Veteran Framingham Massachusetts Police Officer Harry Wareham’s License To Carry Gun Off Duty Denied After His Juvenile Criminal Record Comes To Light

April 1, 2012

FRAMINGHAM, MASSACHUSETTS — Things could have gone much differently for Harry Wareham.

When he was 15, Wareham admitted “I was very dumb and I made a mistake.”

Wareham committed a crime and was found to be delinquent by a juvenile court judge.

But, instead of growing up to join a roster of repeat criminal offenders, Wareham changed his life around.

Wareham, who is now 43 years old, is a 16-year veteran of the Framingham Police Department with the rank of lieutenant.

“I’m not proud of the mistake I made,” said Wareham last week, “but I think it made me a better and more understanding police officer.”

Wareham, who wouldn’t detail the charges he faced at 15, now finds his juvenile record has been unsealed, coming back to haunt him 28 years later.

Recently, his license to carry a firearm when he is off duty was denied by the state firearms board because of what it read in that previously sealed record.

A change in the Criminal Offender Record Information, or CORI law, that goes into effect in May is opening juvenile crime records — even those that were sealed by the judge — to the firearms licensing board and other agencies.

Previously, those records were not revealed.

The law’s purpose is to limit how much a job applicant’s criminal history is available to employers.

“At the end of the day, this is something that shouldn’t have come up,” said Wareham’s lawyer, Michael Brennan.

“I feel like I made a mistake and I did my part, and now this is coming up all of a sudden,” said Wareham.

The lack of his firearms permit has not affected his job. Chief Steven Carl is allowing Wareham to carry a firearm “on the badge,” which means he can have a gun while on duty.

Carl said he has never allowed an officer to carry a gun “on the badge before,” but he said this is a special circumstance.

“He was given, more or a less, a second chance, and he took advantage of a judge’s wisdom who sealed the record,” said Carl. “Twenty-eight years later, the system has failed him. To take Harry off the road is a loss to this department and this community.”

Wareham’s early life wasn’t easy. He said he lived in an orphanage from the age of 2 until he was 10, when he was moved into the foster care system.

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10 Year Old Child On Tricycle Charged With Felony By Fort Walton Florida Police For Stealing Bicycle

March 30, 2012

FORT WALTON BEACH, FLORIDA – A 10-year-old child was arrested and charged with felony burglary after stealing a bicycle, temporarily leaving his tricycle at the scene of the crime in order to get away successfully.

According to the Fort Walton Beach Police Department, a local woman reportedly had her bicycle stolen, along with her son’s air rifle.

Responding officers found the suspect, Daryl Pitts, nearby in possession of a bicycle whose serial numbers matched those of the one he had to the one that was stolen.

Daryl had returned to the scene on his tricycle after first taking the gun, which he left at the scene of the crime in order to ride away on the bike.

The victim’s fiance saw Daryl retreating after he returned to get his tricycle, and was able to describe him to authorities.

“[He] eventually admitted to stealing the … pistol from the garage … then returning later to steal the bicycle,” the incident report, provided to CBS Tampa by authorities, states.

He had initially claimed the bicycle, worth a reported $400, was his.

“I read the juvenile defendant … his Miranda Warning in the presence of his stepmother,” the report adds. “[He] knowingly and intentionally committed burglary to an occupied dwelling by entering the garage on two separate occasions.”

Daryl was ultimately released to his stepmother.

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$325,000 Lawsuit Charges Gretna Louisiana Police Officer Joseph Mekdessie With Taser Weapon Attack On 7 Year Old Boy – Officer Also Subject Of $32 Million Lawsuit In Penis Case

August 26, 2011

A Gretna police officer accused in a lawsuit this month of unleashing his canine on a suspect whose penis was nearly severed has been accused in another lawsuit of injuring a 7-year-old boy with his Taser, a shock intended for the boy’s father who says he wrongly arrested during a traffic stop. Officer Joseph Mekdessie, Chief Arthur Lawson, the Gretna Police Department and the City of Gretna are named in the lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in New Orleans by attorneys for Marlon Bordelon Sr., and his son Marlon Bordelon Jr., who seek $325,000 in damages in the May 21 incident.

Lawson said Monday he had not seen the lawsuit and could not comment, but he knew of no instances in which a child was hit with a Taser.

The Bordelons were “traveling home” when Mekdessie conducted a traffic stop and allegedly shined his flashlight in the boy’s face, leading the father to question why the officer was doing it, according to the lawsuit filed by attorney Edwin Shorty Jr. The officer then asked the elder Bordelon for his license and registration, and asked him to get out of the car.

The father twice asked why he was being ordered out of the car and refused to get out, “prompting Officer Mekdessie to say, ‘Don’t get tased in front of your son.'”

“Mr. Bordelon then asked the officer, ‘So you’re just gonna tase me in front of my son?'” and again refused to get out of his car, according to the lawsuit.

When the father told his son to call his mother, Mekdessie fired his Taser, striking the man and his son. Mekdessie fired the Taser a second time at the man, causing him to fall out of the car and onto the ground, where the officer placed a stun gun to the man’s neck and shocked him before putting him in handcuffs and dragging him and punched in the neck and face, according to the lawsuit.

Marlon Bordelon Jr. was taken to Children’s Hospital, where a burn mark on his leg caused by the Taser was noted, according to the lawsuit. After he was released from jail on charges of battery on a police officer and traffic offenses, Bordelon Sr., was treated for a black eye and first-degree burns, according to the lawsuit.

Mekdessie “mislabeled” Bordelon’s “involuntary gestations,” caused by his being shocked, Bordelon alleges. Bordelon says he did nothing wrong, but that Mekdessie “sought to falsely prosecute … and to concoct a false story against him.”

The lawsuit accused Lawson and the police department of not properly training officers to use Tasers and approve their use even when there is no threat to the officer.

Mekdessie, Lawson, Officer Roland Kindell and the police department were sued Aug. 9, by Cody Melancon of Gretna, who alleges his constitutional rights were violated May 31, when Mekdessie, Kindell and other officers went to his apartment to arrest him on a warrant.

Melancon admits he initially tried to hide from the officers. But he said he surrendered, and despite complying, Mekdessie allegedly released his police canine, Zin, without cause. The dog bit at Melancon’s groin area, causing extensive damage and leaving him sexually dysfunctional. Melancon seeks $31 million in damages.

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