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Friday, April 30, 2010

[FL] Officer Getejanc abscounds to Rome to avoid domestic violence assault and battery trial

...[Davie police officer] Vally Getejanc, a rookie with the Davie Police Department, flew into a Rome airport Tuesday to avoid two separate trials on assault and battery charges, said agency spokeswoman Dani Moschella. "We'll work with our federal investigators to continue to investigate until he is apprehended"... Getejanc was arrested on Feb. 27, 2009, after his newlywed wife accused him of holding a gun to her head...

Previous posts:
WARRANT ISSUED FOR DAVIE OFFICER WHO SKIPS SECOND TRIAL: He was acquitted of assault in first trial Tuesday
April 29, 2010|By Susannah Bryan, Sun Sentinel
A Davie police officer who failed to show up as a defendant in two separate trials two days in a row is now a fugitive, his lawyer confirmed Wednesday. Tony Livoti, who represents Vally Getejanc, said he has not heard from his client since Monday. Livoti said he left messages for Getejanc and his parents, with whom he lives, but his calls were not returned. On Tuesday, a jury acquitted Getejanc, 26, of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon on his then-fiancee, who was pregnant at the time... Broward Circuit Judge Geoffrey Cohen said he expected the officer in court for the second trial on Wednesday, and when he didn't appear, issued an arrest warrant... Getejanc was arrested on Feb. 27, 2009, after his newlywed wife accused him of holding a gun to her head during an argument on Feb. 3, 2009, before they were married. The two married 19 days later, but have since divorced. In closing arguments Tuesday, prosecutor Jeremy Apisdorf said Getejanc put his police-issued handgun to his fiancee's head on Feb. 3 and threatened to kill her. She did not report the incident that day because "she was trying to work things out," Apisdorf told the jury. "She was thinking about her life and her unborn child. She loved him"... He still could be sentenced to a maximum 15 years in prison if he is found guilty of aggravated battery on the same woman in the second trial. The trial can't start until Getejanc is found... The second aggravated battery charge stemmed from their Feb. 27 argument... [Full article here]

FUGITIVE DAVIE POLICE OFFICER FIRED AFTER FLEEING TO ITALY: Vally Getejanc flew to Rome to avoid trials on assault, battery charges; he was acquitted
By Susannah Bryan
April 30, 2010
The Davie police officer declared a fugitive after skipping court two days in a row has fled the country, a Broward Sheriff's Office spokeswoman said. Vally Getejanc, a rookie with the Davie Police Department, flew into a Rome airport Tuesday to avoid two separate trials on assault and battery charges, said agency spokeswoman Dani Moschella. "We'll work with our federal investigators to continue to investigate until he is apprehended," she said. The Davie Police Department fired Getejanc on Thursday, said Sgt. Robert Choquette... When Getejanc did not come to court Wednesday for the start of a second trial on aggravated battery charges involving the same woman, Broward Circuit Judge Geoffrey Cohen issued an arrest warrant... [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence (IPV) abuse law enforcement public safety florida state children repeat hx]

[CO] Deputy Allen forgives wife Lisa for poisoning him. She says she was abused and framed.

Jefferson County Deputy Jonathan Allen told 7NEWS he forgives his wife despite allegations she tried to poison him by spiking his dinner salad with potentially deadly foxglove plant...


JEFFCO DEPUTY FORGIVES WIFE IN POISONING CASE
cbs4denver.com
Shaun Boyd
Apr 28, 2010 7:09 pm US/Mountain
[Excerpts] A Douglas County woman accused of poisoning her husband [Jonathon Allen, a Jefferson County sheriff's deputy] by putting a toxic plant in his salad has agreed to a plea deal. Lisa Allen had faced charges of first degree murder but now will be sentenced for second degree assault. Her attorney said she was framed and that it is an incredibly complex case where not everything is as it seems... According to court documents, the couple had been together for 14 years when Lisa began making plans to leave her husband after she says he abused her... Horticulturist Leah Crews works at the nursery where investigators said Lisa purchased the plants. "She specifically asked for Foxglove and wanted one with large leaves on it," said Crews... When asked if he forgave his wife, Jonathon said, "I do." When asked why, he said, "Because I'm supposed to and holding back hate doesn't help anything." Lisa Allen will be sentenced in May. She faces 3 to 6 years in jail. [Full article here]

Videos

JEFFERSON CO. WOMAN ACCUSED OF SERVING HUSBAND POISONED SPAGHETTI: Man describes his shock and surprise about what happened
KDVR
Heidi Hemmat Investigative Reporter
10:56 AM MDT, April 29, 2010
[Excerpts] Jefferson County Deputy Jon Allen admits there was some trouble in his marriage. He says his wife Lisa Allen was depressed, had threatened suicide and was spending a lot of time with a mutual male friend, still he says "I was committed and thought we were going to grow old together." That is, until he realized his wife was planning his untimely death... "I didn't know if I was going to die but I can't even tell you how to comprehend what's going through your mind at that point," he says. He says he doubled over in stomach cramps and his heart was racing. A hospital toxicology test later confirmed he had been poisoned by the Fox Glove...Lisa Allen's attorney didn't want to comment on camera, but says just because she pleaded guilty doesn't mean she confesses to any wrongdoing, and there's more to this case than meets the eye. Lisa Allen will be sentenced May 14th. [Full article here]

DEPUTY: I FORGIVE WIFE ACCUSED OF TRYING TO POISON ME: Douglas County Woman Filed For Divorce Weeks After Arrest
thedenverchannel.com
Alan Gathright and Tyler Lopez
POSTED: 7:39 pm MDT April 27, 2010
UPDATED: 8:01 am MDT April 29, 2010
[Excerpts] Jefferson County Deputy Jonathan Allen told 7NEWS he forgives his wife despite allegations she tried to poison him by spiking his dinner salad with potentially deadly foxglove plant leaves in 2008. As the deputy left his Highlands Ranch home to work as a police-dog handler Wednesday afternoon, he said he will attend his wife Lisa's May 14 sentencing on felony assault involving drugging a victim in Douglas County District Court... Just weeks after her arrest, Lisa Allen filed for divorce. The couple has a young daughter, and the divorce case resolution has been postponed until after the wife's sentencing... "It's definitely created empathy in my heart for other victims," the deputy added. "And it's affected how thorough I am when I do my job. And I want to make sure I do it to the best of my ability."... About an hour after dinner, Jonathan Allen said he began having heart palpitations and stomach cramps and was wheezing, the affidavit said. The next day, the husband met with a Douglas County sheriff's investigator. He wept and was apprehensive as he explained that he suspected his wife had tried to poison him... The deputy went to a Littleton hospital where tests showed he had digitalis, a chemical from the foxglove, in his system... Investigators arrested Lisa Allen that day. She told a detective that she and her husband had been having marital problems for several years, the affidavit said. Lisa Allen said she was taking Prozac for depression... Lisa Allen said she'd bought a plant at a nursery on Federal Boulevard before coming home to make the spaghetti and salad dinner that night... But when the detective showed her photographs of the two foxglove plants on the couple's deck, the wife said she had never seen them before, the affidavit stated. Yet an assistant manager at Wilmore Nursery on County Line Road in Littleton told 7NEWS Wednesday that she provided investigators with a receipt showing Lisa Allen bought the foxglove plants there... Lisa Allen was initially charged with premeditated first-degree attempted murder, domestic violence and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon... Her defense attorney, Scott Robinson, said his client was facing 48 years in prison. Yet, 21 months into the investigation, the wife pleaded guilty to the felony assault for drugging a victim, and the district attorney dismissed the more serious charges, according to court records. Robinson said although Lisa Allen pleaded guilty, she did not admit to poisoning her husband. [Full article here]
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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

[WA] Father of slain police chief's wife, Lane Judson, keynote speaker at DVSAS luncheon

Bellingham WA - On Friday, April 30, Lane Judson, father of Crystal Judson (Brame) who was murdered by her Tacoma police chief husband, will be the keynote address at the DVSAS Victory Over Violence luncheon. He will discuss the tragedy that forever changed their lives and the work he and his wife Patty have done in keeping their promise to Crystal. DVSAS will also present the Kathleen Marshall Award at VOV to a an individual who has gone above and beyond their scope of duty to support victims of domestic violence and sexual assault... [More info]
"Crystal, I'm going to do whatever I can to make sure this doesn't ever, ever, ever happen to anyone again."
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence (IPV) abuse law enforcement public safety fatality fatalities lethal murder washington state Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services of Whatcom County]

[FL] Davie Police Officer Vally Getejanc a no-show for his own trial (no warrant issued) but found "NOT GUILTY"


...The woman watched quietly while the "not guilty" verdict was read... He must return Wednesday for a second trial...

