Police News On Police In Texas



News On Police Brutality and Police Misconduct in Texas

      Police Brutality and Misconduct Is Not Just a Problem, It’s Illegal! 

    Police News On Police Brutality and Police Misconduct In Texas

 

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   11/09/2005 – A Beaumont police officer turned himself in Tuesday after being charged with striking a handcuffed prisoner in his patrol car, authorities said.

Officer Christopher A. Chester, 34, of Beaumont, has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon and assault under the color of authority.

The charges follow an August incident in which Chester repeatedly punched an arrested man riding in the back of his patrol car, according to an arrest-warrant affidavit released Tuesday.

If Chester is found guilty of both charges, he could face as long as four years in state prison and a $10,000 fine, said Ingrid Wyatt, spokeswoman for the Riverside County district attorney.

Chester surrendered Tuesday morning at the district attorney’s office in downtown Riverside and posted $50,000 bail shortly afterward. He is scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 17 in Riverside, Wyatt said Tuesday.

Calls to his Pasadena-based attorney, Michael P. Stone, were not returned Tuesday.

The affidavit says officers were called to a Beaumont apartment complex at 10 p.m. Aug. 9.

There, David Alan Dietrich, a 48-year-old man who was visiting his mother’s apartment, attempted to hold off officers with a metal cane, the report said. The man had called police to complain about how a separate matter had been handled at the apartment complex earlier in the day.

Chester and Sgt. Nic Labella arrested Dietrich, and during a struggle to take the man into custody, Chester used pepper spray while Labella punched Dietrich once in the face, investigators said in their report.

Labella directed Chester and Officer Reggie Autrey, who had arrived in another patrol car, to take the man to a nearby hospital.

Dietrich, who was handcuffed and riding in the back seat, is accused of spitting on Chester’s face through the protective metal grate that separated the patrol car’s front and back seats.

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11/05/2005 –  A Houston police officer is now out of a job, accused of abusing the power granted by his badge. 

  A Harris County grand jury returned an official oppression indictment against Officer JE Matamoros. The department won’t get into the specifics of what may or may not have happened. We do know the alleged incident happened about six months ago. The accuser claims he sexually harassed her.

 A four-year veteran of the force, Matamoros was sworn to enforce the law. Now he’s accused of breaking it. He’s facing allegations so serious they cost him his badge.

 “We discovered that he had engaged in inappropriate conduct with a citizen while he was on duty,” said Lt. Robert Manzo with the Houston Police Department.

 Matamors was assigned to the traffic division out of central command at Reisner. The citizen is a woman.

 HPD says it can’t comment on the details or the circumstances surrounding the alleged incident which took place back on May 5 of this year. Charged with official oppression, a grand jury indicted Matamoros on Friday.

 According to the indictment, the former cop is accused of sexually harassing the woman with unwelcome sexual advances, requesting sexual favors, and verbal and physical conduct of a sexual nature. He allegedly attempted to kiss the complainant, touch her breasts and her genitals.

 “He was disappointed with the indictment,” said Attorney Chad Hoffman. “I was with Officer Matamoros when the grand jury made their decision. He was disheartened by that.”

 Hoffman is acting legal counsel for the Houston police officer’s union and is helping Matamoros fight his indefinite suspension. They’ve already filed an appeal.

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  10/27/2005 –  New details in the ex-cop charged with sexually assaulting someone he arrested. The FBI is now investigating another claim, this time from a woman who says he put the moves on her, too. The woman filed a complaint about a year ago, and officials say she might not be the only one who feels she had an inappropriate run-in with the officer. Former San Antonio police officer Dean Gutierrez now has two people accusing him of using his badge to get what he wanted.

 The FBI has recently received some new allegations against Gutierrez, and the FBI is currently looking at those allegations to see if there’s any foundation to them at all,” FBI spokesman Rene Salinas said.

 The newly surfaced claim comes from a woman who tells us she was driving on U.S. 281 about a year ago when Gutierrez pulled her over, but never gave her a ticket.Instead, she says he suggested they go back to her place and watch some movies. So she went straight to the Police Department

“We take those complaints obviously very seriously,” SAPD spokeswoman Sandy Gutierrez said.

 The department launched an internal investigation into Dean Gutierrez but never finished it at the alleged victim’s request.

 The woman now tells us she did that because she didn’t want to have to be in the same room as Dean Gutierrez when he went before a review board.

However, regardless of what happened then, the FBI is investigating and looking for others with a similar story.

“There is a possibility there could be more,” Salinas said.

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  10/27/2005 – Galena Park Police Chief Robert Pruett denies there was any abuse of a jail inmate in his care and is anxious for a grand jury to hear his case.

