Those that choose law enforcement as their career path usually do so because they want to help out and be of service to the community where they work. A very high percentage of them have good intentions when they join the force. But sometimes something goes terribly wrong along the way.
On average around the country, three cops are arrested each day. That totals right in the neighborhood of 1,100 per year. The overall number of law enforcement members in the country shows that those bad seeds are a very low percentage but they are the ones that always grab the news headlines, and in most case with good reason.
The Washington Post recently reported that most of the offenses are assault related, drunk driving and lots of sex crimes. Of those arrested, 72% of them are convicted. They also report that 40% of the crimes are committed while on duty. Apparently, they think the badge is a good cover for their actions. The next number really isn’t that surprising though, 95% of crimes committed by cops are carried out by male officers. There are a lot more men than women in law enforcement so that number really isn’t that shocking.
Some of the things they do are just flat out dumb because holding the position they do; they should know they are going to be caught eventually. Some of them are dumb because they are just dumb and that’s all there is to it.
You’re going to read about a detention officer that stole meds from the jail infirmary, a drunk driver that killed a couple of teenagers, the Chief that shot his wife and of course the guy that staged his own suicide to look like a murder, to cover up his crimes.
It will quickly become clear that being a police officer doesn’t mean you have to be brilliant.
15. Cop Goes To Own Jail After Dealing
They say what goes around comes around. That was never more apparent than when you look at the case of former Arapahoe County Sheriff Patrick T. Sullivan. In 2001 he was honored by being named the National Sheriff’s Deputy of the Year. When he retired in 2002 he had put in more than thirty years on the force. He was so well respected that they named the local jail after him. The Patrick T. Sullivan Correctional Facility is where nobody in the area wanted to end up.
Apparently, retirement was boring for Sullivan because he made the stupid decision to start dealing meth. Soon he was as respected a drug dealer as he once was a cop. He was hanging out and dealing with the same people that he had spent decades trying to put away. He became very well-known and the main go-to guy for young male prostitutes in the area.
By the time 2012 rolled around local law enforcement became aware of his game and set up a sting operation. He was filmed attempting to trade meth for sexual favors from a confidential informant for the police. Once he was arrested he was booked into the Patrick T. Sullivan Correctional Facility. If you are looking for irony that’s it! The name of the jail has since been changed.
14. DEA Agent Doubles as Drug Lord
Darnell Garcia was once one of the best DEA Agents there ever was. He was not only good at finding the big busts; he was also a master at martial arts. He was so good that he trained with Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris. That is pretty impressive. He also appeared in the Bruce Lee movie Enter the Dragon. Garcia even wrote a book called The Fighting Art of Tang Soo Do. You can say that he was a very well rounded agent.
During the 80’s Garcia was a living version of the old television show Miami Vice. Every bust that he seemed to make was filled with some kind of adventure. The question however was, was he making these busts for the good of the country or was he just clearing out his competition? It turned out that while on the clock he was a top DEA agent but when he was off the clock he was one of the top drug kingpins in the region.
He led a major heist in 1985 that saw his team steal 400 pounds of cocaine from a known stash house in Pasadena. When he was under fire from law enforcement he took off and led them on a global manhunt. When he was finally caught and asked about the millions of dollars he had stashed in a Swiss bank account he said the money came from smuggling jewels. He tried to use a fake crime to cover up his real one. Not a real smart guy.
13. Mafia Task Force Does Hit For The Mob
This one sounds like it came right from a script of The Sopranos. Former detectives Lou Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa were members of New York City’s Mafia Task Force. The pairing made several arrests and on paper, it looked as though they were making a pretty good dent into the mob action in the area. The only problem there is that they had a secret, and it was a big one.
While working for the task force the partners actually carried out hits for the mob. For quite a while they had the neat little package of everything going on. They would kill someone that the mob wanted dead, collect a payday from them, and then respond to the crime and look for witnesses and attempt to solve the murder while being paid by the city. They knew exactly how to steer the investigations down the paths they wanted so they wouldn’t be implicated. Not to mention that if they did find any witnesses they knew exactly how to handle them.
Everything was going according to plan for them until Eppolito wrote a book that detailed his young life as a mobster and then how he had grown up to become a police officer, fighting those same criminals he once was. He made an appearance on the Sally Jesse Rafael show to promote the book and was recognized by several people for the murders he had committed. Apparently, the partners didn’t find all of the witnesses. It didn’t take long before both of them were outed and busted. Dumb might not be a strong enough word for him.
