Officer arrested after accused of harassment, sex with prostitute while on duty

– An Anne Arundel County Police officer has been arrested and faces charges for suspected incidents involving sexual offenses, soliciting a prostitute, and misconduct while on duty.

While interviewing a woman in an unrelated case, police learned of the allegations. The woman told them that 44-year-old Detective Brian Houseman, an Anne Arundel County officer, was assigned to a case she was involved in. Following the investigation, the woman claimed Houseman harassed her and sent her a text message of a picture of his penis. On another occasion, the woman said she was persuaded by Houseman to have sex with him after he suggested he could “put in a good word” for an associate of hers who was facing criminal charges.

An investigation was launched and police say they found other instances of alleged misconduct involving Houseman.

In an instance from February of this year, Houseman was assigned to investigate a stalking complaint where he allegedly made inappropriate sexual comments by text to the female suspect.

In March, Houseman allegedly contacted a female for the purposes of soliciting prostitution and allegedly discussed sex acts in exchange for money. Police say Houseman met the female where money was exchanged for sex acts.

Detectives also say that in April, Houseman contacted a female for the purposes of soliciting prostitution; however, the two did not meet.

Investigators say all of the incidents occurred while Houseman was on duty.

At this time, Houseman has been charged with fourth degree sex offense, second degree assault, two counts of prostitution, four counts of misconduct in office, and extortion by a government employee.

Houseman was arrested and taken into custody without incident on Tuesday. He is a 13-year veteran of the Anne Arundel County Police department and was assigned to the Eastern District.

His police powers have been suspended and he has been assigned administrative duties. He will continue in this status pending the outcome of the investigation.

In a statement the Arundel County Police Department says the alleged offenses “are a betrayal of the values of the Anne Arundel County Police Department and the policing profession.”

“The men and women of the Anne Arundel County Police Department work hard to maintain the trust of the community and will always hold police department employees accountable for any actions that are inconsistent with providing the highest level of professional law enforcement services,” the Department said.

Anyone with information about these incidents, or any other incidents, is asked to contact the Anne Arundel County Sex Offense Unit at 410-222-4732 or the Tip Line at 410-222-4700.

 

http://www.fox5dc.com/news/252376260-story?platform=hootsuite

Lee County sheriff’s sergeant, three deputies fired, another suspended

 

A Lee County Sheriff’s Office sergeant and three deputies have been fired, and another deputy has been given three days suspension, as the result of separate internal affairs investigations.

Sgt. Joseph Barley was fired as of April 18 and deputies Juanita Saldivar, Nicholas Rieske, and Jose Torres were fired as of April 26.

An internal affairs report from April 18 released Monday indicated Barley had violated several LCSO policies involving insubordination and neglect of duty.

The insubordination was in the form of untruthfulness and false statements or reports made to a superior officer. The neglect of duty related to the willful violation of official procedures or directives.

The investigation stemmed from inconsistent statements Barley made about a deputy who had left an inmate alone and handcuffed to a hospital bed. While Barley had made a report about the deputy’s actions, further investigation found that Barley had directed the deputy to leave the inmate unattended.

The firings of Saldivar, Rieske and Torres were outlined in a report released Monday confirming they had exhibited conduct unbecoming members of the LCSO and had falsified documents.

Their firings came after an investigation found that Saldivar had falsified attendance records for classes at the Southwest Florida Public Service Academy for Torres and Rieske on several occasions, signing the two deputies in for a class when they were not present.

The three attended classes from September 2016 until February when they were terminated from the academy due to the investigation.

Deputy Christopher Patricella received a three-day suspension without pay, six months probation and will be removed as a field training officer after an accusation of inappropriate comments made against him was found to be true.

He was given the discipline after another deputy reported that in March he addressed her as “Captain Boobs” in front of a trainee at the Lee County jail.

Furthermore, she said, Patricella also commented on her relationship with another LCSO employee and made other lewd comments.

During an internal affairs investigation, Patricella acknowledged that such comments were inappropriate. He also said he sometimes makes inappropriate remarks and was working to rein in his comment.

http://www.news-press.com/story/news/2017/05/01/lee-county-sheriffs-sergeant-fired-deputy-gets-suspension/101178848/?platform=hootsuite

 

 

 

Navassa police officer arrested

https://i0.wp.com/www.starnewsonline.com/storyimage/NC/20170501/NEWS/170509621/AR/0/AR-170509621.jpg

The officer is charged with filing a false police report and obstructing justice.

