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Saturday, January 31, 2009

[AZ] Officer Turcotte seen choking his wife. 2nd dv call to thier house in 3 months.



East Valley Tribune, AZ
Gary Grado
January 30, 2009
A rookie Gilbert police officer and his wife were arrested Jan. 22, the day after officers went to their house on a domestic violence call. It was the second time in three months that Gilbert police responded to the home of officer Michael Turcotte and his wife, Linda Turcotte, to intercede in a family fight. Turcotte, 49, who had been working as a patrolman for six months, is on paid administrative leave while his criminal case is pending, according to Sgt. Mark Marino, Gilbert police spokesman. Once the criminal case, which includes the allegation of misdemeanor assault, is resolved, then Turcotte will undergo an internal affairs investigation... According to a police report, a witness saw Turcotte choking his wife, which left her with marks on her throat and soft-tissue damage. Linda Turcotte is accused of slapping her husband in the Jan. 21 incident... Police were called to the house on Nov. 13 when Linda Turcotte accused her husband of threatening her with a knife, according to court records. "I did not press any formal charges because I was not actually harmed and did not want to ruin his career as a police officer," Linda Turcotte wrote in her petition for an order of protection... Marino said an investigation of the Nov. 13 incident determined Linda Turcotte's allegations were baseless. [Full article here]

Friday, January 30, 2009

[CA] Resigned Deputy Rubio & wife Ashley acquitted of child abuse charges

Previous post:
[CA] Hopping cop Rubio & wife Ashley charged with visitation child abuse - ...Detectives say police got involved when the boy's mother, a Colusa County Sheriff's Department employee, noticed the bruises... Rubio was a Woodland police officer for five years prior to being hired in Suisun City and a Yolo County sheriff's deputy before that...

Couple acquitted of child abuse
By Rob Parsons
Jan 29 2009
A Colusa jury has acquitted a College City couple of child abuse charges. Engelberto Rubio and his wife, Ashley, were each charged in October charged with one misdemeanor count of child endangerment. Engelberto Rubio, a 32-year-old former police officer, was also charged with one felony count of inflicting corporal injury against his 7-year-old son. The jury handed down the “not guilty” verdict Friday in Colusa County Superior Court. The Colusa County district attorney’s office conducted the investigation because the child’s mother, Naborino Rubio, is employed at the Colusa sheriff’s office. Colusa DA John Poyner said he was “absolutely fine” with the verdict. “That’s the system,” he said. “We put our evidence out there and the jury makes their decision. We don’t take it personal”... Engelberto Rubio requested administrative leave from the Suisun City Police Department two days after the charges were filed in October. He resigned in November for “personal reasons” after just three months on the job... [Full article here]

[MO] Resigned Officer Minet gets 16 years for killing his girlfriend's 2 year old daughter, Alyssa Eickmeier

...this story needs to be told from the one person that really truly knows and that would be me - i miss my daughter and i will not sit here and not say anything any more...

Alyssa & Alyssa Eickmeier

Nicholas Minet Sentenced In Death Of Toddler
January 29, 2009
[Excerpts] A former Kansas City police officer pleaded guilty on Thursday to murdering his girlfriend's child. Alyssa Eickmeier was 2 when she died while in the care of Nicholas Minet, 31, in October 2006. Minet admitted that Alyssa was crying uncontrollably, and he grabbed and threw her. She sustained injuries that killed her. Minet made a brief apology in court on Thursday, KMBC's Peggy Breit reported. Alyssa's mother, Amy Eickmeier, said she believed the apology was sincere... Minet was supposed to go on trial next month, but he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 16 years in prison. "We wanted him to disappear off the face of the earth, but if justice is served, that will be enough," said Carol Eickmeier Gibson, Alyssa's grandmother. Amy Eickmeier said she and her family agreed to the plea deal to avoid the chance of a lesser conviction... [Full article here]

Nicholas Minet Sentenced To 16 Years In Prison
KCTV5 News, MO
January 29, 2009
[Excerpts] A former police officer charged with second-degree murder in the death of his girlfriend's 2-year-old daughter changed his plea to guilty on Thursday.
Nicholas Minet, a former Kansas City, Mo., police officer admitted in a Clay County courtroom that he shook Alyssa Eickmeier violently and threw her on the floor or a mattress causing a deadly blow to the head. Minet said he shook the girl because she wouldn't stop crying for her mother... Minet was sentenced to 16 years in prison... "I know he's sorry. He said he was sorry in court. I believe that he's sorry," the girl's mother Amy Eickmeier said. "She paid with her life. She didn't get a chance to plead for hers." [Full article here]
[missouri, mo politics, murder, child abuse, fatality, officer-involved domestic violence, liberty, mo]

One August 23, 2007 blog comment (here):
one mother said...

to all of those who have made a comment what is sad is that no one has mentioned the complete truth in this so let me set the record straight because i can do so with no guilt or lying i speak the truth i speak from true heartbreak there was no signs that nick was abusive towards alyssa or any other children for that matter nick wasn't this horrible monster that you have all made him out to be he took care of his family and yes he was a jerk when he wanted to be and cheated on his ex with me which i didn't know about till later and i am sorry for that and i wasn't the only one and i'm not sticking up for him i actually can't stand who he became in that split second decision that he made but i did love him and the police department didn't set up that fund a friend of alyssa's did yes he worked for the department but didn't do it out of guilt did it out of the goodness of his heart because he cared for the family alyssa did not have an adult bite mark on her lage it was a childs around the age of seven and it wasn't christians or theire moms because they had impressions done and they have been cleared there was no medical bills because alyssa had medicaid yes alyssa had bruises old and new but anyone that knew her new that she was 2 and she was clumsy i saw her fall down the stairs and recieve one of the bruises on her forehead myself with another friend to me all her bruises were never thought to be on purpose or abuse regardless what nick gets accident or not he has to live with the fact that he took her life away he made that choice for her if he is put away for life or not he can still see his kids grow up now you tell me how am i supposed feel to know that he still has that privilage but he took mine away i will never know what she was gonna become i don't even get to tell her how much i love her i failed as her mother i failed to protect her but how could i when noone not even her mother knew that she was ever in any danger and to the sister-in-law thank you for your prayers yes i am the mother of alyssa eickmeier and i am proud i got that chance nick took that from me but he won't take her memory this story needs to be told from the one person that really truly knows and that would be me i miss my daughter and i will not sit here and not say anything any more i am now able to as where before i was to upset to talk to anyone so let the truth be known any questions feel free to last and nick still hasn't been convicted for what he has done that is how the system serves and protects innocent until proven guilty even if you confess he has more legal rights right now than alyssa

NOTE: Alyssa's family is working on legislation that would make any child abuse resulting in death an automatic second-degree murder charge. They want the law to be called Alyssa's Law.
[missouri, mo politics, murder, child abuse, fatality, officer-involved domestic violence]

[NYPD] By day he protected New York City. Nights, he beat Jeanne.

