to numbness, that these men were taken from our agency, their family and friends, and their communities,” Nicholson said. “Our focus right now is to take care of their loved ones, and each other, and continue to serve the public, as we work through this latest devastating event.”

The slain deputies, both 45, were retired from the U.S. Air Force, Nicholson said. Lopez had five children and York had a 10-year-old son, according to the Daily News.

It was the latest in a series of traumatic episodes for the department.

Another Okaloosa County sheriff’s deputy was shot and killed in July following a standoff with a man who had barricaded himself inside a home.

Gov. Charlie Crist suspended Okaloosa County Sheriff Charles Morris in February after he was arrested by FBI agents while on a gambling trip to Las Vegas.

Morris and his former office manager, Teresa Adams, were indicted by a federal grand jury on Thursday on theft, money laundering and conspiracy charges. Prosecutors allege Morris and Adams created fictitious bonuses for sheriff’s department employees then pocketed some of the money.

A man who answered the telephone at the shooting center near Crestview said he had no comment.

Appeared Here


Dumbass Port Moody Canada Police Officer Crashes Into Innocent Motorist While Chasing Ferrari

April 26, 2009

PORT MOODY, CANADA – A Port Moody police cruiser crashed Wednesday afternoon after what witnesses described as a police chase with a Ferrari on the Barnet Highway, according to Vancouver’s News1130 radio.

The station, quoting Port Moody police, said an officer on duty saw a red Ferrari turn onto the highway and speed away quickly. Police said the car was weaving in and around other cars, although Constable Bill Kim woudn’t call it a chase.

Kim said the officer did try to catch up to the Ferrari, but couldn’t catch the car and lost control. “As the officer was attempting to close the distance, from my accounts, he might have hit a patch of road-gravel causing the vehicle to turn, lost control and swerved into a minivan with a single occupant.”

No one was injured in the crash. Police are still looking for the Ferrari and its driver.

Appeared Here


Dumbass Port Moody Canada Police Officer Crashes Into Innocent Motorist While Chasing Ferrari

April 25, 2009

PORT MOODY, CANADA – A Port Moody police cruiser crashed Wednesday afternoon after what witnesses described as a police chase with a Ferrari on the Barnet Highway, according to Vancouver’s News1130 radio.

The station, quoting Port Moody police, said an officer on duty saw a red Ferrari turn onto the highway and speed away quickly. Police said the car was weaving in and around other cars, although Constable Bill Kim woudn’t call it a chase.

Kim said the officer did try to catch up to the Ferrari, but couldn’t catch the car and lost control. “As the officer was attempting to close the distance, from my accounts, he might have hit a patch of road-gravel causing the vehicle to turn, lost control and swerved into a minivan with a single occupant.”

No one was injured in the crash. Police are still looking for the Ferrari and its driver.

Appeared Here


Crazed Wyoming County Pennsylvania District Attorney George Skumanick Jr. Threatens To Make Children Sex Offenders

April 23, 2009

WYOMING COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA – The group of anxious parents crowded around District Attorney George Skumanick Jr. as he sat behind a table in a courtroom here and presented them with an ultimatum.

Photos of their semi-nude or scantily clad teenage daughters were stacked before him. Mr. Skumanick said the images had been discovered on cellphones confiscated at the local high school. They could either enlist their kids in an education program or have the teens face felony charges of child pornography. “We could have just arrested them but we didn’t,” said Mr. Skumanick in an interview.

The practice of teens taking naked photos of themselves and sending them to friends via cellphones, called “sexting,” has alarmed parents, school officials and prosecutors nationwide, who fear the photos could end up on the Internet or in the hands of sexual predators. In a handful of cases, authorities have resorted to what one parent here called “the nuclear weapon of sex charges” — child pornography.

But some legal experts say that here in Wyoming County, Pa., Mr. Skumanick has expanded the definition of sexting to such an extent he could be setting a dangerous precedent. He has threatened to charge kids who appeared in photos, but who didn’t send them, as well as at least one girl who was photographed wearing a bathing suit. One of the accused is 11 years old.

“The whole tawdry episode seems to call for a little parental guidance and a pop-gun approach, not a Howitzer approach with a felony prosecution,” said Louis Natali, a law professor at Temple University.

The sexting case in Tunkhannock is being closely tracked by juvenile-justice authorities. Many prosecutors say pornography laws should be used to protect children from adults, not from other children. In some cases, teens could end up listed on sex registries if convicted of child pornography. Others say that if charges are made, they should be limited to kids who actually distribute the photos.

Last month, the American Civil Liberties Union and a group of parents sued Mr. Skumanick in federal court in Scranton, Pa., alleging he violated the freedom-of-expression rights of three teenage girls. The ACLU also says that Mr. Skumanick is interfering with their parents’ rights to raise them as they see fit.
The Juggle

* Sexting: Pornography or Modern-Day Flirting?

Others say Mr. Skumanick is giving the teens an opportunity to avoid charges, which he could have filed immediately. Mr. Skumanick says he plans to appeal and says he didn’t have to offer the education courses as a way out. “We thought we were being progressive.”

Some see Mr. Skumanick’s alternative of offering classes as appealing. “You don’t want to tag them with a scarlet letter for the rest of their life,” says Shannon Edmonds, a staff attorney at the Texas District and County Attorneys Association, about charging teens with sex crimes.

Sexting came into the spotlight in this rural town, population 1,900, in October. A female student in the Tunkhannock High School cafeteria saw a boy scrolling through his cellphone and spotted a nude photo of herself, according to Mr. Skumanick. When the girl became upset, the school took the phone and called the police who, in turn, handed it to the district attorney’s office.

Mr. Skumanick, 47, has been district attorney for the past 20 years here in his boyhood home. He says he was troubled by the photo, and what worried him most was an incident in Ohio where the mother of a teenager blamed sexting for her daughter’s suicide last year. The girl, Jessica Logan, had sent nude photos of herself to her boyfriend and later hanged herself after being harassed by schoolmates when the boy allegedly sent the images to his friends.

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Mustafah Abdulaziz for the Wall Street Journal

MaryJo Miller was dumbstruck when she opened a letter that said her daughter, Marissa, had been “identified in a police investigation involving the possession and/or dissemination of child pornography.”
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As Mr. Skumanick contemplated what to do, the school turned up several other phones with nude or semi-nude photos of students. One showed an image of a 17-year-old girl in a towel wrapped just below her breasts. The girl, who asked not to be identified, said she sent the photo to her boyfriend about a year ago to make him jealous when she heard he was interested in another girl. “It was just stupid,” she said in an interview.

Another confiscated phone had photos of a 17-year-old girl that she described in an interview as “semi-nude pictures, underwear and stuff like that.” The girl, who took the photos herself, was debating whether to send them to her boyfriend when a teacher took the phone.

Mr. Skumanick thought he had enough evidence to charge them as juveniles on pornography violations — not just for sending the photos, but for appearing in them, too.

With the help of school officials, Mr. Skumanick convened a series of assemblies, from fifth-graders to seniors. For the youngest students, he asked them to conjure how they would feel if their grandparents saw a photo of them that is “not nice.” He warned the older students that sexting could damage their college or job prospects and could result in felony charges.

At one of the assemblies, a student interrupted and accused Mr. Skumanick of trying to ruin the teens’ lives. “This isn’t a debate,” Mr. Skumanick told the senior boy, who was escorted out of the auditorium.

Mr. Skumanick also worked with area youth officials to offer the teens a class in lieu of charges. Patrick Rushton, education manager at the Wyoming County Victims Resource Center, culled course outlines for both boys and girls from educational Web sites on sexual harassment and violence. His curriculum included material on “what it means to be a girl in today’s society” and a poem, “Phenomenal Women,” by Maya Angelou.
[Marissa Miller] Mustafah Abdulaziz for The Wall Street Journal

Marissa Miller, 15, photographed in the backyard of her home in Tunkhannock, Pa.

On Feb. 5, with the course outline mostly in order, Mr. Skumanick sent a letter to parents of the students involved, saying their children had been “identified in a police investigation involving the possession and/or dissemination of child pornography.” The letter summoned the parents to a Feb. 12 meeting at the Wyoming County Courthouse.

MaryJo Miller was dumbstruck when she opened her letter, which targeted her daughter, Marissa. Mr. Skumanick later told her he had a photo of Marissa that showed her from the waist up wearing a bra.

Marissa and her mother say the photo was snapped at a slumber party more than two years ago when Marissa was 12. Neither Marissa nor her mother knows how it got circulated but they don’t see the photo as explicit. “It was like an old grandma bra. Nothing skimpy,” says Marissa.

