Bengals tackle Anthony Collins was with Simpson at the Crestview Hills, Ky., house when police confiscated the package. A spokeswoman for the California Department of Justice said police tracked the shipment from California after a two-day investigation.
A woman, Aleen Smith, signed for the package before police swooped in. Simpson gave consent for authorities to search his home, where they found six additional pounds of marijuana and paraphernalia including “packaging materials, scales and smoking devices.”
Simpson and Collins were detained but not arrested. The case will be addressed by the Kenton County (Ky.) Prosecutor’s Office on Thursday.
The head of the National Marijuana Initiative, a government-funded organization that coordinates marijuana enforcement, told Californiawatch.org that the home was set up as a distribution network. “They had it all set up to receive supplies of high-grade marijuana from Northern California, and from there, it was being distributed from that residence,” Tommy LaNier told the website.
Former Prince George’s County police officer pleads guilty in cigarette smuggling caper www.privateofficer.com
The former officer, identified as Chong Chen Kim, 43, of Odenton, pleaded guilty to conspiring with others to commit extortion while transporting and distributing untaxed cigarettes from Virginia into Maryland, federal prosecutors said. Kim also admitted to possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. (Kim had previously been identified by authorities as Chong Chin Kim).
Kim, who worked for 16 years as a county police officer, entered his guilty plea in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt. The plea was announced by Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein, Richard A. McFeely, special-agent-in-charge of the Baltimore field office of the FBI, and Jeannine A. Hammett, acting special-agent-in-charge of the Washington, D.C. field office of the Internal Revenue Service.
According to Kim’s plea agreement, between July 2009 and January 2010, when he was a county police officer, Kim took part in a scheme in which contraband cigarettes were purchased in Virginia by two co-conspirators, including another former county police officer, then-Sgt. Richard J. Delabrer.
Chen and another member of the conspiracy purchased the contraband cigarettes, which were taxed in Virginia at a rate of 30 cents per pack, according to the plea agreement. Chen and the other man sold the cigarettes to buyers in New York, where taxes on local cigarettes were more than $8 a pack.
Altogther, Kim and his co-conspirators paid more than $1.7 million for more than 17 million contraband cigarettes, federal officials said.
Kim faces a possible sentence of 20 years in prison for the extortion conspiracy, and a mandatory five years incarceration for the gun offense.
More than a dozen people have pleaded guilty in the broad corruption investigation, including Delabrer, former county executive Jack B. Johnson, and his wife, Leslie Johnson, a former member of the county council.
U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte scheduled sentencing for Dec. 9.
Las Vegas NV Sept 23 2011 As grisly images of prostitutes burned by irons flipped across a screen, security professionals gathered recently in a Sam’s Town conference room fell silent.
“You see from the extent of violence why these girls are so hard-pressed to leave the guys,” Metro Police Sgt. Donald Hoier tells the captive audience.
Hoier is in the department’s vice section, charged on this day with explaining the horrors and problems of prostitution to a group who might encounter it while patrolling nearby casinos, apartments or short-term rentals. He talks about how pimps treat their prostitutes like cattle — branding their names on the women’s bodies, threatening them not to leave and, if they do, often permanently scarring them with objects such as irons or electrical cords.
The gathering is the second such meeting between police and security professionals in the Boulder Highway area, a community-based Metro initiative to reduce crime by enlisting the eyes and ears of those in the neighborhood.
“That’s the only way we’re going to be successful — if we have buy-in with the community,” said Capt. Tom Roberts of Metro’s Southeast Area Command, which covers much of the eastern valley.
The initiative, however, isn’t indicative of a growing crime problem along the Boulder Highway corridor. In fact, violent crime in the area is down 10 percent this year through Sept. 3, compared with 2010. That’s in line with Las Vegas’ overall 15 percent drop in violent crime in the same year-to-date comparison.
The meetings are similar to ones periodically held downtown for the Crime Free Corridor, another Metro initiative seeking to proactively curb crime by linking law enforcement with Fremont Street business owners and casino employees.
The first meeting for the Boulder Highway area, held in the spring, attracted about 30 security professionals, Roberts said. This month’s meeting grew to more than 40 attendees, he added.
At the meeting, detectives from three of the department’s bureaus — property crime, auto theft and vice — spoke to the group about ongoing issues, such as stolen cars, and what to look for, Roberts said.