PREVIOUS POSTS:
DAVIE POLICE OFFICER FOUND NOT GUILTY OF ASSAULT ON PREGNANT FIANCEE
Sun Sentinel
By Susannah Bryan
April 28, 2010
After deliberating for 30 minutes, a jury on Tuesday acquitted a Davie police officer of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon on his pregnant fiancee. Officer Vally Getejanc, 26, who was a no-show at his trial Tuesday, was accused of holding a gun to the woman's temple during an argument on Feb. 3, 2009. The two married 19 days later, but have since divorced. Tony Livoti, Getejanc's attorney, argued during the two-day trial that the ex-wife was lying about the gun. In closing arguments Tuesday, prosecutor Jeremy Apisdorf said Getejanc put his police-issued handgun to his fiancee's head and threatened to kill her during a heated argument. She did not report the incident that day because "she was trying to work things out," Apisdorf told the jury. "She didn't call police. She didn't want him to get in trouble. She was thinking about her life and her unborn child. She loved him." The woman watched quietly while the "not guilty" verdict was read. The Sun Sentinel is not identifying the woman at her request... He must return Wednesday for a second trial on a battery charge filed by the same woman... Broward Circuit Judge Geoffrey Cohen said he plans to issue a warrant for the officer's arrest if he skips court again on Wednesday. Livoti told the judge he had not heard from his client on Tuesday... [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence (IPV) abuse law enforcement public safety florida state children repeat hx]

[OH] Wife of murdered Corrections Officer Charles Zan arrested in connection to the crime

CHARLES STEVEN ZAN II, age 45, of West Carrollton, passed away Saturday, October 17, 2009... [Full article here]

WIFE ARRESTED IN HUSBAND'S KILLING
WDTN
28 Apr 2010, 8:02 AM EDT
[Excerpts] A wife was arrested late Tuesday night and will likely be charged in her husband's murder. Pandora Zan was hauled off in handcuffs from the Miamisburg Police Department where she was being questioned and taken to the Montgomery County Jail. Pandora will likely be charged with complicity to commit murder in the killing of her husband Charles Zan, a Warren County Corrections officer... [Full article here]


MAN STABBED TO DEATH; STEPSON CHARGED
Dayton Daily News
By Tom Beyerlein and Tim Tresslar
October 22, 2009
[Excerpts] The Montgomery County prosecutor’s office Wednesday, Oct. 21, approved charges of aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, felonious assault and tampering with evidence against the stepson of a state prison guard who was stabbed more than 40 times in his home. Prosecutor’s spokesman Greg Flanagan said officials haven’t decided whether to seek the death penalty for Cody Henderson, 19, of Middletown, who is charged with killing Charles S. Zan II, 45, on Saturday... Prosecutors approved charges of aggravated murder while committing aggravated robbery, aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon, felonious assault and tampering with evidence... Zan was hired in July 1994 as a corrections officer at the Warren Correctional Institution near Lebanon, where he worked at the time of his death... Zan served in several branches of the military... [Full article here]
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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

[TX] Grand jury clears SAPD Officer Ragland but indicts his wife Stephanie after hearing from a witness in the house

A Bexar County grand jury that did not indict a San Antonio police officer [Troy Ragland] accused of choking his wife did, however, return an indictment on her for allegedly assaulting him, court documents show... "A witness in the home didn't corroborate her story, and it's apparent that the grand jury didn't find the evidence against him was credible," First Assistant District Attorney Cliff Herberg said...

Video

NEWS FROM DECEMBER 2009 AND THIS MONTH:

COP'S WIFE SAYS HE TRIED TO STRANGLE HER
San Antonio Express-News
By Brian Chasnoff
Web Posted: 12/05/2009 12:00 CST
[Excerpts] A San Antonio police officer has been arrested and accused of choking his wife at the couple's Universal City home. Troy Eric Ragland, 44, a former driver for Police Chief William McManus, was charged Thursday with assault-family violence. Booked at 3:24 p.m., he was released 15 minutes later on $10,000 bail. His wife “alleged that he tried to strangle her,” Universal City police Lt. Fernando Parra said. “There was evidence to support the charge he was arrested for”... Parra would not provide further details, and a narrative in a police report listed only the charge and location of the incident. Stephanie Lisa Ragland, 46, called police to her home in the 8500 block of Park Olympia around 11 a.m. Thursday. Authorities arrested Troy Ragland, a 12-year member of SAPD, and confiscated two pistols... First Assistant District Attorney Cliff Herberg said a change in state law on Sept. 1 made it a third-degree felony to assault a relative with strangulation or suffocation... Previously, a family violence charge was a misdemeanor unless a victim suffered a serious injury, he said. “The defense will argue that putting your hand over someone's mouth and preventing them from breathing is not an injury. So this is in response to that,” Herberg said. “The law now recognizes that that is a traumatic, horrifying event”... [Full article here]

OFFICER CLEARED BUT WIFE INDICTED IN DISPUTE
San Antonio Express-News
Michelle Mondo
Apr 15, 2010. pg. B.3
[Excerpts] A Bexar County grand jury that did not indict a San Antonio police officer [Troy Ragland] accused of choking his wife did, however, return an indictment on her for allegedly assaulting him, court documents show... Nearly four months later, he essentially has been cleared of the charge, with the internal affairs investigation completed, the department's Action Advisory Board finding the accusations "unfounded" and the grand jury not indicting him, according to the Police Department and the Bexar County district attorney's office. "A witness in the home didn't corroborate her story, and it's apparent that the grand jury didn't find the evidence against him was credible," First Assistant District Attorney Cliff Herberg said... The case against Ragland's wife, whose maiden name is Huff, developed from the San Antonio police internal investigation, Herberg said. On March 31, the grand jury returned an indictment against Stephanie Lisa Huff, 47, and an arrest warrant has been issued for a misdemeanor assault-family violence charge, according to court records. According to the indictment, during an incident in September 2009, she struck her husband with a full pack of batteries... Officials said police had been called to the Ragland home before the December incident but only for verbal arguments. The couple was married in April 1988 but stopped living together in October 2009, when Troy Ragland filed for divorce... Universal City police Detective Tina Vitacco investigated the case against Troy Ragland and said that while Stephanie Ragland was visibly upset when police responded, it wasn't immediately clear that her husband had been physically violent. Vitacco said when officers arrived, a CD/DVD stand was knocked over and Stephanie Ragland told officers her husband strangled her, adding that he put red marks on her neck and a bruise on her knee. "I took pictures of her knee," Vitacco said. "I took pictures of her neck. I didn't see any injuries, but we document where someone claims she had an injury." Vitacco said her department wanted to do "everything by the book" on the case, which is why Troy Ragland was arrested at the scene and the case was forwarded to the district attorney. Herberg said the district attorney's office sent both cases - that of Troy Ragland and that of his wife - to the grand jury to quell any rumors of favoritism because Troy Ragland is a police officer... Troy Ragland returned to duty April 2, according to the department. [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence (IPV) abuse law enforcement public safety texas state female]

[AZ] Fired for dv death threats ex-Peoria Police Sgt. Smith thinks his good past record should have been considered


...[Peoria Police Sgt. Tim] Smith said the department's investigation failed to take into account the "totality of circumstances" and did not sufficiently consider his 13-plus-year career of "numerous accolades, commendations and appointments" as a mitigating factor...

Previous post:
[AZ] Sgt. Smith's "ongoing domestic violence/relations issues" end in firing after said-threat to kill wife allegation - ...Sgt. Tim Smith is accused of verbally threatening his wife during a telephone argument in December, saying, "If you come in here with the cops, you'll be the first one to die"... He was reportedly using a city-issued cell phone at the time of the incident and sent several harassing text messages... According to the report, he told police investigators that he was too intoxicated at the time of the December argument to remember what he said or texted...

