Nov 1 2013

Natick police officer arrested for allegedly assaulting girlfriend

Dr. Q

The MetroWest Daily News reports:

A Natick Police officer arrested Thursday and charged with beating his girlfriend is on leave from the department, authorities said.

Sean David Munger, 32, pleaded not guilty to a single charge of assault and battery at his Framingham District Court arraignment Thursday.

Prosecutor Rachel Perlman said police went to Dartmouth Street around 2:30 a.m. for a report of a dispute and were greeted by Munger’s 23-year-old girlfriend. She had several bruises on her face, swollen areas and a two-inch abrasion on her face, the prosecutor said.

The woman said Munger had hit her. She told police he had gotten on top of her and punched her twice on each side of her face, before she fled the home and began knocking on neighbors’ doors for about a half hour before someone let her in to call police, Perlman said.

The woman told police Munger had hit her in the past, but she never reported it. She also told police “she feared she would be killed by this defendant,” Perlman said.

Perlman asked Judge Robert Greco to hold Munger, of Dartmouth Street, on $500 bail, order him to turn over any firearms and to stay away and not contact the victim.

She said police had already taken away Munger’s gun and license to carry.

Munger’s lawyer, Charles Kelley, argued bail was not necessary. He said Munger has been a police officer in town for six years, was a graduate of Natick High School and was not a flight risk.

Munger also denied the allegations, Kelley said.

“He’s not going anywhere,” said Kelley. “He plans on contesting the charges.”

Greco released Munger without bail. He ordered Munger to not contact and to stay away from the victim and to turn over all firearms to the police department.

In a statement, Natick Police said, “The matter is currently under investigation and one involving personnel decisions. Officer Munger is presently on administrative leave.”

Greco said the case will be transferred from Framingham District Court to another court because Munger frequently testifies during hearings and trials in Framingham.

Munger is due back in court on Dec. 4 for a pretrial conference.


Oct 19 2013

Curry College campus officer fired after home invasion arrest

Dr. Q

The Patriot Ledger reports:

A Marshfield man being held without bail on home invasion and gun charges for allegedly entering the home of a woman he knows and pointing a police baton and a handgun at her has been fired from his job as a public safety officer at Curry College.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Frances L. Jackson, director of communication at the Milton college, confirmed that Paul Kodzis, 26, of 54 Primrose Lane had been fired.

“The matter remains under investigation with external law enforcement agencies, and the college is grateful for their service,’’ Jackson said.

Kodzis was arraigned Tuesday in Plymouth District Court on charges of assault with a dangerous weapon, home invasion with a firearm, domestic assault, improper storage of a large-capacity firearm, armed burglary and witness intimidation.

Kodzis’ bail may be reconsidered following a dangerousness hearing scheduled for Friday.

Marshfield police arrested Kodzis on Monday night after a woman went to the police station to report that she had awakened at about 1 a.m. Monday to find a man, later identified as Kodzis, pointing a police baton and handgun at her and yelling, Marshfield police Lt. Paul Taber said. Taber said the woman, who lives in Marshfield, knows Kodzis “from the past.”

The woman told police she ran into the room of one of her roommates, and Kodzis followed her. The roommates were then able to talk Kodzis into handing over the gun, Taber said.

The witnesses told police they left the gun in the bathroom while the victim called Kodzis’ parents, who “picked him up and took control of the gun and the police baton that he had brought with him,” Taber said.

Police found two loaded, unsecured handguns in the attic of Kodzis’ home, Taber said.

Police have since suspended Kodzis’ license to carry firearms.


Oct 11 2013

Agawam police officer charged with assaulting wife

Dr. Q

The Republican reports:

A 13-year member of the Agawam Police Department was arraigned on a domestic assault and battery charge Monday in Westfield District Court following his arrest for spousal abuse over the weekend at his Agawam home.

Paul Chenevert, 47, denied the charge at his arraignment. Judge Joseph Conant ordered him released on his own recognizance. He is due back in court in court on Dec. 20.

He was ordered to refrain making threats or physical violence against his wife, and was also ordered not to drink any alcohol. As part of the court order, he is to submit to periodic testing for alcohol use.

