Archive for September, 2010

Cop sent to jail for pulling weapons on friends

Posted in News, Police Behaving Badly on September 30, 2010 by punauni

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.—A former Daly City police officer will serve jail time for holding a knife to one friend’s throat and poking another with his gun.

Twenty-four-year-old Nicholas Skourtis pleaded no contest in June to two misdemeanor counts of brandishing a weapon. He’s been fired from the police department.

Prosecutors say Skourtis was off duty when he was joking around with a friend and refused to give back his cell phone. When the friend got upset, prosecutors say, Skourtis pulled out his handgun and jabbed him in the torso several times.

In February, he pulled a knife on a friend during a conversation about the best way to kill somebody.

Skourtis was sentenced Tuesday to 90 days in jail.

Defense lawyer Harry Stern told the San Mateo County Times that his client has apologized to the victims.


Peeing Cop Brandishes Gun At Man

Posted in massachusetts, News, Police Behaving Badly with tags , on September 30, 2010 by punauni

BOSTON — A Framingham police detective has been indicted on charges that he threatened a citizen and brandished a firearm, Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone said Thursday.   Scott Brown, 38, of Mendon, was indicted Thursday by a Middlesex Superior Court grand jury on charges of assault with a dangerous weapon and making threats, Leone said.  According to investigators, on April 29, 2010, Brown, who was working but not in uniform and was driving an unmarked vehicle, was urinating on private property when a woman at the property went outside to ask what he was doing.  When the woman approached him, Brown, who was with his partner, identified by the MetroWest Daily News as Detective Leonard Pini, told the woman to “stop looking,” investigators said.  As Brown and Pini began to drive off, the woman’s husband rode up on a golf cart and confronted them.  When Brown and the man got into an argument, Brown got out of the car, drew his gun and pointed it at the man, saying “move it or get shot,” according to Leone.  An arraignment date for Brown has not yet been set.

Police urged to aid abused women

Posted in Connecticut, News, Sad with tags , , , on September 29, 2010 by punauni

HARTFORD — Connecticut police could have done more to prevent the killing of a woman slain last year, allegedly by her volatile former boyfriend, the victim’s parents and a state advocate say.

Michelle Cruz, the state victim advocate, released a report yesterday with recommendations on how the state could better protect victims of domestic violence after James Carter II, 28, of Bloomfield was charged with fatally stabbing his former girlfriend, Tiana Notice, outside her Plainville home on Valentine’s Day last year.

Carter pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges and awaits trial.

Notice’s parents said police missed several opportunities to intervene and ignored their daughter’s requests for protection after Carter repeatedly violated a restraining order, they say.

“She reached out for help, and the doors were closed on her multiple times,’’ said Kathy Lewis, Notice’s mother. “As a mother, I have to live with that. Knowing how close and totally different the outcome could have been if people had just done one little thing.’’

The report, which mentions Notice’s dealings with Waterbury and Plainville police, suggests new policies for swifter and stricter policies on violations of protection orders.

Among the recommendations are that all police departments in the state implement mandatory uniform policies on enforcing restraining orders and that a committee be established to evaluate these procedures.

The report also suggests more involvement of family court judges and state attorneys in domestic violence cases.

According to the report and Notice’s parents, the 25-year-old sought a restraining order on Carter soon after their relationship ended.

The report said officers in Plainville and Waterbury were dismissive and slow to react to Notice’s reports of harassment even after Carter allegedly slashed her tires and sent her threatening texts and phone calls.

Plainville police did not have an immediate comment yesterday.

A message left with a Waterbury police spokesman was not immediately returned.

Lewis said that before her daughter’s death she called police departments to follow up on their investigations.

“I was told: ‘Nothing is going to happen to your daughter over the weekend. Come back on Tuesday,’ ’’ she said.

“Well, guess what, Tuesday came, and my daughter wasn’t here.’’

Alvin Notice said he has helped begin a memorial foundation in his daughter’s name. He said the foundation has donated security cameras to victims of domestic violence so they can provide proof of abuse to law enforcement.