PEORIA EX-POLICE OFFICER FIGHTS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CHARGES
The Arizona Republic
by Dustin Gardiner
Apr. 26, 2010 09:53 AM
[Excerpts] A former Peoria police sergeant has pleaded innocent to two counts of misdemeanor domestic violence. Sgt. Tim Smith was fired from the department in February after allegedly threatening during a telephone argument to kill his wife. He has been charged with threatening and criminal damage in connection with the incident... In a statement released last month, Smith said the department's investigation failed to take into account the "totality of circumstances" and did not sufficiently consider his 13-plus-year career of "numerous accolades, commendations and appointments" as a mitigating factor. "Even an accusation or 'charge' is far from guilt," Smith wrote. "There is not, and never was, a victim willing to aid in or desiring prosecution, nor were the elements of a crime present even had there been a willing victim." HEARING PENDING - Smith is set to challenge his firing at a departmental administrative hearing scheduled for next Wednesday and Thursday. For live updates from the hearing, visit www.twitter.com/dustingardiner [LINK]

EARLIER THIS MONTH:

EX-PEORIA POLICE SERGEANT FACES DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CHARGES
The Arizona Republic
by Dustin Gardiner
Apr. 1, 2010 08:54 AM
[Excerpts] A former Peoria police sergeant has been charged with two counts of misdemeanor domestic violence amid allegations that he threatened to kill his wife... Investigators said the December incident was part of "ongoing domestic violence/relations issues" between Smith and his wife.
He has been charged with threatening and criminal damage in relation to the circumstances surrounding his firing, said Jay Davies, a spokesman for Peoria police... The text messages included, "Don't ever let me see you again," "I don't know how but ur clothes n stuff is on fire in the cul de sac," and, "U ever come back here I won't b responsible"... Other misconduct, according to the report, involved damaging walls or furniture in the couple's home or apartment on several occasions... As the supervisor over the department's Property Crimes Unit, Smith was responsible for overseeing a group of detectives and deciding which property-related cases would be submitted for prosecution. He had been with the department since 1996. Police Chief Larry Ratcliff has declined to comment on the case until after the appeal process. [Full article here]

UPDATE:
Ex-Peoria police officer found guilty of disorderly conduct
The Arizona Republic
by Dustin Gardiner
Jun. 29, 2010 12:30 PM

[Excerpts] A former Peoria police sergeant has been convicted of disorderly conduct in connection with accusations that he threatened to kill his wife. Tim Smith, 52, was fired from the department in February after he was accused of threatening his spouse during a fight last December... Smith was originally charged with two counts of misdemeanor domestic violence - criminal damage and threatening. The charges were reduced to two counts of disorderly conduct after he agreed to plead no contest, according to court records. Smith was sentenced to one year probation and must complete a 10-week anger management course... Smith is expected to challenge his firing at a Police Department hearing Aug. 31... [LINK]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence (IPV) abuse law enforcement public safety arizona state terroristic threatening lethal hx timothy]

Monday, April 26, 2010

[NV] Fired, rehired NHP Trooper/State Fire Marshal Thatcher dies during domestic shooting rampage / SWAT standoff

Eric Thatcher's wife, children, and brother are safe. No officers or neighbors were hit.

A state fire marshal found dead after exchanging gunfire with police during a Thursday standoff at his house had been FIRED AND REHIRED as a highway patrol officer, recently SPLIT WITH HIS WIFE and had a separate home shadowed by foreclosure... Eric Thatcher's estranged wife, had called to check on Eric, who had been sending cryptic text messages for several days. She had recently moved out of the home... After her phone call Eric Thatcher began to tear the house apart and RETRIEVED SEVERAL HIGH-POWERED ASSAULT RIFLES from his gun safe... "He was sitting there with his guns, and I thought for sure he was going to shoot me. Sometimes he didn't know who I was and would accuse me of being in on the conspiracy," said [Eric's] brother Ron Thatcher... Police were called... [Ron] Thatcher said his 38-year-old brother HAD CONSIDERED SUICIDE SEVERAL TIMES BEFORE... Some neighbors say they counted more than 50 SHOTS BEFORE A SNIPER RETURNED FIRE... DPS OFFICIALS WERE AWARE  that Thatcher and his wife recently split... "but whatever PERSONAL THINGS in his life that might have led to this didn't reflect in his work"... POLICE CONFIRM, IN THE DAYS LEADING UP TO THIS, THEY WERE CALLED ON TWO SEPARATE OCCASIONS TO CHECK UP ON THATCHER. Police say ON WEDNESDAY, THATCHER'S WIFE HAD CALLED them saying her husband had left her a disturbing message. Then, at midnight, LESS THAN 12 HOURS BEFORE THE STANDOFF BEGAN, POLICE GOT ANOTHER CALL saying Thatcher was distraught about getting a divorce. ON BOTH OCCASIONS, THATCHER REPORTEDLY TALKED POLICE INTO LEAVING HIS HOME...  Eric Thatcher's ANGER TOWARD POLICE continued to simmer, even as he began another career as a fire official... [RON] DOESN'T KNOW WHO CALLED POLICE, BUT SAID HE WOULD NEVER DO THAT TO HIS BROTHER, WHO HAD COME TO VIEW POLICE OFFICERS AS THE ENEMY. "Nevada Highway Patrol killed my brother a long time ago...

SUSPECT IN SWAT STANDOFF IDENTIFIED AS STATE FIRE MARSHAL
mynews3.com
Apr. 22, 2010
Updated: April 23, 2010
[Excerpts] A state official says a man found dead after barricading himself in a Henderson home was a Nevada state fire marshal. Nevada Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Gail Powell said Thursday the dead man was Eric Thatcher. He was a highway patrol trooper for six years and a state fire marshal for three years... Henderson city spokesman Bud Cranor says Henderson police evacuated nearby homes after gunfire about 11:30 a.m. in a hillside neighborhood... [Full article here]




NEVADA OFFICIAL DEAD AFTER SHOTS IN HENDERSON HOME
The Associated Press
April 23, 2010
A state fire marshal found dead after exchanging gunfire with police during a Thursday standoff at his house had been fired and rehired as a highway patrol officer, recently split with his wife and had a separate home shadowed by foreclosure... "He was doing a good job at the fire marshal's office," Jerry Hafen, Nevada state Department of Public Safety director, said after Eric Thatcher, a 38-year-old former trooper, was found dead in a two-story home in a hillside Henderson neighborhood... Henderson police spokesman Todd Rasmussen said it was not immediately clear if he was killed by police or took his own life... DPS officials were aware that Thatcher and his wife recently split, the agency director said, "but whatever personal things in his life that might have led to this didn't reflect in his work"... Several gunshots were fired from the house as officers arrived... including shots that hit neighboring houses and a police car... Police were initially summoned to the home on Auchmull Street by another man who had been inside the house but left when the homeowner fetched a gun... That man told police the homeowner was depressed and possibly suicidal...  [Full article here]




FIRE OFFICIAL DIES IN HOURS-LONG SWAT STANDOFF IN HENDERSON
Victim was state Fire Marshal investigator and former trooper

Las Vegas Review-Journal
By Lawrence Mower
and href="mailto:aplanas@reviewjournal.com ">Antonio Planas
Apr. 22, 2010
A state Fire Marshal's office investigator died Thursday afternoon after a several-hour-long standoff with Henderson police... Department officials were aware that [Eric] Thatcher and his wife recently split, director Jerry Hafen told The Associated Press. Police were called to Thatcher's home over a family disturbance call after Thatcher pulled out a gun in front of a male family member. The person told police Thatcher was armed and depressed... Thatcher immediately began firing at officers through windows inside the home, striking at least one police car and several neighboring homes, Henderson police Chief Jutta Chambers said. Neighbors reported hearing dozens of shots fired during more than two hours as SWAT officers closed off the neighborhood... 30 and 50 shots were fired. Neighbor Steve Robredo said he could hear the shots over the drone of the news helicopters circling overhead. Chambers said Henderson SWAT officers tried to negotiate with the man, but he responded by firing again on police. A SWAT officer returned fire at least once. When police entered the home they found Thatcher dead inside... The Highway Patrol fired Thatcher in May 2005 after an internal investigation into his arrest of a hit-and-run suspect who accused him of using excessive force. After Thatcher challenged his firing, a hearing master determined the internal investigation was "seriously flawed" and reinstated the trooper with full back pay. He returned to the Highway Patrol for a time before voluntarily transferring to the state Fire Marshal's office, which is also under the Department of Public Safety... "I will always remember him as the courageous Highway Patrol trooper who stood up to the Highway Patrol when one of its investigators was withholding evidence, misrepresenting evidence and coercing false testimony," Thatcher's lawyer[Adam] Levine said... Neighbors in Thatcher's former Henderson neighborhood, near Lake Mead Parkway and Boulder Highway, where he lived for several years, were surprised and saddened to learn of his death. They said he had two children, a boy and a girl who were both under the age of 10. "He was a wonderful neighbor," Patricia Wiley said. "He was a really nice guy and a great father." Sven Peterson said he was "always very pleasant"... The Clark County coroner's office will release the official cause of Thatcher's death...  [Full article here]