...By day, Galtieri used to protect the city as a police sergeant. Then, court records show, he went home and beat his then-wife Jeanne Kane like a punching bag... Prosecutors say Galtieri waited in the park-and-ride lot for more than five hours to kill Ms. Kane because he was enraged over the couple's million-dollar divorce settlement... Retired police sergeant John Galtieri joked to a restaurant colleague about wanting to shoot his former wife...
On MySpace:

The Jeanne Kane Foundation


The Kane Triplets


Jury in murder trial hears that monthly stipend keyed acrimony in divorce
Staten Island Advance NY
By Jeff Harrell
Saturday, January 24, 2009
[Excerpts] Jeanne Kane received all but $7 of her ex-husband's monthly $2,700 police pension checks up to the day she was shot and killed at a Pleasant Plains park-and-ride in January 2007. Upon her death, John Galtieri got his full pension checks back. "When the ex-spouse dies, the benefits revert back to the beneficiary," Rhonda Cavagnaro, general counsel for the NYPD's Pension Fund, told jurors yesterday, the opening day of Galtieri's murder trial in state Supreme Court, St. George. Prosecutors say Galtieri waited in the park-and-ride lot for more than five hours to kill Ms. Kane because he was enraged over the couple's million-dollar divorce settlement in 2003... Ms. Kane began receiving monthly pension checks in July 2005, initially for $1,500. That amount rose to $2,720 by the following November. Galtieri's checks plummeted from $1,205.05 in July to $7.05 in November. The amounts were so meager, Galtieri didn't bother to open the envelopes they arrived in. "He wasn't cashing the checks," Ms. Cavagnaro said, "so we stopped sending them out." Ms. Kane's former divorce attorney, Karen Schermond, said Galtieri chose to file for bankruptcy rather than pay his ex-wife alimony. "He would simply fail to pay," Ms. Schermond testified. "He would refuse, or not send her the money"... "He was suing anybody he thought had anything to do with giving his money to Jeanne Kane," [Assistant District Attorney Adam] Silberlight said. At 12:30 p.m., Galtieri was captured on video at the park-and-ride lot getting out of his silver Chrysler Concorde... Later that day, shortly before 6 p.m., Ms. Kane was waiting in her car to pick up daughter Tricia when she was shot in the head. She was pronounced dead on arrival at Staten Island University Hospital, Ocean Breeze. A week later, the NYPD Pension Fund sent the monthly check to Galtieri for the full amount -- $2,754.55... [Full article here]

Staten Island Advance NY
By Jeff Harrell
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
[Excerpts] Retired police sergeant John Galtieri joked to a restaurant colleague about wanting to shoot his former wife, the co-worker told jurors yesterday. "He said, 'I'd like to kill the [bleep],'" Angela Peikidis, 32, recalled from conversations in late 2006, when the pair worked at Quizno's in Punta Gorda, Fla., where Galtieri moved following his messy divorce from Jeanne Kane in 2003. Ms. Peikidis said Galtieri, who worked as a manager at the Quizno's, made the remarks in the context of banter in the back kitchen... Galtieri, 63, a former NYPD sergeant, is charged with murdering Ms. Kane on Jan. 30, 2007, as she sat in her car waiting to pick up her daughter at the Pleasant Plains park-and-ride. Prosecutors allege that Galtieri lay in wait for more than five hours to murder Ms. Kane, so angry was he over the divorce settlement that totaled nearly $1 million... [Full article here]

Sequences put ex-cop at park-and-ride where former wife was killed, according to prosecutors
Staten Island Advance NY
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
[Excerpts] Jurors in the murder trial of retired police sergeant John Galtieri yesterday saw a series of video sequences that prosecutors say put him at the park-and-ride where his former wife was slain. The first, at 12:30 on Jan. 30, 2007, shows a man walking beside a building at the Pleasant Plains location, carrying a jacket. In the last, more than five hours later, a flash of light appears on the side of a car in the upper right portion of the frame. Prosecutors contend that's the muzzle flash of the gunshot that killed Jeanne Kane as she waited to pick up her daughter... Police and prosecutors also focused on a silver-gray Chrysler Concorde allegedly belonging to Galtieri seen parked in the lot at different intervals throughout the afternoon. Still photos lifted from the surveillance video first picked the car up at 12:42 p.m. in front of the main building. The vehicle was also seen parked in the lot at 2:12 p.m. 2:18 p.m., 2:37 p.m. and 3:47 p.m. Video shows the car driving away at 4:16 p.m., then re-entering the lot at 4:53 p.m. Subsequent video footage shows the car remained parked in the same spot until 5:48 p.m., when Jeanne Kane's car is seen pulling into the lot and stopping in a parking space. The silver-gray car pulls out, circles the lot, then drives back to the side of Ms. Kane's car. There's a flash of light, and the vehicle drives off at exactly 5:50 p.m... [Full article here]

Calls him 'the defendant' in court and talks of his violent relationship with her mother
Staten Island Advance

By Jeff Harrell
Thursday, January 29, 2009
[Excerpts] She refused to acknowledge as her father the retired police sergeant accused of killing her mother. "Yes," Patricia Kane replied yesterday from the witness stand when asked if she could identify John Galtieri. "He's the defendant"... Patricia Kane, 27, told jurors she hadn't spoken with her father since "2000," and that she'd legally changed her name from Galtieri to Kane. "Toward the end it was all violent," Ms. Kane said of her parents, who split in 1999. "They were constantly fighting"... When contact broke off completely between Galtieri and his ex-wife, he tried to broker a settlement in a note the daughter found on her car parked on Hylan Boulevard when she returned from the bus one summer evening in 2005. "Hi Trish," the note began. "I'm writing to you instead of your mother because I don't want to cause anymore friction"... "It's not a very loving letter," Ms. Kane told defense attorney David Schwartz after admitting that she felt "threatened" by the note. "I had an eerie feeling that someone had followed me there and I didn't know he was there"... The note caused Patricia Kane to switch bus stops -- from Hylan Boulevard to the Pleasant Plains park-and-ride. On Jan. 30, 2007, Jeanne Kane dropped Patricia off to catch the morning bus at 7:35. They spoke over the phone a couple of times during the day. At 5 p.m., she phoned her mother to let her know she was on her way home. Jeanne Kane called her daughter back and left a message. A little after 6 p.m., Ms. Kane stepped off the bus into a swarm of police cars, flashing lights and emergency vehicles. She spotted her Volkswagen Jetta but didn't see her mother. "The one window was just smashed," Ms. Kane recalled. Police said Jeanne Kane was shot to death at 5:50 p.m... [Full article here]


Staten Island Advance NY
by Jeff Harrell
Sunday January 18, 2009
[Excerpts] The accused killer limped slowly into the courtroom a few days ago with the help of a cane. John Galtieri wore a pressed black suit, white shirt and tie to hear Justice Stephen J. Rooney set Tuesday as the day jury selection would begin in his murder trial. But the businessman's attire did little to disguise the graying, bespectacled shell of one of NYPD's former Finest who never got the memo that nobody is above the law. By day, Galtieri used to protect the city as a police sergeant. Then, court records show, he went home and beat his then-wife Jeanne Kane like a punching bag. Small wonder that Ms. Kane, who performed with her identical sisters as The Kane Triplets on several notable TV shows during the 1950s and 1960s, gave up her singing career right before she and her sisters were supposed to tour with Frank Sinatra in the 1970s. There wasn't enough makeup to hide the bruises of a controlling husband under the bright spotlight of a Sinatra stage. Mercy arrived when they got divorced. In 2003, Ms. Kane walked away with $1 million, including $400,000 in damages and a bulk of Galtieri's NYPD pension. The judge admitted he was more impressed with Ms. Kane's resolve in staying in a tortured marriage than he was with case files showing that Galtieri's right hook found his battered wife's pretty face way too often. Galtieri was not amused... Galtieri had the one thing nobody else seems to have when it comes to the life and murderous death of Jeanne Kane. Motive. A million bucks' worth. [Full article here]
[STATEN ISLAND, N.Y., nyc, officer-involved domestic violence, murder, money]

