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Friday, October 30, 2009

[CO] Officer Tonello arrested for harassing ex-girlfriend, but not for stalking

...The woman said she received two more knocks on her door early that morning... she heard a police radio and went to the door, armed with her loaded handgun. She opened the door to [Palisade Police Officer James] Tonello and asked what he wanted. Tonello said he wanted to talk to her... The woman said Tonello had previously sent her text messages in a similar fashion since they had broken up and that “it has come to the point where it needs to stop,” the affidavit said. She said, however, that she didn’t want to cause problems for Tonello or see him lose his job... Sheriff’s officials wrote in the affidavit that they discussed whether to pursue stalking charges against Tonello but concluded there wasn’t enough evidence...

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PALISADE OFFICER HARASSED HER, WOMAN ALLEGES
The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel
By Mike Wiggins
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
[Excerpts] A Palisade police officer has been arrested on allegations he harassed his ex-girlfriend with text messages and by calling her and knocking on her apartment door in the middle of the night. Mesa County sheriff’s investigators arrested Stephen James Tonello... on Friday on suspicion of harassment, a misdemeanor domestic violence charge. He spent Friday night in the Mesa County Jail and was released Saturday morning after posting a $200 bond... Palisade Police Chief Carroll Quarles said he placed Tonello on paid administrative leave Friday while he conducts an internal investigation. “When I finish with the personnel issue, whatever disciplinary action that needs to be taken will be taken, if any,” he said... Tonello’s ex-girlfriend called police last Friday to report that he had been harassing her over the phone. She said she had recently broken up with him because he was too controlling, indicating that he tried to control what she ate and where she went... She told investigators that around 4 a.m. Friday she began receiving text messages and a phone call from Tonello. About an hour later, she said, someone knocked on the exterior door to her bedroom... She said she asked who was there but didn’t receive a response... The woman said she received two more knocks on her door early that morning... she heard a police radio and went to the door, armed with her loaded handgun. She opened the door to Tonello and asked what he wanted. Tonello said he wanted to talk to her, but then said “never mind” and left after he saw the woman’s new boyfriend standing behind her, the affidavit said. The woman said after she called police, Tonello sent her a text message that contained disparaging, vulgar language. He sent another message while deputies were meeting with the woman at her apartment that read, in part, “Now I can finally move on. Thanks. Noe (sic) regrets.” Deputies reviewed the text messages and found that Tonello had sent six of them between 3:45 a.m. and 8 a.m.... The woman said Tonello had previously sent her text messages in a similar fashion since they had broken up and that “it has come to the point where it needs to stop,” the affidavit said. She said, however, that she didn’t want to cause problems for Tonello or see him lose his job. Deputies contacted Tonello at his apartment, and he admitted to going to his ex-girlfriend’s apartment, calling her and sending her text messages. He said she had not told him not to contact her, the affidavit said. Sheriff’s officials wrote in the affidavit that they discussed whether to pursue stalking charges against Tonello but concluded there wasn’t enough evidence, the affidavit said... [Full article here]

PALISADE COP ARRESTED FOR HARASSMENT A Palisade Police officer is facing harassment charges after being arrested by the Mesa County Sheriff's Office.
Reporter: KKCO tips@Nbc11news.com
Posted: 2:21 PM Oct 28, 2009
[Excerpts] ... Palisade Police Chief Carroll Quarles says Tenello is a stellar officer and employee and until this allegation of harassment he has never had a complaint against him. Tenello has worked with the Palisade Police Department since April. Tonello is out on bond and will be back in court on Friday. His arrest affadavit is below... Tonello is the third officer in the Grand Valley to be arrested this year. Courtney Crooks was arrested on Aug. 28 on harassment charges. He is scheduled for trial and has resigned from the Grand Junction Police Department. On Oct. 1, Grand Junction Police Officer Glenn Coyne was arrested and fired after allegations of sexual assault. Days after being released from jail he took his own life. [Full article here]

THIRD GRAND VALLEY POLICE OFFICER ARRESTED
KJCT8
By Sara Goldenberg sgoldenberg@kjct8.com
Posted: Oct 28, 2009 09:31 AM
Updated: Oct 28, 2009 05:15 PM
[Excerpts] ... Right now the sheriff's office is conducting a criminal investigation into the case against Officer Tonello. The Palisade Police Chief tells us he's on paid administrative leave and will not return to duty until the criminal case wraps up. Residents from the small town of Palisade are shocked. "I'm really concerned about how this is slipping by. I'm just wondering what sort of screening they really do," said Judy Harris, who works in Palisade... "I know that police officers are human beings, one of my children is a police officer. I know that she hates when she hears one's arrested," Harris said... Harris says something is not working at our local police departments. "A lot of people are attracted to being a police officer because it puts them in a power situation. During their testing, those are the people that are supposed to be weeded out" she said... [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence law enforcement stalking colorado state warning signs recant*]

5 comments:

  1. NO-CONTACT ORDER AGAINST OFFICER LIFTED AT ACCUSER'S REQUEST
    The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel
    By Paul Shockley
    Friday, October 30, 2009
    [EXCERPTS] A Palisade police officer accused of harassing an ex-girlfriend appeared in Mesa County Court for a brief hearing Friday. Judge Gretchen Larson agreed to a request to lift a no-contact order against the officer, 26-year-old Stephen Tonello, who is on paid leave from the Police Department... According to court records, Tonello’s brush with the law Oct. 23 wasn’t his first in Mesa County... [Palisade Police Chief Carroll] Quarles on Friday said he was aware of Tonello’s previous criminal matters and declined comment. [Full article here]

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  2. After court review he was found innocent and should NEVER have been arrested. The arresting officer is now subject to actions regarding this illegal arrest. It is NOT illegal to send text messages.

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  3. Not mentioned that the accused officer repeatedly knocked on the upstairs and downstairs door that night and was emotionaly abusive several times prior (resaon for the break-up). Not to mention that this was a very short lived relationship (less than 6 months).

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  4. Why does nothing ever get approved on this sight ???????????????????

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  5. because i'm smarter than i seem and you are so obvious.

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