Tag Archives: police spokesperson

Update: LVMPD Officer Caught on Body Cam Beating Woman For Littering Sentenced to Year in Prison

Excessive Force Prison Sentence Las Vegas Police Officer Richard Scavone

Las Vegas Metro Police Officer Richard Scavone has been sentenced to one year in prison for assaulting a handcuffed woman as part of a plea deal.

A Las Vegas police officer has been sentenced to one year in prison as part of a plea deal for beating a handcuffed woman. As I posted about previously on NVCopBlock, LVMPD Officer Richard Scavone was caught on his own body camera assaulting the woman in January of 2015. He had decided that Amanda Vizcarrondo-Ortiz was a prostitute, even though he readily admitted later to having no actual proof of that.

He then decided to arrest her for loitering and also for littering, after she threw her coffee on the ground. In the process of profiling her for legally standing on a public street, Scavone became angry because she cursed at him. In retaliation for her not respecting his authoritah (AKA committing “contempt of cop“), he assaulted her multiple times.

In addition to throwing her on the ground, he also slammed her head against the hood of his car twice (after she complained about him touching her breasts), grabbed her by the throat and hair, and slammed her into the door jam of the car as he was shoving her into the back seat. During that entire time, Vizcarrondo-Ortiz was handcuffed and not in any way whatsoever physically resisting.

Note: If you have videos, stories, upcoming events/protests, or personal interactions with the police (and/or “justice” system) that you would like to share, send them to us and we will do everything we can to bring it to the attention of the world. In addition, you can visit the Nevada Cop Block resources section for information and links to the rights of citizens when dealing with police, during which you should always be filming.

As I also posted about, Vizcarrondo-Ortiz  later filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Officer Scavone. Also named in the excessive force lawsuit were the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and Travis Buechler, a former Corrections Officer. Buechler, who has since been fired for some undisclosed reason, stood by and watched Scavone beat a woman like a Good Cop without reporting it or interceding in any way to stop it. She reportedly suffered permanent injuries to her head, back, and neck during the attack. That lawsuit was settled for $200,000 of taxpayers’ money in July of 2016.

Eventually, due to the body cam footage (embedded below) and the pending lawsuit Scavone was charged with several federal crimes including assault and falsifying an official police report to justify that assault. In September of 2017, he accepted a deal to plead guilty to just one count of “deprivation of rights under color of law.”

In spite of having all but one charge dropped and a letter from retired LVMPD Sgt. Raymond Reyes that spoke glowingly of his award winning career, impeccable reputation, and referred to him as “cop of cops,” Scavone actually received a harsher than expected sentence. Earlier this month, on January 11th, he was sentenced to a year in prison and an additional year of probation. He was also fined $20,000 given 300 hours of community service by U.S. District Judge Richard Boulware II.

Body Camera Footage of Officer Scavone’s Assault:

Posts Related to LVMPD Police Brutality

California Officer (Only) Demoted for Driving Drunk; Texting During Hit and Run in Police Vehicle

I’ve finally found a victimless crime that police are unwilling to enforce. Of course, by some odd coincidence that crime (along with several others that also weren’t enforced) was committed by another Hero in Blue.

In spite of admitting that he had been drinking and was sending a text when he ran into a parked semi in Temecula (a suburb of Los Angeles), a police officer from the Riverside Police Department wasn’t charged with driving under the influence or texting while driving. Nor was he charged with leaving the scene of an accident, even though he had to be tracked down to his house after the accident and at least one motorist had also called to report his car was “swerving all over the roadway” and had hit a curb.

Instead, Chad Milby‘s only punishment was being demoted from lieutenant to sergeant. Although the department used “privacy regulations” to avoid discussing it, or the $9,500 in damages he caused in the process, that presumably resulted from the fact Milby also was driving an undercover police vehicle at the time and hadn’t reported the accident, as is required.

Via the Press-Enterprise:

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, which provides police services for Temecula, investigated the crash that happened the night of April 29 on Wolf Store Road east of Mahlon Vail Road.

When a deputy questioned Milby at his home later that night, he did not appear to be under the influence of alcohol, the sheriff’s incident report said.

Milby was not cited for violating the state Vehicle Code section requiring the use of a hands-free device to text because an officer must witness an infraction to write a ticket, said Deputy Michael Vasquez, a Sheriff’s Department spokesman.