12. The Head of Kidnapping Squad Helps Kidnap People
“Big” Tom Brown was a respected member of the police community back in the 1930’s. He was the Chief of Police and was also in charge of protecting St. Paul Minnesota’s richest folks. You see, back in those days, criminals would kidnap the rich people and then demand ransom money for their safe return. The Chief and his unit would try to protect these rich people from being kidnapped but he found a major flaw in the system.
While Brown was protecting someone he found that if he passed on the information of their whereabouts to a kidnapping crew, he could get part of the ransom. So he started doing double duty. One time he actually acted as a go-between for a kidnapped man and his family and the kidnappers. He negotiated the deal for the ransom delivery on behalf of the victims and received his cut of the profits. Since he set the entire thing in motion it was a win-win situation for him. He also made extra money by letting the bad guys know when a raid was coming on their headquarters.
He eventually took things too far and the kidnapping crew was gathered up by the feds. In the end, they had absolutely zero proof of Brown’s involvement and they had to let him go even though they knew he was guilty. He spent many years on both sides of the law and actually got away with it.
11. Robbery Detective Goes On Bank Robbing Spree
Captain Andre Stander was so crazy that a movie was made about his life. Stander told the story of his life in law enforcement but it mainly focused on his life as a bank robbing criminal. He did both of them pretty successfully for many years.
Back in 1977 he started grabbing early morning flights to other areas and would either rent a car or steal one and rob a bank. He then flew home and did his detective shift. He eventually started to stay closer to home and rob the banks in his own town. He did this for a very long time and just like most criminals, he didn’t get caught until he got greedy and arrogant.
One day he was bragging to his partner about what he had been doing for years. His hope was that his partner would join forces with him and they could double their takes from the robberies. His partner, however, had no desire to cross over to the other side of the law. So he set up a sting operation and Stander was eventually caught and sentenced to 75 years in prison.
Prison life wasn’t for Stander and he used a nurse as a hostage to break out of prison. A global chase ended in Fort Lauderdale when he tried to unsuccessfully use a boat that he had stolen and he was shot to death.
10. North Carolina Detention Officer Steals Meds
Detention officer Katrina Boney spent ten years in Duplin County, North Carolina, looking after inmates. One day someone realized that meds were missing from the facility’s medical clinic. That’s an immediate red flag in any facility and Sheriff Blake Wallace called in the State Bureau of Investigation to look into what had happened.
The investigation implicated Boney but she had a spotless record. Even though people didn’t want to believe that it was true, Boney was charged with larceny by an employee. She was immediately fired and arrested and placed amongst the prisoners she once watched over. A major investigation was launched to see if this crime was any deeper than it appeared at the time. This happened in June of 2016 and other than Boney posting bond there hasn’t really been any updated news on the case.
It will be interesting to see how it plays out but you know they had to have some good evidence against her to arrest one of their own. That’s something that is taken very seriously and they don’t want any mistakes to be made. So we have to assume at this point that the allegations are true and that leaves you to wonder how she could do something so stupid. Stealing from a facility that is very closely watched through video isn’t a very bright move.
9. Texas Cop Charged With First-Degree Felony Theft
Former officer William Allen decided he wasn’t making enough money enforcing the law. So he made the bold decision to start breaking it. He was obviously much better at enforcing the law than breaking it because he got caught.
There was a major heavy duty construction equipment robbery committed in Texas and it led to a huge investigation by several area agencies. The Texas Department of Public Safety, the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office, the Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office, the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office and the Sugar Land Police Department all took part in the investigation. After watching several people for a while some arrests were eventually made. One of those arrested was Sugar Land police officer William Allen. The Southwestern Cattleman’s Association Rangers were also called in to help out with the investigation because it was uncovered that Allen was also taking part in cattle theft. That may sound like something minor in most parts of the country but believe me, in Texas it’s a major problem.
Allen was given a leave of absence after his arrest and the last news on the case came back in September. Nothing new has been released since then so it will be interesting to see how things play out. What is not in question, however, is that it was a pretty dumb move for a cop to get involved in such activity.
8. Connecticut Cop Speeds and Kills Teenagers
19-year-old lovebirds Ashlie Krakowski and David Servin were attending Gateway Community College when their lives were tragically cut short. The couple from Orange, Connecticut, were just driving down the road and when they turned a corner they were t-boned by a speeding police cruiser driven by Jason Anderson.
