POLICE INVESTIGATE VIDEOTAPED ARREST
By Mike Carter and Jennifer Sullivan
November 12, 2009 at 9:28 PM
[Excerpts] Seattle police have launched an internal investigation into the arrest in June of a suspect [Daniel Macio Saunders] by three officers who used their fists, batons, a flashlight and a Taser to subdue the man at the department's Georgetown evidence unit... Over the next three minutes, officers repeatedly strike him with their fists, knees, a baton and a flashlight. The officers' reports also said that Saunders was Tased "four to five times" as he lay on the floor. Afterward, Saunders was taken by ambulance to Harborview Medical Center, his head wrapped in bandages. Magee, Saunders' attorney, said doctors stitched a wound on his forehead "that looked like something from the Frankenstein monster." Saunders said he suffered numerous bruises and abrasions during the arrest... The officers are identified in court documents as Domingo Ortiz, Scott Schenck and Albert Elliott... LINK TO FULL ARTICLE
POLICE PROBE CLEARS SEATTLE COPS IN VIDEOTAPED FELON ARREST
By Mike Carter
May 26 2010
[Excerpts] Three Seattle police officers have been cleared of wrongdoing for using their fists, batons, a flashlight and a Taser to subdue a wanted man during a videotaped arrest last June in the lobby of the department's Georgetown evidence room... One of the officers apparently knocks on the door, and [Daniel Macio] Saunders responds by walking over to open it for him. The officer almost immediately grabs for Saunders, who backs away as two other officers file into the room. Some of the struggle occurs on the floor, out of view of the camera... The officers were identified as Domingo Ortiz, Scott Schenck and Albert Elliott... LINK TO FULL ARTICLE
SEATTLE OFFICER ON LEAVE FOR ALLEGED THREATS TO WIFE
Review launched after Pierce County arrest
By Hector Castro
Thursday, October 21, 2004
A Seattle police officer with a history of assault is on leave from the department and under investigation for allegedly threatening his estranged wife.
The charges, filed last week in Pierce County Superior Court against Officer Domingo A. Ortiz, 47, mark at least the second time he has been in trouble with the law over circumstances connected to his relationship with his estranged wife.
Ortiz also was charged in a 2000 assault in Pierce County.
Even though Ortiz's name is a matter of public record in Pierce County, Seattle police spokesman Sean Whitcomb said the department would not disclose the officer's name because of an ongoing internal investigation.
Ortiz has been with the Seattle police since March 1995 and has been on leave since Sept. 17, when his estranged wife reported the threats, police said yesterday.
According to court documents, Ortiz's estranged wife went to his Puyallup home Sept. 17 to pick up their daughter. When Ortiz found out, he allegedly called the woman and threatened her, saying, "If I find or see or hear of you being on or near my property, I will hurt you permanently."
Making reference to himself as an officer, Ortiz also reportedly said to his estranged wife, "Who do you think the courts will actually believe?" and, in a later phone call, warned her to "watch her back."
The comments were overheard by at least three witnesses, including the couple's daughter.
The woman called the Seattle police Internal Investigation Section, which advised her to call 911. She has since sought an order for protection.
Pierce County sheriff's deputies arrested Ortiz, who was booked into the Pierce County Jail that same day.
He was charged Oct. 11 in Pierce County Superior Court with domestic violence harassment, a gross misdemeanor.
As part of his leave, the officer was ordered to turn in his badge and service firearm. A hearing on the protection order is scheduled for Nov. 3, and Ortiz could be ordered to surrender any additional firearms he possesses.
The earlier assault charge filed in Pierce County District Court is from a confrontation on May 21, 2000. According to court documents, Ortiz went to a University Place home demanding to speak with his estranged wife.
The house belonged to the father of a man who had taken the woman out to lunch. The father called his son, telling him what Ortiz wanted. The woman would not talk with Ortiz, saying she was afraid of him.
When the man came to the house alone, Ortiz walked up to him and punched him several times in the face and head, not even allowing the man to get out of his car.
Ortiz then left. Pierce County sheriff's deputies found his private car nearby. Inside was a letter he'd written to his estranged wife. Court documents state that in the letter, Ortiz told her "that he tapped the phone line and heard the parties speak of their love for each other."
A no-contact order was in place for a year following that confrontation, and Ortiz was ordered to undergo an anger management evaluation. In the end, the court did not order any anger management counseling, but instead suggested marriage counseling. Ortiz received a deferred sentence, with the conviction dismissed after he exhibited lawful behavior for a year.
Whitcomb declined to comment on whether the department was aware of the 2000 assault case.
Domestic violence committed by law enforcement officers has been a high-profile issue since the murder-suicide of Tacoma police Chief David Brame, who fatally shot his wife, Crystal Brame and then himself last year.
Crystal Brame's father, Lane Judson, is lobbying for federal legislation that would require police departments nationwide to adopt domestic violence policies for officers in order to qualify for federal funding.
"I think our congressmen and senators need to take this forward," Judson said yesterday. "I don't know how else to get other states to take action. I'm just trying to do this for my daughter."
State legislators have passed a law requiring Washington police agencies to adopt policies by next June to handle officers who commit acts of domestic violence.
Seattle's policy requires an officer to hand in his or her duty weapon, badge and department identification if arrested for domestic violence.
The department is supposed to notify the department's media office, though no such notification was made in this case.
P-I reporter Ruth Teichroeb contributed to this report... [LINK]
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