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WARREN CITY POLICE Probe clears officers in case involving teen



Published: Wed, May 4, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



A 14-year-old boy's mother said the officers beat her son.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- The internal affairs department has exonerated officers who arrested a 14-year-old boy they accused of swearing at them.

The complaint filed by Terra Brown, the boy's mother, also stated she had been beaten and wrongfully arrested by police. The officers were exonerated on all charges.

"A vindication of this type of behavior clearly shows what type of leadership is in charge at the Warren City Police Department," said Atty. Gilbert Rucker, who represents Brown and her son, Regis Allgood.

Neither Doug Franklin, safety-service director, nor Police Chief John Mandopoulos could be reached to comment.

How incident began

"This incident began with the disorderly conduct arrest of her son," Lt. Thomas Skoczylas of the internal affairs department wrote in his report. "Officers state that he was yelling obscenities at them, and when they approached, he still yelled and refused to cooperate with them. They state that there were children and elderly people in the area that were subject to the language being used."

Skoczylas further notes that state law and city ordinances read that an "offensively coarse utterance, gesture, or display to any person" or to "create a condition that is physically offensive to persons" is against the law.

"By the son using profanity in front of children and elderly people, I feel that this is offensive," Skoczylas wrote. "However, it is up to the court to make the decision at his hearing."

Rucker said he disagrees, stating it is not illegal to swear and noting the charge against Regis was dismissed by the juvenile court.

Mother's arrest

The internal affairs report also states Brown was told by officers to stay back while they were arresting her son, and when she failed to listen, she was arrested.

Brown, 34, was arrested on charges of assault on a police officer and resisting arrest. Her case is pending.

Patrol Officer Doug Hipple, who arrested Brown Oct. 19, said Brown hit him several times after her son was arrested.

Brown's complaint was filed in November. According to the city's policy, all internals are to be completed and a response sent to the complainant within 30 days. Brown says she never received any notice from the city.

According to the cover sheet of the internal affairs report, the investigation was completed in December and given to Mandopoulos.

The Vindicator began requesting copies of the internal affairs reports from Mandopoulos in February, who declined to return telephone calls. The chief has said the internal investigation is not public until the safety-service director receives a copy. The safety-service director received a copy Tuesday.

sinkovich@vindy.com




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