 The allegations stem from a case in August of this year when a business owner on Holland Ave. in Galena Park asked for help with a customer who was assaulting him.

 Eugenio Garate was arrested on Aug. 15 at approximately 3 p.m. for allegedly assaulting a mechanic.

 According to the officer on the scene, the business owner did not want to press charges because he just wanted him to leave and never come back.

 Police records indicate that Garate was handcuffed and was going to be transported to Ben Taub Hospital when he kicked out the back window of the police car.
 “The officer didn’t want to transport him any further without the window for fear he might escape or jump out and so he came to the police station,” said Pruett.

During the booking process, Pruett said Garate was combative.

 “In the booking area he was told to sit down and he kept jumping up and down off the bench,” Pruett said.

“He was told several times to sit down and calm down, but he didn’t follow the officer’s instructions.”

Pruett said he sat him down and Garate spat in his face. “I held my right hand in his face to keep him from spitting on me again and asked for help from nearby officers so we could take him to a cell.”

Pruett said he spat on him again and then he spat back on Garate.

“It probably wasn’t professional on my part, but he quit spitting on me and it worked.”

 He was placed in the jail cell and refused to allow the officers to remove his handcuffs. Pruett said that Garate later apologized for the incident.

Nothing more was said or done about the incident until Pruett discovered that one of his own officers had accused him of assault.

“I took the tapes and gave them to the district attorney’s office myself,” Pruett said, “and asked them to investigate.”

Joe Owmby, assistant district attorney and chief of the police integrity division confirmed Pruett’s story.

 “He called us and asked if we’d handle the investigation and our investigators have been working on the case.”

Owmby said he had no intentions of filing the charges, but would allow a newly impaneled grand jury to look at it instead.

“The new grand jury will be impaneled on Nov. 7th and we normally don’t schedule anything during the first week,” he said. Owmby said the earliest the grand jury would hear the case would be Nov. 14.

“For what we’ve seen, the highest charge would be a Class A misdemeanor assault or official oppression, mistreatment by a public official,” Owmby said.

 At the city council meeting last Tuesday, Juan Flores, president of Council 4703 chapter of LULAC, called for the immediate suspension and possible firing of Chief Pruett.

 “LULAC will not stand for this type of behavior from a person that is supposed to be a role model to his employees,” Flores said. “He is the Chief of Police and his behavior is inexcusable.”

Flores said in a press release that “the videotaped incident will show the prisoner with his hands handcuffed behind his back, being choked, and hit by the Chief.”

The press release also said that LULAC was supporting the investigation of the complaint by the Harris County DA’s Office and may call for the FBI to investigate.

Not all in the LULAC community agree.

 Rev. David Carden, pastor of the Church of the Resurrection in Galena Park and member of LULAC Council 4703, walked away from the press conference disappointed.

 “It appeared to me that the LULAC leadership was asking the media, concerned individuals and its membership to accept on hearsay the words of an arrested individual and a video which only a few have seen,” he said.

 The lack of “tangible documentation” and the neglect to have a meeting with the police chief prior to calling for his resignation didn’t sit well with Carden.

 “In the past, we have been instrumental in resolving complaints and issues within our structure in a fair and balanced approach,” Carden said.

 The pastor sent a letter of endorsement to the police chief and said he would support him until such time as the district attorney or a grand jury found evidence that he had violated a person’s civil rights.

 Sources allege Garate has at least five assault charges on his record. One was a felony assault where he served 90 days in county jail and another was a misdemeanor assault for domestic violence.

 Chief Pruett said he had received dozens of phone calls from members of the same LULAC Council apologizing for the media incident and have thrown their support to him in the whole ordeal.

 The assault claim wasn’t brought by Garate, but by another Galena Park police officer who Galena Park Mayor Bobby Barrett believes has aspirations of becoming chief.

 Barrett said he would take no action against Pruett until after hearing from the grand jury.

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  10/23/2005 – Former Alice police officer Tomas Hernandez turned in his badge, after being accused of taping the mouths of some arrested teenagers.

Five other officers involved in the incident have been suspended without pay.

Officer Hernandez is a 17 year veteran.

Several of the teens are planning to file a grievance against the Alice police department.

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  10/21/2005 – SHENANDOAH — Two police officers accused of using excessive force on a Spring man while arresting him at the scene of a minor motor vehicle accident last month now face criminal charges.

 Montgomery County grand jury indicted Shenandoah Police Officer Jeremy Klammer on charges of aggravated assault and official oppression and his partner Officer Heath Romeril on a charge of official oppression, said Shenandoah Police Chief John Chancellor.

 A videotape of the Sept. 25 incident shows Klammer striking a man with his fist and then tackling him from behind and forcing him to the ground to be handcuffed. The video also shows Romeril pepper-spraying the man, Chancellor said.