The driver of the truck did not want to press hit-and-run charges, Vasquez said, so there was no victim. Some crimes, such as domestic violence, can be prosecuted with the state of California as the victim, Vasquez said, but hit and run is not one of them.

Milby, through a Riverside police spokeswoman, declined to comment for this story.

The deputy who questioned Milby, whose name was redacted from the report provided to The Press-Enterprise, said he was dispatched to a report of a hit and run involving a semi at 10:46 p.m. April 29. Two minutes earlier, the deputy wrote, there was a separate report of a silver car “swerving all over the roadway” and that the car hit a curb about a mile away.

The deputy examined the semi and found only a scuff on a tire. He also found pieces of the city’s car.

Milby reported the crash to the Riverside Police Department, the deputy wrote. The deputy did not specify when. Department policy requires crashes to be “promptly” reported to a supervisor and a collision report filed with the agency having jurisdiction where the crash occurred.

The policy also prohibits using take-home cars for personal errands “beyond a reasonable minor detour,” unless approved, and prohibits driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs. It also bans, without permission, drinking any alcohol within four hours before driving.

Milby told the deputy he had drank two beers between 6 and 10 p.m. before the crash.

The deputy contacted Milby in the driveway of his home in Temecula and said he noticed “an odor of either cologne or fragrant soap, preventing me from detecting an odor of an alcoholic beverage.” But Milby did not appear to be under the influence of alcohol, the deputy wrote.

Milby told the deputy that his airbag deployed when he hit some unknown object, but he did not stop because he did not see any vehicles or injured pedestrians. He did not immediately check for damage to his car. Milby could not explain why he didn’t report the crash to the Sheriff’s Department.

Milby called the deputy the next day to add that he was responding to a text message from his wife at the time of the crash.

The deputy subsequently talked with a second witness who said he saw a silver car with its hazard lights on and the airbag inflated “doing donuts” near the site of Milby’s crash.

It’s not exactly hard to figure out why he didn’t report the crash or hang around to talk about. Or, for that matter, why there was another odor preventing that unnamed deputy from detecting the smell of alcohol. I’m sure that deputy couldn’t put two and two together, either. I’m also rather sure that if anyone else admitted to drinking and texting while driving during an investigation of a hit and run accident in which witnesses reported their car swerving all over the road and doing donuts (the joke writes itself) with their airbag deployed nearby, they wouldn’t have charged them with anything at all either.

Drunk NYPD Cop Found Passed Out With Loaded Gun Outside WWE Wrestling Event

NYPD Officer Mark Kelly apparently wanted to keep things traditional while attending a World Wrestling Entertainment show. So he did what is expected of fans at a rasslin match, got sloppy drunk and passed out in the gutter outside of the Barclays Center where the wrestling matches were. He even went the extra mile and left his loaded pistol laying out in plain sight while he slept it off with visions of Hulk Hogan, the Big Boss Man, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson dancing in his dreams.

Via the New York Post:

Kelly was lying on the street at Fourth Avenue and Atlantic Avenue with a gun visible in his waistband when a passer-by called 911, saying he might be a cop, according to the sources.

Cops believe he had just come from WWE’s Monday Night Raw at the Barclays Center.

Kelly later had a rumble with his bosses.

He was suspended for the move on Tuesday, according to police spokeswoman Sgt. Jessica McRorie.

“The incident is under internal review,” she added.

Kelly was taken by ambulance to Methodist Hospital to dry out, according to police sources.

He could not be reached for comment.

The officer, who made $58,676 in 2015, will not collect his paycheck while he is on suspension.

One of his co-workers (presumably another cop) who wanted to remain anonymous, because there’s a bunch of heavily armed and violent people at his job that don’t take too kindly to people bad mouthing one of the Brothas (we’re talking that way right now), was none to happy about this little turn of events:

“Who is this guy, getting himself so inebriated where he lost control of himself and his ability to secure his firearm?” the source questioned. “A police officer is on duty at all times. This guy obviously can’t control himself. He needs to get professional help.

“The cops have their hands filled right now. The last thing they need is a drunken cop with his gun hanging out,” the source added. “He’s just making the rest of us look awful.”

And the Anonymous Mad Guy has a pretty good point. It’s not videos of cops doing illegal, violent, or even just ridiculous shit that is making cops (even the mythical “Good Cops”) look awful, it’s actually the Bad Apples on those videos doing illegal, violent, or even just ridiculous shit who are doing that.