Thursday, January 29, 2009

[OH] Ex-cop Gerek (who wants to be a cop again?) is trying to get his record expunged

...His wife ultimately refused to testify, and prosecutors and Gerek’s attorney worked out a plea deal in which the rape and domestic violence charges were dropped and Gerek pleaded guilty to assault... Bowling Green City Prosecutor Matt Reger filed a motion Thursday asking Bowling Green Municipal Court Judge Mark Reddin to order Gerek back into court to explain why he didn’t mention his other criminal convictions...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007
[OH] For the Record: Lorain Officer Gerek got PROBATION?
...Lorain County Grand Jury returned a secret indictment charging him with rape and a misdemeanor domestic violence count... Gerek threatened to kill their children if his wife left him or called police, according to a police report... Gerek's wife told police that she did not want to file charges against her husband because she was afraid of him... A plea agreement with prosecutors calls for Timothy Gerek Jr. to resign from the force immediately and never work as an officer again. In exchange, the rape charge was dropped and a charge of domestic violence was reduced to misdemeanor assault... Two months after the plea, Gerek changed his mind because
he wanted to REMAIN in law enforcement...

Real lives.
Real fear.
Real dangers.
Real games with our justice system.
And Brad Dicken is a Real journalist, using his pen to put it to the people.

What will the people do?


The Chronicle-Telegram
Brad Dicken
January 22nd, 2009
[Excerpts] Former Lorain police Officer Timothy Gerek Jr. has spent the past year cleaning up his criminal record. Gerek resigned from the force in 2002 after he pleaded rape and domestic violence charges down to misdemeanor assault. It’s a conviction he wants Lorain County Common Pleas Judge Edward Zaleski to expunge from his record at a hearing set for Monday. Normally, the criminal record that Gerek racked up before he became a police officer in 1992 would prevent him from getting the 2002 conviction sealed, but he’s taken steps to either reduce his prior charges or have them thrown out. It’s a tactic that has prosecutors fuming... Gerek’s criminal history dates to March 20, 1987, when he was charged with making false alarms by campus security at Bowling Green State University... In October 1988, Gerek was charged by Bowling Green police with disorderly conduct... Toledo attorney Mark Guedtner convinced Bowling Green Municipal Court Judge Mark Reddin to throw out the making false alarms charge last January... [Bowling Green City Prosecutor Matt] Reger said nothing was mentioned about the 2002 conviction in Lorain County or Gerek’s Aug. 18, 1990, arrest for DUI. “The court would never have granted it if we’d known about that, and we would have been jumping up and down saying ‘no’... After learning of Gerek’s criminal history from The Chronicle-Telegram, Reger said he plans to ask the judge to reinstate the making false alarms charge. The DUI and the assault Gerek followed up his success in Bowling Green by asking Lorain Municipal Court Judge Mark Mihok to allow him to withdraw his plea in the 1990 DUI case. According to the crash report, Gerek hit another car with his 1985 Nissan 300ZX... In September [Judge Mihok] allowed Gerek to withdraw his no contest plea to the DUI and instead enter a no contest to reckless operation, a lesser charge... In October, [Gerek's attorney, Jack] Bradley and his former associate, Laura Perkovic, filed a motion asking Zaleski to seal Gerek’s record in a 2002 case in which the then-police officer was accused of forcing himself on his wife at the time. According to court records, on Dec. 8, 2001, Gerek pulled off his wife’s pants and underwear, leaving her with bruises on her legs and other injuries. She stabbed Gerek in the leg with a pair of scissors as she fought him off, according to the records. His wife ultimately refused to testify, and prosecutors and Gerek’s attorney, now county Common Pleas Judge James Burge, worked out a plea deal in which the rape and domestic violence charges were dropped and Gerek pleaded guilty to assault. Part of the plea deal was that Gerek resign from the Lorain Police Department and never again work in law enforcement. Gerek, who later unsuccessfully tried to withdraw his plea, avoided jail in the case and spent less than a year on probation... Burge said it’s not uncommon for defendants to try to clear up multiple old convictions, and that sometimes means revisiting more than one old case. For someone like Gerek, he said, there’s nothing wrong with that. “I think he deserves a break,” he said... [Full article here]


The Chronicle-Telegram
Brad Dicken
January 23rd, 2009
[Excerpts] Former Lorain police Officer Timothy Gerek Jr. may soon find himself back in a Bowling Green courtroom. Bowling Green City Prosecutor Matt Reger filed a motion Thursday asking Bowling Green Municipal Court Judge Mark Reddin to order Gerek back into court to explain why he didn’t mention his other criminal convictions when he asked the judge to throw out a 1987 making false alarms conviction. When Reddin granted the request last January, Reger said he had no idea that Gerek had a criminal record that included a 1990 DUI conviction in Lorain Municipal Court that has since been pleaded down to a reckless operation charge. He also didn’t know about a 2002 assault conviction that Gerek wants Lorain County Common Pleas Judge Edward Zaleski to seal at a hearing next week. “If the state had known this information, it would have objected to the defendant’s request,” Reger wrote... Prosecutors contend that the case shouldn’t be sealed because the ban on future work in law enforcement should remain public record, and that Gerek, 42, wouldn’t have even been eligible to have the case expunged if he hadn’t cleaned up his convictions in Bowling Green and Lorain... [Full article here]
[ELYRIA, oh politics, ohio, officer involved domestic violence, teflon]

[GA] Officer Tolbert - domestic battery, 911 interference, cruelty to children, & false imprisonment charges

Officer Faces Charges After Fight With Girlfriend
January 29, 2009
A DeKalb County Sheriff's Office spokesperson said a detention officer is facing charges stemming from a dispute with his girlfriend... "The victim indicated that she got into an argument with her live-in boyfriend that turned violent"... Lawrence Tolbert was charged with domestic battery, interference with 911 calls, third degree cruelty to children and false imprisonment. The police report said Tolbert broke two cell phones on which the woman tried to call 911. [Full article here]
[officer involved domestic violence, ga, georgia, law enforcement]

[TX] Officer Wilcox arrested for break-in and assault of ex-girlfriend

...Because the accused in the case is a police officer, the investigation is being conducted by Texas Ranger Trace McDonald... He said the break-in was not an attempt to steal from the victim. “It wasn’t a theft type situation”...