BRUNSWICK COUNTY — A Navassa police officer who claimed he was shot at while on duty last month was arrested Monday.

Brunswick County jail records show Cpl. Thomas Moshe Cutler was booked in at 4:58 p.m. and released at 5:56 p.m. WWAY NEWS reported that Cutler was charged with filing a false police report and obstructing justice.

They also reported that Cutler was arrested by agents with the State Bureau of Investigation. An SBI spokeswoman could not immediately be reached for comment Monday evening.

According to a previous WWAY News report, on April 16, Cutler said he was sitting in his patrol car on Daniels Road near Cedar Hill Road with his windows down when a bullet went through his laptop.

Cutler told a dispatcher he believed the shot was fired from a high-powered rifle, according to radio traffic from the incident,

The SBI has been investigating the incident. It is not clear whether Cutler’s arrest is connected to the shooting.

When reached this evening a Navassa Police spokesman said he did not have information about Cutler’s arrest.

 

http://www.starnewsonline.com/news/20170501/navassa-police-officer-arrested

Former Newport Police Officer, FOP President Pleads Guilty to Fraud

Christopher Hayes, former Newport police officer and union president, pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to fraud.

https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/newportri.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/b2/0b2f2f99-b5e8-5185-b396-9777b551e1ef/58d288c8e91de.image.jpg

NEWPORT, RI—A former Newport police sergeant pleaded guilty in Providence federal court Monday to wire fraud. Christopher Hayes, 49, of Middletown, is also a former union president of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), Newport Lodge No. 8.

As part of a plea agreement, Hayes admitted he took union money to pay his bills and for personal use.

“An investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office, U.S. Department of Labor – Office of Inspector General and Office of Labor Management Standards, and the Rhode Island State Police determined that Hayes fraudulently converted approximately $71,523 in FOP funds for his own personal use,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. Sentencing is scheduled for July 21.

https://patch.com/rhode-island/newport/former-newport-police-officer-fop-president-pleads-guilty-fraud?platform=hootsuite

Holyoke police officer pleads not guilty to indecent assault charges

 

Holyoke police officer Baron Maruca
Holyoke police officer Baron Maruca appears in Northampton District Court Friday, April 28, 2017 for his arraignment on two counts of indecent assault and battery on a person older than 14. At right is his attorney, Joan Dietz.

NORTHAMPTON — A Holyoke police officer pleaded not guilty Friday morning in Northampton District Court to two charges of indecent assault and battery stemming from an incident reported to have occurred on March 17 in Holyoke.

The officer, Baron Maruca, is charged with two counts of indecent assault and battery on a person older than age 14.

Judge W. Michael Goggins ordered Maruca released on personal recognizance pending his next court appearance on June 8. As a condition of his release, Maruca was ordered to have no contact with the person filing the complaint against him.

Little information on the events leading to the complaint were made available.

Both Maruca’s lawyer, Joan Dietz, and the prosecutor, Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Becky Michaels, agreed to waive a reading of the complaint in open court.

Also prior to the arraignment, Dietz filed a motion with the court to impound the complaint, as well as any personal information about Maruca including his home address and telephone number. She requested that consideration because of Maruca’s position as a police officer.

Goggins agreed and issued an impoundment order on Thursday.

Maruca is a 7-year veteran of the Holyoke Police Department.

Holyoke Police Chief James M. Neiswanger was unable to be reached for comment Friday morning.

http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2017/04/holyoke_police_officer_charged_indecent_assault.html?platform=hootsuite

Sheriff: Waller County deputy fired for inappropriate behavior with arrested woman

By Keith Garvin – Anchor/Reporter

Posted: 6:31 PM, May 01, 2017 Updated: 10:27 PM, May 01, 2017

HEMPSTEAD, Texas – Hempstead is a small town where, if someone doesn’t know you, they most likely know of you.

The people who know now-former Waller County Sheriff’s Deputy Dormic Smith say he’s been wrongly accused of inappropriate behavior with a female who was under arrest in Waller County for DWI in March.