Marissa and her parents joined a group of about 50 others at the courthouse. Before showing the photos, Mr. Skumanick explained his offer to the crowd, answering one father’s question affirmatively, that — yes — a girl in a bathing suit could be subjected to criminal charges because she was posed “provocatively.”

Mr. Skumanick told them he could have simply charged the kids. Instead, he gave them two weeks to decide: take the class or face charges.

He then told the parents and teens to line up if they wanted to view the photos, which were printed out onto index cards. As the 17-year-old who took semi-nude self-portraits waited in line, she realized that Mr. Skumanick and other investigators had viewed the pictures. When the adults began to crowd around Mr. Skumanick, the 17-year-old worried they could see her photo and recalls she said, “I think the worst punishment is knowing that all you old guys saw me naked. I just think you guys are all just perverts.”

Mr. Skumanick dismisses the criticism, saying that no one could see photos of teens who weren’t their own children.

In the end, parents enrolled 14 teens in the course. But the parents of three other girls, including Marissa Miller, recruited the ACLU’s help to sue Mr. Skumanick. At a hearing March 26, a federal judge indicated he thought the girls may be successful in their suit and temporarily blocked Mr. Skumanick from filing charges, pending a June hearing.

Appeared Here


Dumbass Newfoundland Canada Police Officers Arrest Innocent Autistic Teen Because They Thought He Was Drunk

April 23, 2009

NEWFOUNDLAND, CANADA – The chief of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary said Wednesday the force will apologize to an autistic teenager who was picked up and detained in a lockup because officers assumed he was drunk.

Dane Spurrell, 18, of Mount Pearl was stopped by an RNC patrol on Saturday night while he was walking along Topsail Road. Spurrell told CBC News on Tuesday the RNC assumed he was drunk because of his appearance and how he walks.

RNC Chief Joe Browne said Wednesday that while he does not yet have all the facts in the case, he will ensure that the force enhances its training so that it does not happen again.

Spurrell was held in custody overnight and released after his mother, Diane Spurrell, called to report that her son was missing. When informed that he was in the downtown lockup, she told the RNC that her son is autistic.

Browne said while such an incident has never happened before, he pointed out where he thought the confusion may have started.

“It’s not uncommon, actually, for people, depending on the level of autism, sometimes to be confused with somebody who may be under the influence of a substance, which appears to the case in this particular event. So we’ll be looking deeply into that,” Browne told CBC News in Labrador City.

“I’ll be talking to both the young man and the young man’s mother to ensure they understand our position and that we can apologize for the discomfort we’ve caused,” he said. “But other than that we have to look at ensuring there’s greater awareness around this so that these things don’t happen.”

Dane Spurrell said earlier this week that officers may also have thought he was intoxicated because he resisted his arrest. He maintained that he had done nothing wrong.

Jason Geary, who works with Newfoundland and Labrador’s Autism Society, said Spurrell’s arrest should never have happened.

“We were appalled, and the incident we feel was definitely preventable,” Geary said Wednesday.

“We definitely think that, going forward, we don’t have to have a repeat of this.”

Coincidentally, Geary said, the RNC had contacted him last week, before the arrest, to talk about a training program for its officers.

Appeared Here


UK Police Raid Senior Citizen’s Empty Home Because She Was A Witness In Upcoming Court Case, Knock Down Door And Send Her A Bill For Fixing It

April 23, 2009

GLOUCESTERSHIRE, UK – Police kicked in a pensioner’s door when she failed to answer her phone – then charged her £100 to repair it.

Officers burst into Mary Reason’s home while she was out because she was due to be a witness in a trial three days later and they could not contact her by phone.

‘I’m a pensioner who has had a stroke and I shouldn’t have to deal with stuff like this from the police,’ said the 73-year-old, from Staverton in Gloucestershire.

Appeared Here


Crazed Wyoming County Pennsylvania District Attorney George Skumanick Jr. Threatens To Make Children Sex Offenders

April 22, 2009

WYOMING COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA – The group of anxious parents crowded around District Attorney George Skumanick Jr. as he sat behind a table in a courtroom here and presented them with an ultimatum.

Photos of their semi-nude or scantily clad teenage daughters were stacked before him. Mr. Skumanick said the images had been discovered on cellphones confiscated at the local high school. They could either enlist their kids in an education program or have the teens face felony charges of child pornography. “We could have just arrested them but we didn’t,” said Mr. Skumanick in an interview.

The practice of teens taking naked photos of themselves and sending them to friends via cellphones, called “sexting,” has alarmed parents, school officials and prosecutors nationwide, who fear the photos could end up on the Internet or in the hands of sexual predators. In a handful of cases, authorities have resorted to what one parent here called “the nuclear weapon of sex charges” — child pornography.

But some legal experts say that here in Wyoming County, Pa., Mr. Skumanick has expanded the definition of sexting to such an extent he could be setting a dangerous precedent. He has threatened to charge kids who appeared in photos, but who didn’t send them, as well as at least one girl who was photographed wearing a bathing suit. One of the accused is 11 years old.

“The whole tawdry episode seems to call for a little parental guidance and a pop-gun approach, not a Howitzer approach with a felony prosecution,” said Louis Natali, a law professor at Temple University.

The sexting case in Tunkhannock is being closely tracked by juvenile-justice authorities. Many prosecutors say pornography laws should be used to protect children from adults, not from other children. In some cases, teens could end up listed on sex registries if convicted of child pornography. Others say that if charges are made, they should be limited to kids who actually distribute the photos.

Last month, the American Civil Liberties Union and a group of parents sued Mr. Skumanick in federal court in Scranton, Pa., alleging he violated the freedom-of-expression rights of three teenage girls. The ACLU also says that Mr. Skumanick is interfering with their parents’ rights to raise them as they see fit.
The Juggle

* Sexting: Pornography or Modern-Day Flirting?

Others say Mr. Skumanick is giving the teens an opportunity to avoid charges, which he could have filed immediately. Mr. Skumanick says he plans to appeal and says he didn’t have to offer the education courses as a way out. “We thought we were being progressive.”

Some see Mr. Skumanick’s alternative of offering classes as appealing. “You don’t want to tag them with a scarlet letter for the rest of their life,” says Shannon Edmonds, a staff attorney at the Texas District and County Attorneys Association, about charging teens with sex crimes.

Sexting came into the spotlight in this rural town, population 1,900, in October. A female student in the Tunkhannock High School cafeteria saw a boy scrolling through his cellphone and spotted a nude photo of herself, according to Mr. Skumanick. When the girl became upset, the school took the phone and called the police who, in turn, handed it to the district attorney’s office.

Mr. Skumanick, 47, has been district attorney for the past 20 years here in his boyhood home. He says he was troubled by the photo, and what worried him most was an incident in Ohio where the mother of a teenager blamed sexting for her daughter’s suicide last year. The girl, Jessica Logan, had sent nude photos of herself to her boyfriend and later hanged herself after being harassed by schoolmates when the boy allegedly sent the images to his friends.

View Full Image
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Mustafah Abdulaziz for the Wall Street Journal

MaryJo Miller was dumbstruck when she opened a letter that said her daughter, Marissa, had been “identified in a police investigation involving the possession and/or dissemination of child pornography.”
G
G

As Mr. Skumanick contemplated what to do, the school turned up several other phones with nude or semi-nude photos of students. One showed an image of a 17-year-old girl in a towel wrapped just below her breasts. The girl, who asked not to be identified, said she sent the photo to her boyfriend about a year ago to make him jealous when she heard he was interested in another girl. “It was just stupid,” she said in an interview.

Another confiscated phone had photos of a 17-year-old girl that she described in an interview as “semi-nude pictures, underwear and stuff like that.” The girl, who took the photos herself, was debating whether to send them to her boyfriend when a teacher took the phone.

Mr. Skumanick thought he had enough evidence to charge them as juveniles on pornography violations — not just for sending the photos, but for appearing in them, too.

With the help of school officials, Mr. Skumanick convened a series of assemblies, from fifth-graders to seniors. For the youngest students, he asked them to conjure how they would feel if their grandparents saw a photo of them that is “not nice.” He warned the older students that sexting could damage their college or job prospects and could result in felony charges.

At one of the assemblies, a student interrupted and accused Mr. Skumanick of trying to ruin the teens’ lives. “This isn’t a debate,” Mr. Skumanick told the senior boy, who was escorted out of the auditorium.