Texas Ranger investigating incident; Wilcox charged with breaking into residence, assaulting woman
Athens Daily Review, TX -
By Rich Flowers News Editor
January 29, 2009
[Excerpts] A Chandler Police officer was arrested Monday in connection with an alleged break-in and assault at a home in the Brownsboro area. Thirty-year-old Ryan Michael Wilcox was booked into the Henderson County Jail Monday afternoon and released a short time later after posting $2,500 bond. The Henderson County Sheriff’s Department received a call from a woman Monday night telling of the incident. According to the complaint, Wilcox entered the home at about 2:30 a.m. Sunday. Because the accused in the case is a police officer, the investigation is being conducted by Texas Ranger Trace McDonald... He said the break-in was not an attempt to steal from the victim. “It wasn’t a theft type situation,” McDonald said. “It was a case of him entering a home without consent and committing an assault”... McDonald and Henderson County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Michael Teal arrested Wilcox without incident. Athens Review attempts to reach Chandler Police Chief Ron Reeves concerning Wilcox’s arrest were unsuccessful Wednesday. [Full article here]

East Texas Radio
Dave Kirkpatrick
January 28th, 2009
30-year-old Chandler police officer Michael Wilcox was arrested and charged with burglary of a habitation. He was taken into custody by Henderson County deputies for allegedly breaking into his ex-girlfriend's home. His bond has been set at $2500.
[Google's cache of this blurb is HERE]
[officer involved domestic violence professionalism]

[SC] Officer and Beatrice Johnson both wounded, both charged

...Deputies at the scene could not determine a primary aggressor... until the cases have been adjudicated in court, both are presumed to be innocent...

By Richard Walker
Thursday, January 22, 2009
[Excerpts] Bond was set Wednesday on an Orangeburg Department of Public Safety officer and his wife after both were charged with domestic violence. ODPS Public Safety Officer Darnell Johnson, 25, and his wife, 24-year-old Beatrice Johnson... were charged with first-offense criminal domestic violence, a misdemeanor. PSO Johnson has been employed by ODPS for two years. "This officer has been suspended with pay pending the outcome of an investigation of the Office of Professional Compliance here at the Department of Public Safety," ODPS Capt. Mike Adams said. "This (criminal) investigation is being handled by the Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office." Orangeburg County Magistrate Don West set a $2,500 personal recognizance bond on both Johnson and his wife Wednesday... Deputies said they arrived to find a man with scratches on his arms and a woman with carpet burns on both arms. The man said he and his wife were having an argument about their children when she pushed him into a wall. He said she then began, "swinging out of control, her arms striking him numerous times all over his body," according to the report. The man said when he grabbed the woman in an effort to restrain her, she head-butted him in his eye. He said when she slammed her head into his again, he called the Sheriff's Office, the report said. The woman told investigators the man pushed her after the argument, the report said. When she attempted to leave the residence, he blocked the door, she said. She said she tried to slide past him, but he grabbed her from behind and tried to push her out of the door, the report said. She said as the man tried to force her out, she dropped to the floor and he then grabbed her legs and attempted to drag her out of the residence, the report said. Deputies at the scene could not determine a primary aggressor, so both were taken to jail. Orangeburg County Sheriff Larry Williams said until the cases have been adjudicated in court, both are presumed to be innocent. "In the meantime, I pray they resolve their differences," he said. T&D Staff Writer Richard Walker can be reached by e-mail at rwalker@timesanddemocrat.com or by phone at 803-533-5516. [Full article here]


The Times and Democrat
By Richard Walker
Tuesday, February 17, 2009 1:00 am
A charge of domestic violence against an Orangeburg Department of Public Safety officer has been dismissed, making him eligible to return to work, officials say. In a bench trial Friday, Darnell Johnson, 25, made a motion to dismiss a charge of criminal domestic violence. Orangeburg County Chief Magistrate Sam Daily dismissed the charge... The case against 24-year-old Beatrice Johnson has also been dismissed... ODPS Chief Wendell Davis said the court's finding does not automatically put Johnson, a two-year veteran, back on the street. An internal investigation is ongoing that will be completed before Johnson is eligible to perform police duties... [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety teflon mutual south carolina state politics]

[NC] Officer Blake charged with misdemeanor assault on a female

It does not reflect badly on GPD that Blake was charged with this crime. It reflects well that GPD responded professionally.

Greensboro News & Record (NC) -
Sonja Elmquist
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
GREENSBORO - A city police officer has been suspended without pay after being accused of assaulting a woman. A summons was issued Tuesday charging A.J. [Ahmed Joseph] Blake, 32, with misdemeanor assault on a female. Police said the alleged assault occurred early Saturday at the Greensboro Police... [Full article here]

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

[MI] 6 YEARS LATER (?) demoted Lt. Dakin pleads no contest to cop on cop sex assault

Suspended Newaygo deputy pleads no contest to assaulting officer
January 26, 2009
NEWAYGO COUNTY -- A suspended Newaygo County sheriff's deputy, accused of sexually assaulting an acquaintance, pleaded no contest Monday to a physical assault charge and will be sentenced in about a month. Robert Dakin, 39, a former lieutenant and department spokesman, was charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct through force or coercion. The original charge, a 15-year felony, alleged he touched a 33-year-old reserve police officer from another agency against her will in August 2002. Dakin's no-contest plea, which is treated the same as a guilty plea for sentencing purposes, was to assault with intent to commit great bodily harm, a 10-year felony. Prosecutors could not be reached for comment.

[NM] $685,000 due after wrongful death of firefighter's ex, Randi Regensberg & her unborn son

...My name is Randi. I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I am currently trying to get my degree in Fire Science. I some day hope to be a fire fighter. That is my dream in life. I am also expecting my first child on October 22, 2006. It is a little man! I can't wait I am extremely excited! I have a whole story to tell you, but I won't bore you...if you want to know just ask!... [Myspace]


Albuquerque Journal (New Mexico)
T.J. Wilham
January 28, 2009
[Excerpts] The Albuquerque Police Department's failure to respond to repeated calls that a pregnant woman was in danger at the hands of her boyfriend - an incident that ended with him killing her and himself - already led APD to make significant changes. Now it will cost the department $685,000, as well. City attorneys confirmed Monday they have reached a settlement in a lawsuit filed by the family of Randi Regensberg, a 21-year-old woman who was killed in a murder-suicide by her estranged boyfriend, Cory Kotrba, in 2006. Friends of Regensberg had called 911 five times to report that she was in danger at the hands of Kotrba, who was a Los Alamos County firefighter. It took police more than an hour and a half to respond, which occurred after both were dead. Those friends had also tried to get help from an off-duty Albuquerque police officer, Hector Chavez, who lived nearby and refused to render aid. "This was tragic," said Albuquerque deputy city attorney Kathy Levy. "We are just glad it is resolved. We have heartfelt feelings for the family. Their loss was tragic and we have all felt it." In the wake of the tragedy, APD put in place different work schedules, a new dispatch system and different rules for what constitutes a priority call. In addition, Chavez was disciplined and a dispatcher resigned... The Regensberg case has been used as a training tool and is brought up at nearly every academy class, police officials said. Police Chief Ray Schultz said his entire department knows the name "Randi Regensberg." "This incident is never really going to be behind us," Schultz said Monday. "There are certain cases that everybody in the department knows about that send a very strong message in the organization about what could happen when things go wrong, and this is one of them"... Under state law, the maximum a jury could have awarded the Regensberg family is $750,000 because the city is publicly funded. The award will be paid out of the city's Risk Management fund. The city of Albuquerque has a "no settlement" policy on suits filed alleging police misconduct. Levy said the policy didn't apply in this case since the suit was not alleging excessive force and it dealt with systematic issues. Levy noted that under the settlement, the city is not admitting liability. [Full article here]
[domestic violence murder suicide]

I had to get a day job

I had to get a day job to keep afloat, so for the past few months I've been running to keep up with tracking news and communicating with victims. Sleep is a luxury. If you can help out with information gathering, keep me updated on the case that you are watching, or adopt me - that would be great. Email me.
No cop-haters please.