“If we don’t talk about domestic violence, there’s no way we’re going to stop this problem,’’ he said.

Indiana kids died after 10 hours in closet

Posted in News, Parents Behaving Badly, Sad with tags , on September 23, 2010 by punauni

INDIANAPOLIS — A woman charged in the deaths of two of her children told officers she locked them and three siblings inside a closet so she could visit a neighbor, then found the boy and girl dead when she returned about 10 hours later, authorities said.

An Indianapolis police report released Tuesday said Edyan Farah, 28, told officers she “was not in her right mind” when she allegedly put the five children in an upstairs closet about 6 a.m. Sunday and placed a bed in front of the door so they couldn’t get out. Police said the closet was about 6 feet long and 18 inches deep.

Farah, an immigrant from Somalia, found her 5-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son “stiff and unresponsive” when she returned home about 10 1/2 hours later and opened the closet, the report said. She told officers she then carried them downstairs, but did not call 911 or try to revive them, according to the report.

On Monday, Farah was charged with two preliminary counts of neglect of a dependent resulting in death. She remained jailed Tuesday on a $200,000 bond and was scheduled to be formally charged Wednesday, said Julio Fernandez, a spokesman for the Marion County Jail.

Susan Decker, a spokeswoman for the county prosecutor’s office, said Tuesday she did not know whether Farah had an attorney. She said the prosecutor’s office had no comment on the case, adding that “everything is still under investigation at this point.”

Lt. Jeff Duhamell said the three surviving children are now in foster care.

“It’s just a very, very sad case,” he said. “It’s one of the worst ones I’ve seen — to be placed in closet approximately 18 inches by 6 feet and a bed pushed up against it for a minimum of 10 hours. We think possibly a lot longer and probably not the first time.”

Police said the siblings appeared malnourished and neighbors said they had noticed that the children appeared unusually thin.

An autopsy performed Monday did not show how the boy and girl died. Coroner’s office manager Marchele Hall said Tuesday that toxicology results that could reveal that would take three to four weeks.

The police report said Farah told detectives that after locking the children in the closet she left the apartment to first speak to a neighbor, then going with that woman to her nearby apartment.

Authorities were called to the two-story apartment at Manchester Village Apartments about four hours after Farah said she returned.

The report said a family friend grew concerned that Farah was “acting strangely” and would not allow anyone into the apartment after she had returned.

The report said the wife of that friend — the woman Farah had visited with — called Farah’s uncle to the complex and that when the uncle looked into an open door in the apartment he saw what appeared to be a dead child on a couch.

When that man tried to call 911, Farah allegedly grabbed his phone and threw it. He retrieved the phone and held Farah while the family friend called 911.

Medics who arrived at the scene shortly afterward found both children “in full rigor mortis” and neither had a pulse, the report said.

Hussein Adam, a cousin of the children’s father, said Monday that the family had emigrated from Somalia about a decade ago. He said Farah’s husband had returned there several weeks ago to visit his parents.

Connecticut Marshal William Nolan apologizes for receiving lap dance while serving warrant at strip club

Posted in Connecticut, News, People Behaving Badly with tags , , , on September 23, 2010 by punauni

A Connecticut state marshal has apologized for paying for a $15 lap dance while serving a New Haven strip club owner a tax warrant.

While testifying before two members of the State marshal Commission on Tuesday, Marshal William Nolan cried for the March 6, 2009 incident at Stage Door Johnny’s in New Haven.

“I think it was lack of judgment and I want to put on the record that I apologize to my wife and family and my 87-year-old mother, who almost had a breakdown herself.  Thant’s not me. I have never been in that place before in my life,” Nolan told Vincent Mauro and Joseph Quinn.

Nolan was also charged with failing to act with due diligence when he charged the owner of the club 10 percent more than he should have on his tax bill.

The error was discovered with owner Johnny Kraft went to pay his bill in person. Nolan said the incident was a complete mistake.

Mauro and Quinn will make a recommendation to the full commission at its September 29 meeting on the necessary actions to be taken against Nolan.