The accident happened in nearby Milford, Connecticut in 2009. Anderson was driving his cruiser at 94 miles per hour in a forty mph zone when the accident occurred. Another police cruiser on the same road caught the accident on the dashcam after Anderson flew by it, as just a blur on the screen. Unbelievably it took Anderson six months to lose his job.
He eventually was charged with reckless driving and second-degree manslaughter. When all was said and done he received a sentence of five years in prison, three years of probation and 300 hours of community service. He was ordered to also make a donation of $6,000 to the college’s scholarship fund and the judge suggested that he share his story with future cops at the State Police Academy.
94 miles per hour in a 40 zone is just ridiculous. Some might call it stupid or dumb. When it leads to the deaths of two young people it certainly calls for a longer sentence than he received. He gets to tell his story while the young couple doesn’t.
7. Detention Officer Takes Bribes To Help Inmates Escape
In 2015 the world watched as the manhunt for two escaped inmates from New York was carried out. The convicted murderers were considered extremely dangerous and there were a lot of thoughts that they were still close by because of the location of the prison. The surrounding area was chosen carefully so an escape couldn’t be done easily.
During the investigation, it was discovered that a facility seamstress was not conducting business in a proper or legal manner. She was arrested for first-degree promoting prison contraband and another misdemeanor for criminal facilitation. That raised a few eyebrows but the real news came when one of the facility’s officers was arrested and charged with promoting prison contraband, tampering with physical evidence, and official misconduct.
Officer Gene Palmer had given the inmates several gifts, some of them tools, hidden in frozen hamburger meat. Some of the tools included hacksaw blades, screwdrivers, and pliers. In trade for his generosity, he received artwork and free electrical work. The tools were obviously used in the escape plan and the pair of convicts were on the run for three weeks before they were eventually caught.
6. Cop Kills One, Injures 3 While Driving Drunk
Whenever a cop commits a crime it’s a dumb move. When they try to cover it up in front of witnesses it’s even dumber. This is a case of the dumb and dumber. Officer Nicholas Batka worked for the Manhattan Transit Task Force. During his time there, (only six months) there really isn’t anything on file that says he was a bad guy. But as is the case in most incidents, a night of drinking changed all that.
After a night out in the city in July of 2016 with some of his fellow workers, Batka jumped a curb with his SUV at around 3am. He plowed into a crowd of people seriously injuring three of them. Twenty-one-year-old Andrew Esquivel wasn’t that lucky. He was brought to Bellevue Hospital where he died. After the crash witnesses saw Batka try to flee the crash site. That was dumb move number one. When that didn’t work they saw him move over to the passenger seat to pretend that he wasn’t driving. Dumb move number two.
Esquivel was a student at MIT on a full scholarship and he was interning as a software engineer so there is no telling what he was going to bring into the world had his life not been cut short.
Batka was charged with manslaughter, two counts of vehicular manslaughter, three counts of assault, driving on a sidewalk, and driving while impaired. His termination was done very publicly by the NYPD Police Commissioner William Bratton. As of today, Batka hasn’t yet gone to trial but he has been indicted and is facing twenty-five years in prison.
5. Cop Pushes Woman Into Concrete Bench
Things usually don’t go well for someone caught driving while they are drunk. In March of 2013 Cassandra Feuerstein suffered an extreme case of that. She was arrested for DWI and was brought to the Skokie Police Department for booking. That’s where she crossed paths with Officer Michael Hart.
Hart was a nineteen year veteran of the department and was part of the team that was processing Cassandra into the system. It is said that he became angry with her while taking her mug shot because she wouldn’t look the right way at the camera. To her defense, she may have been drunk enough not to be able to focus, who knows.
She was being escorted back to her cell when she grabbed onto a wall to try to keep her balance. It’s reported at that point she requested to try and take the mug shot again. Hart was obviously done trying and he shoved her into her cell very roughly. The momentum forced her to lose her balance and fall down, face first into the concrete bench that was in the cell. The fall resulted in several broken bones in her face that required surgery and a titanium plate to be inserted. Surveillance cameras caught the entire thing on tape so Hart couldn’t deny anything at all.
Cassandra was awarded $875,000 in a civil suit and Hart eventually pleaded guilty to official misconduct. His sentence though was only probation. How many people can cost their boss nearly a million dollars and still keep their job? Wow.