[NJ] Sgt. Vanaman's murder-of-Barbara trial date tentatively set for March

...Vanaman, who is free on bail, was in court. He is charged with criminal homicide in the shooting death of his wife Barbara...

Thank you to Susan Murphy-Milano for sending me the news


Vineland Daily Journal, NJ - 17 hours ago
January 27, 2009
[Excerpts] Cumberland County Superior Court Judge Robert Becker this morning set March 23 as the date to begin the murder trial of Millville police Sgt. Robert Vanaman. Vanaman, who is free on bail, was in court. He is charged with criminal homicide in the shooting death of his wife Barbara... [Full article here]

Press of Atlantic City, NJ - 3 hours ago
By JOHN MARTINS JMartins@pressofac.com
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
[Excerpts] ...According to police, Robert Vanaman shot his wife twice in the chest during an altercation in the kitchen of the couple's Wedgewood Court home. [Defense attorneys Joseph] O'Neill has said that Vanaman acted in self-defense, and that Vanaman's wife attacked him with a kitchen knife, which resulted in several defensive wounds on Robert Vanaman's hands and arms. Prosecutors, however, have said that Robert Vanaman's wounds were mostly super-ficial and likely self-inflicted... "They say he faked the wounds himself," O'Neill said, adding that Vanaman spent three nights and four days in the hospital following the shooting incident. "Those aren't self-inflicted wounds. That's serious injury." [Full article here]

Previous entries:
[police officer involved domestic violence law enforcement fatality fatalities new jersey]

[CA] Finally, Ex-Deputy Kovacich convicted of murdering Janet

...The verdict ends a mystery that has haunted authorities since Janet Kovacich, then 27 and the mother of two young children, disappeared... During the trial, prosecutors argued that the couple's marriage was on the rocks... Janet Kovacich was planning to leave her abusive husband...

Previous entries:
- [CA] Janet Kovacich, a deputy's wife, disappeared.
- [CA] Kidnap added to murder-of-Janet Kovacich charge
- [CA] Justice for slain deputy's wife Janet Kovacich delayed again
- [CA] The gun that killed Sgt's wife, Janet Kovacich, may have been located

Sacramento Bee, USA - 1 hour ago
By Chelsea Phua and Sam Stanton
Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2009
[EXCERPTS] All through the years, Paul R. Kovacich Jr. maintained he knew nothing about his wife's disappearance in 1982. For most of that time, he refused to discuss the case - except to argue in legal filings that Janet Kovacich wasn't really dead, even though no one had seen her since she vanished from the couple's Auburn home Sept. 8, 1982, following an argument with her husband. On Tuesday, a Placer County jury decided Kovacich, a Placer County sheriff's sergeant at the time of the disappearance, had been lying all along and convicted him of first-degree murder. "It's a 26-year-old case, and I am absolutely overjoyed that the jury saw what people in the community had known for years," said David Tellman, the 41-year-old prosecutor who had shepherded the case since Kovacich was indicted in 2006. Kovacich, 58, faces 25 years to life in prison for a crime that many thought would never be solved... The conviction came after four months of trial, 77 witnesses and 750 exhibits. Kovacich never took the stand in the case, which relied largely on circumstantial evidence... For much of the trial, Kovacich's daughter, Kristi, who was 7 at the time of her mother's disappearance, had been in the courtroom. She testified on his behalf at one point but was not present Tuesday. Janet Kovacich's older brother Gary Gregoire had testified for the prosecution and said from his Colorado home Tuesday that he was "very happy that we've got justice for Janet"... The verdict ends a mystery that has haunted authorities since Janet Kovacich, then 27 and the mother of two young children, disappeared. At the time, Paul Kovacich claimed he and his wife had been discussing a separation, and that he left the home after an argument... She had disappeared on a Wednesday, but Kovacich didn't mention it to anyone until Thursday, when he told a police sergeant that his wife was gone but he did not want to file a missing person report... Kovacich remained with the Sheriff's Department until 1992. In January 1995, over his objections, a judge declared his wife dead and said she died the day of her disappearance... During the trial, prosecutors argued that the couple's marriage was on the rocks, that there was a "preponderance evidence of domestic violence" in their lives and that Janet Kovacich was planning to leave her abusive husband. He allegedly kicked their dog, a German shepherd, to death. Prosecutors contended he pushed her off a boat once, yanked her from a movie theater and insulted her in front of friends. "Sept. 8, 1982, was to be the first day of Janet's new life," Tellman said during the trial, adding that she had decided to move her children to a new school and had begun taking classes that summer. "She was ripped from the lives of so many people," Tellman said in his closing statement. "Only one person stood to gain so much, one person with a motive to make her disappear. And that person was the defendant Paul Kovacich"... [Full article here]
[ca politics, officer involved domestic violence, murder, cold case]

[NJ] Goodbye to Officer Maria Parziale

Corin Wilson
1/26/09 05:30 pm
MAYS LANDING--Officials say the Stockton police officer found dead with a gunshot wound to the head took her own life. Maria Parziale, 42, was found Saturday night at her Egg Harbor Township home. Parziale was an officer at Stockton for 9 years, and was off-duty at the time of the incident. [LINK]

Monday, January 26, 2009

[VA] Keeping policework painfully professional in Newport News Virginia

...Officer Christopher Miner was arrested after what police call a "social evening"... A couple of weeks before this incident, a Newport News police lieutenant was arrested in York County after he "attempted to force himself" on a woman he knew...
..."We want to make sure that first and foremost that justice is served for the victim and second of all, a person that does this type of crime does not need to be wearing a badge”...

All officers are feeling the pain of the recent incidents, chief says.