”They stepped outside our boundaries for use of force,” Chancellor said. “The biggest thing that caused us concern is there was no probable cause for the arrest.”

 Klammer, who has worked for the department for 3 1/2 years, is on administrative leave, pending an internal administrative hearing on Tuesday. Romeril resigned Wednesday  after the indictments came in Tuesday. He had worked for the department for 2 1/2 years.

The officers could not be reached for comment today.

 The criminal charges stem from the arrest made following a minor car accident at Texas 242 and Interstate 45. Chancellor said Romeril got into a disagreement with Clay Petersen, the owner of one the vehicle’s involved in the accident, about how the accident report would be filed. That’s when Klammer began questioning Petersen about whether he had been drinking and made physical contact with Petersen in an attempt to arrest him, Chancellor said.

He said a struggle ensued and both officers used force against the man.

Chancellor said Petersen told the police he had been drinking, but that he was not driving his car at the time of the accident. Chancellor said someone else was driving the car when it was rear-ended by another vehicle.

 Petersen was arrested on a charge of resisting detention. He was released on bond the next day, Chancellor said.

 After command staff reviewed the videotape, both officers were placed on administrative leave and the case was turned over to the Texas Rangers to investigate because of possible criminal wrongdoing, Chancellor said.

 Aggravated assault is a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 20 years in jail. Official oppression is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine up to $4,000.

Update: 10/25/2005 – Officer Jeremy Klammer resigned just before he was scheduled to attend an internal administrative hearing regarding the Sept. 25 incident, said Police Chief John Chancellor.

The hearing was to determine whether the department would keep or fire Klammer.

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  10/18/2005 – A former Austin police officer will find out next month if he’ll go to jail for three years.

 Officer Jason Lockaby pled guilty Friday to a felony and two misdemeanors. He was charged with inappropriately touching two women and trying to entice another woman in his custody while he was on duty last year.

He will be sentenced November 9.

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   10/12/2005 – In the nearly nine months Ricardo Santos was an Anthony police officer, he racked up a string of complaints, including one that he showed other officers video of a female driver bending over during a traffic stop.

 Santos was fired last month, about three months shy of completing his one-year probation at the small department, Police Chief Ed Miranda said Wednesday.

 An El Paso television station, KVIA, aired the video Tuesday after obtaining it through an open-records request. In it, a woman in shorts is bending over during a field sobriety test.

 Miranda said department officials learned of the video, recorded on a dashboard-mounted camera in Santos’ patrol car, about six weeks after the April 8 traffic stop.

 The decision to fire Santos, who left the El Paso Police Department last year amid allegations that he violated policies and procedures there, came after several complaints against him were proven, Miranda said.

 Several of those complaints, the chief said, revolved around issues of honesty and included allegations of inappropriate behavior and violations of the department’s code of conduct and ethics policies.

Miranda said none of the complaints involved criminal charges.

“Since he was on probationary status and this was causing a problem in the department and the community, he was let go,” Miranda said.

Santos could not be reached for comment.

 Since 2003, three officers have been fired from Miranda’s department. In December 2003, Lorenzo Lozoya and Eduardo Casillas were arrested on charges that they received sexual favors from a woman in exchange for not arresting her during a traffic stop.

 The case against the men, both of whom were charged with violating the civil rights of a person in custody and having improper sexual activity with a person in custody, is pending. Miranda said both men were fired shortly after their arrests.

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Officers Involved: David Riek

Location: Houston, Texas

  2/24/2004 — Officer David Rieks, 51, was caught taking cash, atleast $50, from a candy box at the police station. Officials said the box operates on the honor system.

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Officers Involved: Monroe Kreuzer, Jr.

Location: Anahuac Texas

   5/7/2004 — Chambers County Sheriff Monroe Kreuzer, Jr. requested from the Federal Surplus Property Program, 34 semi-automatic rifles and four shoulder-fired grenade launchers. The sheriff never got the firearms. Kreuzer explains they wouldn’t be shooting grenades with them, We would have been shooting tear gas. When local elected officials learned of the weapons request, they balked. Grenades or just tear gas, there was no way they wanted Kreuzer gang of gung-ho deputies wielding any additional firepower. There were already enough lawsuits ricocheting around the county. The sheriffs office and county jail sit across from the courthouse in Anahuac, a town of about 2,200 people. The local meat market advertises alligator for $6.99 a pound. Across the street, the confederate flag flies high above the Gator. Small towns like Anahuac are scattered throughout Chambers, most surrounded by soggy patches of swampland pasture fertile ground for bird watchers, rice farmers, and police malfeasance.