Mr. Skumanick also worked with area youth officials to offer the teens a class in lieu of charges. Patrick Rushton, education manager at the Wyoming County Victims Resource Center, culled course outlines for both boys and girls from educational Web sites on sexual harassment and violence. His curriculum included material on “what it means to be a girl in today’s society” and a poem, “Phenomenal Women,” by Maya Angelou.
[Marissa Miller] Mustafah Abdulaziz for The Wall Street Journal

Marissa Miller, 15, photographed in the backyard of her home in Tunkhannock, Pa.

On Feb. 5, with the course outline mostly in order, Mr. Skumanick sent a letter to parents of the students involved, saying their children had been “identified in a police investigation involving the possession and/or dissemination of child pornography.” The letter summoned the parents to a Feb. 12 meeting at the Wyoming County Courthouse.

MaryJo Miller was dumbstruck when she opened her letter, which targeted her daughter, Marissa. Mr. Skumanick later told her he had a photo of Marissa that showed her from the waist up wearing a bra.

Marissa and her mother say the photo was snapped at a slumber party more than two years ago when Marissa was 12. Neither Marissa nor her mother knows how it got circulated but they don’t see the photo as explicit. “It was like an old grandma bra. Nothing skimpy,” says Marissa.

Marissa and her parents joined a group of about 50 others at the courthouse. Before showing the photos, Mr. Skumanick explained his offer to the crowd, answering one father’s question affirmatively, that — yes — a girl in a bathing suit could be subjected to criminal charges because she was posed “provocatively.”

Mr. Skumanick told them he could have simply charged the kids. Instead, he gave them two weeks to decide: take the class or face charges.

He then told the parents and teens to line up if they wanted to view the photos, which were printed out onto index cards. As the 17-year-old who took semi-nude self-portraits waited in line, she realized that Mr. Skumanick and other investigators had viewed the pictures. When the adults began to crowd around Mr. Skumanick, the 17-year-old worried they could see her photo and recalls she said, “I think the worst punishment is knowing that all you old guys saw me naked. I just think you guys are all just perverts.”

Mr. Skumanick dismisses the criticism, saying that no one could see photos of teens who weren’t their own children.

In the end, parents enrolled 14 teens in the course. But the parents of three other girls, including Marissa Miller, recruited the ACLU’s help to sue Mr. Skumanick. At a hearing March 26, a federal judge indicated he thought the girls may be successful in their suit and temporarily blocked Mr. Skumanick from filing charges, pending a June hearing.

Appeared Here


Dumbass Newfoundland Canada Police Officers Arrest Innocent Autistic Teen Because They Thought He Was Drunk

April 22, 2009

NEWFOUNDLAND, CANADA – The chief of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary said Wednesday the force will apologize to an autistic teenager who was picked up and detained in a lockup because officers assumed he was drunk.

Dane Spurrell, 18, of Mount Pearl was stopped by an RNC patrol on Saturday night while he was walking along Topsail Road. Spurrell told CBC News on Tuesday the RNC assumed he was drunk because of his appearance and how he walks.

RNC Chief Joe Browne said Wednesday that while he does not yet have all the facts in the case, he will ensure that the force enhances its training so that it does not happen again.

Spurrell was held in custody overnight and released after his mother, Diane Spurrell, called to report that her son was missing. When informed that he was in the downtown lockup, she told the RNC that her son is autistic.

Browne said while such an incident has never happened before, he pointed out where he thought the confusion may have started.

“It’s not uncommon, actually, for people, depending on the level of autism, sometimes to be confused with somebody who may be under the influence of a substance, which appears to the case in this particular event. So we’ll be looking deeply into that,” Browne told CBC News in Labrador City.

“I’ll be talking to both the young man and the young man’s mother to ensure they understand our position and that we can apologize for the discomfort we’ve caused,” he said. “But other than that we have to look at ensuring there’s greater awareness around this so that these things don’t happen.”

Dane Spurrell said earlier this week that officers may also have thought he was intoxicated because he resisted his arrest. He maintained that he had done nothing wrong.

Jason Geary, who works with Newfoundland and Labrador’s Autism Society, said Spurrell’s arrest should never have happened.

“We were appalled, and the incident we feel was definitely preventable,” Geary said Wednesday.

“We definitely think that, going forward, we don’t have to have a repeat of this.”

Coincidentally, Geary said, the RNC had contacted him last week, before the arrest, to talk about a training program for its officers.

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UK Police Raid Senior Citizen’s Empty Home Because She Was A Witness In Upcoming Court Case, Knock Down Door And Send Her A Bill For Fixing It

April 22, 2009

GLOUCESTERSHIRE, UK – Police kicked in a pensioner’s door when she failed to answer her phone – then charged her £100 to repair it.

Officers burst into Mary Reason’s home while she was out because she was due to be a witness in a trial three days later and they could not contact her by phone.

‘I’m a pensioner who has had a stroke and I shouldn’t have to deal with stuff like this from the police,’ said the 73-year-old, from Staverton in Gloucestershire.

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FBI Caught Spying With Surveillance Cameras On Teen Girls In Dressing Room At Charity Event In West Virginia

April 22, 2009

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA – Two FBI workers are accused of using surveillance equipment to spy on teenage girls as they undressed and tried on prom gowns at a charity event at a West Virginia mall.

The FBI employees have been charged with conspiracy and committing criminal invasion of privacy. They were working in an FBI satellite control room at the mall when they positioned a camera on temporary changing rooms and zoomed in for at least 90 minutes on girls dressing for the Cinderella Project fashion show, Marion County Prosecutor Pat Wilson said Monday.

Gary Sutton Jr., 40, of New Milton and Charles Hommema of Buckhannon have been charged with the misdemeanors and face fines and up to a year in jail on each charge if convicted. Sutton has been released on bond, Wilson said, and Hommema is to be arraigned later this week. Wilson did not know Hommema’s age.

The workers were described in a complaint as “police officers,” but prosecutors did not say whether the men were agents or describe what kind of work they did.

The Cinderella Project at the Middletown Mall in the north-central West Virginia town of Fairmont drew hundreds of girls from 10 high schools in five counties. Organizer Cynthia Woodyard said volunteers, donors and participants are angry.

“I can’t even begin to put words around what I consider an unspeakable act, the misuse of surveillance by a branch of our government in a place we felt so secure,” she said. “Never in a million years would we have thought something like this would happen. We’re in shock.”

Hospice Care Corp. was sponsoring the event, offering prom dresses, shoes and accessories to girls who could not otherwise afford them. Dresses sold for as little as $5.

Woodyard, director of marketing for Hospice Care, said this year’s event was the biggest in the decade the organization has been holding it, with more than 800 dresses on display.

The prosecutor would not say how authorities found out about the accusations.

It was not immediately clear if the accused men had attorneys. Messages left at phone listings for Gary Sutton were not immediately returned; there was no listing for Hommema.

The FBI issued a brief statement, but refused to answer questions. The statement said the Office of Inspector General was investigating.

“The FBI is committed to the timely and full resolution of this matter, but must remain sensitive to the privacy concerns of any potential victims and their families,” the statement said.

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FBI Caught Spying With Surveillance Cameras On Teen Girls In Dressing Room At Charity Event In West Virginia

April 21, 2009

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA – Two FBI workers are accused of using surveillance equipment to spy on teenage girls as they undressed and tried on prom gowns at a charity event at a West Virginia mall.

The FBI employees have been charged with conspiracy and committing criminal invasion of privacy. They were working in an FBI satellite control room at the mall when they positioned a camera on temporary changing rooms and zoomed in for at least 90 minutes on girls dressing for the Cinderella Project fashion show, Marion County Prosecutor Pat Wilson said Monday.

Gary Sutton Jr., 40, of New Milton and Charles Hommema of Buckhannon have been charged with the misdemeanors and face fines and up to a year in jail on each charge if convicted. Sutton has been released on bond, Wilson said, and Hommema is to be arraigned later this week. Wilson did not know Hommema’s age.

The workers were described in a complaint as “police officers,” but prosecutors did not say whether the men were agents or describe what kind of work they did.

The Cinderella Project at the Middletown Mall in the north-central West Virginia town of Fairmont drew hundreds of girls from 10 high schools in five counties. Organizer Cynthia Woodyard said volunteers, donors and participants are angry.

“I can’t even begin to put words around what I consider an unspeakable act, the misuse of surveillance by a branch of our government in a place we felt so secure,” she said. “Never in a million years would we have thought something like this would happen. We’re in shock.”

Hospice Care Corp. was sponsoring the event, offering prom dresses, shoes and accessories to girls who could not otherwise afford them. Dresses sold for as little as $5.

Woodyard, director of marketing for Hospice Care, said this year’s event was the biggest in the decade the organization has been holding it, with more than 800 dresses on display.

The prosecutor would not say how authorities found out about the accusations.