Security officers from Boulder Station, Sam’s Town, Eastside Cannery, Arizona Charlie’s, Budget Suites and several apartment complexes attended.
Given the casinos and short-term rentals along Boulder Highway, police said the area has a history of prostitution- and drug-related problems despite recent declines in crime.
“Daily/weekly (rentals) tend to attract more transients,” Roberts said. “You never know who you’re going to get. It’s crucial we’re communicating and sharing information about what’s going on.”
Hoier said because Boulder Highway leads out of town, it tends to attract pimps who bring prostitutes to rental properties.
This month, police found three juvenile prostitutes — two 17-year-olds and a 16-year-old — along that stretch of the highway, he said.
Hoier said he hopes meetings with security officers can curb emerging trends, such as an increase in juvenile prostitutes along Boulder Highway, and prevent associated crimes.
“It’s good because obviously prostitutes are coming to this area to ply their trade,” he said, “and we have a finite number of resources to address that problem.”
Ryan Garceau, a security officer with Peregrine Security, said he mostly deals with drunken people, but he welcomed the opportunity to learn more about crime trends in the area.
“I think it’s really helpful just because we have to deal with people all the time,” he said.
And that’s exactly the point, police say.
“We wouldn’t find probably half of what we do without the security professionals,” Hoier said.
PRATTVILLE, Alabama Sept 23 2011– The Prattville Police Department announced this afternoon the arrest of 63-year-old Clyde David Myers, a minister, on five counts of possession of child pornography.
Myers is the pastor of the Prattville Community Church on Fifth Street, the Prattville Police Department said in a press release.
He is being held at the Autauga Metro Jail. Each of the five counts carries a bond of $75,000, which puts Myers’s bond at $375,000 total.
Police released no other details about this arrest.
Tampa, FL Sept 23 2011– A King High School student was arrested Wednesday morning after school security officers found a stun gun and bags of marijuana in his possession.
According to the sheriff’s office, Hillsborough County School Security received an anonymous complaint shortly after 7 a.m. that a student was in possession of a stun gun on a school bus, headed for King High School.
Security stopped the bus while en route, and removed 15-year-old Greg Keith Thompson from the bus.
Detectives say the security officers retrieved from Thompson a working stun gun about the size of a pack of cigarettes and four small bags of marijuana. Several students witnessed him with the stun gun, but it’s unclear what his intentions were.
No one was injured and the bus dropped the rest of the students off at school.
Thompson was charged with Possession of a Weapon on a School Bus and Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute, both felonies.
The most significant change will be the process of establishing sworn officer presence among the security staff, according to a statement released by Seligman.
Sworn staff will have greater access to government criminal information, the legal authority to make arrests based on probable cause if a felony, misdemeanor or other breach of peace is committed, and the ability to intervene in mental health emergencies, according to Seligman.
Over the next 18 months, about 40 members of UR’s 120-person security staff will complete New York’s campus peace officer academy program to become sworn officers, which entails 332 hours of additional training.
Sworn officers will carry batons and pepper foam as “defensive weapons,” but will not carry firearms or tasers, while non-sworn patrol officers will carry pepper foam for their personal protection.
“Almost all of our peer institutions are protected by sworn officers with safety equipment rather than licensed security guards alone,” Seligman wrote in his statement. “Many of these universities have armed officers on their campuses. We do not believe that armed security is appropriate at Rochester.”
Paprocki said UR concluded that firearms “are not necessary in our particular situation after consulting with various campus constituents” and finding a “widespread reluctance to see firearms on campus.”“It’s going to be an opportunity to be better prepared to support and protect the campus,” Director of University Security Walter Mauldin said.
One of the major advantages to having officers in the sworn capacity will be a faster response in mental health emergencies, he said. Currently, Security sometimes has to wait up to an hour for public health officials to respond to a situation if the individual does not immediately comply, according to Mauldin.
Mauldin also said that the sworn officer program will give those interested in careers in public safety greater career opportunities and chances for professional development. The program will offer more advanced training opportunities in investigative technology, forensic sciences and interpersonal relationship skills.
Mauldin said the University’s Security force, which he described as “pretty large” for a university of UR’s size, might increase as a result of the report, though exact numbers haven’t been determined.
“We hope this positions UR as a national model for other universities’ security forces,” he added.