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Officers Involved: Bobby Thompson(46)

Location: Houston Texas

   4/22/2004- A Houston police officer has been charged and relieved of duty with pay after he was accused of evading arrest from sheriff’s deputies on a chase. Bobby Thompson, 46, is a 18-year HPD veteran. Thompson was off duty at the time when he was clocked exceeding 90 mph in a 45-mph zone. Thompson when arrested did not explain why he refused to stop.

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  2/11/2004 –Texas City acting police chief Anthony Morgan has been placed on administrative leave pending an internal affairs investigation. Morgan has not told the nature of the internal affairs investigation. Recently he has been under scrutiny for allegedly making sexual comments towards several women in the police department.

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Officers Involved: John Maspero

Location: Georgetown Texas

  10/21/2003 — Officers responding to a 911 call at 1 a.m. about a man walking on the road and appeared to be drunk, stopped Williamson County Sheriff John Maspero. The officers determined that Maspero was not a danger and gave him a ride home without filing criminal charges. Police can arrest someone for public intoxication if they determine the person might be a danger to himself or others. Public intoxication is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500. Maspero said he drank a couple of beers and decided that he didn’t want to drive home. He said he decided to walk because he didn’t want to impose on anyone to ask for a ride. The officers did not give Maspero field sobriety or blood alcohol tests. Police would not release that videotape or the 911 recording of the event.

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Officers Involved: Brenda Inocencio

Location: Houston Texas

  4/01/2004 — A Harris County sheriff’s deputy Brenda Inocencio turned herself in on a reckless driving charge. Inocencio was speeding when she lost control of her county-issued car, hit a culvert and crashed into a tree. There are also allegations that just before the accident the family violence detective had been drinking in uniform while working an off-duty job at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

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Officers Involved: Lance William Elliott, 34

Location: Houston Texas

  4/05/2004 — Officer Lance William Elliott, 34, an 11-year vetern who is accused of having sex with a suspect struck a deal to 30 days in jail. Elliot also resigned from the force and relinquish his peace officer license. His sentence was for “tampering” with a government record. The prosecutor declined to say why he dropped the 4 felony charges.

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Officers Involved: Mark De La Paz and Jeff Haywood

Location: Dallas, Texas

  4/16/2004– A Dallas narcotics detective acquitted in a federal trial last year was indicted on state felony charges for allegedly helping frame Mexican immigrants for drug crimes. Senior police Cpl. Mark De La Paz was charged Thursday with seven counts of tampering with physical evidence. The indictments allege he knowingly submitted false police reports and other documents in cases where the immigrants were arrested on false drug charges. The panel also indicted a former narcotics officer, Jeff Haywood, who was charged with three counts of tampering with physical evidence. Haywood left the department in October 2001. More than 80 cases were dismissed after tests revealed the purported drugs were actually gypsum powder or other legal substances. De La Paz was acquitted in federal court in November of charges he submitted false reports and lied to FBI agents. He was the arresting officer in several of the dismissed cases. De La Paz remains on administrative leave from the Dallas Police Department.

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Officers Involved: Brant Matthew Finley, 26

Location: Texas

  05/18/04 — A Harris County Precinct 4 Constable’s deputy was arrested at his home for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend. Officer Brant Matthew Finley, was booked into the Montgomery County Jail. Finley allegedly assaulted his 20-year-old live-in girlfriend, according to reports from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department. After interviewing Finley and his girlfriend, deputies determined an assault had taken place, and Finley was arrested on a charge of assault causing bodily injury, according to a Sheriff’s Department spokesman. Finley and his girlfriend live together, creating a family violence relationship as defined by the Family Code and allowing the alleged victim to seek a protective order.

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Location: Humble, Texas

  5-08-2004 — A suspected shoplifter is recovering after he was shot by an off-duty Harris County sheriff’s deputy. The shooting happened after he fleed from Dillards in the Deerbrook Mall. The suspect was suspected of shoplifting at a Dillard’s department store. The Harris County sheriff’s deputy said he feared for his life when the suspect in his car and tried to run him over. The officer fired three shots, hitting Barkley once in the arm and again in the face. Dillards also has a history of employing off duty Houston police officers. Dillards also have several law suits against them for actions from the officers.

**** “My first thought would be to get out of the way, a car comming at you will not STOP just because you shoot the driver.”

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Officers Involved: Gregory Allen Bryan

Location: Houston Texas

  2/28/2004 — Harris County sheriff’s Deputy Gregory Allen Bryan, 31, has been charged with driving while intoxicated, a misdemeanor. Bryan, off duty and driving his personal car, was involved in a three-vehicle collision.