FIRE OFFICIAL DEAD AFTER OPENING FIRE ON HENDERSON POLICE
KTNV.com
Apr 23, 2010 7:09 PM PDT
Henderson, NV (KTNV) - A Nevada state fire official is dead after opening fire on Henderson police from his home ... in response to a domestic dispute. Police say it didn't take long for the man inside the home to snap. Department of Public Safety spokesperson Gail Powell confirms the suspect killed in this standoff is 39-year-old Eric Thatcher, who's been employed by the state for 9 years. Thatcher spent six years as a trooper with Nevada Highway Patrol and spent the past three years working for the Nevada State Fire Marshall's office. Thatcher reportedly moved around from room to room inside his home firing at police from the windows. After hours of trying to negotiate, police say it was obvious Thatcher was irrational and had no intention of cooperating...  Police say several homes were struck and at least one Henderson police car was also pierced by gunfire. Despite the barrage of bullets... Those in the neighborhood who looked at Thatcher as a familiar face didn't think he would put them in harms way. "I felt like we were in good hands because he was in our neighborhood. I thought, wow we have a good guy in our neighborhood. I can't think what could possibly make his snap," said neighbor Julie Jones. Neighbors say Thatcher has a wife and two young children. No word on where they were at the time of this standoff. The officer who fired at Thatcher has been placed on paid administrative leave per department policy... Henderson Police confirm they were called to Thatcher's house twice before Thursday's shooting. Once call was made by Thatcher's wife and the other by a friend after he told his friend he was getting divorced...  [Full article here]




BROTHER RECALLS EFFORTS TO HELP
Victim agonized in hours before death
Las Vegas Review-Journal
By MIKE BLASKY
Apr. 24, 2010
Comments
In the 24 hours preceding a shootout with Henderson SWAT officers, a suicidal Eric Thatcher never loosened his grip on a handgun, claimed helicopters were watching the house, and at times did not recognize his older brother. "He was sitting there with his guns, and I thought for sure he was going to shoot me. Sometimes he didn't know who I was and would accuse me of being in on the conspiracy," said brother Ron Thatcher, 39, who took a last-second flight to Las Vegas from San Jose, Calif., on Wednesday to try to save his depressed sibling. Thatcher said his 38-year-old brother, a state fire marshal's office investigator and former Nevada Highway Patrol trooper, had considered suicide several times before but never attempted it. So he made Eric promise to call before he took his life. On Wednesday afternoon about 1 p.m., Eric Thatcher made that phone call. "He said, 'You told me I should give you one last call,' and then hung up"... Thatcher said his brother was in the worst shape he had seen. He tried every method he knew to talk him out of killing himself... His brother refused to put away the guns... Later that morning, after several hours of emotional discussion, Eric snapped. All hope Thatcher had of saving his brother was gone, he said. Malissa, Eric Thatcher's estranged wife, had called to check on Eric, who had been sending cryptic text messages for several days. Malissa had recently moved out of the home... She also took their two young children with her, which completely devastated Eric and was a major component in his depression, Thatcher said... After Malissa's phone call, the details of which Ron Thatcher doesn't know, Eric Thatcher began to tear the house apart and retrieved several high-powered assault rifles from his gun safe... A short time after Thatcher left the home, SWAT and patrol cars passed him on the road, he said. Less than 15 minutes later, he received a call on his phone from a police officer who asked whether his brother owned weapons. In the middle of the conversation, Thatcher said, he heard rapid gunfire through the phone speaker. The officer ended the call. But Thatcher kept walking. He doesn't know who called police, but said he would never do that to his brother, who had come to view police officers as the enemy. "Nevada Highway Patrol killed my brother a long time ago. I believe it 100 percent in my soul," he said. Eric Thatcher's problems with depression began in 2005, when the then-Highway Patrol trooper was fired after an internal investigation into his arrest of a hit-and-run suspect who accused him of using excessive force. After he challenged his firing, a hearing master determined the internal investigation was "seriously flawed" and reinstated him with full back pay... Despite regaining his job, he never felt accepted by fellow troopers. Eric Thatcher believed he was one misstep away from being back-stabbed by his bosses, which began to wear on him psychologically. Ron Thatcher said his brother didn't take any prescription medications. He was a "perfectionist" who had never done a bad deed in his life, Ron Thatcher said, and being investigated and treated like a criminal really shook him... Eric Thatcher's anger toward police continued to simmer, even as he began another career as a fire official. When Henderson police officers checked the home two separate times earlier in the week in response to friends reporting concerns about his safety, Eric Thatcher believed officers were conspiring to stalk his house, waiting for him to do something, Ron Thatcher said. "He thought that once the police came, that was his wife's opportunity to have him never see the kids again," he said. "That was when he went nuts and started saying he was going to kill himself." Henderson Police Department officials said details of the incident will be released at a Clark County coroner's inquest at a later date... "(Our family) loved him and will miss him," Ron Thatcher said. "It is really a hard thing to deal with, and my only hope is that my brother has found peace"...  [Full article here] [Full article here]




FIRE MARSHAL SAID DIVORCE WAS NEAR HOURS BEFORE DYING IN STANDOFF
KTNV.com
Updated: Apr 23, 2010 11:33 PM PDT
Henderson Police say they were called to home of a state fire official less than 12 hours before the standoff that ended with him dead... Thatcher's wife had reportedly called police a day before the deadly standoff, saying he had left her a disturbing message...  The former NHP trooper was employed as a state fire marshal when police say he could've taken the lives of officers and neighbors. Home video captured by a neighbor gave a glimpse into the gunfire coming from Thatcher's home. Some neighbors say they counted more than 50 shots before a sniper returned fire... Police confirm, in the days leading up to this, they were called on two separate occasions to check up on Thatcher. Police say on Wednesday, Thatcher's wife had called them saying her husband had left her a disturbing message. Then, at midnight, less than 12 hours before the standoff began, police got another call saying Thatcher was distraught about getting a divorce. On both occasions, Thatcher reportedly talked police into leaving his home... Police say on both previous occasions Thatcher seemed fairly rational. He even explained that a divorce was in his near future. Responding officers didn't suspect it would spiral into what it did. Thatcher had been a state trooper for six years before transferring to the State Fire Marshal's office...  [Full article here]

NEIGHBORS STILL RATTLED AFTER TWO STANDOFFS
8newsnow.com
Posted: Apr 23, 2010
...Thatcher had recently separated from his wife... With SWAT teams aiming at Thatcher through neighborhood windows, the amount of damage is not surprising. But across the street, innocent neighbors were simply caught in the crossfire... The neighbor says the four hours she and her daughters spent hiding in their kitchen were horrifying.... While some homes were evacuated after the shooting began, many families were sheltered in place, which means they were stuck in their homes hiding for hours...  [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence (IPV) abuse law enforcement public safety nevada lethal suicidal repeat hx teflon preferential]

Sunday, April 25, 2010

[WA] The news 7 years ago today, 1 day before Tacoma Police Chief David Brame fatally shot Crystal and then himself


...Tacoma City Manager Ray Corpuz, who hired Brame, cautioned that accusations made during a contested divorce must still be proven. "He's doing a great job," Corpuz said. "I'm not interested in exploring David's personal life at this time." Mayor Bill Baarsma, who sits on the City Council's public safety committee, was surprised at the allegations but said they were a "private matter"..."He's been an outstanding chief," Baarsma said. "Unless there's a complaint filed with the city manager as to his performance, I'm not prepared to comment"...


Tacoma police chief's wife says he pointed a gun at her
David Brame denies allegations, says it was she who abused him
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
By Ruth Teichroeb
Friday, April 25, 2003

The wife of Tacoma police Chief David Brame has accused him in court documents of pointing his service revolver at her and trying to choke her during two separate incidents in the past six months.

[Note: The article originally stated that David Brame's wife, Crystal, obtained a temporary restraining order against him. However, the order in effect applied to the handling of marital assets, custody and dissolution issues. Crystal Brame also applied for a restraining order regarding her personal protection, but that request had not been adjudicated.]

Brame, a veteran officer who rose through the ranks to become chief in January 2002, denied those allegations in court papers filed in King County Superior Court last month.