Other security recommendations released in the report include increasing in-service training, improving internal communications and electronic technology and strengthening the relationships between Security and students.
The policy analysis began before the death of Jeffrey Bordeaux, Jr. in January and was conducted separately. The independent review of the Bordeaux incident found that “Security’s response to the event was exemplary, and nothing in my recommendations would have changed that response,” Paprocki said.
He said some of the changes will be implemented quickly, while others are expected to take about 18 months to complete.
Paprocki does not anticipate that “students will necessarily notice these changes except that Security will be able to resolve situations more quickly than in the past,” but said he felt it was time UR moved toward increasing security given the nationwide focus on such matters and the recent growth of UR’s campus.
“The leaders, supervisory staff and line officers in Security Services provide essential services in times of stress, anxiety and danger,” Seligman wrote in his statement. “We owe them our support.”
Buletti is a member of
the class of 2013.
Crawford County prosecutor Marc McCune wrote to Sheriff Ron Brown and Van Buren Police Chief Kenneth Bell in a letter dated Monday that all officers involved in last week’s shootout with James Ray Palmer acted “reasonably and professionally.”
Authorities say Palmer, after firing shots inside a judge’s office and throughout the building, walked outside and shot at authorities who had responded to panic alarms and 911 calls.
Officers fired back and wounded Palmer, who died later at a local hospital.
“The officers were defending themselves and others from the use or imminent use of deadly physical force by James Palmer,” McCune wrote.
An Arkansas State Police investigation is ongoing, though officials say no one else is suspected of helping Palmer, 48, carry out the attack.
He is believed to have entered the Crawford County courthouse, with two handguns and an assault rifle concealed under a long jacket, to find Circuit Judge Gary Cottrell. When a court worker told Palmer the judge wasn’t in, he opened fire.
The court worker was wounded, as was a police officer who was hit by bullet fragments outside. Neither was killed.
Cottrell had approved Palmer’s divorce from Steffeny Palmer in 2001. Steffeny Palmer had obtained a restraining order before the divorce. She accused James Palmer of attacking her, setting their couch on fire and threatening to buy assault weapons, according to court documents.
State police spokesman Bill Sadler told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that authorities still want to find out where Palmer obtained the weapons he used. Authorities also are waiting on autopsy, toxicology and ballistics reports, Sadler said.
The courthouse had security cameras installed inside and outside the building. State police, citing an ongoing investigation, have denied an Associated Press open records request for the tape of Palmer’s attack.
NEW YORK NY Sept 23 2011 — Two NYPD officers are challenging the disciplinary action taken against them for throwing a football with a child at a Bronx housing project.
Officers Catherine Guzman and Mariana Diaz say they were humiliated by the commanding officer of the Bronx Housing Bureau for playing the game last year on the Fourth of July, according to the New York Daily News.
“He was irate and berated us in front of everyone,” Guzman said. “He said, ‘What are you doing? Do you realize you are on overtime?’”
Four officers were involved in the incident, and two accepted a penalty of two vacation days, but Guzman and Diaz are appealing the ruling.
Charges against them say they “did fail and neglect to remain alert, to wit: throwing and catching a football with three uniformed members of service…while maintaining a foot post.” Both will receive harsher penalties if found guilty.
Lawyer Eric Sanders said the NYPD needs to rethink how it defines community policing.
“I think the Police Department prefers its officers to be an occupying force rather than interacting with the community it serves,” Sanders said.
“I don’t think throwing a football to a 7-year-old boy is misconduct,” Guzman said. “We were interacting with the community.”
Craig Arnold, of 8 Winn St., was arrested last Monday at Nantucket Memorial Airport with a loaded 38-caliber revolver, more than four ounces of marijuana, a bag loaded with ammunition and pot-laced brownies as he attempted to board a flight to Hyannis.
Another passenger waiting to board the plane called police after allegedly smelling marijuana on Arnold, and responding officers found several kinds of marijuana, $668 in cash and the Ruger revolver with a laser-sight on his person. Although Arnold was licensed to carry the firearm, he had not properly notified airport security or the airline that he had it in his possession, police said.
Arnold was released on personal recognizance and ordered to return to court Oct. 17 for a pretrial hearing.
Security officers at the club are being credited with stopping the burglary in progress. Officers from the Lewiston Police Department, as well as Niagara County Sheriff’s deputies and investigators and New York State Police troopers, responded to the scene.