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Officers Involved: Lance William Elliott, 34

Location: Houston Texas

 4/05/2004 — Officer Lance William Elliott, 34, an 11-year vetern who is accused of having sex with a suspect struck a deal to 30 days in jail. Elliot also resigned from the force and relinquish his peace officer license. His sentence was for “tampering” with a government record. The prosecutor declined to say why he dropped the 4 felony charges.

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Officers Involved: Richard “Trigger” Jones

Location: Texas

 6/08/2004 — A federal judge sentenced a veteran deputy U.S. marshal from Abilene to two years in prison Monday for scheming to transport and harbor undocumented immigrants from Mexico and for income tax evasion. Federal prosecutors had asked for leniency for Richard “Trigger” Jones because his cooperation could yield criminal charges against two Border Patrol agents who helped him in the immigrant-smuggling scheme. Jones, who agreed to resign from the U.S. Marshal’s Service as part of his plea agreement, will also have to pay $22,406 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service and a $100,000 fine.

  Jones, who made $93,828 a year as a deputy marshal, fabricated that he ran a goat-ranching business, claiming personal expenditures — for example, for a home entertainment system or for hunting trips — as business expenses, according to court records. He also wrote numerous checks to fictitious people and deducted them as business expenses. He used the cash generated by this scheme to pay the illegal immigrants he had brought into the country to work on his ranching property and for other people in the Abilene area, according to court records.

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  TEXAS – Officer Pamela Hampton – was terminated from 3 of her previous jobs, failed the physical ability test, was arrested on a warrant charging her with interference of custody, was disciplined for violating the department’s code of conduct after she and her boyfriend threatened a 12-year-old girl, was cited for disorderly conduct-abusive language, disciplined for reporting to duty late (the 8 incident of tardiness in the last 12 months), put on administrative leave after being accused of sticking a loaded handgun in her husband’s face during an argument, and was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon (a second-degree felony).

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Officer Involved: Charles H. Crawford Jr

Location: Conroe Texas

 4/11/2004 — Officer Charles H. Crawford Jr., a 17-year veteran has been charged with intoxication assault in connection with an off-duty accident.

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Officers Involved: Marcus Winn

Location: Dallas Texas

  06/01/04 — A Dallas police officer was arrested on a felony charge of burglary of a habitation is accused of breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s home and beating up her new boyfriend. Officer Marcus Winn, 30, who lives in Irving, was arrested a few hours after a man broke through a back window of the home. He was hired by the Dallas Police Department in March 2000 and works patrol out of the southeast division, records show. Officer Winn was off-duty when the incident occurred. Jessica Ricarte, 31, said she locked herself in a bedroom with her two children and her new boyfriend’s two children after Officer Winn started banging on her doors and windows. Michael Padilla, 27, of Euless, said he was getting out of the shower when he noticed Officer Winn standing inside the house. “

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Officers Involved: Darryl Woods

Location: Rowlett Texas

 8/20/03 — A former Texas trooper is jailed in Rowlett on charges of burglary, credit card abuse — and a slaying in Tyler. Darryl Woods was a trooper from October of 1988 to January of 1991, when he resigned.

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Officers Involved: James Williams

Location: Brownwood Texas

 4/20/2004 — A former police chief from Bangs has been charged with selling city-owned guns at pawn shops and even trading one for a horse. James Williams, 42, was released on a $1,000 personal recognizance bond after turning himself in. He was indicted on a charge of theft by a public servant and a charge of misapplication of fiduciary funds, both third-degree felony charges with a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

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Officers Involved: William Wilkinson

Location: Humble Texas

 5-08-2004 — A suspected shoplifter is recovering after he was shot by an off-duty Harris County sheriff’s deputy. The shooting happened after he fleed from Dillards in the Deerbrook Mall.

The suspect was suspected of shoplifting at a Dillard’s department store. The Harris County sheriff’s deputy said he feared for his life when the suspect in his car and tried to run him over. The officer fired three shots, hitting Barkley once in the arm and again in the face.

 Dillards also has a history of employing off duty Houston police officers. Wilkinson told investigators he fired three shots at Barkley, after Barkley tried to run over him in the mall’s parking lot.

 Investigators said no stolen items were found in his possession or vehicle. Dillards also have several law suits against them for actions from the officers.

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Officers Involved: Patrick Worlds

Location: Austin Texas and Florida

   3/21/2001 — Patrick Worlds, 29, resigned his position as a police officer with the Austin Police Department, while an internal investigation was being conducted. Mr. Worlds was commissioned on September 24, 1999 and was working as a patrol officer. He was still in his probationary period of employment and had not achieved permanent status. Since March 20th, Mr. Worlds has been charged, by indictment, with felony crimes that are alleged to have occurred after his resignation. These crimes, committed by a former police officer, were investigated by the Austin Police Department and presented to the Travis County District Attorney for presentation to the Grand Jury. On August 8th Mr. Worlds was indicted for Sexual Assault and Unlawfully Carrying a Weapon based upon this investigation. Austin police officers and detectives developed information that Mr. Worlds had fled the state. Officers of the Austin Police Department worked diligently to locate Mr. Worlds, who was working as a police officer in the state of Florida. He was arrested by authorities in Florida and is being transported back Texas.