He maintained he was the real victim of domestic violence during his 11-year marriage. His wife, Crystal, filed for divorce two months ago.

As evidence of his wife's volatility, Brame, 44, claimed his wife scratched, bruised and pushed him during two altercations in September 1996.

Brame said he reported the assaults to police -- first to his boss, then-interim Chief Ken Monner, and to an officer who photographed his bruises; then to police in Gig Harbor, where he was living at the time.

Both times Brame insisted that police not arrest his wife or even investigate his allegations -- even though a state law requires officers to arrest anyone accused of domestic violence if the complaint is credible.

He explained his unusual behavior in court documents by saying he wanted to "protect himself" in case his wife ever tried to malign him with false abuse allegations.

Brame refused to comment yesterday, as did his wife's attorney.

Tacoma City Manager Ray Corpuz, who hired Brame, cautioned that accusations made during a contested divorce must still be proven.

"He's doing a great job," Corpuz said. "I'm not interested in exploring David's personal life at this time."

Mayor Bill Baarsma, who sits on the City Council's public safety committee, was surprised at the allegations but said they were a "private matter."

"He's been an outstanding chief," Baarsma said. "Unless there's a complaint filed with the city manager as to his performance, I'm not prepared to comment."

There are discrepancies between Brame's version of events and what Gig Harbor Police Chief Mitch Barker said yesterday his officers recall and records indicate.

While Brame visited Gig Harbor police twice in September 1996, Barker said Brame was "vague" about his marital problems and did not report any physical assault by his wife.

"If someone comes in and says they've been assaulted by a domestic partner, we have an obligation to investigate," Barker said.

A Gig Harbor police report indicates that Brame told an officer on Sept. 15, 1996, that his wife had been "verbally hostile" but that he had "not used physical force of any kind" on her. He said he was worried she might make "false allegations" of abuse.

Thirteen days later, Brame appeared again at the Gig Harbor police station, this time telling an officer that he'd had an altercation with his wife but that "nothing happened," according to Barker.

Refusing to say more, Brame phoned a Tacoma detective who met privately with him at the Gig Harbor police station, Barker said.

In court papers, Crystal Brame, 35, portrayed her husband as controlling and jealous, refusing to let her use their credit card without permission and checking her car's odometer to monitor trips to the grocery store.

She also accused him of leaving his loaded service revolver on a bedroom shelf within reach of their two children.

Her fear increased last November when she alleged that Brame "choked me and threatened that he could snap my neck if he wanted to." It was the fourth time that year he'd tried to choke her, each time sending flowers later to apologize, she said.

And just before they separated in February, she alleged in court documents that Brame pointed his service revolver at her, "telling me 'accidents happen.' "

She did not report either incident to police.

Fearing Brame's reaction and wanting to protect his career, his wife said she filed for divorce in South King County, and did not ask for a restraining order even though her attorney urged her to do so.

She claims her husband's continued threats prompted her to seek a temporary restraining order on March 26.

"I do remain very afraid of my husband," she said in a court declaration.

A hearing on the restraining order scheduled for last week in Kent was canceled after a motion was filed to move the case to Pierce County Superior Court.

In court papers, Brame blamed his wife's "ferocious temper" and emotional instability for the abuse, noting his embarrassment at being victimized by someone who is just over 5 feet tall and weighs 105 pounds. Brame is 6-foot-1 and weighs 175 pounds.

"As hard as it is to believe and as ashamed as I am of this fact, Mrs. Brame has physically abused me for a number of years, often in the presence of the children," Brame said.

He recalled his frustration as a police officer when domestic violence victims refused to cooperate with police.

"Now, I see that I have become the very victim who frustrated me all those years," Brame said.

But he denied pointing his revolver at his wife or choking her, saying that he was "scrupulously careful" to defend himself in the least aggressive manner when she attacked him.

P-I reporter Ruth Teichroeb can be reached at 206-448-8175 or ruthteichroeb@seattlepi.com
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence (IPV) abuse law enforcement public safety fatality fatalities washington state murder-suicide state tragedy]

[UT] Trooper Kearney's "argument" with wife turns into assault charge for punching his son

TROOPER COULD LOSE JOB OVER FAMILY FIGHT
UHP trooper suspended while incident winds through court.
Salt Lake Tribune
Nate Carlisle
Apr 22, 2010
A state trooper in Richfield is charged with misdemeanor assault and accused of punching his son. The trooper, Jeffery O. Kearney, currently is not allowed on duty and no decision has been made regarding his employment, said Utah Highway Patrol spokesman Cameron Roden. Police issued a citation to Kearney, 41, in January. Richfield Detective Trent Lloyd said officers received a report of a fight at Kearney's home. Lloyd said there was an argument between Kearney and his wife and the adult son tried to intervene. Lloyd said Kearney punched the son. "I know there was one good punch in the nose," Lloyd said. Kearney could not be reached for comment Wednesday. The citation is a class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to six months in jail. A clerk at the Sevier County justice court said no arraignment had been scheduled. Lloyd noted that Kearney likely will lose his job with the Highway Patrol. "His punishment far exceeds the crime, but that's the standard we're held to," Lloyd said. [LINK]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence (IPV) abuse law enforcement public safety utah state highway patrol]

Saturday, April 24, 2010

[IL] Bleeding, fleeing wife is 3rd domestic call to Police Sgt. Hick's residence. This time he's charged.

 [DES PLAINES POLICE SGT. MATTHEW] HICKS STRUCK HIS WIFE ON THE HEAD WITH HIS FIST, PULLED HER HAIR, AND PREVENTED HER FROM CALLING POLICE BY TAKING THE PHONE AWAY... SHE RAN FROM THE HOME TO A PATROL OFFICER PARKED ON CAPE COD LANE... "SHE HAD VISIBLE INJURIES WHEN WE ARRIVED"... THE WOMAN WAS BLEEDING...  HE WAS CHARGED WITH ONE MISDEMEANOR COUNT EACH OF DOMESTIC BATTERY AND UNLAWFUL INTERFERENCE WITH THE REPORTING OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE... HUNTLEY POLICE HAD TWICE BEFORE RESPONDED TO DOMESTIC INCIDENTS AT THE HOUSE... NO CHARGES WERE FILED AT THE TIME...

OFFICER ON LEAVE OVER DOMESTIC BATTERY CHARGE
Des Plaines cop accused of hitting his wife
Chicago Tribune
By Andrea L. Brown
April 21, 2010
[Excerpts] A Des Plaines police sergeant was on paid leave after he was charged Sunday with domestic battery in Huntley. Authorities also charged Matthew Hicks ... with interfering with a report of domestic violence. Huntley Police Chief John Perkins said Hicks was accused of battering his 29-year-old wife during an argument at their home and yanking the phone from her hand when she tried to call police. Shortly before 1 a.m. Sunday, she ran from the home to a patrol officer parked on Cape Cod Lane... Huntley police had twice before responded to domestic incidents at the house, once in 2007 and in March, authorities said. Des Plaines police were conducting an internal investigation that could result in suspension or termination for Hicks, Chief Jim Prandini said... "I'm just extremely disappointed that he would put himself a situation that reflects unfavorably upon himself and the Des Plaines Police Department... We run a professional organization, and we want to get this resolved as soon as possible." [Full article here]

DES PLAINES COP CHARGED WITH HITTING WIFE
Sergeant Matthew Hicks Placed On Paid Leave After Arrest
cbs2chicago.com
Apr 21, 2010
[Excerpts] A northwest suburban sergeant has been stripped of his police powers and placed on paid leave after being arrested for domestic violence at his home in Huntley... [Matthew Hicks] was charged with one misdemeanor count each of domestic battery and unlawful interference with the reporting of domestic violence... Hicks and his wife were in their car when they got into an argument, [Huntley Deputy Police Chief Mike] Klunk said. "It escalated when they reached the residence and he struck her on the forehead." When she tried to call 911, Hicks allegedly took the phone from her and ripped the cord from the wall. She then ran out the door and down the street, where she found a Huntley police patrol car and sought help, Klunk said. The officers investigated and took Hicks into custody.... As of Wednesday, he had been stripped of his police powers and his star and weapon had been taken away... [Full article here]