Alex Parker, 18, of Lewiston, was charged with third-degree burglary, first-degree reckless endangerment and petit larceny.
He was arraigned in Lewiston Town Court and pleaded not guilty. He was jailed in lieu of bail of $1,000.
Man pleads guilty in death of Mohawk Valley Community College security officer www.privateofficer.com
HERKIMER NY Sept 23 2011 — Although he doesn’t remember the crash in Frankfort that killed a security guard at Mohawk Valley Community College one year ago this month, Roy Kangas admitted in court Wednesday that he was driving drunk at the time of the deadly collision.
Kangas, 23, of Rome, pleaded guilty in Herkimer County Court to aggravated first-degree vehicular homicide and driving while intoxicated. He faces 7 to 14 years in prison when he is due to be sentenced by Judge Patrick Kirk on Thursday, Oct. 13, at 2 p.m.
Kangas had appeared in court Wednesday for what was supposed to be a hearing over whether police took a sample of blood from Kangas to test for alcohol without his permission following the Sept. 10, 2010, car crash that killed 34-year-old Terry Kohl.
But after prosecutors spoke with Kohl’s family at the court house that morning, Assistant District Attorney Jeff Carpenter said both sides agreed that a guilty plea would be in everyone’s best interest.
“I think it’s a just result for both parties given the facts and circumstances of the case,” Carpenter said after the proceeding, particularly noting the debate over whether police had legally taken Kangas’ blood. “We were at the point in time where we were going to litigate these issues, which obviously would have affected the bargaining position for one side or the other, depending on the outcome of the hearing.”
Kangas’ defense attorney, Mark Curley, could not immediately be reached for comment.
During his plea, Kangas admitted he first began drinking that night while at work for a trucking company before continuing to drink beer and shots at Mr. McGill’s bar on Route 5 in Schuyler, Carpenter said.
With Kangas’ blood alcohol content level at 0.23 percent – nearly three times the legal limit – the last thing he can recall was driving along Dyke Road in Frankfort, Carpenter said. But as far as the deadly accident, Kangas said he doesn’t remember it at all.
Kangas is also facing 2 to 6 years in prison when he is sentenced in Oneida County Court for violating his probation by not reporting the deadly car accident while outside of the county.
After talking with Kohl’s family members about the plea, Carpenter did not want to discuss their reaction to the punishment Kangas would face.
“It’s been difficult for them, to say the least,” Carpenter said. “I don’t want to speak for them on whether they are satisfied because I don’t think there’s anything that can completely resolve the case when you have a tragedy like this.”
“I feel my son has been vindicated and justice has been served,” said Lori Pixley, the mother of 20-year-old Anthony Wacker.
She spoke to 10News on Wednesday after a jury awarded her $1.87 million in damages following the Sept. 11, 2009 shooting of her son at the Vista Transit Center.
“I hope that policies and procedures will change with guards and I feel justice has been served in this case,” said Pixley.
Surveillance video shows Wacker and Sam Tavalotti, the Heritage Security guard standing at the transit center. Moments later, an argument between Tavalotti and Wacker turned physical and Wacker is shot in the back twice.
On Wednesday, the jury not only found Tavalotti to be negligent that day but also Heritage Security and Wacker. The jury assigned a percentage of the $1.87 million in damages to each party they found responsible.
Superior Court Judge Robert P. Dahlquist read the jury’s decision aloud.
“Sam Tavalotti, 60 percent. Heritage Security, 15 percent. Anthony Wacker, 25,” he said.
That means Wacker’s mother will really receive $1.4 million in initial damages but because the jury found the security guard’s actions that day to be malicious and oppressive, a second punitive damages phase will come next.
Defense attorney Todd Macaluso would not comment on the details. All he would say that is the jury will reconvene at Vista courthouse on Monday at 9 a.m. Macaluso also said it was possible that a settlement regarding the punitive damages could be decided over the weekend.
Detroit MI Sept 23 2011 — A Detroit Public Schools police officer is recovering after he was attacked Tuesday night by a vandal intent on stripping the fire-damaged Paul Robeson Academy of valuables, officials say.
Police arrested three men, one of whom allegedly took a sharp piece of metal and struck DPS Officer John Greene in the head, chest and arms, DPS Police Chief Rod Grimes said.