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Officer Involved: Joseph Hubert

Location: Houston, Texas

 5/03/04 — A former Houston police officer plead guilty in a “plea bargain” for stealing money from a handcuffed suspect. Joseph Hubert will spend only 30 days in jail. Hubert also faces another charge of trying to tamper with a government record. His attorney hopes to strike another “plea bargain” in that case.

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Officers Involved: Gilberto Davila Zertuche

Location: Houston, Texas

  4/27/2004 — A Houston police officer was arrested, accused of selling a large amount of cocaine and marijuana while on duty and in uniform. Gilberto Davila Zertuche, 42, an 18 year vetern is charged with delivery of a controlled substance and delivery of marijuana. Internal affairs officers arrested Zertuche. Officials say Zertuche is accused of delivering one kilogram — or 2.2 pounds — of cocaine and 100 pounds of marijuana. After receiving money for the delivery, Zertuche was arrested while walking to his marked police car. An undercover officer bought the drugs from Zertuche.

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Officers Involved: Steve Graham

Location: San Antonio Texas

 2001 — Officer Steve Graham was found guilty of indecency with a child and given only probation.

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Officers Involved: Cullen Bean and Margarito Perales

Location: Houston, Texas

 4/29/2004 – A crowd attacked two Houston police officers with rocks – Police say they can’t say for sure what sparked the violent outburst. What started as a police investigation into illegal gambling, turned a group of people into a angry mob throwing rocks at the officers, hitting them in the face and neck. Sergeant Cullen Bean and Officer Margarito Perales arrested a suspect for possession of cocaine, along with his 17-year-old girlfriend for interfering with his arrest. They charged her with assaulting a police officer. the 17 – year-olds mother said, “She was handcuffed and picked up and put in the car. But when I got there the police officer told me to get back, and if I didn’t get back, he was going to throw me into the police car.” The mother claims an officer used excessive force on her daughter. “Throw her on the ground and broke her leg,” said the mother. A spokesperson for the Houston Police Department says the 17- year- old, first punched the officer in the chest with a closed fist. But an eyewitness says it didn’t happen that way. Ms. X recalled, “She was trying to ask them, why did they apprehend her boyfriend like that? That’s all she was doing.” Police maintain that as they were arresting the suspect’s girlfriend, a large crowd gathered and became hostile. The mob reportedly picked up rocks and threw them at Sgt. Bean and his partner. The two were hit repeatedly in the face and neck.

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Officers Involved: Donald Hess

Location: Houston Texas

 4/02/2004 — Claudia Ledezma said she was driving home late one night when she saw the sheriff’s car behind her, then beside her, then behind her with it’s lights on. The reason given for the stop was a license plate light that didn’t work. Only Ledezma said it did and still does. She claimed what happened next when seven-year-veteran Deputy Donald Hess approached her car was even worse. “He told me, ‘Are you married?” and I look him and he continued, “Your phone number?” I told him why? He told (me), Get out the car damn spic’ and he started to talk very quick,” she said. A friend who was driving in another car also backs up Ledezma’s story that the Deputy looked in her blouse and touched her. “I see that she is out of the car with her hands on the car like this and he was lifting her shirt,” said Marely Rios. One attorney calls it gross injustice. “It was a clear case of taking advantage of somebody he thought was a victim,” said Joel Salazar. Ledezma was arrested for felony evading arrest. She admitted she didn’t stop right away but says she wanted to stop under a streetlight. A grand jury decided to drop the case.

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Officers Involved: Andres Reza

Location: Houston Texas

 4/15/2003 — Officer Andres Reza has been sentenced to more than 27 years in prison for abducting a Pasadena businesswoman.

 Reza, 38, abducted Maria Medeles the morning of June 20 as she drove near the Katy Freeway and Taylor, where she was pulled over during a traffic stop, handcuffed and duct taped. Reza entered a guilty plea last week to the aggravated kidnapping of Medeles, who authorities said had a hood placed over her head for more than 17 hours while Reza and his mistress tried to get a $50,000 ransom. A jury’s decision on Monday means that Reza, a former internal affairs officer, should spend at least 13 years behind bars before becoming eligible for parole.

 Medeles said the sentence was a mere “slap” on the wrist and that Reza should have received a harsher punishment. Prosecutors had asked for a life sentence, but said they accepted the jury’s decision. “What it says is that if you are a police officer and you do something as reprehensible as this officer did, you know, you’re going to have to go to prison for it,” said prosecutor Julian Ramirez.