Police were called to Chenevert’s home just before 1:30 a.m. Saturday for a complaint made by his wife, who said her husband had assaulted her.

Chenevert has been a police officer in Agawam since 2000.

Lt. Richard Light Jr., acting chief for the department, said Chenever on Monday was placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the outcome of the department’s internal affairs investigation.

Light said he ordered the investigation on Monday and it should be completed by sometime next week.

Another cop gets another paid vacation at taxpayer expense after being charged with a violent crime.


Jul 9 2013

Quincy police captain charged with assaulting estranged wife

Dr. Q

A Quincy police was was charged with domestic assault and battery after allegedly attacking his estranged wife while picking up his daughter for a weekend visit. The officer has been placed on paid leave (Source: The Patriot Ledger).

The attorney for a Quincy police captain charged with domestic assault and battery against his estranged, pregnant wife says Capt. Michael J. Miller “blatantly denies” the allegation.

Quincy attorney Jack McGlone also said Miller’s wife declined to press charges when she first contacted police in Plymouth, where she now lives.

McGlone made those comments Monday, shortly after Miller’s initial appearance in Plymouth District Court.

Miller has been free on personal recognizance since he was charged on Saturday.

Michael J. Miller, 49, of Quincy, was arrested by Plymouth police Saturday afternoon on a single charge of aggravated assault and battery. The assault allegedly occurred Friday afternoon, when Miller went to his wife’s Plymouth apartment to pick up their five-year-old daughter for a weekend visit.

The Plymouth police report says Miller’s wife told police that the captain knew she was standing behind her apartment door when he opened it, and that she was hurt when the door opened. The report also says that Capt. Miller said his wife opened the door, not him.

The police report says Miller’s wife initially declined pressing charges or the police invitation to obtain a restraining order. The report says she took both those actions Friday night, after she was treated and released at South Shore Hospital in Weymouth.

Miller was scheduled to be arraigned Monday morning, but a judge approved a continuance of the arraignment until July 15. Miller swiftly left the courthouse, saying only “I have no comment.”

McGlone said he asked Judge Brian Gilligan for the delay to “do some research” on the Plymouth police report, and indicated he’ll ask Gilligan to dismiss the case.

Meanwhile, Miller is on paid administrative leave until the case is resolved. Quincy Police Chief Paul Keenan said Monday morning that Miller’s gun license has been temporarily suspended, and that police took his gun late Friday night, when officers delivered a temporary restraining order his wife obtained that evening.

He said Miller was cooperative at that time. Miller has been with the Quincy police since 1986.

More info from Boston.com here.

Update (7/19/2013): The charge against Captain Miller has been dropped after his wife refused to testify against him. The Patriot Ledger reports:

A Plymouth District Court judge has dismissed charges against a Quincy police captain accused of assaulting his pregnant, estranged wife.

Plymouth County assistant district attorney Bridget Norton Middleton said prosecutors asked Judge Brian Gilligan to dismiss the charge against Capt. Michael Miller of Quincy at a Thursday morning pretrial session.

Middleton said “there was insufficient evidence to proceed” after Miller’s wife invoked her marital privilege and declined to testify against Miller.

Police Chief Paul Keenan said Miller will return to full duty as a detective captain as of 8 a.m. Friday. His gun license will be reinstated at that time, and he’ll get his gun back.

Miller, who’s 49, has been on paid administrative leave since he was charged July 6. He’s a 25-year veteran on the Quincy force.

“I’ve known Capt. Miller for a long time, and I know his character,” Keenan said. “I reviewed the (case) reports, so this was the outcome I expected.”

Miller’s attorney John McGlone III of Quincy said the captain is looking forward to returning to duty, but that “he’s still disappointed it happened and came to this.”

Gilligan’s ruling brought a quick end to a case that began with Miller’s arrest July 6, the day after he allegedly struck his wife by opening the door to her Plymouth apartment as she stood behind it.

Miller went to his wife’s residence the afternoon of July 5, to pick up their five-year-old daughter for a weekend visit.

The Plymouth police report said Miller’s wife initially declined to press charges or seek a restraining order after she contacted police. She took both those actions after she was treated at South Shore Hospital.