It was not immediately clear if the accused men had attorneys. Messages left at phone listings for Gary Sutton were not immediately returned; there was no listing for Hommema.

The FBI issued a brief statement, but refused to answer questions. The statement said the Office of Inspector General was investigating.

“The FBI is committed to the timely and full resolution of this matter, but must remain sensitive to the privacy concerns of any potential victims and their families,” the statement said.

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U.S. Supreme Court Finally Limits Warrantless Vehicle Searches – After 30 Years Of Illegal Searches By Police

April 21, 2009

WASHINGTON, DC – The Supreme Court today sharply limited the power of police to search a suspect’s car after making an arrest, acknowledging that the decision changes a rule that law enforcement has relied on for nearly 30 years.

In a decision written by Justice John Paul Stevens, an unusual five-member majority said police may search a vehicle without a warrant only when the suspect could reach for a weapon or try to destroy evidence or when it is “reasonable to believe” there is evidence in the car supporting the crime at hand.

The court noted that law enforcement for years has interpreted the court’s rulings on warrantless car searches to mean that officers may search the passenger compartment of a vehicle as part of a lawful arrest of a suspect. But Stevens said that was a misreading of the court’s decision in New York v. Belton in 1981.

“Blind adherence to Belton’s faulty assumption would authorize myriad unconstitutional searches,” Stevens said, adding that the court’s tradition of honoring past decisions did not bind it to continue such a view of the law.

“The doctrine of stare decisis does not require us to approve routine constitutional violations.”

Stevens was joined by two of his most liberal colleagues — Justices David H. Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg — and two of his most conservative — Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

The decision overturned a three-year prison sentence for Arizonan Rodney Gant, who had been convicted of cocaine possession. Police found the drug in a search of his car, following his arrest for driving with a suspended license. Gant had already walked away from his car when he was arrested, and he sat handcuffed a distance away while police searched his car.

“Police could not reasonably have believed either that Gant could have accessed his car at the time of the search or that evidence of the offense for which he was arrested might have been found therein,” Stevens wrote.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., writing for the four dissenters, said the court’s insistence that its precedents had been misinterpreted was simply a cover for getting rid of a decision with which it disagreed.

He said the replacement of what had been an easy-to-understand “bright line” rule for police “is virtually certain to confuse law enforcement officers and judges for some time to come.”

The court’s new rules will endanger arresting officers, he said, and “cause the suppression of evidence gathered in many searches carried out in good-faith reliance on well-settled case law.”

He was joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Anthony M. Kennedy and Stephen G. Breyer.

The case is Arizona v. Gant.

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Empty House Surrenders After Standoff With Police – Nutcase Former Veteran Clackamas County Oregon Deputy Sheriff Brandon Claggett Arrested For Kidnapping, Assault, And Menacing

April 21, 2009

OREGON CITY, OREGON – A former Clackamas County sheriff’s deputy was arrested late Monday night after an incident in Oregon City.

Officers were called to a home near the intersection of South Meyers and Deer Meadows roads at about 7:30 p.m. after a report of a domestic situation. A woman had run away from the home and called police from the nearby Haggen grocery store, according to authorities.

She told police that she had been injured and that the suspect, Brandon Claggett, was suicidal, authorities said.

A standoff ensued at the home, but police said they later reached Claggett on his cell phone and learned he was in Salem to pick up his children. Officers said they convinced Claggett to meet them at the Haggen’s grocery store, where he was arrested without incident.
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He has since been booked into the Clackamas County Jail on charges of assault, menacing and kidnapping.

Claggett, who was a 14-year deputy with the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, resigned in October 2008 after being accused of inappropriately touching a 20-year-old woman who was participating in a ride-along with him. An internal investigation into the incident was suspended when Claggett resigned.

Police officers were awaiting a search warrant Tuesday morning before entering the Deer Meadows Road home. Claggett and the woman who called police are romantically involved in some way, according to officers.

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U.S. Supreme Court Finally Limits Warrantless Vehicle Searches – After 30 Years Of Illegal Searches By Police

April 21, 2009

WASHINGTON, DC – The Supreme Court today sharply limited the power of police to search a suspect’s car after making an arrest, acknowledging that the decision changes a rule that law enforcement has relied on for nearly 30 years.

In a decision written by Justice John Paul Stevens, an unusual five-member majority said police may search a vehicle without a warrant only when the suspect could reach for a weapon or try to destroy evidence or when it is “reasonable to believe” there is evidence in the car supporting the crime at hand.

The court noted that law enforcement for years has interpreted the court’s rulings on warrantless car searches to mean that officers may search the passenger compartment of a vehicle as part of a lawful arrest of a suspect. But Stevens said that was a misreading of the court’s decision in New York v. Belton in 1981.

“Blind adherence to Belton’s faulty assumption would authorize myriad unconstitutional searches,” Stevens said, adding that the court’s tradition of honoring past decisions did not bind it to continue such a view of the law.

“The doctrine of stare decisis does not require us to approve routine constitutional violations.”

Stevens was joined by two of his most liberal colleagues — Justices David H. Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg — and two of his most conservative — Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

The decision overturned a three-year prison sentence for Arizonan Rodney Gant, who had been convicted of cocaine possession. Police found the drug in a search of his car, following his arrest for driving with a suspended license. Gant had already walked away from his car when he was arrested, and he sat handcuffed a distance away while police searched his car.

“Police could not reasonably have believed either that Gant could have accessed his car at the time of the search or that evidence of the offense for which he was arrested might have been found therein,” Stevens wrote.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., writing for the four dissenters, said the court’s insistence that its precedents had been misinterpreted was simply a cover for getting rid of a decision with which it disagreed.

He said the replacement of what had been an easy-to-understand “bright line” rule for police “is virtually certain to confuse law enforcement officers and judges for some time to come.”

The court’s new rules will endanger arresting officers, he said, and “cause the suppression of evidence gathered in many searches carried out in good-faith reliance on well-settled case law.”

He was joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Anthony M. Kennedy and Stephen G. Breyer.

The case is Arizona v. Gant.

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Empty House Surrenders After Standoff With Police – Nutcase Former Veteran Clackamas County Oregon Deputy Sheriff Brandon Claggett Arrested For Kidnapping, Assault, And Menacing

April 21, 2009

OREGON CITY, OREGON – A former Clackamas County sheriff’s deputy was arrested late Monday night after an incident in Oregon City.

Officers were called to a home near the intersection of South Meyers and Deer Meadows roads at about 7:30 p.m. after a report of a domestic situation. A woman had run away from the home and called police from the nearby Haggen grocery store, according to authorities.

She told police that she had been injured and that the suspect, Brandon Claggett, was suicidal, authorities said.

A standoff ensued at the home, but police said they later reached Claggett on his cell phone and learned he was in Salem to pick up his children. Officers said they convinced Claggett to meet them at the Haggen’s grocery store, where he was arrested without incident.
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He has since been booked into the Clackamas County Jail on charges of assault, menacing and kidnapping.

Claggett, who was a 14-year deputy with the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, resigned in October 2008 after being accused of inappropriately touching a 20-year-old woman who was participating in a ride-along with him. An internal investigation into the incident was suspended when Claggett resigned.

Police officers were awaiting a search warrant Tuesday morning before entering the Deer Meadows Road home. Claggett and the woman who called police are romantically involved in some way, according to officers.

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Bogus Case Against Woman Dropped After O’Fallon Missouri Charge Her With Counterfeit Diapers And Toothpaste Coupons

April 15, 2009

St. Charles County — Prosecutors dismissed charges Tuesday against an O’Fallon, Mo., woman who had been accused of running a counterfeit coupon operation out of her home.

Cynthia Madej, 42, was ready to defend herself against 14 counts of forgery in a jury trial Tuesday morning in St. Charles County Circuit Court, defense attorney Charlie James said. Instead, prosecutors dropped the charges.

“I felt like the case against her was pretty weak,” James said. He said evidence pointed to another person having made the counterfeit coupons. That person was never charged and might never be because of the statute of limitations, James said.

St. Charles County Prosecutor Jack Banas agreed that computer evidence pointed to another person possibly making the coupons.

“The best way for the state to proceed is just to dismiss it and re-evaluate whether or not we can present a stronger case,” Banas said.

Prosecutors charged Madej in February 2007 after O’Fallon police raided a garage sale at her home. She was accused of using a printer and scanner to make counterfeit coupons. Police had said she then would use the coupons to get free products to sell over the Internet or at garage sales. She also was accused of selling the coupons.

But James said Madej was not at the garage sale when police raided it. The other person authorities suspect was there, he said.

Police seized 2,100 items — including Huggies diapers and Crest toothpaste — that were still in their original packaging.

