Police detective arrested in alleged on-duty assault

Updated: February 18, 2016 — 1:08 AM EST

A Philadelphia police detective has been charged after allegedly kicking a man in the knee and breaking his leg last year.

Detective Adam O’Donnell, 43, a nine-year veteran of the force, surrendered to authorities Wednesday to face charges including aggravated assault, kidnapping, unlawful restraint, and official oppression, in the Feb. 3, 2015, incident outside Special Victims Unit headquarters.https://i2.wp.com/media.philly.com/images/1200*800/021716_adamodonnel112.jpg

 (Photo from Philadelphia Police Department)

Philadelphia Police Detective Adam O’Donnell.

According to the District Attorney’s Office, O’Donnell escorted Theodore Life Jr., 45, out of the building at 300 E. Hunting Park Ave., and, once outside the view of security cameras, kicked him once in a knee. After Life got back on his feet, officials said, O’Donnell put him in an unmarked police car and dropped him off at a random location.

Life had a non-displaced femur fracture, and still walks with a limp, the officials said.

“A senseless attack on one Philadelphian is an attack on all Philadelphians,” District Attorney Seth Williams said in a statement. “I also hope that by charging Mr. O’Donnell, he not only understands the severity of his crime but is reminded that when law enforcement does something to clearly hurt a complainant, it will not be tolerated and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Police Commissioner Richard Ross has suspended O’Donnell for 30 days with the intent to dismiss.

O’Donnell and his partner got in a New Year’s Eve shootout in West Philadelphia in 2010. O’Donnell caught a bullet in his bulletproof vest, leaving him with a bruised lung. The officers killed an armed civilian, a motorist later identified as Darryl Moore, whom they had pulled over for running a red light.


Police officer suspended for allegedly threatening judge

  • By David Singer January 4, 2016

CANONSBURG – A Canonsburg police officer was suspended for 10 days following a letter from District Judge David Mark to the borough police chief documenting a pattern of alleged disrespectful and threatening behavior.

Canonsburg Council on Dec. 21 voted 5-1-1 to suspend Sgt. James Spingola for 10 days after alleged threats to Mark and his office staff. Councilmen John Severine abstained, and Paul Sharkady voted against the suspension.

In the November letter obtained by the Observer-Reporter, Mark wrote he felt the need to formally lodge a complaint in order to “protect the integrity of (his) office, and to protect (himself), (his) staff … and ultimately the general public that are served by the Canonsburg police department.”

The letter said “on May 11, (Mark) was approached by Sgt. Spingola, while on duty and driving a police cruiser in the back parking lot of the Canonsburg borough building, and in a very derogatory manner stopped (Mark) and issued a verbal threat that if (his) office did not schedule his hearings to his liking, he will stop writing citations and (Mark’s) office caseload will suffer to the point that one of (Mark’s) staffers will lose their job.” Mark also wrote Spingola said he would walk out of court hearings to answer dispatch calls, which he followed through on, according to the letter.

“He did not attempt to allow another officer, nor ask another officer to take (calls). Standard protocol has been for a police officer in court to pass on a call to other officers on duty. … I could hear the call, which was not deemed an emergency, nor did the Sergeant attempt to pass the call on to another officer. Sgt. Spingola did not have the courtesy to request permission from the Court to leave or even offer a plausible or courtesy explanation,” said the letter, “It seemed quite clear to me that Sgt. Spingola’s motives and actions were to disrespect me and my office, and disrupt the operations of it; the latter of which he accomplished.”

The letter said the pattern of behavior continued “four to six weeks ago,” which would be September and October of last year.

“Sgt. Spingola would abruptly, rudely and without permission of the court, walk out of his hearing duties when a non-emergency call came over the radio. … This matter was immediately reported to you (Chief Alex Coghill), as you were kind enough to sit in on the remainder of his hearings,” said the letter.

Two more incidents were documented in the letter: Spingola allegedly tailing a district court clerk to harass her, and allegedly pulling over a close friend of Mark’s and harassing him during a traffic stop.

“In November, my head secretary watched Sgt. Spingola turn his police cruiser around and pull up to accost her. In a very derogatory and intimidating tone and manner, he issued a threat that he will stop writing citations so that others would lose their jobs. (The clerk) specifically mentioned (Mark) and other clerks in a demeaning and insulting way, and that he didn’t care if (Mark) died,” said the letter.

“On Nov. 10, Spingola pulled over a close friend of (Mark’s), Peter Lauterbach, after he had given a ride home to one of (Mark’s) clerks. Spingola pulled him over claiming he ran a stop sign, interjecting (Mark’s) name for no apparent reason than, in (Mark’s) opinion, to send a message to (Mark).”

“Mr. Spingola cannot be allowed to bully, intimidate and threaten me and my staff. My staff and I are very concerned and in fear of him. His conduct must be investigated and stopped,” said the letter.

Canonsburg Mayor Dave Rhome and outgoing council president John Bevec both declined to comment, saying it was a personnel issue. Coghill and Mark also declined to comment. Spingola could not be reached for comment.

 David Singer, “Canonsburg police officer suspended for allegedly threatening judge”, January 4, 2016 , Observer-Reporter, http://www.observer-reporter.com/20160104/canonsburg_police_officer_suspended_for_allegedly_threatening_judge?platform=hootsuite

District Attorney: Philly Police Officer Intimidated Brother’s Ex-Wife

Jermias Olivo, who left the department a year ago, has been arrested and charged with computer crimes, harassment and intimidation.

A former Philadelphia police officer has been arrested and charged with intimidating the ex-wife of his brother, prosecutors said today.

They described three incidents in which then-officer Jermias Olivo allegedly participated in helping his brother, Samuel, intimidate Samuel’s ex-wife:

• In the first matter, says the D.A.’s office, Samuel Olivo “was in court for violating the Final Protection From Abuse Order that was filed against him by his ex-wife. While waiting for the hearing to begin at the Criminal Justice Center, Samuel Olivo saw his ex-wife in the hallway. Samuel Olivo called his brother, Jermias Olivo, who was a police officer at the time, and became threatening toward his former sister-in-law. Samuel called his ex-wife several curse words and said, ‘I know you ain’t got nothing to say.’ At this point she called a sheriff and dialed 9-1-1 to report the incident.”

• After that incident, Jermias Olivo, allegedly used the mobile data terminal in his patrol car to track down his former sister-in-law using her name and date-of-birth.

“Days later, Samuel Olivo’s ex-wife and one of his daughters saw Samuel Olivo in the parking lot of her apartment complex and his ex-wife found all four of her car’s tires slashed,” the district attorney’s office said in a statement.

• On a separate occasion, Jermias Olivo asked fellow officers to run the license tag number of a vehicle that had allegedly cut him off. The searched plates actually belonged to a person who accompanied Samuel Olivo’s ex-wife to court on the protection from abuse charge.

“Officer Jermias Olivo used his position as a Philadelphia Police Officer to obtain information that he was not authorized to have, especially since it had nothing to do with official business — which is deplorable,” D.A. Seth Williams said in the press statement. “Incidences of domestic violence are extremely high in the law enforcement community, and when it’s coupled with an individual that wants to use his police officer access for witness intimidation it becomes nothing short of criminal.”

Jermias Olivo resigned from the force in June 2014. He was charged with two counts of unlawful use of computer and other computer crimes; intimidation of a witness or victim; and harassment. The protection from abuse order against Samuel Olivo remains valid, prosecutors said.