Daily Press, VA - Jan 24, 2009
January 24, 2009
[Excerpts] The arrests of three Newport News police officers personally hurt Police Chief James Fox, but he said the incidents highlight the department's culture of transparency. Years ago, rather than dealing with issues openly, police departments would have likely covered up incidents like the ones that have plagued the department recently, the police chief said Friday during a media briefing... On Dec. 29 in York County, Newport News police Lt. Ronald M. Hendrickson was charged with three felonies: abduction, abduction with intent to defile and animate object penetration, along with misdemeanor sexual battery. And this month, Officer Christopher E. Miner was arrested on an abduction charge and placed on administrative leave... "When the incidents happened, it really hurt because I wear this," Fox said, pointing to his police badge. "We feel the hurt when someone does something wrong. But I think the organization knows (that) as the chief, I have to deal with the facts... When one does something wrong on a team like this where we all wear the same uniform, carry the same badge... the ones that care respond the same way as I do. They get disappointed... it really hurts. Then they talk about it and say we have to move on." Training new recruits plays a part in ensuring problems don't continue"... [Assistant Chief Joe] Moore said. "In some ways, it's good because it makes you look at what you are doing and how can we tighten up. There are lessons learned from everything." And Fox said he's told new recruits that if they fail to report even minor indiscretions, they'd be fired. "It's a trust issue. Trust's the most critical thing," he said. "It's critical in a city like this. Police departments that aren't trusted aren't going to be effective," Fox said. But the worst thing that could happen is if police "try to play games" and cover up incidents, he said... "The most discouraging part of it is we know we have 400 and some officers who are outstanding officers... They are working very hard and doing a good job, and generally that kind of work goes unnoticed. What overshadows that is when one of these unfortunate incidents happens and we all bear the shame of it." [Full article here]

Daily Press, VA
Tamara Dietrich
January 23, 2009
[Excerpts] The good news is that Newport News has been a safer place lately. The bad news is that it might have been safer still, if not for some embarrassing escapades by city police officers... Nearly two weeks ago, for instance, Officer Christopher E. Miner, 37, was arrested after what police call a "social evening"... "completely exonerated." Perhaps so. It might also render him a date-free zone for a while... A couple of weeks before this incident, a Newport News police lieutenant was arrested in York County after he "attempted to force himself" on a woman he knew, an investigator says. Lt. Ronald M. Hendrickson, 47, of Yorktown faces felony charges of abduction, abduction with intent to defile and animate object penetration, plus misdemeanor sexual battery. Both Miner and Hendrickson are out on bail and under paid administrative leave till their cases are resolved... And we, the public, must also bear in mind that police officers aren't angels, but flesh-and-blood people in uniform. Subject to the same failings and foibles as anyone, the same capacity for great good and otherwise... [Full article here]

Christopher E. Miner is the second NN officer accused of abduction in two weeks.

Daily Press, VA
By DAN PARSONS | 247-7840
January 12, 2009
[Excerpts] The Newport News Police Department arrested one of its own Sunday — the second arrest of a city police officer on abduction charges in two weeks. Officer Christopher E. Miner, 37, of the 700 block of Harpersville Road was arrested Sunday morning and placed in the Newport News City Jail. In a press release this morning, police spokesman Lou Thurston said the victim told officers that while she was "spending a social evening" with Miner, the officer refuse to let her leave his residence. The 27-year-old woman says she was in Miner's room when he allegedly jumped into bed with her. She says he started touching her, and tied her up with leather and chain restraints from his headboard. The woman also claims Miner took a picture of her and threatened to post it on-line if she left. The woman says she tried to escape but Miner kept her from leaving, blocking the door. Eventually she says he let her go, which is when she called police. Miner was arraigned Monday morning, and bond has been set for $10,000... Hendrickson's next court date is a preliminary hearing set for March 19 in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. He remains on administrative leave with pay while an internal investigation is conducted... [Full article here]


December 31, 2008 by privateofficernews
YORK COUNTY, Va. Dec 31 2008
[Excerpts] Newport News Police Lieutenant Ronald Hendrickson was arrested by the York-Porquoson Sheriff’s Office Tuesday. Sgt. Dennis Ivey of the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office tells WAVY.com that Hendrickson was arrested in the early morning hours on December 26. Ivey says another individual called the Sheriff’s office to report the crime. “It’s difficult for victims to come forward a lot of times. She did cooperate with the investigation, but it is difficult and it’s not uncommon for a victim to report third party. That’s something that’s not uncommon at all,” says Ivey. Deputies began to investigate and after interviewing the alleged victim and Hendrickson, IVEY SAYS DETECTIVES DETERMINED A CRIME OCCURRED. “Several of the charges are sexual in nature. There’s two abduction charges, one sexual battery charge, and a sexual object penetration charge,” says Ivey. The alleged victim is an 18-year-old, who according to Ivey, was not physically hurt. Hendrickson is currently on administrative leave, according to Newport News Police Spokesperson Lou Thurston. Thurston added that an internal investigation is ongoing... “It’s extremely difficult... I was involved in the investigation, as well as my Lieutenant, as well as one other investigator and I actually knew this person, not well, but had known him over the years. Even though he does wear the same badge that we do, I have to set that aside because the victim is our first concern and to make sure that justice is served. I mean it doesn’t matter that he wears a badge. We’re going to investigate it and we did investigate it vigorously…We want to make sure that first and foremost that justice is served for the victim and second of all, a person that does this type of crime does not need to be wearing a badge.” Hendrickson is currently being held without bond at the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail. “He has to be in isolation protective custody due to his status, which we made sure that we communicated very well with the regional jail and they’ve been very accommodating to make sure, we want to make sure that he’s protected,” says Ivey. [Full article here]

For Survivors of Trauma and Victimization

An International Nonprofit Organization for Survivors of Trauma and Victimization

Survivors of Law Enforcement Suicide

Sunday, January 25, 2009

[WI] After Deputy Peterson tragedy Wisconsin takes action to fight high rates of domestic abuse among cops

...Residents of Crandon hug each other during a counseling session at Praise Chapel Community Church on Oct. 8, 2007, a day after an off-duty officer killed six people in the small, northern Wisconsin town...

Previous entries:

Wisconsin takes action to fight high rates of domestic abuse among copsCapital Times, Wisconsin
Jessica VanEgeren
1/21/2009 9:40 am
To see more accompanying photos go to the article's source

Christmas has twice come and gone since Wayne Coulter last saw Lindsey Stahl alive.

The hurt hangs in his voice as he talks about life without the girl he helped raise since she was a toddler. Words of anger, frustration and sadness come next. They catch in his throat as he tries to rationalize how Lindsey's life and the lives of five others were taken in Wisconsin's most extreme, deadly case of officer-involved domestic violence.

Fourteen-year-old Lindsey died on Oct. 7, 2007, in the small, northern Wisconsin town of Crandon. Jarred by the news that his former girlfriend was seeing someone new, 20-year-old Tyler Peterson, an officer employed by the Crandon and Forest County departments, went to the home of his former girlfriend. Upon entering the apartment, he opened fire with an assault rifle on all seven people who were there for a pizza party. A standoff ensued between Peterson and his friends on the force. Peterson eventually killed himself with a pistol.

Now, the families of three of the six victims and the sole survivor of the shooting have filed a civil suit against the police departments that employed Peterson. The suit charges that the police chief and sheriff knew that Peterson had shown a pattern of domestic violence and abuse of authority but did nothing about it.

Before Forest County denied the initial claim that preceded the lawsuit. County Corporation Counsel Paul Payant told the Associated Press that the Sheriff's Department had no way of knowing that Peterson was capable of such violence.

Bitter feelings continue to swirl around the community, even toward the families of the victims. Coulter said they have anonymously been receiving "nasty letters saying we should drop the suit, and we should be hanging our heads in shame.

"It's pretty rough living up here now."

News of the crime in Crandon rang out far beyond the small town's borders; even the Los Angeles Times reported on the story. The crime not only received national exposure, but put faces to a grim reality of the law enforcement community, a reality seldom discussed outside internal affairs offices or among officers themselves.

