Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Travis County Sheriff’s Deputy James Sapp Fired Following Drunk Driving Arrest

James Sapp Arrest Photo
Austin, Texas

Officials have announced that a Travis County sheriff’s deputy has been fired after he was arrested and charged with drunken driving over the weekend.

According to a spokesman for the Travis County Sheriff's Office, 47-year-old James Sapp was terminated Monday after he was charged with driving while intoxicated, unlawful carrying of a weapon and possession of a controlled substance.

Sapp was arrested Sunday night after a police officer saw his vehicle swerving in Cedar Park.

The arrest affidavit alleges that Sapp showed signs of intoxication during a field sobriety test. The officer said he also found prescription pills in Sapp's pocket and a gun in his vehicle.

Sapp had worked for 24 years at the sheriff's office.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Accused Road Rage Shooting Deputy Kenneth Caplan Appears in Court

Harris County Deputy Kenneth Caplan

Houston, Texas

A former Harris County Precinct 6 reserve deputy who's accused of shooting a woman in a fit of rage appeared in court this morning and prosecutors said he had already been involved in a similar incident.

Kenneth Caplan, 34, is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The shooting victim says that back on November 11, a driver cut her off on the South Loop by South Main Street. After she honked her horn, investigators say Caplan opened fire, shooting her in the head. The deputy then fled the scene. The woman survived.

During the investigation, authorities discovered evidence that led them to Caplan, he was arrested on Nov. 26.

Harris County Assistant District Attorney Angela Weltin says Caplan, "Attempted to hide evidence by reporting his car stolen. By destroying his weapon and by failing to report anything about this case until he was confronted by investigators."

Prosecutors believe Caplan may have sold his missing blue Camaro in Mexico.

Caplan’s bond was reduced in half to $100,000. If Caplan posts bond, he will be required to wear a GPS ankle bracelet and surrender his passport.

Prosecutors said Caplan had been suspended because of another road rage incident.

"Unfortunately this is not the only incident that we believe the defendant has been involved in with regard to road rage. I am seeking and looking for other victims of this defendant," said Weltin.

Caplan has been permanently relieved of his reserve deputy title. He's due back in court Jan. 26, 2015.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Embattled Cop Darren Wilson Resigns from Ferguson Police Force

Darren Wilson resigns from police department in Ferguson, Missouri

Darren Wilson, who may be the most unpopular police officer right now after fatally shooting an unarmed teenager in August, has resigned from the police department in Ferguson, Missouri. The resignation was announced by his attorney, Neil Bruntrager, on Saturday night.

Wilson told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, in a telephone interview, that he resigned after the police department told him it received threats of violence if he remained an employee.

"I'm resigning of my own free will," he said. "I'm not willing to let someone else get hurt because of me."

He said resigning was "the hardest thing I've ever had to do."

The immediate resignation follows a decision by a grand jury not to indict Wilson in the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

The shooting sparked worldwide protests and the Monday announcement of no indictment triggered another round of demonstrations that continued through the week and into the weekend.

Wilson had been with the Ferguson Police Department for six years. He had been on paid administrative leave since the incident.

According to the Post-Dispatch, Wilson said he's not receiving a severance package. Wilson has not said what he plans to do next.

Wilson, 28, cited security fears in his letter of resignation, which reads:

"I, Darren Wilson, hereby resign my commission as a police officer with the City of Ferguson effective immediately. I have been told that my continued employment may put the residents and police officers of the City of Ferguson at risk, which is a circumstance that I cannot allow.

"For obvious reasons, I wanted to wait until the grand jury made their decision before I officially made my decision to resign. It was my hope to continue in police work, but the safety of other police officers and the community are of paramount importance to me. It is my hope that my resignation will allow the community to heal. I would like to thank all of my supporters and fellow officers throughout this process."
According to his attorney, Wilson had been in hiding since days after the shooting, when he received a phone call saying his home address was circulating on the internet. He was mowing the grass at the time.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Is Kelly Armstrong Getting Away With Murder in Grimes County?

Navasota, Texas

Some folks are crying foul down in Grimes County, following the death of a woman early Monday morning in Navasota.

Autumn Armstrong
Navasota police discovered 40-year-old Autumn Armstrong dead in her home following a 9-1-1 call from the woman’s husband. Investigators say that Kelly Armstrong, 43, told dispatchers that he had shot his wife while he was asleep. While neighbors have reported hearing possible gunfire as early as 10:30 p.m., police believe the shooting occurred around 3:15 a.m. The dead woman was discovered by police before 5:00 a.m.

Later in the day, as details began to emerge, Grimes County District Attorney Tuck McLain announced that there were no suspects and no warrants had been issued, but that Armstrong’s body was sent for an autopsy in Dallas. Investigators also confirmed that Armstrong’s husband, Kelly, and the couple’s young son were in the house at the time of the shooting. The couple was planning to finalize divorce proceedings on the day the murder occurred.