 Reza used a Houston Police Department patrol car, which he took without permission, to pull Medeles over for an alleged traffic violation and then handcuffed her and took her against her will. Prosecutors said Reza and his mistress had outstanding debts they hoped to pay off through their initial ransom demand of $300,000, which was later lowered to $50,000. Prosecutors say the mistress, Gloria Rodriguez, planned the kidnapping. They say Rodriguez, who has also been charged with kidnapping, wanted to get back at Medeles, who the defense said had refused to lend money to Rodriguez, who had $100,000 in debts. Medeles owns a number of successful clubs and reception halls.

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  Dallas Texas –  Officer Watt Carroll Jr. – in 2 separate incidences, he was discharged previously for excessive force upon a student, and arrested for a Class A misdemeanor family violence charge. The dismissal was overturned to a mere reprimand, and the charges were dropped by the alleged victim. He was also terminated from the police academy in for failure to qualify on firearms and flunking the final firearms test, but given another chance and passed. Officer Carroll was been arrested and charged with battery in Oct. 2001 after allegedly attacking his former wife’s new husband — prosecutors declined to press charges, but Dallas police internal affairs gave him a 1-day suspension. Assistant City Manager Charles Daniels overturned the suspension. In Feb. 2002, internal affairs investigated him for intimidating prosecution witnesses, including a police detective who testified against his stepson in a robbery trial.

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  11-21-03 – A TV crew in Austin, Texas snuck up on Trooper Cythia Salinas who was apparently watching movie on duty. Trooper Cythia Salinas was caught watching a movie on a portable DVD player in her patrol car while on duty outside of the State Capitol. Several other movies were scattered on the front seat. The Department of Public Safety initially responded to the incident by saying as long as the trooper was paying attention to her job, she also could view a movie. (Bad guys are roaming the streets people!) Trooper Cythia Salinas remains on duty and no disciplinary action has been taken against her.

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  Austin, Texas – Texas police officers disciplined for reportedly fishing while on duty Austin, Texas November 2003- Five police officers assigned to protect a power plant from possible terrorism went fishing at a nearby lake instead, and were once seen in uniform cleaning the fish they had just caught. A lieutenant, a sergeant and three other officers were disciplined for fishing while on duty and another sergeant was disciplined for not reporting the others. Five of the officers received suspensions from one to 30 days for violating civil service commission rules. The punishment for the lieutenant was not available because he is appealing.

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Officers Involved: Dearl Hardy

Location: Anahuac, Texas

  A jury has found a former Chambers County sheriff’s deputy guilty of perjury. Dearl Hardy, will be sentenced on May 5. He faces up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine for the misdemeanor charge. Hardy was accused of forcing two former deputies to file false affidavits and offense reports, which led to an improper drunk driving charge against Anahuac resident Vernon Coates in September 2001. Hardy originally was charged with a felony perjury charge, but state District Judge Carroll Wilborn reduced it to a misdemeanor on Thursday. “It’s so nice of the Judge Wilborn to give the former boy in “blue” a break! I wonder what would happen to the average person decided to LIE and “false imprisoned” someone if that felony charged would be dropped?” Prosecutors agreed not to prosecute the two deputies in exchange for their testimony against Hardy. “Ok so it’s OK to do something wrong until YOU get caught, then you turn and blame it all on “one guy” so that your ass don’t go to jail. Three wrongs make a right, until you get caught?” Coates, who is black, filed a civil rights violations lawsuit against Chambers County in November 2002. The case was later settled for $120,000.

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  Dallas Texas – Officer Jo Ann Booker – applied in 1993 but was rejected because she was under investigation on suspicion of theft (she was receiving tax-free disability payments for a job related injury from the US Postal Service, while she was also working for the Dallas Police as their dispatcher), was fired by the US Postal Service for being absent without leave, failed her preliminary interview with Dallas PD, failed the state certification test 3 times and was recycled to another class, she failed her annual firearms qualifications test 2 times.

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  TEXAS – Officer Raymond Caskey – discharged for failing to make acceptable marks during field training, fired after an internal affairs investigation into his arrest on charges of driving drunk before reporting for duty, and has a Class B misdemeanor is pending in Grayson County

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Officers Involved: Darrell Fikes

Location: Bryan Texas

  2001– Bryan police officer Darrell Fikes has been fired for making offensive statement regarding the mother of a Latino motorist pulled over for a traffic violation. The officer claims he made a profanity-laced comment calling the motorist’s mother a ‘whore’ because he wanted to determine if the person spoke English. But Bryan Police Chief Ken Burton said the behavior was an “embarrassment,” as well as “vulgar and so unnecessary I have to believe that it was race-related.” Foul-mouthed Bryan cop reinstated. Bryan police officer Darrell Fikes was fired for an expletive-filled slur against a motorist he stopped on a training run with a rookie officer in his charge. Bryan PD Chief Ken Burton ordered him fired. But Bryan is a civil service city and predictably an arbitrator overturned the chief’s decision in March. Chief Burton said that, regardless of the arbitrator’s decision, he would terminate an officer again for the same behavior.