Another officer and a police dog stopped the assault and took down the man. Greene was treated at Henry Ford Hospital and released; the suspect was taken to Detroit Receiving Hospital for dog bites.
“I can’t say enough about what our officers do,” Grimes said. “They go in these buildings every night.”
The historic school has been closed since a May fire. A cause hasn’t been determined and officials soon plan to demolish it, DPS Emergency Manager Roy Roberts said Wednesday.
Grimes said the man accused of attacking Greene is in his mid-20s and has a criminal history. One of the other men arrested also has a criminal background, Grimes said.
The security system at the school tipped off police to the break-in, Grimes said.
“Though we may not be able to stop it all, when it does happen, we will put all of our resources into fighting those that dare to take from our students,” Grimes said.
The investigation into the break-in is ongoing and charges could be requested soon, Grimes said.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. Sept 23 2011 — Police reported that a bomb threat had been called in to the New Albany Walmart last week. Police investigated and nothing was found. Today, we’ve learned that a local woman is now facing charges related to the incident.
It started last Tuesday at the Walmart located on Grant Line Road just east of Sam Peden Community Park in New Albany.
Police say that shortly before noon, a female called the store and made a statement that was construed as a bomb threat. New Albany Police evacuated the store and a Louisville Metro Police K-9 was brought in to do a sweep.
The dog found nothing.
The next day, a second Walmart — this one in Corydon, Ind. — was evacuated after a similar bomb threat was made.
But this time, according to Wayne Kessinger, a spokesman for the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office, authorities were able to apprehend a suspect.
Kessinger says that Jessica Brown, was being watched by store security even before the bomb threat was made. Employees of the store suspected her of shoplifting. Moments later, Kessinger says the bomb threat was received by phone, and the store was evacuated.
Brown allegedly tried to sneak out of the cart corral.
When store security met her outside, she allegedly jumped in her car and tried to drive away, but police officers who had arrived as a result of the bomb threat quickly boxed her in.
After officers questioned her, they discovered roughly $800 of store merchandise — including DVDs — on her.
Initially, she denied being involved in the bomb threats — both the threat in Corydon and the threat in New Albany. But Kessinger said security officials at the Corydon Walmart had surveillance video of Brown on the phone moments before the threat was called in.
On a lark, police called the Walmart in New Albany and asked if they had surveillance video of a woman matching Brown’s description in their store as well. Kessinger says the store quickly informed them that, not only was a woman matching Brown’s description also in the store, but she was also on the phone at the same time that bomb threat was made.
Kessinger said that, when confronted with this evidence, Brown quickly admitted to making the bomb threats in order to facilitate her escape from security.
She’s been charged with theft and falsely reporting an incident in Harrison County. Charges in Floyd County are still pending.
In an unrelated case, she’s also facing 13 counts of forgery related to forged checks authorities allegedly discovered. The checks total roughly $9,000.
Eleanor Zapanta, 51, of Guerneville is wanted on a $1 million arrest warrant, Chief Deputy District Attorney Bill Brockley said this afternoon.
She will be charged with seven counts of grand theft, seven counts of forging business documents and an enhancement alleging theft by an employee of more than $500,000, and faces 12 years in prison, Brockley said.
Brockley said he ask Zapanta be held under $1 million bail when she is arrested.
The alleged thefts and forgery of more than 250 checks occurred between 2004 and 2010 when Zapanta was the Center’s business manager, Brockley said.
Brockley and Assistant District Attorney Christine Cook would not disclose how the allegedly stolen money was spent or how the thefts occurred.
The investigation by Santa Rosa police began several months ago in the spring, Brockley said.
The Center for Spiritual Living is a religious denomination that promotes Religious Science founded by Ernest Holmes in 1949. It espouses the power of the mind for healing and fulfillment of life.
Adherents believe the Universal Spirit, which is God, operates through a Universal Mind, which is the Law of God, and that the Creative Mind receives direct impress of human thought and acts upon it.
The Center’s Assistant Minister, Rev. Joyce Duffala, did not return a phone for call for comment Wednesday afternoon.
JOHNSTOWN Pa Sept 23 2011 — An employee of East Hills Recreation in Richland Township has been charged with stealing money from the organization, authorities said.
In a court document, township police said Jill Renee Rokita, 20, of the 300 block of Bafin Drive, stole $2,500, although the organization said it is missing about $10,000.