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Former Melrose Park Illinois Police Chief Vito Scavo Ran Security Firme From Police Station – He And Former Deputy Chief ary Montino Charged After Using "Extortion And Strong-Arm Tactics" Against Local Businesses To Use Guards From is Security Company For Protection

April 15, 2009

MELROSE PARK, ILLINOIS – Former Melrose Park Police Chief Vito Scavo used “extortion and strong-arm tactics” to get local institutions—including bars and restaurants, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church, Navistar and Kiddieland amusement park—to use guards from his security firm for protection, a federal prosecutor charged Tuesday.

But an attorney for Scavo defended his client’s law enforcement record.

Assistant U.S. Atty. Stephen Andersson told a federal jury in his opening arguments in Scavo’s racketeering and extortion trial that Scavo ran his private security firm out of the Melrose Park police station. He often used on-duty village police officers who were paid twice, once by the village and once by the client, for their service, Andersson said.

“You don’t say no to the police chief,” Andersson said.

Andersson asserted that a waste disposal company that was paying another security firm $17 an hour for a security guard was pressured into paying $45 per guard from Scavo’s firm.

Andersson said that Scavo used the ill-gotten gain to buy a Florida condominium, lease a $60,000 Cadillac Escalade and pay for an $11,000 big-screen television.

Thomas Breen, Scavo’s defense attorney, countered in his opening argument by saying that “police officers aren’t terribly well paid, and many have side jobs.”

“Melrose Park—Vito Scavo—extortion, sounds scary,” Breen said. “But Scavo is a copper’s cop and a darn good cop for 30 years.”

Breen compared the Melrose Park Police Department to a social club and likened the village to television’s fictional small town of Mayberry.

Scavo is on trial with former Deputy Police Chief Gary Montino, 52, and a part-time officer, Michael Wynn, 55, who the government claims assisted Scavo in the fraudulent scheme. The trial, presided over by U.S. District Court Judge Joan Gottschall, is expected to last a month.

Scavo, police chief from 1996 to 2006, is charged with racketeering conspiracy, extortion, obstruction of justice, mail and wire fraud and filing false personal and corporate federal income tax returns. Montino is charged with racketeering and mail fraud, and Wynn is charged with mail fraud.

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Los Angeles County California Sheriff’s Department Cracks Down After Alcohol Related Employee Arrests Double In One Year

April 15, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – In what officials describe as an increasingly intractable problem, the number of alcohol-related arrests of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department employees doubled from 2007 to 2008, according to an annual department review released Wednesday.

The number of deputies and other employees arrested in connection with public drunkenness, bar fights and alcohol-related domestic violence shot up from 33 in 2007 to 70 last year, according to the county’s Office of Independent Review.

Meanwhile, the number of employees arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence increased from 29 to 36 in that time.

“The uptick in alcohol-related arrests certainly is a concern of ours and the department,” OIR Chief Attorney Michael Gennaco said.

“Obviously, police officers are entrusted to enforce the law and when they are off-duty and breaking the law — that certainly presents a disconnect.”

In one incident, officials said, a drunk off-duty sheriff’s deputy accidentally shot his cousin in the abdomen. An internal affairs investigation is pending.

In another instance, a deputy who had been drinking at a bar offered to walk the bar hostess to her car, said he wanted to “molest her,” showed her his gun and kissed her. The deputy was suspended without pay for 15 days.

Gennaco said the Sheriff’s Department has made strides in addressing the issue, increasing disciplinary sanctions for employees arrested for alcohol-related
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offenses.

Sheriff’s Department spokesman Steve Whitmore said the agency is about to implement a policy banning off-duty deputies from carrying their guns when drinking.

“If you’ve got your gun, don’t drink,” Whitmore said. “It’s simple.

“Alcohol and guns don’t mix. That will be the policy of the Sheriff’s Department. It will be one of the first such policies in the nation.”

Also, Undersheriff Larry Waldie issues a weekly bulletin detailing employees arrested for alcohol-related offenses.

“It’s sent to all employees so they can see we are tracking this and holding people accountable,” Whitmore said.

Looking at issues beyond alcohol use, Gennaco also raised concerns about the use of Tasers following incidents in which a suspect died and another was paralyzed. In the case of the suspect who died, an investigation found the sergeant activated his Taser at least 10 times within a 61-second period during the altercation.

As a result, the department has modified its Taser policy to state that the use of the Taser is to be stopped once the suspect no longer poses a threat.

Gennaco also raised concerns that allowing inmates to have unlimited jail accounts potentially allows those accounts to used for money laundering. The accounts are used by inmates to purchase snacks, stamps and other items from the jail store.

“There were inmates who had thousands of dollars on their books,” Gennaco said. “Inmates have the ability to authorize outside people to put money on their books and they can take that and send it in other directions. In addition, inmates with lots of money on the books could be the shot-callers in the jails because everybody knows they have money on the books.”

In response, the department limited inmate accounts to $900.

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Woman Jailed By Piqua Ohio At Taxpayer Expense After Ordering Magazines In A Neighbor’s Name Amid Feud

April 14, 2009

PIQUA, OHIO – An Ohio woman is serving 60 days in jail because police said she ordered adult magazines in a neighbor’s name during a feud. Police said the 47-year-old woman told authorities she wanted payback after being charged with a misdemeanor because of a complaint made by the other woman.

The neighbor told police she was billed hundreds of dollars for magazines such as Playboy and Hustler.

The woman pleaded no contest to felonious tampering with records and has been in jail since her March 16 conviction.

Her husband said he can’t believe she was sent to jail over the dispute.

Her lawyers have asked a judge to suspend the rest of the sentence, noting it was her first felony conviction.

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Former Pig Farmer Released After Bogus Arrest By Thames Valley UK Police For Ornamental Pig In His Garden

April 14, 2009

THAMES VALLEY, UK – A dad was hauled out of bed and arrested for having an ornamental PIG in his garden – after his policeman neighbour claimed it was put there to poke fun at him.

Shocked Robin Demczak, 57, was dragged off to cells and held for more than 6½ hours as the constable’s colleagues grilled him about the porcelain porker.

He was finally freed without charge after explaining the black pig with white spots had been there for eight years – while the officer had only lived next door for FOUR.
Hogs

Fuming window fitter Robin – who used to have a PIGGERY in his back garden – slammed the swoop yesterday.

The pig issue … sign Robin put up after getting rid of hogs

The pig issue … sign Robin put up after getting rid of hogs

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He said: “I was in bed and I could hear police cars outside.

“I was thinking, ‘What’s going on?’ Then I was dragged out by police, arrested and chucked in the back of a police car.

“I was held by them for almost seven hours because having the stone pig apparently counted as harassment.” Neighbour PC John Ablett called in his colleagues

following a simmering 18-month feud over a footpath that splits his back garden from Robin’s in Witney, Oxfordshire.

The traffic cop insists the former pig farmer has no right to use it.

Robin said: “PC Ablett had me arrested because he didn’t like me keeping my 12-inch porcelain model pig in the back garden.

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“He seems to think it is offensive to policemen.”

The dad, who got rid of his hogs years ago and now uses the sty as a shed, told how his neighbour also failed to see the funny side over a sign he painted saying: “No pigs”. He denied it was a dig at the cop.

Robin explained: “When I got rid of all the pigs, I painted a sign saying there weren’t any left in there. That was in case someone was worried about them.”

Feud … PC neighbour John Ablett

Feud … PC neighbour John Ablett

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Although he was freed without charge, Robin was ordered to REMOVE the ornamental pig from the garden of his £200,000 home.

He was also told to STOP calling his outbuilding a sty.
Investigation

Robin said: “The reason I call it that is because it used to be a piggery – it has still got troughs and slurry dips in the floor.”

Yesterday Thames Valley police confirmed officers were still looking into the complaint made against him.

A force spokesman said: “We can confirm that a man was arrested on suspicion of harassment in relation to the incident.

“He has been released without charge. But the investigation is still ongoing.

“There was an ornament in the garden and also some writing on a wall.” PC Ablett was last night unavailable for comment.

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53 Drug Convictions Based On Bogus Information And Resulting Warrants And Arrests By Philadelpia Pennsylvania Police Officer Jeffrey Cujdik And His Informant Challenged

April 14, 2009

PHILADELPIA, PENNSYLVANIA – The drug convictions of 26 more people – three-quarters of whom are behind bars, serving prison terms – were challenged yesterday by Philadelphia’s public defender on the grounds that all were tainted by false information from veteran narcotics officer Jeffrey Cujdik and his paid confidential informant.