In the report Miller denied that the incident happened.

Prosecutors got a “Rule 17” court order to review his wife’s hospital and ambulance records, to see if there was any other evidence to support an assault charge. Finding none, Middleton said prosecutors filed the motion to dismiss the charges.

McGlone said that’s what he expected to happen.

“Everything backed up what he (Miller) said,” McGlone said.


Jun 27 2013

Waltham police chief convicted of assaulting wife

Dr. Q

The Waltham police chief was convicted of two counts of assault and battery after attacking his wife in 2012 (Source: Boston.com).

Details here:

A Concord District Court jury on Wednesday found suspended Waltham police Chief Thomas LaCroix guilty of twice assaulting his wife, Andrea in fits of anger on June 12 last year at the couple’s Maynard home.

The jury convicted LaCroix on two assault and battery counts—one in which he picked up his wife and threw her in the couple’s garage and another which left her with a bloody, swollen lip.

He was acquitted on charges that he assaulted his wife by slamming her head on to a kitchen counter top, that he attacked his wife’s friend Shannon Policano and that he threatened to kill both of them if they went to police.

According to the Associated Press, LaCroix was given a paid vacation (“paid leave”) after he was arrested last June. I wish my job would give me a year-long paid vacation if I was charged with a crime.

Here’s an old video about this case from CBS Boston:

Update (10/25/2013): The Boston Globe reports that LaCroix will be able to collect his full pension despite his conviction.

The former police chief, Thomas LaCroix, who was convicted of twice assaulting his wife at their Maynard home last year, will receive a full pension after the Retirement Board voted unanimously Thursday night to grant it.

“There are times in a person’s life when one mistake can cost that person everything,” wrote Michael Sacco, the board’s lawyer, in his recommendation to the retirement panel. “After much thought and deliberation, I conclude this is not one of those circumstances.”

Massachusetts retirement law states that if a public employee’s convictions are found to relate at all to his or her position, the pension for that employee can be taken away.

Citing Durkin v. Boston Retirement Board, where a Boston police officer lost his pension after he shot another officer while drunk, Sacco supported his recommendation by noting that LaCroix was not convicted of using a dangerous weapon when he assaulted his wife.

“LaCroix was originally charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and had he been convicted of that crime, the recommended decision in this case likely would have been different,” Sacco wrote.

The Waltham Retirement Board’s decision comes after a Concord District Court jury found LaCroix guilty on June 26 of assaulting his wife, Andrea, last year.

LaCroix resigned from his post on July 10, the same day that Judge J. Elizabeth Cremens sentenced him to 18 months’ probation.


May 24 2013

Worcester police officer arrested after allegedly attacking wife

Dr. Q

A Worcester police officer was arrested and charged with domestic assault and battery and threatening to commit a crime (specifically murder) after allegedly attacking his wife (Source: Telegram & Gazette).

Here are the details:

Assistant District Attorney Roberta O’Brien said in court today at Mr. [Kenneth D.] Erickson’s brief arraignment that he kicked in the bedroom door, ripped the victim’s shirt, choked her, and said he was going to kill her. Ms. OBrien said Mr. Erickson turned on the stove and threatened to burn the house down.

Police were first called to the Maravista Road home for a report of domestic violence on Thursday. When they arrived, officers found a woman sitting in her car in front of the house. She told officers that she’d had an argument with her husband, but the matter was resolved.

Officers went inside and spoke with Mr. Erickson, according to police. He also told them that the argument had been resolved.

“Both parties were interviewed separately and denied that the argument was physical,” according to police reports. “At that time, Mr. Erickson decided to leave the home for the night and made arrangements to stay elsewhere.”

Officers told the woman of her rights pertaining to domestic abuse laws, including restraining orders, and she told police that it was not necessary.

However, police were summoned back to the house about 3 this morning by reports of a domestic dispute.

According to police, Mr. Erickson’s wife was hesitant to provide officers with the details of the circumstances involving her husband. She told officers that she had picked up Mr. Erickson and brought him back to the home. Once they were home, she told them, another argument ensued that turned physical and threats were made against her.

The officer has plead not guilty to the charges and was released on personal recognizance.