Mom arrested on drug charges after leaving toddler at day care for 22 hours

Posted in News, Parents Behaving Badly, Sad with tags on September 22, 2010 by punauni

OWENSVILLE-Authorities arrested an Owensville woman on suspicion of neglect of a dependent, possession of methamphetamine and paraphernalia after she left her toddler at Toyota’s day care facility for 22 hours.

Owensville Deputy Marshal Jason Wright said Natalie Lawson, 30, was arrested Thursday night after he was flagged down at 10:15 p.m. by Lawson’s mother, who said she was concerned about her daughter.

Wright said he was told Lawson hadn’t picked up her two-year-old child from the Toyota day care center in 22 hours, so he went to Lawson’s home on Main Street in Owensville to check on her.

He knocked on the door and got no response, but found an unlocked door and entered to check on Lawson.

“The inside of the house was found to be in total disorder,” he wrote in a news release about the incident.

Wright and Town Marshal Roger Leister found Lawson standing in the living room, “very nervous and could not sit still…” He said Lawson told police she hadn’t had any sleep in two days, and reported she had a meth pipe in the bathroom. They found the pipe, which had burned methamphetamine residue.

Wright said they also discovered that Lawson’s phone has messages from the day care, inquiring about why she hadn’t picked up her child.

Police contacted the Indiana Dept. of Child Services, and the child was placed in the custody of Lawson’s mother

Mother of dead 15-pound, 4-year-old girl hit with assault charges

Posted in News, Parents Behaving Badly, Sad with tags , , , on September 17, 2010 by punauni

A Brooklyn woman whose malnourished 4-year-old daughter was found dead in their apartment was slapped with assault charges yesterday after bruises covering the girl’s body were found to contradict her claim that the child had suffered them in a fall, police said.

Depending on autopsy results, Carlotta Brett-Pierce, 30, could face stiffer charges in the death of Marchella Pierce — who weighed just 15 pounds and had rope marks on her ankles when her body was found Thursday.

Brett-Pierce was also hit with drug charges after marijuana and cocaine were allegedly found in the family’s home on Madison Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

NABBED: Carlotta Brett-Pierce is escorted in cuffs yesterday, a day after the death of her daughter in their Bed-Stuy home, which was scoured by crime-scene investigators.

She denied any guilt as she was walked in handcuffs out of the 81st Precinct station house yesterday.

“I didn’t kill my baby!” she declared, as a crowd of about 15 onlookers jeered her. One shouted: “They should fry you for what you did!”

News of the arrest came as little shock to Brett-Pierce’s former neighbors, who had the woman and her mother, Loretta, evicted from the rough-and-tumble Marcy Houses for violent behavior and drug abuse.

“They are both crazy and deranged,” said Elizabeth Soto, a resident of the complex. “They were troublemakers . . . They would always open the door and throw things at you. You had to duck.”

“All they would do was go out and buy drugs. Crack. You could smell it. They fought with a lot of people,” she said. “The way they were living in that apartment, they would open that door and you’d get sick.”

Soto and another Marcy resident, Evelyn Rizzo, said neighbors eventually started a petition to have the city Housing Authority boot the mom and daughter.

Carlotta once threatened to “slash” a neighbor’s 2-year-old child because of a “clicking radiator,” Rizzo said.

Records show Brett-Pierce pleaded guilty to assault after a July 2003 arrest for attacking a fellow bus passenger who intervened when she ignored the driver’s request to step behind the white line in the coach.

The Administration for Children’s Services launched a probe into the family after Brett-Pierce’s son was born last November and tested positive for narcotics.

After cops arrived Thursday morning in response to a 911 call, Brett-Pierce told them bruises on Marchella’s body were a result of the girl falling the prior day, police said.

But cops yesterday said the injuries were not consistent with a fall. Along with assault, Brett-Pierce was charged with reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child.

Born just 1 pound, 4 ounces, Marchella had spent most of her short life in hospitals. The girl, who had required a tracheal tube to breathe, was released from the hospital in February.

ACS has placed Brett-Pierce’s two sons in foster care.

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