Of course, the way to stop that would be to hold those Rotten Apples accountable when they do those things. While it’s better than the usual snow job that ensues, suspending a cop (even without it being the typical paid vacation type of suspension) caught passed out with his loaded gun exposed should just be a good start to that process. Being that it’s an actual crime that others would get arrested for to be in possession of a firearm while intoxicated that shouldn’t be the only consequence.

In fact, one of the punishments for that crime is to take away the offenders ability to carry a weapon. It’s a bit hard to be a cop without the right to carry a weapon. So that just might be a pretty good reminder to a cop not to make the rest of them look awful. Don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen, though.

Indiana Police Shoot Family Dog Then Celebrate by High-Fiving While Laughing

Last week, while investigating a fight, a police officer in Elkhart, Indiana shot a family’s dog after claiming that it charged at him. Fortunately, only one of the three bullets the unnamed officer fired struck the dog and he survived, but sustained what was described as two “large wounds.”

Meanwhile, Gisselle Soto maintains that her dog, Churro, never charged at the officer and that he is a friendly and well-behaved pet. She also states that she and her husband were just walking their dog when police asked them about the fight which had already broken up prior to their arrival. According to Soto, Churro had barked at the officer, but never tried to attack or even approach him.

Even more disturbing is the claim by Gisselle and her husband, Ricardo Soto, that after shooting their dog, the police officers present made light of it. In fact, they charge that the officers even celebrated the shooting by “high-fiving” each other and laughed about it afterwards, while making comments about how it was “just a dog.”

Via the Elkhart Truth:

An Elkhart woman says police had no reason to shoot her dog on Friday evening, saying officers were laughing and high-fiving each other after the incident, which left her dog with two large wounds, but luckily still alive.

Ricardo Soto Police Bullet Ricochet

Injury from bullet ricochet.

Gisselle Soto, the owner of Churro, a 4-year-old pit bull/boxer mix, said her dog was only barking and never lunged at the officer before he pulled out his gun and fired three times at the dog. Only one of the bullets hit Churro, going through his neck and exiting out his chest, and a veterinarian at a local animal hospital said Churro was very lucky, according to Soto.

Her account directly contradicts what police said Friday night. The officer was walking back to his patrol car after conducting an investigation into the fight when the dog charged at him, said police spokesman Sgt. Chris Snyder. The dog jumped on the officer, which led him to draw his gun and shoot at the dog.

In addition, the couple say that the area where the shooting had other neighbors nearby, including children playing outside. Obviously, this placed those people into danger from errant shots. In fact, Ricardo was himself grazed by a bullet intended for Churro that ricocheted off the pavement.

Cathy Pepper, the Soto’s neighbor, supports their statements that Churro would never attack anyone and is not aggressive toward people, while also criticizing the behavior of police .

“Churro is always very friendly,” she said. “The police come and they harrass us down here, they speed, it just isn’t right.”

Ricardo Soto Police Dog Shooting ChurroAccording to Sgt. Chris Snyder, the police spokesperson, an “investigation” is under way and as soon as those top notch investigators get to the bottom of it, “the department will deal with that,” if it is determined to be true. Of course, absent a video, which is not mentioned in the reporting on this, the word of those cops who shot their dog and then celebrated their deed will be what they base their “investigation” on. (In other words, don’t hold your breath.)

Meanwhile, this is the third time police in Elkhart, a suburb of Gary, have shot someone’s dog in less than nine months. That includes an incident in October where an officer shot a dog, that was inside its own yard, at least ten times. Similarly, that officer claimed the dog had charged at him. However, witnesses to the shooting stated that the dog was actually running away from him in the other direction, at the time.

Update: Woman Beaten by LVMPD Officer For Littering Has Filed Civil Rights Lawsuit

LVMPD Police Brutality Excessive Force Officer Richard Scavone

In January, I posted about former LVMPD Officer Richard Scavone, who was caught on camera assaulting a woman. The immediate reason for his violent actions that day was that she had thrown a cup of coffee on the ground while he was in the process of profiling and harassing her. In reality, it was a case of “contempt of cop” in which the woman didn’t properly bow and scrape to his authoritah and possibly a bit of showing off to the corrections officer he was giving a ride along to at the time.

Now the woman he attacked and then arrested on trumped up charges to justify that arrest has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against him. In that lawsuit, Amanda Vizcarrondo-Ortiz names the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Officer Scavone, and former Corrections Officer Travis Buechler who was with Scavone at the time of the incident. Cal Potter, a Las Vegas civil rights lawyer, is representing Vizcarrondo-Ortiz in the lawsuit.