The arrest caps a 10-month investigation that began after East Hills management determined that it had lost “substantial amounts” of money.
“There was video evidence that she was removing cash on a regular basis,” police Detective Thomas Keirn said.
When confronted with video evidence, Rokita reportedly admitted to regularly stealing the money beginning in December, police said.
Investigators searching a home for drugs Friday in the NOPD Fifth District discovered between 200 and 300 pairs of jeans with the tags still on them, said Sgt. Warren Keller of the NOPD Second District property-crimes division. A woman arrested during the raid, 40-year-old Untrell U. Nicholas, was an employee of Jean Therapy, a boutique with shops on Magazine Street, in Canal Place and in Metairie’s Lakeside Shopping Center, and the jeans were traced to the Magazine Street store, Keller said.
“That’s about $20,000 worth of jeans,” estimated Lt. Mike Montalbano, interim commander of the Second District.
Nicholas faces charges of conspiracy to distribute heroin out of the drug raid and theft of goods worth more than $1,500 out of the subsequent investigation into the jeans, according to jail records. She was released after her bond was set at $5,000.
Kelly Thomas was sitting on a curb in Southern California as police checked his backpack when Officer Manuel Ramos donned the gloves and made two fists in front of him. Prosecutors say Ramos then said: “Now see my fists? They are getting ready to F you up.”
“This declaration was a turning point — a defining moment,” Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said, as he announced Wednesday that Ramos and another officer have been charged in Thomas’ death.
Officer Manuel Ramos, a 10-year veteran, was charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter. His lawyer disputed Rackauckas’ account, saying Thomas violently resisted arrest. Cpl. Jay Cicinelli, a 12-year veteran, faces involuntary manslaughter and excessive force charges. He pleaded not guilty.
In the 10-minute long beating, Fullerton police officers pinned Thomas to the ground so hard that he had trouble breathing. Prosecutors say he was shocked four times with a Taser, kneed in the head, punched in the ribs and bashed eight times with the butt of a stun gun.
Thomas screamed for his father, begged for help and cried out that he couldn’t breathe. Then he lost consciousness. That, prosecutors say, should have alerted officers that Thomas was seriously injured.
“We simply cannot accept that in our community that it is within the police’s right to place gloves on a police officer’s hand and put his fists in front of a detainee and say, these fists are ready to ‘eff’ you up,” Rackauckas said. “That is not protecting and serving.”
In response to claims about Ramos, the gloves and the threat, his attorney, John Barnett, said his client was using the “lowest type of force.” He said Thomas resisted arrest by kicking and swinging at officers.
“It was an attempt by the officer to use words not force to get the suspect to do what he’s supposed to do,” he said. “He sought to avoid physical confrontation with words. There was no compliance by Mr. Thomas.”
William J. Hadden and Michael Schwartz, Cicinelli’s attorneys, declined to comment after their client’s arraignment.
The announcement, by a four-term prosecutor known for his strong support of the police, was met with cheers in a city that erupted in protests after seeing video of the beating. Angry residents have called for the recall of the mayor, two council members and a review of police practices.
Ron Thomas, Kelly Thomas’ father, watched the prosecutor’s news conference on TV with a group of supporters and said he was pleased that Ramos and Cicinelli were charged. “That’s exactly what I hoped for,” he said in a phone interview. “It makes me feel fantastic that this is happening. It’s the justice we need.”
At the news conference, Rackauckas laid out a graphic, blow-by-blow narrative of the violent encounter using props that included latex gloves, a Taser and the officers’ verbatim quotes as recorded on their body microphones and surveillance video. Investigators had also interviewed 151 witnesses.
Rackauckas said the beating began after two officers, including Ramos, responded to reports July 5 that a “homeless” person was peering into cars and rattling door handles at a transit hub in downtown Fullerton.
They found Thomas shirtless and wearing a backpack; Ramos knew Thomas because he often hung out in the city and the officers didn’t feel the need to frisk him. As one officer searched his backpack, Ramos sat Thomas on a curb and ordered him to put his legs out straight and put his hands on his knees.
Thomas, who suffered from schizophrenia, had trouble complying. Ramos then put on a pair of latex gloves, leaned down and threatened him with his fists in front of Thomas’ face, Rackauckas said.