On Monday, Sheriff Glenn Smith, who is not related to Dormic Smith, fired the deputy, who had been with the Sheriff’s Office for 2 1/2 years.

“Even when he became a deputy, still the same person as he’s always been,” said longtime acquaintance James Jackson. “I mean, that’s hard to believe, that he’ll do something like that.”

Longtime friend and former neighbor Keith Thomas was even more emphatic, saying, “You hearing it from me: not true. And I’m saying it from the bottom of my heart. Not true. That ain’t true, man. No, sir.”

Dormic Smith’s termination came after the Sheriff’s Office conducted an internal investigation. The sheriff said the woman did not come forward herself. He says she told a friend who works in law enforcement and that friend contacted the Sheriff’s Office.

Dormic Smith’s family and friends are defending the former deputy.

“I can vouch 110 percent for that man’s character. Not true,” Thomas said. “And I’ll put my life on the line for him. It’s not true.”

Dormic Smith’s name also came up in the Sandra Bland death investigation.

According to the custodial death report filed by the state attorney general’s office, Dormic Smith was one of the jailers who was on duty the night Bland hanged herself. There are published reports that say he took to social media to vigorously deny any wrongdoing.

 

http://www.click2houston.com/news/sheriff-waller-county-deputy-fired-for-inappropriate-behavior-with-arrested-woman?platform=hootsuite

Federal Court Issues Order in Lawsuit Against the Twin Cities of Colorado City, Arizona and Hildale, Utah, Finding Widespread Police Misconduct and Religious Discrimination

Last month, U.S. District Judge H. Russell Holland issued an order based on findings made by a jury that the Colorado City Marshals Office “engaged in a long-standing pattern of abuses that included false arrests, unreasonable seizures of property, discriminatory policing on the basis of religion, and violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.”

According to the Department of Justice, police officials engaged in a decades-long pattern or practice of police misconduct and housing discrimination.  Judge Holland concluded that officers turned a blind eye to criminal activity involving FLDS Church leaders or members, including supporting a fugitive and ignoring underage marriages, unauthorized distribution of prescription drugs, and food-stamp fraud.

The findings of this investigation reflect poorly not only on the towns, but also state attorneys general’s office, which should have take action much sooner so that federal intervention would not have been necessary.

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Federal Court Issues Order in Lawsuit Against the Twin Cities of Colorado City, Arizona and Hildale, Utah, Finding Widespread Police Misconduct and Religious Discrimination

A federal judge yesterday found that the Town of Colorado City and the City of Hildale engaged in a decades-long pattern or practice of police misconduct and housing discrimination, and ordered expansive relief to remedy the violations and prevent further violations in the future, announced the Department of Justice.

U.S. District Judge H. Russell Holland’s order, issued yesterday, adopts findings made by a jury last year that the Colorado City Marshals Office engaged in a long-standing pattern of abuses that included false arrests, unreasonable seizures of property, discriminatory policing on the basis of religion, and violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.  “The constitutional right to free exercise of religion, on the one hand, and the statutory right to housing and constitutional policing, on the other hand, are vitally important to a viable, peaceful community,” U.S. District Judge Holland wrote.

“Religious discrimination threatens the Founders’ vision of a society based firmly on principles of liberty and freedom of conscience,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Tom Wheeler for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.  “No individual in the United States should be treated differently by a town or its police officers because of his or her religion.  No religious leaders should be permitted to use the power of sworn law enforcement officers to hide their misdeeds and enforce their decrees.

The adjoining towns of Colorado City and Hildale are located on the border of Arizona and Utah and are populated primarily by members of a faction of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) that remains loyal to its imprisoned prophet, Warren Jeffs.  Jeffs is currently serving a prison term in Texas of life plus 20 years for aggravated sexual assault of a minor.

The advisory verdict made permanent by U.S. District Judge Holland’s order came after a seven-week trial during which the United States presented evidence from over thirty witnesses that the governments of Colorado City and Hildale are controlled the FLDS Church and Warren Jeffs.  Among other things, Judge Holland concluded that Marshals “officers turned a blind eye to criminal activity involving FLDS Church leaders or members,” including supporting a fugitive and ignoring underage marriages, unauthorized distribution of prescription drugs, and food-stamp fraud.