Via the Associated Press:

A California woman who authorities say was illegally beaten by a police officer wearing a body camera has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit seeking damages from Las Vegas police, the former patrol officer and his partner at the time.

Officials have called the case one of the first to use body-camera video against an officer wearing the device.

Amanda Vizcarrondo-Ortiz of Los Angeles said in her lawsuit filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas that she suffered permanent face, neck and back injuries during her January 2015 arrest on littering and loitering for prostitution charges. The charges were later dropped.

Ortiz’s lawyer, Cal Potter, called her beating and arrest unjustified “street justice” for offending the arresting officer, Richard Thomas Scavone, by throwing a cup of coffee on the ground and refusing to put her hands behind her back to be handcuffed.

“He videotaped his own misconduct,” Potter said of Scavone. “It’s our belief that there was no basis for the stop or the arrest…”

The video hasn’t been made public. Officials have said it shows the woman’s face bleeding after she was thrown to the ground, grabbed by the neck and slammed by her head on the hood of a patrol car.

Scavone reported that Ortiz was combative and that he felt his safety was threatened.

A hearing date hasn’t been set in the civil lawsuit that also names the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, and a former corrections officer, Travis Buechler, who was with Scavone at the time. It seeks damages greater than $225,000 and a declaration that the department’s use of a law banning loitering for prostitution is unconstitutional.

Officer Laura Meltzer, a police spokeswoman, cited department policy and declined to comment on the civil lawsuit. She said Buechler was suspended last July and fired in September after three years as a corrections officer. The court record didn’t indicate if Buechler had a lawyer.

Former Officer Scavone is still awaiting trial on the federal charges stemming from that incident. As stated in the AP quote, Former Corrections Officer Buechler has been fired, although there has been no indication when that happened or whether that was related to the beating.

Update: The bodycam video has now been released. Also, Vizcarrondo-Ortiz received a $250,000 settlement in June of 2016.

Detective’s Gun Found by Nine Year Old in Movie Theater Bathroom

Sheriff’s Detective Luke Hussey realized he was missing his Glock, and realized he had left it in a bathroom at a movie theater. The loaded gun was found by a 9-year-old boy. Det. Hussey was eventually demoted, but will not face criminal charges, Tampa police said Tuesday. That’s in spite of statements made by Laura McElroy, a Tampa Police Spokewoman, when the police had not yet determined who the owner of the gun was.

Via the Tampa Bay Times:

Hussey, 38, who has been with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office for 13 years, was off duty that day. He had gone to Muvico Centro Ybor 20, according to the Sheriff’s Office, about 3 p.m. and stopped in the bathroom before the movie. He put his Glock 26, a personal weapon, on top of a toilet paper dispenser — then forgot it and left.

Minutes later, Temple Terrace 9-year-old Zane Noland entered the same stall and saw the gun. He exited the stall and told his father, Wesley Noland, 48, who had taken Zane and his older brother, Ryan, to the theater to see Man of Steel on Father’s Day.

Wesley Noland, a Marine veteran, went into the stall, disarmed the Glock and called 911.

By the time Hussey realized he’d lost his gun, Tampa police had taken it. He called Sunday and asked for it back, police said, but was told only a detective in the firearms unit could release it.

The Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday that Hussey is the subject of an administrative investigation that could result in suspension or termination.

“It’s obviously a serious mistake,” said sheriff’s spokesman Larry McKinnon. “We’re glad no one was hurt, that the gun didn’t end up in the wrong hands.”

He was unsure if Hussey had prior disciplinary issues and his personnel file was unavailable for review Tuesday night. He remains on active duty.

Hussey will not face criminal charges, Tampa police said Tuesday. A day earlier, when news of the boy’s discovery broke, police spokeswoman Laura McElroy mentioned possible charges of reckless endangerment or culpable negligence against the gun’s owner, whom she said police were still looking for at the time.

“It was always our goal to ensure the person who left the gun face consequences,” McElroy said Tuesday. “There is no doubt that will happen within his organization.”

Yes, honest mistakes are inevitable from time to time, and it’s fortunate no one was hurt. However, chances are if this had happened to an ordinary person, criminal charges would swiftly follow. In fact, the police statement said as much prior to them realizing that the “forgetful owner” was a cop.