“He made two fists with his gloves on, two fists. He lifted his fists in front of Kelly Thomas so he could see them,” the lead prosecutor said. “… That’s when it went from a fairly routine investigation, a fairly routine police detention, to an impending beating by an angry police officer.”
Thomas replied, “Start punching, dude.”
Ramos then grabbed Thomas by the arm and pulled out his baton when Thomas pulled away. He swung his baton and chased Thomas, who ran behind a police car, eventually punching him in his ribs and tackling him before holding down his neck and lying on top of Thomas to pin him down, Rackauckus said.
The coroner concluded that the cause of death was mechanical compression of the thorax, which made it impossible for Thomas to breathe normally and deprived his brain of oxygen, Rackauckas said. Other injuries to the face and head contributed to his death, he said.
Cicinelli, who arrived later, kneed Thomas twice in the head and used a Taser four times on him as he screamed and yelled in pain, Rackauckas said. Cicinelli hit Thomas in the face eight times with the Taser, he said.
“His numerous pleas of ‘I’m sorry,’ ‘I can’t breathe,’ ‘Help Dad’ (were) all to no avail. Screams, loud screams, didn’t help,” the prosecutor said.
As the beating continued, Thomas didn’t respond. “When Kelly didn’t scream in response to these blows it should have indicated to Cicinelli that Kelly was down and seriously hurt,” he said.
Rackauckas said it was the first time he had filed charges against officers for excessive force leading to death.
He said the four other officers helped restrain Thomas but weren’t charged with a crime because the evidence showed they were assisting in an arrest and did not know Ramos was engaging in an unlawful beating.
Ramos was held on $1 million bail and faces a maximum of 15 years to life in prison if convicted on the charges. He will be arraigned Monday. Cicinelli faces a maximum penalty of four years. After entering his plea, he was freed Wednesday on $25,000 bail.
Thomas was in an out of treatment for schizophrenia and lived on the streets despite support from family and friends, his father has said.
He pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm in 1995 and since 2004 was arrested for a host of lesser crimes including public urination, trespassing and unlawful camping. His mother sought a restraining order against him in December 2010 after he refused to leave her front porch, took off his clothes and urinated by the front door, according to court papers.
All six officers who responded to scene, including Ramos and Cicinelli, were placed on paid administrative leave. The remaining officers are not expected to be charged but remain on paid leave amid an internal investigation and an FBI criminal probe into whether Thomas’ civil rights were violated, Chief Kevin Hamilton said.
Cicinelli, a 12-year veteran of the force, left the LAPD after he was shot in the left eye in 1996 during an on-duty shoot-out during a traffic stop. Cicinelli eventually left the department with a disability settlement that allowed him 70 percent of his salary, tax-free, for life, according to Los Angeles Times news reports at the time.
Ron Thomas has filed a claim seeking damages from the city.
NY State Attorney General files lawsuit against C.P. International Security, Inc www.privateofficer.com
Albany NY Sept 23 2011 State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced today that his office has filed a lawsuit against C.P. International Security, Inc. and Gateway Production, Inc. The suit charges that the companies, operated by Charles and Nicole Pierre, tricked people into paying for training programs by promising non-existent security jobs.
The job listings were online and in print – especially in Chinese and Spanish-language newspapers. After people answered the ads, they were told that they had been selected for the position but first had to cough up $399 for a training program.
After the program ended, they found themselves with lighter wallets — and no jobs.
“At a time when many New Yorkers struggle with unemployment and to make ends meet, this company took advantage of vulnerable, out-of-work New Yorkers to make a profit,” Schneiderman said. “My office will not tolerate fraudulent, deceptive and illegal conduct. We will seek the maximum penalties against this company as well as restitution for defrauded consumers.”
The lawsuit seeks payback for the thousands of people who lost money, in addition to shutting down the scam.
The AG’s office has gotten a temporary restraining order that freezes the company and the Pierres’ assets and bars them from advertising or selling the fake training program.
Schneiderman notes that people don’t need to plunk down that much cash for security guard training programs – many free and low-cost programs already exist. People who have lost money in the scam can file a complaint with the Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau.
He is accused of stealing merchandise priced at $29.96, and of then punching Johnny Earlywine, 22, a store security employee who confronted him, police said.
Store surveillance video helped in identifying Mr. Black as the suspected shoplifter, police said.
He is ordered to appear in town of LeRay Court.