In addition to its verdict on the police-misconduct claim, the jury found that the defendants engaged in a pattern or practice of housing discrimination against persons who were not members of Warren Jeffs’ faction of the FLDS.  The jury found that the defendants had used their municipal authority to coerce, intimidate, or interfere with individuals seeking housing, discriminated in the provision of municipal services, and denied housing to non-FLDS members.  The United States settled the damages portion of the case shortly before the verdict for $1.6 million.

The Court’s findings are accompanied by a comprehensive order designed to remedy the police misconduct and housing discrimination.  Under the terms of the order, which lasts for ten years, the defendants must revise the policies of the Marshal’s Office, adopt new internal affairs and hiring practices, hire two new officers, and hire both a police-practices consultant and a mentor for the Chief of Police.  The defendants must submit to training and revise numerous municipal policies and procedures, including their water policies and water impact fees.  The order also requires the defendants work to subdivide the land in Colorado City, an issue that has long been a point of contention between the defendants and the religiously neutral land trust that took over control of the property in the area from the FLDS Church over a decade ago.  Judge Holland will appoint a monitor to track the defendants’ compliance with the order and report to the Justice Department and the court.

The opinion marks the end of five years of Justice Department litigation to address widespread discrimination in Colorado City and Hildale.

The Marshal’s Office currently has seven sworn officers.  Arizona’s Police Officer Standards and Training Board (POST) recently voted to revoke the peace officer certifications of six of those officers, including the certification of the current Chief Marshal Jerry Darger.  POST officials recently refused to approve the certification of the seventh officer on the grounds that he had been engaged in a pattern of criminal activity, including felony conduct.  Since 2003, six other members of the Marshal’s Office have been decertified by Arizona state officials, including three officers who refused to cooperate with state law-enforcement efforts.

This matter was litigated by attorneys from the Housing and Civil Enforcement Section and the Special Litigation Section of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.  More information about the Civil Rights Division and the laws it enforces is available at www.usdoj.gov/crt.  If you have any information regarding this matter, please contact the Department at 1-800-896-7743 or e-mail the Justice Department at coloradocitydiscrimination@usdoj.gov (link sends e-mail).

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/federal-court-issues-order-lawsuit-against-twin-cities-colorado-city-arizona-and-hildale-utah

15-Year-Old Boy Shot, Killed By Balch Springs Officer

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BALCH SPRINGS (CBSDFW.COM) – A 15-year-old boy was shot and killed by a Balch Springs police officer and the community is seeking answers as to why the incident occurred.

Police did not name the victim, but he was identified by loved ones as Jordan Edwards.

 15 Year Old Boy Shot, Killed By Balch Springs Officer

Investigators say he was the passenger in a car officers found when they received a call about underage drinking.

After expressing his condolences to the family, Balch Springs police chief Jonathan Haber told reports and the crowd gathered at a news conference that after responding to the first call, his officers heard gunshots.

Chief Haber says the car carrying the victim backed down a road toward officers in an aggressive way. An officer then proceeded to fire a shot at the car, which hit the 15-year-old passenger.

Jordan Edwards was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Friends remember Edwards as a great athlete and a respectful young man. “Best running back I ever played with, and I’ll never forget him,” said friend and teammate Chris Cano, Jr. “I still can’t believe it. I want to see his smile again.”

Attorney Lee Merritt represents the victim’s family. He says he spoke with the other teenagers who were in the car, and he insists there was nothing dangerous about the way the young man behind the wheel was driving.

“They were simply leaving a party where they believed danger was,” said Merritt. “So I can’t wrap my mind around why an officer decided to shoot into the car.”

Chief Haber also said the police department has been receiving threats.

“Over the last several hours, we’ve received threats through social media towards officers… also towards our community,” said Chief Haber. “We want to encourage everyone to please just be patient.”

Officers in Balch Springs say they will conduct their own internal affairs investigation, but it’s the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department that will take the lead in investigating the officer-involved shooting.