Together with 24 petitions filed on April 3 and three on Wednesday, yesterday’s filings bring to 53 the number of people whose convictions could be dismissed.

The new Common Pleas Court filings, like the earlier petitions, are based on allegations by Cujdik’s former paid informant, Ventura “Benny” Martinez. Martinez, in a Feb. 9 interview with the Philadelphia Daily News, said he and Cujdik often falsified information to persuade judges to sign search and arrest warrants for drug suspects.

Had information about the alleged conduct by Cujdik and Martinez been known, Assistant Public Defender Bradley S. Bridge argued in court papers, the defendants would have been acquitted or would have decided not to plead guilty.

Bridge said the fact that all the petitions resulted from Martinez’s allegations that he and Cujdik lied “raises important questions about the entire process of utilizing confidential informants, and demonstrates yet again the critical role the courts have in acting as a check on such abuses.”

Arguing for new trials, Bridge said “the untenable alternative is that an innocent man would continue to be in state prison and on state parole for several more years.”

The District Attorney’s Office has in two filings argued that it is premature to take any action involving the convictions of those arrested through the work of Cujdik and Martinez.

Nothing should be done, the prosecutor has argued, until the results of investigations by the city and FBI are known.

Cujdik, 34, a 12-year veteran, has surrendered his service weapon and since late January has been assigned to desk duty. He is the only member of the Narcotics Field Unit police officials have reassigned.

Cujdik has not commented publicly on the allegations made by Martinez – with whom he worked building drug cases for almost eight years – but he has been backed by Philadelphia’s Lodge 5 of the Fraternal Order of Police. Cujdik’s attorney, George Bochetto, has called Martinez a career criminal and a liar who incriminated Cujdik out of anger.

Of the 26 cases filed yesterday, most involved arrests occurring between 2003 and 2005. Two-thirds of the defendants were men and almost 70 percent were Latino. Most had prior encounters with the justice system. The arrests were in Kensington and North Philadelphia.

For some, such as Tammy Michenselder, 31, who was arrested Aug. 17, 2005, the arrest and conviction was her first and only. Michenselder pleaded guilty in January 2006 to conspiracy and possession with intent to deliver, and was sentenced to six months’ house arrest and two years’ probation.

Others, such as Wilfredo Baez, 46, arrested Nov. 4, 2005, and charged with drug and gun crimes, had longer records that resulted in longer prison terms. Baez pleaded guilty and was sentenced in August to 31/2 to 10 years in prison. He is serving that sentence at the state prison at Laurel Highlands in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Now those 26 convictions are in play, and common to all is the defender’s contention that none of the defendants should have been arrested because Cujdik’s search warrants were bogus.

Bridge filed his first 24 petitions on April 3 under Pennsylvania’s Post Conviction Relief Act, a secondary appeal law that allows a judge to reopen a criminal case based on evidence discovered after conviction that could call a guilty verdict or plea into question.

Bridge said that yesterday’s filings are likely the last based on Martinez’s allegations in the Feb. 9 article. Bridge said state law requires that petitions based on after-discovered evidence be filed within 60 days of the date the information becomes known to the defense attorney.

None of the petitions is likely to result in immediate legal action. The District Attorney’s Office must formally respond to each. Then the court must decide how to handle the 26 cases: assign one judge to hear all, or send them back to the original sentencing judges.

Cujdik’s hugely productive relationship with Martinez, 47, came undone in October when Martinez’s identity was disclosed in court by the lawyer and investigator for a defendant whose criminal case the informant helped Cujdik develop.

Martinez was also photographed leaving a Kensington rowhouse owned by Cujdik and leased to a woman who was the informant’s girlfriend and mother of two of his children.

Martinez said he went to the newspaper after his requests for protection and relocation were rebuffed by authorities.

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Salinas California Police Officers Steve Mattocks And Robert Balaoro Cleared After Shooting Woman In The Back Because She Had A Crochet Hook

April 14, 2009

SALINAS, CALIFORNIA – Criminal charges will not be filed in the case of a Salinas woman shot several times by police officers after they thought she lunged at them with an ice pick, District Attorney Dean Flippo said.

The announcement was made at a news conference Tuesday following a five-month investigation into the fatal shooting that took place last July.

The decision clears Salinas police officers Steve Mattocks and Robert Balaoro of any criminal wrongdoing in the death of Maria Irma De La Torre.

On July 13, 2008 De La Torre, 45, was shot in the back by Mattocks after she appeared to lunge at Balaoro with what the officers said they thought was an ice pick or knife.

It turned out that De La Torre was actually holding a five-inch crochet hook used for knitting.

De La Torre’s family called Salinas police to their home seeking medical help for the woman, who was an epileptic and prone to seizures.

De La Torre suffered from what one medical team described as “intractable complex partial seizures” since childhood.

According to the report filed by the district attorney’s office, De La Torre was in a van stabbing herself when police arrived at the scene. When she got out of the van, Balaoro thought she was holding a knife or ice pick.

Balaoro used his stun gun on her but it malfunctioned and De La Torre continued to approach him.

That is when Mattocks fired the shots.

Both of the officers were placed on administrative leave while the incident was being investigated both as a criminal case and as an internal investigation within the Salinas Police Department.

Flippo said Mattocks acted under honest and reasonable belief that another officer was in danger. He also said he didn’t think a jury would find the officers guilty under a reasonable doubt if the case went to trial.

“After a careful review of the evidence by three experienced prosecutors, all concluded that a jury would be highly unlikely to return a verdict of guilty on any possible homicide charge,” Flippo said. “This tragic case highlights the challenges faced by those living with mental illness, their families, and the community which is charged with helping them manage an illness which can present itself in unpredictable yet dangerous ways.”

The family of De La Tore filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the police department and the city in February that is still ongoing.

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Chicago Illinois Police Detective Joseph Frugoli Released On Bail After Killing 2 People In Drunken Crash

April 13, 2009

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – Chicago Detective Joseph Frugoli is out on $500,000 bail after prosecutors said he had a blood-alcohol content three times the legal limit during the crash.

A raucous confrontation broke out Sunday outside Cook County Criminal Court after a Chicago police detective charged with causing a deadly auto crash while driving drunk was ordered released on $500,000 bail.

The fight highlighted the outrage underlying the case.

As they streamed out of the noontime hearing, many of the 75 friends and relatives of the two young victims were shouting and crying, angered that Joseph Frugoli, an 18-year veteran of the Chicago force, could be set free while the case makes its way through court.

When more than a dozen courthouse police chased down one especially loud and angry man outside, threw him to the ground and hauled him into the courthouse, the crowd got angrier. People yelled “pigs,” “cowards” and other hostile words about Frugoli, specifically, and the police in general.

“If I hit your kids, it would be a different story! ” one man shouted as Cook County sheriff’s officers created a human barrier on the front steps of the courthouse.

“Only $500,000—that’s what two lives are worth?!” yelled another member of the crowd, referring to Andrew Cazares, 23, and Fausto Manzera, 21, the two men killed Friday in the fiery crash.

“Put that guy in jail, that’s where he belongs!” a young woman yelled.

The non-violent standoff came after the prosecutor and defense attorney laid out new claims about the crash and Frugoli—some of them conflicting.

Frugoli, a burly man who appeared in court in jeans and a long-sleeve polo shirt, has been charged with two counts each of reckless homicide and aggravated DUI, plus one count of leaving the scene of a fatal crash. Authorities said his blood-alcohol content was more than three times the legal limit. He was released from custody Sunday after posting $50,000, 10 percent of the bail, said Steve Patterson, a sheriff’s spokesman.

Police said the crash occurred around 3:30 a.m. Friday in Chicago on the southbound Dan Ryan Expressway north of 18th Street, after Cazares pulled his 1995 red Dodge Intrepid over to wait for help, possibly with a flat tire.

John Dillon, an assistant state’s attorney who sought an “extremely high bond,” said that Frugoli’s blood-alcohol level was 0.277 when his 2008 Lexus SUV crashed into the Dodge, and that he was driving 60 to 65 m.p.h., which was above the speed limit.

According to witnesses, Dillon said, the impact propelled the Dodge forward as if it “had been shot from a cannon” and caused it to explode like “a bomb went off.”

When officials from the Illinois Department of Transportation arrived, Frugoli tried to flee on foot until he was stopped by an official from the department, Dillon said.

Frugoli’s defense attorney, Gregg Smith, said the Dodge was stopped in the right-hand lane with its lights off, not pulled off to the shoulder, as the prosecution said. Smith said there was no proof that Frugoli was speeding and that he was not trying to flee when he started to walk away from the scene.

“My client was disoriented,” said Smith, who sought a $200,000 bail, which he said was “reasonable.”

