Thursday, December 20, 2007

Good cop?, no, Bad cop

Cops like this give good cops bad reputations. he is entitled to his day in court, of course, however I am glad he is off the force.

Ex-cop indicted in assault case

Lomi Kriel: Express-News

A former San Antonio police officer was indicted this week on charges that he struck and choked an 18-year-old woman at their neighborhood's swimming pool after she asked him to stub out his cigar.

A grand jury returned the one-count indictment against Keith Alfaro on Tuesday. He is charged with misdemeanor assault and faces up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $4,000.

Initially, Alfaro was charged with aggravated assault, a felony, but this was reduced.
Two misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest and evading arrest are pending in a different court.
Alfaro, who worked as an officer for 11 years, was terminated after the alleged assault in August.
Police Chief William McManus' decision, which Alfaro can still appeal, came a month after then-18-year-old Tamara Vaughan accused the officer of punching and choking her at their North Side community pool. Vaughan, an African American, said Alfaro also attacked her sexual orientation and called her a racial slur.

"Officer Alfaro's conduct is indeed outrageous, or despicable," Assistant District Attorney Adriana Biggs said Wednesday. "This is an officer acting that way."

Biggs, head of the office's white-collar crime division, said multiple "credible" witnesses confirmed that they saw Alfaro strike Vaughan.
Still, Alfaro's attorneys hailed the reduced charge as a "step in the right direction" because Vaughan's injuries were never as severe as she claimed, they said.

"If the alleged injuries are misrepresented, obviously that might lead to other issues of credibility," attorney Therese Huntzinger said, adding that Vaughan's version of events and the

severity of her injuries have "always been exaggerated and have been misrepresented."

One defense of Alfaro's is that his actions were "justifiable" as a result of Vaughan's behavior, she said, declining to elaborate.

Vaughan could not be reached for comment Wednesday, but her grandmother, with whom she lives, said the family "feels he's getting what he deserves."

Dina Bushrod said she arrived at the pool minutes after the alleged assault to find Vaughan "all marked up and beat up."
"We don't want him to be a police officer anymore," Bushrod said. "With what he's done to my granddaughter, he does not deserve that kind of license."

Vaughan has filed a federal lawsuit against Alfaro and city officials, alleging they were responsible for the incident because of past infractions in which Alfaro was disciplined. In April 2003, Alfaro was suspended without pay for an incident involving a pair of brothers who claimed they had been mistreated, threatened and pushed by the officer.

"The city had more than mere notice of Mr. Alfaro's violent tendencies," said Vaughan's attorney, James Myart.

But City Attorney Michael Bernard contends the city is not liable for the incident because "it was an off-duty police officer acting on a personal matter."