On Tuesday, an arrest warrant was issued for Kelly Armstrong, along with a charge of first-degree murder. Justice of the Peace John LeFlore set his bond at $150,000. The man’s attorney, Billy Carter of Bryan announced that an arrangement had been made with the District Attorney and Mr. Armstrong would turn himself in around noon on Wednesday. Armstrong and his attorney did arrive at the Grimes County Jail on Wednesday as scheduled. Two hours later, after posting bond, Armstrong walked out of the jail.

Kelly Armstrong
Following Autumn Armstrong’s death, social media was filled with Grimes County residents outraged by the events following the woman’s death, the scheduled appointment for Mr. Armstrong to turn himself in, the low bond amount and the freedom Armstrong has after posting bond. Mr. Armstrong comes from a well-known, prominent family in Grimes County, a family which includes business owners and attorneys.

Following the social media community outcry on Facebook, Grimes County District Attorney Tuck McLain responded to concerns over the bond amount set for Mr. Armstrong with the following:

"The bond amount recommended by the bond schedule adopted by the district Judges for a 1st degree felony is $20,000.00. Murder is a 1st degree felony. Judge Leflore set the bond at over SEVEN TIMES the recommended amount. The CCP sets five considerations for a Judge to use in setting bonds. 1. Bail must be sufficiently high to assure appearance; 2. It may not be "an instrument of oppression"; 3. Consider the nature of the crime; 4. The ability of the defendant to make bail & 5. The future safety of the victim and the community. As AB noted above, this case doe4s not qualify for a no bond under the Texas Constitution. My suggestion to many of you criticizing Judge LaFlore is 1. Learn something about what you’re talking about and 2) Figure out how to change the law if you don't like the way it is."

Many residents, however, continue to express their concerns that Armstrong’s family influence is resulting in preferential treatment. The case is set to be presented to a Grand Jury soon.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Houston Police Homicide Detective Ryan Chandler is Being Called 'One Bad Apple'

HPD Detective Ryan Chandler Under Investigation for Mishandling Cases

Houston, Texas

You know, judging from all of his cut-and-paste, duplicate employee evaluations, many containing the same misspelled words, Ryan Chandler looks like a competent homicide investigator.

The Houston Police Department is conducting an internal probe into their homicide division, including taking a closer look at a number of investigators, supervisors and other employees. So far, Sgt. Ryan Chandler seems like the king turd of the group.

Oh and, about those employee evaluations, KHOU-TV did a probe of their own and found that every one of Chandler’s four reviews done in 2011 and 2012, were virtually identical, with the same exact wording used in the same order. In short, each semi-annual review seemed to have been copied and pasted from the previous review.

Chandler has been “Indefinitely suspended,” after Internal Affairs officers discovered he falsified HPD reports, even going so far as to claim he “referred” a homicide case to a grand jury, when in fact, he hadn’t and never did.

IAD also concluded that Chandler let cases languish by failing to enter new information in their files for 18 months in one case, two and a half years in another, and in yet another, waiting three years to update the offense report for the crime.

Worse, Internal Affairs also found that Chandler failed to even go to some of the scenes of homicides to which he’d been assigned. In at least one instance, Chandler defended himself, according to HPD, by saying that there was no crime scene to investigate.

The probe is also focusing on Senior Police Officer Kevin P. Carr and Senior Officer Richard Moreno and former Sgt. E. Gonzalez – the now Houston City Councilman Ed Gonzalez.

The probe continues, although the DA’s office admits that criminal prosecution is probably in the cards for Ryan Chandler.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Big Spring Police Officer Simon Elizondo Charged with Theft by a Public Servant

Simon Elizondo
Big Spring, Texas

A Big Spring Police officer has been arrested on a state jail felony of theft by a public servant.

According to a report from BSPD, department officials were told about allegations involving misconduct by an officer identified as Simon Elizondo.

Once the allegations surfaced, BSPD began an internal investigation and the preliminary findings led officers to believe criminal activity had taken place and the investigation was turned over to the Texas Rangers. The report also states that BSPD assisted with both investigations and Elizondo was placed on administrative leave.

On Friday, an arrest warrant was issued for Elizondo on a charge of theft by a public servant, the report stated.

According to the report, Elizondo was arrested and charged with theft by a public servant and placed in the Howard County Law Enforcement Center. What Elizondo had taken was not specified.

San Antonio Police Officer James Ferguson Arrested for Drunk Driving in San Marcos

James Ferguson San Antonio Police Officer
James Ferguson
San Marcos, Texas

A San Antonio police officer was arrested for driving while intoxicated early Thursday morning.

San Marcos Police Department Chief Howard Williams said James Henry Ferguson, 37, was arrested around 2:30 a.m. He was held in the Hays County Jail overnight and released in lieu of $3,000 bail at 12:45 Thursday afternoon.

Ferguson has been with the San Antonio Police Department since 2007, according to state records.
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