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Thursday, November 6, 2008

[NY] Officer Romano's alleged reaction to marriage problems

...[Broome County District Attorney Gerald] Mollen said the incident occurred while Romano's life was in emotional turmoil because of the difficulties he was having with his wife... Testimony showed Romano suffered a broken nose, a concussion, and numerous head cuts in addition to the two puncture stab wounds...

OFFICER: ROMANO'S LIFE WAS IN TURMOIL
Patrolman allegedly upset before he was stabbed
Press & Sun-Bulletin
By Jim Wright
November 6, 2008
BINGHAMTON -- A day before he was hospitalized with stab wounds, Johnson City patrolman Matthew Romano told a fellow officer he was upset with his wife, had become disinterested in police work and might open a pizza business. Johnson City patrolman Michael J. Hatch gave that account during testimony Wednesday in Broome County Court. Romano, 31, had just caught his wife having an affair with a doctor and said he was upset and depressed, Hatch said. The next day, Dec. 30, 2006, Hatch was the first officer to reach Romano's side after Romano called for help from Calvary Cemetery in Johnson City. Romano would later say he had been jumped by two black men when he stopped in the cemetery to investigate a white Acura with no license plates. Romano, 31, is being tried in Broome County Court on one felony count of offering a false report for filing and one misdemeanor count of falsely reporting an incident. He has pleaded innocent to both charges. Hatch said Romano told him he was wrestling with a man when he felt something sharp in his abdomen, and someone else hit him from behind. Hatch and Robert Cahill, who also responded to the call, testified they found Romano unconscious and face down, with his drawn service revolver in his right hand above his head. Cahill is now with the Vestal Police Department. Police agencies throughout the Southern Tier were never able to produce evidence about any assailants; they also never found the white Acura. The case, before Judge Martin E. Smith, is being prosecuted by Broome County District Attorney Gerald F. Mollen and Chief Assistant District Attorney Joann Rose Parry. In opening statements, Mollen said the incident occurred while Romano's life was in emotional turmoil because of the difficulties he was having with his wife. Defense attorney Michael A. Korchak said the police investigation took place during a state of confusion, with evidence at the crime scene in disarray from the beginning. Korchak said the investigation appeared to be based on guesswork, numerous leads were not followed and some evidence was not tested. Testimony showed Romano suffered a broken nose, a concussion, and numerous head cuts in addition to the two puncture stab wounds. Police initially said Romano had been stabbed twice in the lower abdomen. He was listed in critical condition and hospitalized for a time at Wilson Regional Medical Center in Johnson City. [Article here]

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