Frugoli, he insisted, “wasn’t trying to evade arrest.”

Smith portrayed Frugoli as a committed police officer born and raised in Chicago whose strong family ties prevented him from being a flight risk.

Frugoli’s ex-wife and 16-year-old daughter live in the city, Smith said.

Frugoli lives in a three-flat with his brother and his brother’s three children. His father, who died in 2007, and his mother, who recently died, used to live in the three-flat as well.

He said Frugoli’s father served in the Chicago Police Department, and that Frugoli has received honor and distinction for his service on the force.

Dillon pointed out that Frugoli, who has been relieved of his police powers, had a history of driving dangerously, pointing to a 2005 crash and a 1990 speeding ticket.

Last week, a Cook County judge ordered Frugoli to pay more than $7,000 in damages in a civil case involving the 2005 crash, in which Frugoli struck a 61-year-old man’s vehicle from behind on the Dan Ryan, pushing it into a median wall. Frugoli, who denied consuming alcohol before that crash, was cited with failure to reduce speed, but the ticket was dropped.

In 1990, Frugoli was cited with driving 80 m.p.h. in a 50-m.p.h. zone and with disregarding a stop sign in 2008, but those tickets also were thrown out, court documents show.

Smith said Frugoli did not have a criminal history and that receiving traffic tickets was not unusual. “We’ve all had traffic incidents,” Smith said.

But many of the friends and relatives of Cazares and Manzera, already devastated by the loss of their loved ones, saw the $500,000 bail as a sign that Frugoli was receiving special treatment because he is a police officer.

“We’re upset by the decision,” said Mike Angelo, a friend of the victims.

Ed Page, a friend of Cazares, offered his blunt assessment of Frugoli: “He’s a murderer.”

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Gouverneur Correctional Facility New York Employee Lisa Vaughn Pleads Guilty After Sex With Inmate – Expected To Receive A Slap On The Wrist

April 13, 2009

ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY, NEW YORK – The former laundry supervisor at Gouverneur Correctional Facility admits to having sex with an inmate.

In St. Lawrence County Court on Monday, 42 year old Lisa Vaughn pleaded guilty to 3rd degree rape, a class E felony. She’s expected to get a sentence of probation when she’s sentenced in May.

The charge was rape because prison inmates are, by law, incapable of consensual sex.

Authorities said Vaughn, of Carthage, seduced a male inmate and eventually had sex with at least four male inmates between 2006 and her arrest last year.

The ensuing investigation also led to the arrests of 32 year old Rachael Paterson of Ogdensburg for allegedly having oral sex with inmates; and 38 year old Laura Douglass, for alleged sex with an inmate and with passing prison contraband.

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Portland Oregon Bomb Squad Closes Street, Pisses Away Tax Dollars Investigating Prosthetic Leg Near Washington County Jail

April 12, 2009

PORTLAND, OREGON – The Portland bomb squad was called to the Washington County jail this afternoon after a suspicious package was found near the entrance, authorities said.

The device, metal and cylindrical, was found in a bag, according to Sgt. Vance Stimler, a spokesman for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Officials had closed down a section of Southwest Adams Street while the bomb squad worked only to discover that the object was a titanium prosthetic leg, Stimler said. He added with a laugh, “Crisis averted.”

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Dumbass Former Tehama County California Deputy Sheriff Jack Allen Roberts Charged After Stalking And Assaulting Woman

April 11, 2009

SHASTA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA – A former Tehama County sheriff’s deputy was arraigned Friday in Shasta County Superior Court on charges that he relentlessly stalked, as well as physically assaulted, a Redding woman.

Jack Allen Roberts, 34, who pleaded not guilty, remains in Shasta County jail in lieu of $500,000 bail.

Roberts, who was arrested Wednesday, is charged with 13 total felony counts, including stalking, first-degree residential burglary, vandalism, possession of flammable material for malicious use, corporal injury and battery.

He is tentatively due to have his preliminary hearing on April 21.

Roberts resigned from the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office last year after he had fired a handgun inside his then Cottonwood residence in June, a law enforcement investigative report reveals.

In that report, which was made public Friday, Roberts, who was described by some witnesses as a “loose cannon,” had a long relationship with the Redding woman.

But, it said, she learned about three years ago that he was having an affair with a co-worker while he was working as a Tehama County sheriff’s deputy.

Attempts to save the relationship failed and she eventually met another man, the report noted.

According to the criminal complaint, the alleged stalking began around April 2008 and, despite restraining orders issued against him, continued until this month.

She told Redding police investigators last month that she was reluctant to move forward with the case because Roberts had been trying to get a job with a private contracting company to go to work in Iraq and work as an independent contractor.

“Victim stated if she went forward with this case, it may hinder his ability to get that job and he would remain here in Shasta County and continue to be a problem to her,” the Redding Police Department report says.

She said that she was also afraid of him, noting that he can have a violent temper, and feared what he might do to her and her boyfriend, it said.

She later changed her mind, it said, when she found one of her vehicles vandalized and believed he was the one responsible for it.

According to the report, which described a number of instances of physical and emotional abuse, the woman said that he once pushed her against a wall, placed his hands around her neck and began to choke her until her son intervened.

She said that he also, among other things, once pushed her down and slammed her head against the ground.

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Drunk Gainesville Police Officers Brett Robison, Roy "Billy" Long and Joshua Hinson And University Of Florida Officer Keith Smith Receive Less Than A Slap On The Wrist After Throwing Eggs At Whores And Drug Dealers

April 10, 2009

GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA – Three Gainesville police officers received written warnings for traveling through high-crime areas while off duty and harassing people, according to an investigation into the events, which occurred in November.

A University of Florida police officer was also involved in the incidents.

No victims were located by the investigators. However, two of the officers testified that the purpose of cruising through the Porter’s Neighborhood – one time throwing eggs after drinking heavily – was to “harass the prostitutes and drug dealers.”

The Gainesville Police Department began the internal investigation after an on-duty officer twice pulled over the off-duty officers, who were in a pickup in the neighborhood south of downtown and west of Main Street.

Three separate events were documented, the last of which, on Nov. 9, involved at least two of the officers throwing eggs in the Porter’s Neighborhood, although the officers said the eggs weren’t directed at anyone.

The GPD officers reprimanded were: Brett Robison, Roy “Billy” Long and Joshua Hinson. Officer Keith Smith with the UF Police Department was also involved, but it was unclear Tuesday evening if he had been disciplined.

“Each officer stated on the record that they felt these actions were ‘stupid’ and improper,” according to the investigative report.

The first incident occurred on Nov. 2, when Robison, Smith and another man, who is not a law enforcement officer, were driving through “neighborhoods known for criminal activities of prostitution and narcotics sales,” according to the report.

Robison, who was driving his own vehicle, said the purpose was to “show how common and easy it was to lure the attention of the criminal element,” according to the report.

The three men were pulled over by the on-duty officer and asked to leave the area.

The second incident began the following Friday night, when Robison and Smith were joined by Long at downtown bars. After the bars closed, the officers again drove through the Porter’s Neighborhood in Robison’s truck and would stop at corners and wait for people to approach the car, the report said.

According to the report, someone in the vehicle would say “something” to the individual and then Robison would drive off.

Finally, on the night of Saturday, Nov. 8, Robison, Smith, Long and Hinson first met at the bars and, after 2 a.m., acquired four cartons of eggs at a convenience store on NW 13th Street and again drove through the Porter’s Neighborhood.

Long and Hinson admitted throwing eggs out of the bed of the truck, and Long stated that eggs were also thrown from the cab of the truck, where Robison and Smith were riding.

According to the investigative report, a woman who is not a law enforcement officer was driving the truck. The report says the woman, as “the least intoxicated,” had offered to drive. All four officers acknowledged “consuming copious amounts of alcohol,” the report states.

They were pulled over again that night by the on-duty officer and instructed to go home.

Lt. Keith Kameg, spokesman for Gainesville police, declined to comment on the incidents.

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Ohio FBI Agents Investigate Random Caller’s "Confession" While Trying To Win Tickets In Radio Station Contest

April 10, 2009

CINCINNATI, OHIO — The FBI is investigating a call made to an Arizona radio station in which the caller said he witnessed a murder near Cincinnati 20 years ago.

The caller, who identified himself as “Carl,” called KISS-FM in Phoenix Wednesday night during the station’s confession contest.

Carl said he watched people kill a well-known bully in 1988 and then dump his body in the Ohio River from the Kentucky side near Cincinnati. The bully had allegedly beaten the girlfriend of one of his attackers because she refused to have sex with him.