Yet those in the know -- the officers, prosecutors and domestic violence advocates -- have become increasingly aware of the higher prevalence of domestic violence in the families of law enforcement officers.

The National Center for Women and Policing cites two studies from the mid-1990s that have found at least 40 percent of police officer families experience domestic violence, defined as verbal, psychological or physical abuse, in contrast to 10-20 percent of families in the general population. The studies are well-regarded and often cited by law enforcement and domestic violence advocates locally and nationally.

In the Madison area, Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney said two officers had been disciplined internally for domestic violence incidents in the past year, but no criminal charges were brought against them. They are still on the force. Following an open records request, the Madison Police Department reported that one officer has been fired or suspended for domestic violence in the past five years. That was Russell Henderson, who was fired in 2006.

In Wisconsin, nobody is keeping track of the problem. Unless an officer shoots or severely abuses someone, news about an incident will rarely make its way out of internal affairs, and no state agency collects the data.

But state law enforcement officials are concerned about the problem, and this summer, the Law Enforcement Standards Board approved a new policy and 99-page training manual. All new law enforcement recruits will now learn about how officer-involved domestic violence cases should be handled from the moment a call is received, on through how an allegation is vetted and potentially prosecuted in court. Current officers don't have to take the training, but they can do so by attending a training seminar, one of which was held Tuesday in Green Bay. Another is being held in Oconomowoc on Thursday.

"This is no longer law enforcement's dirty little secret," said Michael Serpe, a board member of the Law Enforcement Standards Board since 2003 and the Door County administrator. "The research has been out there for years. Police officers are more inclined than other groups to be involved with domestic violence themselves. It is time to raise the public's awareness on this issue."

Reasons for the prevalence of domestic abuse among officers are numerous. Historically, police were reluctant to pursue domestic violence cases, seeing them more as lovers' quarrels meant for social workers to handle rather than police officers. While this viewpoint has evolved over the years with the criminalization of domestic violence crimes, some officers remain reluctant to crack down on their own. Even the state's own training manual reads: "Officers' reluctance to consider officer-involved domestic violence as a crime remains the final obstacle to overcome."

The reluctance may be a consequence of one of the central tenets of police culture.

"The first rule is a code of silence," said Diane Wetendorf, an independent consultant on officer-involved domestic violence based in Arlington Heights, Ill. "They don't rat on each other."

There is a logical reason for the protective atmosphere. The culture not only builds trust and security among those in a department, but is necessary in a profession that can be extremely stressful and dangerous.

"Not all police officers are abusers. Nobody ever said they were," said Dottie Davis, a deputy chief of the Fort Wayne, Ind., Police Department and keynote speaker at this week's training sessions in Wisconsin. "But for those who are, we have to police our own and hold officers to the same standards as the average citizens."

For those who do turn abusive, combat skills taught at the police academy can be used to grim effect at home.

Prosecutors say former Wausau police officer Chueng Lee used intimidation tactics and expertise he gained from investigating accidents in an attempt to kill his wife in a car crash on Sept. 18, 2007.

On that night, Lee, 47, dropped the speed of his truck down from the posted 55 mph limit to between 25 and 30 mph on a rural country road, Shawano County District Attorney Gregory Parker said in an interview. Lee then turned the car into one of only two concrete bridge abutments in Shawano County. Parker described the concentrated impact to the passenger-side headrest, where Lee's wife was sitting, as "astounding."

"He was a cop. He knew what he was doing and he knew how to drive that vehicle," Parker said. "There were a lot of us -- investigators and such -- that thought that's what was going on in relation to how he crashed the vehicle."

Parker said he had officers within Lee's jurisdiction set to testify at the jury trial. Had those officers had a chance to take the stand, they would have told of another incident in which Lee followed his wife and repeatedly nudged her car with his vehicle, Parker said.

"Officers had contacted him and told him he needed to cease this type of behavior or he would be charged," Parker said. Several days later, Lee drove into the bridge.

Before those officers had a chance to testify, Lee accepted a plea deal. When he did, his wife recanted her story. She told the judge she still loved her husband and still wanted to be with him. She said she was joking when officers interviewed her about the incident and told the judge that Lee wasn't trying to kill her, Parker said.

Despite that, Lee was sentenced to three years in prison followed by two years of extended supervision.

Having a victim recant is always a concern for prosecutors in domestic violence cases, but particularly so in cases involving police officers. A domestic violence conviction is a career killer for them. A misdemeanor or felony conviction means the officer can no longer use or own a firearm. No gun, no job. If money and financial security are issues for the abused, this reality may push a victim toward recanting their story.

"It is great to have a policy, but if the victim will suffer a financial toll, too often the victim is silenced," said Margie Moore, director of the National Center for Women and Policing. "We really need to look at financial solutions for those who come forward."

Wetendorf, who has worked with domestic violence victims for nearly 30 years, said the knowledge police officers have of how victims typically seek help also makes coming forward more difficult for victims. The advice she usually gives to victims -- call the police, seek assistance at a shelter -- doesn't work. Officers know the locations of domestic abuse shelters. They know if a call is placed to police. If the officer works undercover, they are trained to deceive people, which helps them hide their abuse from others. Then there's the credibility issue. Wetendorf said officers commonly warn their victims that it will be their word against the word of an officer.

"Domestic abuse is about power and control," Wetendorf said. "And policing is about gaining and maintaining power and control. The skills that can make a competent police officer can make a dangerous abuser."

In the early 1980s, Deputy Chief Davis of the Fort Wayne Police Department was in an abusive relationship with her husband. He was also a police officer. The two worked in different departments, which Davis never names in her frequent public lectures on officer-involved domestic violence.

In her case, the verbal and psychological abuse started when he began to tell her she was "wasting a man's job."

Tactics he had learned at the academy came next. He would sweep his leg under her to knock her to the floor and then pin her down. The move is used to bring someone under control quickly in the field and to leave no visible signs of injury. The tactics had the same effect on her.

But a female sergeant who worked with Davis recognized signs of domestic abuse. When confronted, Davis denied it. The female officer ordered her into counseling. Meanwhile, her husband was promoted. She stayed with her husband until the abuse turned toward their young daughter. Then she left him.

Because Davis called 911 on several occasions, she knew others were aware of the abuse. She never pressed charges and her ex-husband was never reprimanded or criminally charged. Davis said the police never wrote reports and that the dispatch reports, which at the time were paper cards, were destroyed by fellow officers.

"In other words, it never happened," Davis said.

She feels safe to talk about her experience now because most of the officers connected to her ex-husband are either dead or retired.

While the incidents occurred some 25 years ago and awareness about domestic violence is greater, a perception in the community persists that law enforcement officers are not held to the same standards as private citizens when it comes to domestic violence. Even Wisconsin's new training manual on officer-involved domestic violence references the belief, and some recent examples give it credence.

On Dec. 15, 2005, David Riedel, a former Sauk County deputy, attended a party with his girlfriend and other law enforcement officers in Wisconsin Dells. The night turned violent after Riedel's girlfriend, former Stoughton police officer Sonya Flower, talked with other officers, court records say. After fighting in a hotel room, Riedel tried to leave. To prevent him from driving drunk, Flower laid down behind his truck and he drove over her.