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Officers Involved: Conrad Fragozo Jr.

Location: San Antonio Texas

  2/20/2002 — A former San Antonio police officerpleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiring to sell cocaine. Conrad Fragozo Jr., an ex-sergeant in the city’s police force.

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Officers involved: Keith Sheffield

Location: Austin Texas

  1997 — Gregory Steenis was shot in the back by an Austin police officer, while running away unarmed from a police raid. APD Officer Keith Sheffield shot Steen in the back from 60 feet away, but Chief Stan Knee overturned a measly one-day suspension. Steen survived, but lost a kidney and most of his colon.

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  TEXAS – Officer Lavar Horne – failed the civil service exam and the interview by a three-officer screening board, was deemed “unable to logically process information,” according to records, claim he had not been cited or convicted of any traffic violations in the previous two years but was later found to have been ticketed in May 2000 for not having auto insurance and had been cited at least 4 times in Dallas for an auto registration violation, having no insurance and speeding, was issued an arrest warrant in June 2000 for carrying no auto insurance, paid nearly $1,200 in outstanding fines and court costs, sentenced to 5 days of community service, and while still in field training, was notified by a supervisor that his driver’s license had been suspended for the past eight months for the Class C misdemeanor conviction of not having auto insurance, placed on desk duty and subsequently fired.

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  DALLAS TEXAS – Officer Thelan Craig Boyd – previously rejected by Arlington police for failing the interview and by the Texas Department of Public Safety for failing the written exam. Hired by Dallas police in July 1995, received a minor discipline for failing to submit 2 surveillance tapes for evidence, was investigated by internal affairs for selling his used car while he was in uniform (findings were inconclusive), and counseled about wearing his uniform only on appropriate occasions. He was fired in July, along with his wife, Officer April Washington Boyd, after they were indicted in Collin County for allegedly setting fire to his car. Officer April Washington Boyd- previously been fired from her telemarketing job, and another employer said she was not eligible for rehire because she lacked initiative and “could not take constructive criticism.” She has admitted to signing her former husband’s signature on a check but said she had his permission, failed 3 exams and was fired from the academy in Dec. 1995, was unemployed since being fired, reapplied and graduated nearly last in her Class in Jan.1997, was filed against by her estranged husband who alleged she had committed welfare fraud and had harassed him (unfounded by Internal Affairs).

 

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Officers Involved: Chavette Michele Harris

Location: Longview, Texas

  3/25/2001 — The Texas D.P.S. has accused and arrested one of its own of conspiring driver’s licenses. Chavette Michele Harris, 28, of Longview is being charged with tampering with government records, a felony.

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Officers Involved: Roland Lopez

Location: San Antonio Texas

  2001 — Officer Roland Lopez who extorted sex in exchange for not arresting women have been given only probation, serving no jail time. Roland Lopez, won’t even have a conviction on his record after one year probation is complete

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  TEXAS – Officer Ralph McAfee – a former correctional officer who was reprimanded twice for failing to report to duty and not properly checking out a weapon. He was previously fired as a security guard in Houston, had more than 10 offenses on his driving record and was arrested in 1988 on suspicion of misdemeanor assault. Houston police arrested him in 1990 for giving a false name, investigated (but exonerated) in Dec. 2000 for allegedly threatening a woman over a dent in the officer’s personal car, received a 3-day suspension for taking a Christmas sick leave without a doctor’s verification in 2001, issued a 5-day suspension in Sept. 2002 for failing to respond to five calls and for misleading a supervisor, and received counseling that same month for leaving his division without marking out and then driving 91 mph in an attempt to get back and answer a call.

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 HOUSTON TEXAS – Officer accused of sleeping with suspect strikes deal An 11-year Houston police officer accused of having sex with a woman he had arrested as a suspected shoplifter pleaded guilty Tuesday to a misdemeanor after prosecutors dropped four felony charges. Lance William Elliott, 34, agreed to resign from the force and relinquish his peace officer license. State District Judge Belinda Hill sentenced Elliott to 30 days in jail for tampering with a government record. The Prosecutor Owmby declined to say why he dropped the felony charges. Elliott denied having sex with Yolanda Rodriguez, whom he arrested Sept. 17, 2003.