DES PLAINES OFFICER SUSPENDED AFTER DOMESTIC BATTERY CHARGE
Chicago Daily Herald
By Madhu Krishnamurthy
and Charles Keeshan
4/21/2010
[Excerpts] A longtime Des Plaines police officer [Matthew R. Hicks] has been suspended from duty with pay after being arrested over the weekend in Huntley on a domestic battery charge... Hicks and his wife were returning from an evening out and got into a verbal argument... The fight escalated when they got home. Hicks struck his wife on the head with his fist, pulled her hair, and prevented her from calling police by taking the phone away, Huntley Police Chief John Perkins said... "She had visible injuries when we arrived"... Perkins said police have been called to the Hicks' residence on two other occasions for domestic issues. No charges were filed at the time. Police immediately took Hicks into custody and charged him with domestic battery and unlawful interference with reporting domestic violence - Class A misdemeanors carrying a maximum punishment of up to a year in jail with up to two years probation, and a $2,500 fine... His next court day is May 5 before McHenry County Judge Gordon Graham. Hicks has been ordered to stay away from his wife for a minimum of 72 hours. Hicks' case was up in court Wednesday morning on a defense motion to modify a standard court order requiring that he turn over any firearms in his possession while the case is pending... Hicks was ordered to turn over his police-issued service handgun to the Des Plaines Police Department instead of Huntley, which he has done, Des Plaines Police Chief Jim Prandini said. Hicks also has relinquished his badge and identification, while Des Plaines police officials conduct their own internal investigation on the sergeant who has about 18 years with the department. "He has been put on paid administrative leave for now," Prandini said... Hicks' case will be presented before the Des Plaines Police and Fire Commission. "Based on the severity of this incident, I'm looking to bring it to them sooner rather than later," Prandini said... [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence (IPV) abuse law enforcement public safety illinois state repeat hx]

[CA] Costa Mesa Officer Parsons charged with hiding GPS on ex-girlfriends car to win her back


...Parsons once had a relationship with the woman and was apparently trying to win her back...


COSTA MESA POLICE OFFICER ACCUSED OF TRACKING WOMAN WITH GPS DEVICE
OCREGISTER
By Larry Welborn
April 24, 2010 12:00 a.m.
WESTMINSTERA Costa Mesa police officer was charged Thursday with hiding a GPS device in a woman's car. Aaron Paul Parsons, 30, of Costa Mesa could be sentenced to a maximum of six months in jail if convicted of misdemeanor unlawful use of an electronic tracking device. He is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday at the West Justice Center in Westminster. Parsons is accused of hiding the GPS device in the 32-year-old woman's car on March 18 and using it to meet her without notice, according to a news release from the Orange County District Attorney's Office. After several such run-ins, the woman became suspicious and checked her car, according to prosecutors. She found the GPS device, which belonged to the Costa Mesa Police Department, and reported it to authorities. Parsons once had a relationship with the woman and was apparently trying to win her back, said district attorney spokeswoman Farrah Emami.  [LINK]

OFFICER ACCUSED OF HIDING GPS DEVICE IN WOMAN'S CAR
Los Angeles Times
Robert J. Lopez
April 22, 2010
A Costa Mesa police officer was charged Thursday with hiding a GPS tracking system in a woman's car so  he could follow her around, authorities said. Aaron Paul Parsons, 30, of Costa Mesa was charged with one misdemeanor count of unlawful use of an electronic tracking device, the Orange County district attorney's office said. Parsons hid the GPS device in the woman's vehicle March 18, prosecutors said. He allegedly tracked her and would show up different places at the same time as the 32-year-old woman, whose name was not released. After several encounters with Parsons, the woman became suspicious and checked her vehicle, prosecutors said. She found the GPS device, which belonged to the Costa Mesa Police Department, and reported the incident to authorities. If convicted, Parsons faces up to six months in jail. He is scheduled to be arraigned April 28 at the Westminster courthouse. [LINK]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence (IPV) abuse law enforcement public safety california state stalking abuse of power technology tracking]

[CA] (SUDDENLY psycho?) Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Sean DeLacerda attacks an ex-girlfriend


LOS ANGELES COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPUTY SEAN DELACERDA IS ACCUSED OF GETTING INTO AN OLD EX'S APARTMENT, ACCUSING HER OF CHEATING, PULLING OUT A FIREARM, LOADING ONE BULLET INTO THE CYLINDER, CHASING HER, GRABBING AND HOLDING HER TO KEEP HER FROM LEAVING, MAKING HER OPEN HER EMAILS FOR HIM, CHASING HER AGAIN WHEN SHE BREAKS TO RUN, TACKLING HER, GETTING ON HER, COVERING HER MOUTH SO SHE COULDN'T SCREAM, PUTTING THE GUN IN HIS MOUTH, PULLING THE TRIGGER, POINTING THE GUN AT HER, FORCING HER INTO THE CLOSET WHILE HE READ MORE EMAILS, CHASING HER AS SHE RAN AGAIN, TRYING TO GET HER CAR OPEN WHEN SHE AMAZINGLY MADE IT THERE, PULLING ON THE DOORS, BANGING ON THE WINDOW, JUMPING ON THE HOOD, AND CHASING THE CAR AS SHE FINALLY WAS ABLE TO DRIVE AWAY.

God loves you Jane Doe!!!!!
And as traumatized as you must be, you're my hero today.

Could Deputy De Lacerda just wake up crazy one day? Or has this been going on for awhile? I always wonder who knew what when?

LA COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPUTY ALLEGEDLY ASSAULTED EX-GIRLFRIEND WITH GUN
CBSNews.com
Kealan Oliver
April 23, 2010 2:51 PM
[Excerpts] Sean Delacerda, a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy, has been charged with assaulting his ex-girlfriend with a gun after accusing her of cheating. Orange County prosecutors said Thursday that the 26-year-old man was charged Tuesday with felony assault, kidnapping and false imprisonment. He allegedly showed up at her Orange County home on Sunday, accused her of cheating, pulled out a gun and threatened her... Prosecutors say Delacerda and the woman had dated for two months last year... [Full article here]

LOS ANGELES DEPUTY CHARGED WITH ASSAULTING, KIDNAPPING EX-GIRLFRIEND
The Orange County Register
By Rachanee Srisavasdi
April 22, 2010
Story Highlights
[Excerpts] Prosecutors filed charges against a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy who is accused of assaulting an ex-girlfriend... De Lacerda was charged Tuesday with felony assault with a firearm, kidnapping, false imprisonment by violence and misdemeanor domestic violence battery... He will be arraigned May 7 at North Justice Center in Fullerton... [Full article here]

LA SHERIFF'S DEPUTY PLAYED RUSSIAN ROULETTE
Vancouverite
Apr 23, 2010
[Excerpts] A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy played Russian Roulette as he lay on top of his frightened ex-girlfriend who he accused of cheating on him. Sean Paul Delacerda, 26, of Fullerton, was charged with assaulting an ex-girlfriend with a firearm after accusing her of cheating and violently holding her against her will at gunpoint in her apartment. He faces one felony count each of assault with a firearm, kidnapping, false imprisonment by violence, and one misdemeanor count of domestic violence battery... Jane Doe called 9-1-1 from her car and the defendant was arrested shortly thereafter leaving the area of the victim’s home. He faces a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a firearm... The defendant is being held without bail and is scheduled for continued arraignment May 7, 2010... Deputy District Attorney Sandra Nassar of the Family Protection Unit is prosecuting. [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence (IPV) abuse law enforcement public safety lethal russian roulette california state psychotic]

[PA] Accused, promoted, accused again, charged, fired, "not guilty" Sgt. Hlavac wants his gun and badge back


...Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said he stands by the firing of former city police Sgt. Eugene Hlavac, even though Mr. Hlavac was found not guilty of assaulting his former girlfriend and partially dislocating her jaw... Police Chief Nate Harper stands by his decision to fire Hlavac for violating police policy and procedures... Dan O'Hara, president of Fraternal Order of Police Fort Pitt Lodge No. 1, said he expects Hlavac to be reinstated with back pay...