15-Year-Old Boy Shot, Killed By Balch Springs Officer

Police officer arrested in case involving sheriff’s son

April 28, 2017 1:52 PM in News
Source: WBRZ
By: WBRZ staff

BAKER – The WBRZ Investigative Unit has learned the son of East Baton Rouge Sheriff Sid Gautreaux was arrested after being issued a misdemeanor citation for illegal discharge of a firearm following a shooting incident outside the Baker Walmart April 14.

Benjamin Gautreaux, another adult and a minor were cited.

Sources tell WBRZ a Baker Police sergeant was arrested for malfeasance in office and obstruction of justice for allegedly trying to cover up details of the shooting.

Baton Rouge Judge Mike Erwin signed an arrest warrant for Sergeant Adam Procell’s arrest. According to the warrant, Procell and another officer responded to a shots fired call at a Walmart in Baker located in the 14000 block of Plank Road on April 14. They arrived on scene to discover a window had been shot out.

Sources say Gautreaux was allegedly shooting a gun in his backyard during target practice, unaware bullets were flying toward the Walmart.

Procell told detectives that “due to interest in the sheriff’s office and everything,” that he was going to allow the other officer to do the report for the shooting. He also said “that he was not going to do anything anyway,” the arrest warrant notes.

Documents say Gautreaux’s wife is seen on video captured by Procell’s body camera telling officers that Gautraux’s son got a new gun and wanted to shoot it so they did so in the backyard of their home. The video also revealed that once Procell learned the identity of the shooters, he told them that “he was not going to say anything” and told Gautreaux that the charge for illegal discharge of a firearm was “BS,” according to the arrest warrant.

Gautreaux’s attorney, Chris Alexander, spoke to WBRZ’s Mark Armstrong about the arrest warrant. Alexander said that he asked Baker Police Chief Dunn if Procell could surrender himself into custody on Friday, however he refused.

“He refused, and gave me absolutely no reason why.   I have been doing this for 16 years, and I have never had that request refused by any law enforcement agency,” Alexander said.

Alexander stated that refusing for Procell to surrender suggested that the matter was “personal.”

“They are trying to destroy a man’s career.  It is shameful,” Alexander said. “The only crime here is the recklessness with which Chief Dunn is toying with an honorable man’s reputation,” he said.

Additionally, Alexander said that he believes the district attorney will “see through this nonsense.”

http://www.wbrz.com/news/police-officer-facing-arrest-in-case-involving-sheriff-s-son/?platform=hootsuite

Philadelphia police officer charged after fatal crash

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A Philadelphia police officer has been charged following a crash in January that left a man dead.

Ofc. Adam Soto has been charged with homicide by vehicle in the death of 50-year-old Danny DiMitri.

DiMitri was hit along Cottman and Algon avenues in Philadelphia.

The family believes that Soto was drag racing against two other officers in another car, when he hit and killed DiMitri as he was attempting to cross the street.

“He was a great brother. They stole him from us,” said DiMitri’s sister, Cheryl.

DiMitri’s family members say their lives are forever changed.

“Just the fact that he was going about his day like anybody else and that he got struck and killed is just… I haven’t even taken it all in yet still,” said his niece, Brittany Prosinski.

“Being police officers, they know or knew that driving that fast could kill somebody and, unfortunately, it had to be my brother, my only sibling who I miss every day. My life will never be the same,” said Cheryl DiMitri.

Philadelphia police say three officers were involved in the incident, including Ofc. Soto.

Soto has been charged with homicide by vehicle and involuntary manslaughter.

The second officer has been identified as Tony Forest, a three year veteran with the 14th District. He was not charged criminally, but police say he was charged with departmental violations for his involvement. He has been suspended with intent to dismiss.

The department says the third officer, whose name was not released, had already resigned on an unrelated incident.

“Two officers were put on suspension with intent to dismiss status. One of them has been arrested, that officer is Adam Soto. He is a three year veteran assigned with 24th District,” said Captain Sekou Kinebrew.

Dimitri’s family says this case is not about bashing the police department, but about justice and being a voice for a family member who has been silenced.

“We have always been very supportive of the police department, and we know they put their lives on the line for us every day. We just want to see the guys get held accountable for what they did, just like if it were you or me or anybody else,” said Prosinski.

The case is now being handled by the district attorney’s office.

 

http://6abc.com/news/philadelphia-police-officer-charged-after-fatal-crash/1920814/?platform=hootsuite