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Having Solved All Pending Criminal Cases, Chicago Illinois Police Officers To Begin Stepping In Front Of Moving Cars

April 10, 2009

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – Those police officers posing as pedestrians on the streets of Chicago are coming back and this time they’re bringing their ticket books.

After last year’s sting operation resulted in dozens of motorists being pulled over and lectured about how they’d broken the law, police and the city’s transportation department decided to bring the undercover officers back.

This time, motorists who barrel past the undercover officers trying to cross the street will be given tickets that carry fines as high as $500.

Police say the first two-hour sting operation will be on April 20 and they’ll be at least two more every week through the end of the year.

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Drunk Gainesville Police Officers Brett Robison, Roy "Billy" Long and Joshua Hinson And University Of Florida Officer Keith Smith Receive Less Than A Slap On The Wrist After Throwing Eggs At Whores And Drug Dealers

April 10, 2009

GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA – Three Gainesville police officers received written warnings for traveling through high-crime areas while off duty and harassing people, according to an investigation into the events, which occurred in November.

A University of Florida police officer was also involved in the incidents.

No victims were located by the investigators. However, two of the officers testified that the purpose of cruising through the Porter’s Neighborhood – one time throwing eggs after drinking heavily – was to “harass the prostitutes and drug dealers.”

The Gainesville Police Department began the internal investigation after an on-duty officer twice pulled over the off-duty officers, who were in a pickup in the neighborhood south of downtown and west of Main Street.

Three separate events were documented, the last of which, on Nov. 9, involved at least two of the officers throwing eggs in the Porter’s Neighborhood, although the officers said the eggs weren’t directed at anyone.

The GPD officers reprimanded were: Brett Robison, Roy “Billy” Long and Joshua Hinson. Officer Keith Smith with the UF Police Department was also involved, but it was unclear Tuesday evening if he had been disciplined.

“Each officer stated on the record that they felt these actions were ‘stupid’ and improper,” according to the investigative report.

The first incident occurred on Nov. 2, when Robison, Smith and another man, who is not a law enforcement officer, were driving through “neighborhoods known for criminal activities of prostitution and narcotics sales,” according to the report.

Robison, who was driving his own vehicle, said the purpose was to “show how common and easy it was to lure the attention of the criminal element,” according to the report.

The three men were pulled over by the on-duty officer and asked to leave the area.

The second incident began the following Friday night, when Robison and Smith were joined by Long at downtown bars. After the bars closed, the officers again drove through the Porter’s Neighborhood in Robison’s truck and would stop at corners and wait for people to approach the car, the report said.

According to the report, someone in the vehicle would say “something” to the individual and then Robison would drive off.

Finally, on the night of Saturday, Nov. 8, Robison, Smith, Long and Hinson first met at the bars and, after 2 a.m., acquired four cartons of eggs at a convenience store on NW 13th Street and again drove through the Porter’s Neighborhood.

Long and Hinson admitted throwing eggs out of the bed of the truck, and Long stated that eggs were also thrown from the cab of the truck, where Robison and Smith were riding.

According to the investigative report, a woman who is not a law enforcement officer was driving the truck. The report says the woman, as “the least intoxicated,” had offered to drive. All four officers acknowledged “consuming copious amounts of alcohol,” the report states.

They were pulled over again that night by the on-duty officer and instructed to go home.

Lt. Keith Kameg, spokesman for Gainesville police, declined to comment on the incidents.

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Ohio FBI Agents Investigate Random Caller’s "Confession" While Trying To Win Tickets In Radio Station Contest

April 10, 2009

CINCINNATI, OHIO — The FBI is investigating a call made to an Arizona radio station in which the caller said he witnessed a murder near Cincinnati 20 years ago.

The caller, who identified himself as “Carl,” called KISS-FM in Phoenix Wednesday night during the station’s confession contest.

Carl said he watched people kill a well-known bully in 1988 and then dump his body in the Ohio River from the Kentucky side near Cincinnati. The bully had allegedly beaten the girlfriend of one of his attackers because she refused to have sex with him.

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Having Solved All Pending Criminal Cases, Chicago Illinois Police Officers To Begin Stepping In Front Of Moving Cars

April 10, 2009

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – Those police officers posing as pedestrians on the streets of Chicago are coming back and this time they’re bringing their ticket books.

After last year’s sting operation resulted in dozens of motorists being pulled over and lectured about how they’d broken the law, police and the city’s transportation department decided to bring the undercover officers back.

This time, motorists who barrel past the undercover officers trying to cross the street will be given tickets that carry fines as high as $500.

Police say the first two-hour sting operation will be on April 20 and they’ll be at least two more every week through the end of the year.

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Former South Tucson Arizona Police Lt. Richard R. Farcia Sentenced To Nearly 3 Years In Federal Prison After Stealing More Than $500K From City And County Anti-Racketering Fund To Support His Gambling Habit

April 10, 2009

TUCSON, ARIZONA – A former police lieutenant in South Tucson has been sentenced to nearly three years in federal prison for stealing more than $500,000 from the city and a Pima County anti-racketering fund.

The U.S. attorney’s office says 47-year-old Richard R. Garcia stole $560,000 in cash and checks from 2004 through 2008 to support his gambling habit. Federal agents searched Garcia’s office and home in May 2008 and he admitted the thefts.

Garcia pleaded guilty in January to federal theft and income tax charges.

At sentencing on Friday in Tucson, he was ordered to serve 33 months in federal prison and to repay $454,000 that hasn’t yet been recovered. He was also ordered to file amended tax returns.

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UK’s Top Counter Terrorism Officer Bob Quick Quits After Exposing Secret al-Qaeda Documents To News Media

April 9, 2009

UK – Britain’s top counter-terrorism officer has quit after admitting he could have jeopardised an operation to thwart a possible UK al-Qaeda terror plot.

Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick resigned after he accidently revealed a secret document to photographers.

Police were forced to bring their operation forward and arrested 12 men – 11 of whom are Pakistanis.

Gordon Brown said Mr Quick had said sorry for what went wrong and he had thanked him for his long service.

The prime minister also said Pakistan’s government “had to do more” to root out the terrorist elements in its country.

Sources say the planned attack was to be “very soon” and “very, very big”.

‘Lives at risk’

Former home secretary David Blunkett has questioned whether there should be tighter controls on photographers outside Number 10.

The Labour MP for Sheffield Brightside told BBC Radio 4’s PM programme it was right to ask what restrictions may have to be introduced.

He said: “I have got to ask the question… is it appropriate when we are talking about security, safety, when we are talking about the revelation from a photograph, that we should have that carrying on in Downing Street in quite the same way?”

The bit I don’t understand is why on earth a document like this is not locked in a briefcase as a matter of routine?

He added he did not blame photographers for Mr Quick’s resignation but that he had paid a “terrific price” for his “foolish” mistake.

After announcing he was to quit his post, Mr Quick said: “I have today offered my resignation in the knowledge that my action could have compromised a major counter-terrorism operation.

“I deeply regret the disruption caused to colleagues undertaking the operation and remain grateful for the way in which they adapted quickly and professionally to a revised timescale.”

The senior Metropolitan Police officer has faced intense criticism from opposition politicians after revealing the confidential document to photographers after arriving for the Number 10 briefing in his anti-terrorism role and for the Association of Chief Police Officers.

The memo, marked “secret”, carried an outline briefing on an ongoing counter-terror operation.

It contained the names of several senior officers, locations and details about the nature of the overseas threat.

‘Right thing’

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said it was “with great sadness” that he had accepted Mr Quick’s resignation.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the senior officer had a “very, very distinguished” career and that the memo incident had been “extremely unfortunate”.

The mayor confirmed Assistant Commissioner John Yates would replace Mr Quick as head of counter-terrorism.
Man being arrested
A man was arrested at Liverpool John Moores University

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson paid tribute to Mr Quick who he said had “served with dedication and professionalism throughout his career”.

“I hold Bob in the highest regard, as a friend and colleague, and that opinion has not changed,” he said.

In a statement, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said she had been informed of Mr Quick’s resignation by Sir Paul.

“Although the operation was successful, he felt that his position was untenable. I want to offer my sincere appreciation of all the outstanding work he has done in this role,” she said.

Shadow home secretary Chris Grayling said resigning was “the right thing to do”.

“The bit I don’t understand is, why on earth a document like this is not locked in a briefcase as a matter of routine? I’d have just thought it would be blindingly obvious.”

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne agreed that such a “misjudgement” meant Mr Quick had to step down.

Eleven of those arrested in the police anti-terror operation are Pakistan-born nationals on student visas and one is a UK-born British national. Their ages range from a teenager to a 41-year-old, police said.

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