4. Police Chief Kills Wife In Front of Kids
Tacoma Police Chief David Brame was highly respected in the police community around the entire country. He was a key figure in the East Coast sniper killings and his name became very well known. In 2003 however, he was in the middle of a divorce from his wife Crystal when some of the paperwork was made public.
A reporter for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Ruth Teichroeb, published files that claimed David was physically abusive toward Crystal, choked her, pointed a gun at her and had a “ferocious temper”. Teichroeb came under fire for making the files public but defended herself by saying “Given that he was charged with upholding the public trust and upholding the law in a city the size of Tacoma, I think all we could do is report what we knew and hope that it would be investigated.”
After the report came out David got together with Crystal to discuss some things and the meeting did not go in a civil manner. They got into a heated argument and David pulled his gun and shot her and then himself. The action verified that the report was actually true. Oh, and by the way, he did this in front of the couple’s children, a five-year-old son and an 8-year-old daughter.
3. Former Officer Admits To Killing Wife
Former police officer Jeffrey Hawkins had at least one complaint against him for unnecessary force against a citizen. After one complaint there was enough evidence against him to force him to resign from the Elk Grove Village Police Department. He had spent nine years with the department that is in a suburb of Chicago.
He spent the next several years working security details and had spent 5 years working at the Chicago Field Museum before eventually ended up in Cincinnati. There aren’t many reports on his conduct after he left the force but his actions in April of 2016 show that the excessive force was definitely possible from him.
He called 911 and calmly told them that he had just shot and killed his wife. The recording revealed him saying “I just shot and killed my wife. I’m not a threat to anybody. I’m a former police officer. I’m not sure what happened. She took all the money out of my bank account on my birthday on Saturday. She just wouldn’t talk to me, and she kept saying, ‘Talk to my lawyer.’ It just happened.” I’m not saying that what he did was ok at all, but if you hope to put together a strong defense, admitting to the murder, in a calm manner to 911, isn’t going to help your case at all.
I’m not saying that what he did was ok at all, but if you hope to put together a strong defense, admitting to the murder, in a calm manner to 911, isn’t going to help your case at all. Recently the judge overseeing the case said that Hawkins is not eligible for an insanity defense. He is still waiting for a trial date and is being held on a $3 million bond.
2. Cop Stages Suicide To Cover Theft
Lt. Charles Gliniewicz was a member of the Fox Lake Police Department for thirty years. He was as highly respected as one could get in a community. He had spent years doing a considerable amount of work with the department’s Explorer youth programs. Everyone knew who he was and there were very few people that didn’t like him. They even nicknamed him G.I. Joe.
Behind the scenes, though, Charles wasn’t such a standup guy. Since he was the head of the Explorer Post he was once asked for a full financial report and full inventory list. It wasn’t an unreasonable request since the department sponsored the program. Apparently, though, one hadn’t been requested in quite some time because Charles had been stealing money from the program for many years. Once he knew he was going to be caught he had to come up with a plan.
The soon to be outed officer reported that he was in pursuit of a “trio on foot”. When backup arrived at the scene they found Charles dead, apparently a murder victim. Something though was obviously off with the scene and it resulted in an investigation. All of his co-workers were stunned at what they found during the investigation and when it was over they released a statement that said his death was “a carefully staged suicide”. They added that Charles was not murdered, he actually committed suicide: “This staged suicide was the end result of extensive criminal acts that Gliniewicz had been committing.”
1. Drew Peterson Possibly Kills Multiple Wives
It’s never a smart move to kill someone. It’s even dumber if you are a cop and think you can get away with it. Sure you know how things go and can steer the investigation in other directions, but the bottom line is you will eventually be caught. At this point, everyone knows who Drew Peterson is. In case you don’t, he is one of the dumbest cops there has ever been.
The former Sergeant had four ex-wives. Two of them died under very suspicious circumstances. Yet nothing could be pinned on him for a very long time and it looked like he would get away with them. He was good at committing the crimes. After all, he was trained and he knew the ins and outs of what the police would be looking for.
Even when he was finally convicted of killing his third wife there were still a lot of questions. He was so good at what he did that even though he was finally convicted, many people were still not 100% convinced he did it. Or at the very least they thought there wasn’t enough evidence against him.
In 2015 he put all of those doubts to bed when he was brought up on additional charges of solicitation of murder and solicitation of murder for hire. He attempted to have James Glascow, the Will County State’s Attorney, killed. Peterson was convicted and received another 40 years, in addition to his previous 38-year sentence. Dumb, dumb, dumb.