He then shouted: "You crazy f------ b----, move," Flower told investigators.

Flower passed out for awhile. She then dragged herself to a nearby hotel where she received help. Her liver was cut and her ribs and arm were bruised.

The next morning, Riedel admitted to officers he had been drinking. According to court documents, he said he didn't remember running over Flower.

At one point, Riedel faced a felony hit-and-run charge. These days, his record is clean, thanks to Columbia County District Attorney Jane Kohlwey and Riedel's attorney, Bruce Rosen of Madison.

Rather than potentially stand trial on the charges, Riedel was offered a deferred prosecution agreement. Under Wisconsin law, a deferred prosecution agreement allows a person facing criminal charges to fulfill certain conditions in return for a dismissal of the charges against them. To be eligible, the offender, in this case Riedel, usually does not have a criminal record, must be willing to participate in the agreement and accepts responsibility for the crime.

An investigation by the Baraboo News Republic, a sister publication to The Capital Times, revealed that Kohlwey pledged to destroy documents that detailed what Riedel would do to get the charges against him dismissed. Meanwhile, Flower was kept in the dark.

Last August, the manner in which this case was handled caused the Crime Victims Rights Board, an independent agency with staff support from the Wisconsin Department of Justice, to reprimand Kohlwey for her handling of the case.

With no felony conviction, Riedel could continue to own and operate a gun. The deal saved his career.

In an interview with the News Republic in December, Kohlwey said saving Riedel's career was not her intent and that entering into the "secret agreement" to keep the conditions of the deferred prosecution agreement confidential was a "serious judgment error."

While the charges against Riedel still were pending, Hillsboro Police Chief Thomas Richardson needed to fill a part-time spot on his small staff, a staff that included himself, another full-time officer and two part-time officers. Richardson said when he called Riedel's attorney and authorities in Sauk County, he was told the charges against Riedel were going to be dismissed. With no conviction pending, Richardson said he felt comfortable hiring Riedel as his third part-time officer.

"He is a very good officer, and therefore he is still working here," Richardson said. "From what I understand, he got messed up with the wrong girl."

Like Riedel, Henderson -- the Madison officer who was fired -- also received a deferred prosecution deal. He pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and making a telephone threat connected to an incident with his stepson and was terminated from the department in 2006, but the charges against him were dismissed after he completed the terms of a deferred prosecution agreement.

Henderson's domestic violence issues came to light after he allegedly put his wife's 15-year-old son in a headlock and slammed him into a door in 2004. His wife told officers investigating the incident with her son that she had twice called police to report domestic violence incidents, but when they arrived, she told them that nothing happened because she feared Henderson would lose his job. One incident allegedly occurred Nov. 3, 2003, when Henderson grabbed his wife by the hair and pulled her across the floor. She fell to the floor, then called police. The second incident occurred in May 2002 when Henderson allegedly shoved her to the ground with enough force to bruise her chest.

In Wisconsin Dells, the fallout from Riedel's night out in Wisconsin Dells a little over three years ago continues.

On Dec. 11, 2008, Flower filed a civil suit in Sauk County against Riedel and several insurance companies. The lawsuit says Riedel caused pain and suffering as well as physical injury to Flower and should have to pay her medical expenses and lost wages.

With the civil suit now pending against Riedel and another one pending in Crandon, some departments are finding it may not be financially worth their while to keep quiet when it comes to officer-involved domestic violence.

The city of Tacoma, Wash., learned this lesson to the tune of a $75 million wrongful death suit when the city's police chief shot himself and his wife on April 26, 2003. David Brame died instantly. His wife, Crystal Judson Brame, died a week later. The extremely public murder-suicide occurred a day after Tacoma city officials publicly stated they would not investigate Crystal's claims of domestic abuse. On behalf of the couple's two young children, Lane Judson, Crystal's father, filed the suit.

Lane Judson said the secrecy had gone on long enough.

"It was never about the money," Judson said. "It was meant to get their attention, and it did."

The suit was settled for $12 million. In addition, the municipalities paid for the construction of the Crystal Judson Family Justice Center.

Lane Judson also pushed for the passage of a law in Washington that requires each police department to have an officer-involved domestic violence policy in place. Washington is the first and only state to have a mandated policy.

Wisconsin's new policy differs in that departments do not have to adopt it. The number of police departments in Wisconsin that choose to adopt the policy remains to be seen.

On the national level, the Crystal Judson Brame Domestic Violence Protocol Program, an amendment to the federal Violence Against Women Act, provides access to upward of $180 million annually to law enforcement agencies to use in training their officers in the area of domestic violence. After reading Wisconsin's policy, Lane Judson said Wisconsin was on the right track.

"They are making a heck of a good attempt to get something accomplished," Judson said. "You can always improve on what you do."

While some find fault with the policy, saying it doesn't go far enough to protect the victims and has only been introduced for liability reasons, others see it as a first step toward increasing awareness on the issue.

"Is it the cure-all? No," said Patti Seger, executive director of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence and a member of the Law Enforcement Standards Board. "But instead of sitting and watching these tragedies happen over and over again, we took action."
Recent examples of officer-involved domestic violence in Wisconsin

Ten days before Christmas, Thomas Hutchins, an off-duty Milwaukee County sheriff's deputy, became upset when his girlfriend started disciplining their child. After striking his girlfriend in the face, Hutchins was asked to leave. When he refused, she started to call 911. Hutchins pulled the phone out of the wall, then pointed his handgun at her saying, "You take my job, I'll take your life," according to the criminal complaint.

Two shots were fired before his girlfriend ran to a nearby apartment. Hutchins then fired through the door. A 12-year-old girl was shot three times. Hutchins is now charged with first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless injury and reckless use of a firearm. He has resigned from his job.

Robert E. Hietala, 36, a former Sheboygan Falls police sergeant, was off duty on Oct. 2, 2005, when a fight broke out between him and his wife.

Police were called to Hietala's home after his son called 911 and told a dispatcher that Hietala was threatening his mother with a gun. The argument was about the working hours of Hietala's wife. Hietala told his wife to leave the home, which she refused to do, police said. The former police sergeant told his wife if she didn't leave "he would have no choice but to hit her and throw his cell phone at her," the criminal complaint said.

Hietala resigned from the police department several days after he was charged on Oct. 3 with misdemeanor disorderly conduct/domestic abuse while armed. Hietala's resignation came in the midst of an internal investigation. He was later found guilty of the crime.

In May 2005, Beloit police officer Sheldon Kroning, 27, was arrested and given a one-day suspension following an incident of domestic-related disorderly conduct.

The verbal fight occurred between Kroning and a live-in girlfriend.

According to court records, Kroning participated in a deferred prosecution agreement and charges against him were dismissed.

Galesville police officer James T. Brudos, 39, was put on administrative leave after he was found trespassing on a former girlfriend's home in Jackson County. He was found guilty of disorderly conduct on April 16, 2004. Through a plea deal, the Jackson County District Attorney's Office agreed to dismiss the domestic violence enhancer to the disorderly conduct and bail-jumping charges if Brudos stayed out of trouble for nine months and agreed to meet other conditions. Within a month, Brudos was reinstated to his job in law enforcement. [Link]