NEWS EXCERPTS APRIL 20TH - 22ND, AND A BLAST FROM THE PAST:

FORMER PITTSBURGH POLICE OFFICER'S ASSAULT TRIAL BEGINS
Text messages follow December incident
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
By Paula Reed Ward
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Within a few hours of striking his ex-girlfriend so hard that her jaw was partially dislocated, Eugene Hlavac sent the woman a text message telling her he was "worried sick" about her and that he still cared for her, the woman testified. Mr. Hlavac, a former sergeant with the Pittsburgh police who lost his job following the Dec. 18 incident, claims that he struck Lauren Maughan in self-defense. His nonjury trial before Allegheny County Judge Thomas E. Flaherty began on Monday. Mr. Hlavac, 43, of Greenfield, is charged with simple assault... According to Ms. Maughan, the first witness called to testify... She got out of the vehicle and said, "I'm tired of the way you talk to me. I'm tired of the way you treat me," she said. Then, Ms. Maughan continued, Mr. Hlavac, who was in his police uniform, slapped her across the left side of her face. "It was so hard I felt like my eardrums had exploded and my throat collapsed together," she said. "It was excruciating pain." The two then scuffled in the street, and when she grabbed her cell phone, he took it from her. "He said, 'You're not doing this to me. You're not going to ruin my life.'" They went into his home to talk. He told her if she said anything, it would ruin their lives. Later, when Ms. Maughan went to the hospital, she told emergency workers she fell down the steps. While she was there, Mr. Hlavac arrived, insisting that he see her, Ms. Maughan said. A series of text messages ensued... At 6:40, she wrote back, "It's over with. Lie to whoever, not me. You don't care, but I still care enough to cover your mess." But then five hours later -- and around the time she first approached police to make a report -- she sent this: "Gene, I love you and always will! I never thought there would be a time when I completely lost you. I'm sorry. I don't want you to hurt me anymore." He responded, "I don't want anyone hurt"... [Full article here]

WITNESS SAYS FORMER PITTSBURGH OFFICER WAS DEFENDING HIMSELF FROM EX-GIRLFRIEND
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
By Jeremy Boren
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
[Excerpts] A former Pittsburgh police sergeant hit his ex-girlfriend in the face during an argument, but it was in self-defense and not an unprovoked attack, his lawyer and a witness said yesterday at the start of his assault trial... Carol Murphy, a neighbor, testified she saw the fight. "I saw her run up and just start beating on (Hlavac)," Murphy said. "She was in a rage, beating ... he put his arms up, and he pushed." Maughan said she only grabbed Hlavac's collar after he struck her. She denied starting the physical altercation. Doctors repaired Maughan's jaw, but she said she still experiences pain. At Forbes Regional Hospital in Monroeville, where Maughan sought treatment, she said she and Hlavac lied when they told doctors she hurt her jaw as a result of falling down a set of stairs. A physician's assistant testified that Hlavac, who followed Maughan to the hospital, said Maughan was "clumsy" and fell down the stairs in the past. Maughan said she lied about her injuries initially because she was frightened of Hlavac. While in the emergency room, she said Hlavac handed her $200 in cash, which she said was awkward given the circumstances... The investigation into Hlavac's conduct prompted Mayor Luke Ravenstahl in January to propose a domestic abuse policy that would prohibit the city from hiring anyone with a history of domestic abuse and require supervisors to be trained to spot signs of domestic violence among the city's 3,300 employees... [Full article here]


FORMER POLICE SGT. FOUND NOT GUILTY OF DOMESTIC ABUSE
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
By Jim McKinnon
April 20, 2010 at 5:25 pm
[Excerpts] A former Pittsburgh police sergeant today was found not guilty of domestic abuse in connection with an altercation with his former girlfriend in December. Common Pleas Judge Thomas E. Flaherty ruled that Eugene Hlavac is not guilty of simple assault in the incident that left Lauren Maughan, with whom he has a son, with a partially dislocated jaw... Mr. Hlavac testified that she was injured when he turned to defend himself. After the scuffle, the couple went inside Mr. Hlavac's residence, and they were conversing calmly when she pointed out the pain in her jaw, Mr. Hlavac said. Both he and Ms Maughan said that the violence went no farther after she was struck on the left side of her face...  [Full article here]

FIRED PITTSBURGH SERGEANT HLAVAC CLEARED OF ASSAULT
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
By Jeremy Boren
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
[Excerpts] An Allegheny County judge Tuesday acquitted a former Pittsburgh police sergeant of an assault charge. Eugene Hlavac, 43, slumped in his courtroom chair, and a supporter seated behind him clapped when Common Pleas Judge Thomas Flaherty announced the verdict that ended a two-day, non-jury trail. "I've asserted that I always have been an innocent man. I am an innocent man," Hlavac said outside the courtroom. "I can't understand how there's any way I will ever, ever regain my reputation, in spite of the fact that I'm completely innocent"... Flaherty said a woman who witnessed a fight between Hlavac and his ex-girlfriend Lauren Maughan, 22, outside Hlavac's Squirrel Hill home gave "unbiased and credible" testimony that Maughan appeared to be the aggressor and that Hlavac was defending himself when he hit her in the face. "It casts a real doubt on Mr. Hlavac's guilt in this matter," Flaherty said. Maughan declined to comment... Hlavac testified he was defending himself when he hit Maughan. He said she came up behind him while he was trying to get into his car and pounded him on the back. He was not injured. "All my client did was raise his arms in self-defense and extended them and made contact with the lower left chin of Ms. Maughan," said Phillip DiLucente, Hlavac's criminal defense attorney... Hlavac said he plans to try to get his job back and to seek equal custody of the couple's son. The city fired Hlavac in January following his arrest for slapping Maughan. He has been permitted only supervised visits with his son since the incident. "Our next step is to exhaust all administrative remedies so that he is not the poster child of the police department of how you lose your job because of some alleged incident," DiLucente said. [Full article here]

MAYOR STANDS BY FIRING OF ACQUITTED POLICEMAN
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
By Joe Smydo
April 21, 2010
[Excerpts] Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl this morning said he stands by the firing of former city police Sgt. Eugene Hlavac, even though Mr. Hlavac was found not guilty Tuesday of assaulting his former girlfriend -- and partially dislocating her jaw -- while in uniform. Mr. Hlavac was fired after the December incident under the city's "zero-tolerance" policy for domestic violence by police officers. Mr. Ravenstahl today said he'd fight any effort by Mr. Hlavac to regain his job, noting the city's burden of proof in arbitration is lower than a prosecutor's burden in a criminal case. "We think we have a strong case. We think our decision was the proper one, and we intend to vigorously pursue that through the arbitration process," he said. The verdict doesn't mean no wrong was done or that there won't be consequences, Mr. Ravenstahl said... [Full article here]

PITTSBURGH MAYOR RAVENSTAHL DOESN'T WANT ACQUITTED COP BACK
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
By Jeremy Boren
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Last updated: 1:00 pm
[Excerpts] Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today said a former police sergeant fired following his arrest on charges he slapped the mother of his child doesn't deserve to be rehired even though an Allegheny County judge acquitted him yesterday of assault. Moments after the judge announced the verdict, former Sgt. Eugene Hlavac, 43, of Squirrel Hill said he would try to get his job back... "Hlavac should not be working with the city, and we will continue to take that course of action," said Joanna Doven, Ravenstahl's spokeswoman. Phillip DiLucente, Hlavac's attorney, criticized the mayor's handling of the case and said his client will fight for his job. "I think this is a political hot potato," DiLucente said. "I truly believe in my heart that this administration does not know how to deal with the policy of domestic allegations, not domestic abuse. They don't know how to deal with domestic allegations so that they're not infringing on a person's employment rights"... The matter of Hlavac's job will likely go before an independent arbitrator. The arbitrator would rule on whether Hlavac should be reinstated and could determine whether he received back pay. Police Chief Nate Harper stands by his decision to fire Hlavac for violating police policy and procedures, said his spokeswoman Diane Richard. The firing was not based on the crime with which Hlavac was charged, she said. [Full article here]

MAYOR: PITTSBURGH OFFICER ACQUITTED OF ASSAULT WON'T BE REHIRED
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
By Jeremy Boren
Thursday, April 22, 2010
[Excerpts] Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said yesterday that he won't rehire a police sergeant he fired because of domestic violence accusations unless an independent arbitrator forces him to do it... "Hlavac should not be working with the city, and we will continue to take that course of action," said Joanna Doven, Ravenstahl's spokeswoman... Dan O'Hara, president of Fraternal Order of Police Fort Pitt Lodge No. 1, said he expects Hlavac to be reinstated with back pay. Based on his annual salary, Hlavac has not received 14 weeks of pay, or about $18,000. "He's going to win because he did not get convicted of a criminal defense and there is no reason to fire him," O'Hara said. "It's going to be more wasted tax dollars when the arbitrator rules in his favor." [Full article here]

A BLAST FROM THE PAST:

PROMOTED OFFICER SENT TO TRAINING TO MANAGE ANGER
Pittsburgh Post Gazette, PA - 17 hours ago
By Jonathan D. Silver and Rich Lord, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Friday, June 29, 2007
A police sergeant's June 18 promotion came three months after he was sent to anger management training and a supervisor recommended that his contact with the public be minimized. Police leadership yesterday said that now-Sgt. Eugene F. Hlavac completed the tr aining but was never removed from contact with the public and that the measure shouldn't have precluded his promotion... The promotions are "appalling. They're insulting to the citizens of Pittsburgh," said Jeanne Clark, a member of the state board of the National Organization for Women and a Squirrel Hill resident. She was among 150 people at the hearing, including Chief Harper. Mayor Luke Ravenstahl did not attend. "Clearly the police brass has no idea about the impact and the law regarding domestic violence," she said. "It kills women. It kills men"... A police report on a Jan. 3 incident states that Sgt. Raymond Hutton was called to the East Liberty apartment shared by Sgt. Hlavac and Lauren Maughan at 1:40 a.m. Ms. Maughan told Sgt. Hutton that Sgt. Hlavac pulled her hair, hauled her from a bed and grabbed her wrist, according to the report. She was uninjured, but her left wrist and the back of her neck were red. Sgt. Hlavac told Sgt. Hutton that he grabbed her wrist in 
SELF-DEFENSE
when she hit him while holding a cell phone, and did not grab her hair, just her pillow... Deputy Chief Donaldson said Sgt. Hlavac complied with the order to attend  
THREE DAYS 
of anger management counseling. "We never took him out of contact with the public," Chief Harper said... Mr. Ravenstahl has said that he did not know of the issues involving Sgt. Hlavac and Lt. Rodriguez prior to their promotions.... [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence (IPV) abuse law enforcement public safety teflon pennsylvania repeat hx zero tolerance]

"I am a detention officer. I am not a baby sitter."

Gleaned from a forum discussion:

I am a detention officer. I am not a baby sitter. I am college educated. I am intelligent and I picked this career because it’s what I wanted to do. I am not sure if you insult me to make yourself feel better or you simply are so ignorant that you don’t know my job. 

My job is different than yours but it is just as important. My job is different but we are just as close, we are just as smart, and we are just as vital to the community as you are. 

When I first started working at the jail I worked booking. I was told that “sworn officers” would treat me like crap because I am only a “jailer”. Fortunately I put no stock in your opinion of me or my job. I do a good job, I earn an honest living and I am proud of my job. So every time I had a self centered, arrogant **** like yourself come through and talk down to me I remind myself that your insecurity in yourself causes you to put me down, in order to feel better about yourself. I returned your arrogance with professionalism because I refuse to stoop to your level of unprofessionalism. 

There were many “sworn deputies” that were courteous and respectful to me. It is safe to assume that either their mother raised them to respect others / have manners or they were secure enough in themselves that they felt no need to down others for their choice of careers. I will continue to treat each of you “sworn deputies” with professionalism and courtesy because that is who I am. So the next time you insult a “jailer” remember that. 

Also for the record I am a combat veteran that earned a combat patch. Does that make me better than you if you have not earned this same patch, or deployed to Iraq? Nope. Different doesn’t mean better or worse ~ it simply means different. Maybe one day you will grow up and realize this, maybe you will continue down your self centered, arrogant, ignorant path in life. Either way it makes no difference to me because I am who I am regardless of your opinion of me or my job. I hope one day you find the security in life that I have accomplished years ago.

(P.S. AND I am a “girl jailer”~ lol)  Be safe & my prayers remain with each of you daily as you patrol the streets.

[MN] Officer Ferraro is arrested and St. Paul Police Chief says domestic violence is taken seriously

 A St. Paul police officer [Louis Ferraro] was arrested Friday on suspicion of violating a protection officer placed against him by a fellow officer and former lover... [Jessica] Phillips had alleged in her order for protection that Ferraro slapped and pushed her across a room on one occasion and hit her on the side of the head on another, resulting in a broken eardrum... Phillips herself was criminally charged in Ramsey County in January with harassing a woman who had been living with Ferraro... She also used her police access to get information about the woman and Ferraro...

Previous post:
[MN] Officer Jessica Phillips' charges related to her ex who is a fellow officer

ST. PAUL POLICE OFFICER ARRESTED AFTER ALLEGEDLY VIOLATING ORDER FOR PROTECTION
Star Tribune
By Anthony Lonetree
Last update: April 23, 2010
A St. Paul police officer was arrested Friday after allegedly violating an order for protection obtained last year by a fellow officer with whom he was romantically involved. Louis Ferraro, 46, was booked into the Ramsey County jail and suspended without pay... Earlier this year, the officer with whom he was involved, Jessica Phillips, 29, was charged with harassment after allegedly taunting a woman with tales of her sexual exploits with Ferraro. Last October, however, after the alleged taunting incidents, Phillips obtained an order for protection against Ferraro after claiming that their relationship had soured. Ferraro has disputed her allegations... [Full article here]

ST. PAUL POLICE OFFICER ARRESTED FOR VIOLATING OFP
WCCO
Apr 23, 2010
* [Excerpts] ...Police haven't said exactly why the order for protection was issued last October, but said they have reason to believe [St. Paul Police Officer Louis Donald] Ferraro violated its terms by contacting his victim in person, by phone and through other electronic means. They also said he's been placed on unpaid suspension and is being held in Ramsey County Jail. St. Paul's Family and Sexual Violence Unit is investigating the alleged violation, according to police. "The allegations reported today are very serious and are being investigated and responded to as quickly as possible," said Saint Paul Police Chief John M. Harrington. "Domestic violence is a major departmental priority. The department's recent implementation of the 'Blueprint for Safety' marks the seriousness of domestic violence related crimes as a top public safety consideration for our police officers. The actions of Mr. Ferraro appear to demonstrate a profound disregard for his oath of office, the law, and the expectations that the community has of its police officers," he added. [Full article here]

ST. PAUL POLICE OFFICER ARRESTED ON SUSPICION OF VIOLATING PROTECTION ORDER
Pioneer Press
By Tad Vezner
Updated: 04/23/2010
A St. Paul police officer was arrested Friday on suspicion of violating a protection officer placed against him by a fellow officer and former lover... "The actions of Mr. Ferraro appear to demonstrate a profound disregard for his oath of office, the law, and the expectations that the community has of its police officers," St. Paul police chief John Harrington said... Jessica E. Phillips, also an officer with the St. Paul department, accused Ferraro of multiple instances of domestic abuse in an October 2009 petition for an order of protection. A temporary order was granted. Phillips herself was criminally charged in Ramsey County in January with harassing a woman who had been living with Ferraro. She allegedly sent the woman e-mails and left phone and text messages describing her sexual relationship with Ferraro. She also used her police access to get information about the woman and Ferraro from the state Driver and Vehicle Services Division computer system, the criminal complaint said. Ferraro countered the abuse claims by insisting that Phillips made up her allegations or fabricated accounts of certain events. Though testimony has concluded, a judge has yet to rule on the case; Phillips took a voluntary unpaid leave of absence from the department in February... [Full article here]

April 28 UPDATE:

ST. PAUL POLICE OFFICER CHARGED WITH VIOLATING PROTECTION ORDER
Pioneer Press
By Emily Gurnon
egurnon@pioneerpress.com
Updated: 04/28/2010 03:00:28 PM CDT
...Louis D. Ferraro, 46, of Columbia Heights, faces a misdemeanor charge in Ramsey County District Court for violating the order from Jessica E. Phillips. He was arraigned Monday, pleaded not guilty and posted $2,000 bond... A pre-trial date was set for May 17... Phillips had alleged in her order for protection that Ferraro slapped and pushed her across a room on one occasion and hit her on the side of the head on another, resulting in a broken eardrum. A temporary order was granted. A Ramsey County court referee heard testimony in the case and is considering whether to make the order valid for two years. During the testimony, Ferraro said that he and Phillips often engaged in rough but consensual sex, during which she sustained some of her injuries. He also alleged that many of her allegations were made up. Phillips, 29, faces criminal charges of her own from Jan. 12 in connection with Ferraro. She was charged with two counts of harassment and one count of unauthorized computer access, all gross misdemeanors, for allegedly sending harassing e-mails, phone and text messages to a woman who had been living with Ferraro. She also used her police access to get information about the woman and Ferraro from the state Driver and Vehicle Services Division computer system, according to the criminal complaint in the case. That woman, in turn, obtained a harassment restraining order against Phillips. Phillips is on voluntary leave from the St. Paul police department... [Full article here]
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