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Behavior led Warren cop to draw gun on grade-school kids, he says

Published: Fri, April 9, 2010 @ 10:19 p.m.


The police officer who ordered boys ages 10, 9 and 7 to the ground at gunpoint in their backyard on Sarkies Drive Northeast on March 26 said their behavior — “running, stumped down, trying to avoid detection” — suggested they might be committing a burglary.

Warren police Sgt. Jeff Hoolihan, in a memo to the department’s internal affairs officer, said he initially became suspicious of the boys while on patrol because he noticed the three running from the rear of a house on Sarkies toward Atlantic Street.

“Once the black males saw me, they ran back to the area of the house that they came from,” Hoolihan wrote.

“It appeared to me that there was a possible B&E in progress from the way that the black males were running stumped down, trying to avoid detection.”

After telling his dispatcher there was a breaking and entering in progress, he backed his cruiser on Belvedere and saw the three “run from the same area of the residence from the first time,” Hoolihan said.

That’s when Hoolihan exited his vehicle, “chased the black male suspects on foot,” drew his revolver and ordered them to the ground.

Sgt. Jeff Cole, internal affairs officer for the Warren Police Department, said his investigation of the incident is ongoing.

For the complete story, read Saturday's Vindicator or Vindy.com.


1greyhorse(36 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

If he had ignored it and they WERE robbing someone, everyone would still be trying to hang the officer by his toenails. Can't win for losing.

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2UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

He did the right thing in protecting the neighborhood from burglaries that are on-going, and now the racist spotters are crying out for his head. He followed WPD policy and did nothing wrong.

As for the youths, how about the ohio.com story last week about the young student in Akron who stabbed the police officer with his art scissors and hit the principal when he tried to stop him. Don't tell me kids can't be dangerous.

Officer Hoolihan was just doing his job!

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3dreamcatcher52(140 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

It makes sense to run after them to see what they were up to, but not pulling the gun. If they were 15, 16 - maybe- but these were young kids. Was this daytime or late night? I could see if it was at a time when kids shouldn't be out running around.

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4Lifes2Short(3879 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Following normal procedure. I'm sure this officer wants to go home at night. You can't let your guard down for a second for no one. Kids or not. No one got hurt, everything was settled, case closed. And don't want to hear about the kids scared now, maybe that is a good thing, for when there growing up they'll think twice about a life of crime. Call it a lesson learned and in today's society that is good. Why prolong the issue.

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5wcid(26 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

This officer used POOR judgement and need to retire from the force. Everyone is so freakin' JUMPY when a person of color does ANYTHING these days! I can understand his mishap if these were grown adults running but a SEVEN YEAR-OLD??? C'mon! You gotta be kidding me!!!

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6ElPolloRetrasado(207 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

wcid is right, I have never ever heard of a 7, 9 or 10 year old ever committing a crime!!! Get real, wcid! These kids go to school, they learn from other kids, kids also commit crimes. They might not be out killing people but burglaries and other crimes are plaguing area neighborhoods and if the police have to put a couple kids on the ground and ask questions, so be it! I don't want to hear you complain once to the cops when you get robbed or burglarized because of your naive view of the world around you!

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7Maggie_Pentz(87 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Dreamcatcher, to answer your question, it was right after school, like 3:30 in the afternoon.

According to his parents, the doors to their home were locked and one of them had to use the bathroom so they ran to a neighbor's house and were on their way home when the officer saw them.

I can't count the number of times this happened to me and my siblings while we were growing up. Cutting through the neighborhood for whatever reason.

In my opinion, there was absolutely no reason for this officer to draw his weapon on these elementary school age children. I'm surprised (well not really, I guess) that people are so willing to justify his actions.

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8wcid(26 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Elpollo or (w/e screwed up name you chose) what are you getting at? You think I NEED a cop if a KID tries to rob me? WTF? I will take off a belt and whoop that little a**! And secondly what bugs me is how people keep commenting on the doors being locked! WTF? I KEEP my doors locked too! Who would leave their doors unlocked in today's society? Please let me know. I'll probably rob them myself...LOL! Stupidity is abundant and people's postings on here is making it more obvious than ever. Thanks to the internet!

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9wcid(26 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

And to anyone in their twisted mind who thinks the cop followed "normal" procedure by having a little child lay face down on the ground at gunpoint is delusional! There was NOTHING normal about this incident, if so, it wouldn't have made the news.....DUH!!! I hope the parent's sue the warren police department for the rest of the little bit of cash they have.

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10greyhorse(36 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

wcid obviously you live in a bubble where headline news doesnt reach you.. an 11 year old in PA shot and killed his Dad's pregnant girlfriend.. so dont tell me that the 10 year old couldnt possibly have been doing anything. The officer has a right to go home in his car, not a body bag.

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11jr99(101 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Once again, people bash the police...until they need them. Those people can go f*** themselves. When you become a victim of any type of crime, handle it yourself. Don't call the cops. Good job to Officer Hoolihan. I'm sure many people in Warren appreciate the job he and the rest of WPD do, but there's always a small percentage of people who will bitch regardless of what the police do. Those are the same ones who will immediately use race as an excuse when they don't get what they want.

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12Lifes2Short(3879 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

As some of you post, he did NOT chase them at gunpoint, he did NOT have a child lay face down on the ground, if you can read, he told them to get down on the ground, as normal procedure in a B&E suspicion, whether there 10 years old or 70 years old, in today's society you don't know what can happen, read the news around the world, get informed for once about life. The only reason this made the news was because of one family going to the media. This should have never been blown up like it is. This is everyday life around the good ole USA.
A lesson learned all around. Let it go, it's over and done with, move on with LIFE. geez.

Kids do no wrong.






and today's article


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13woolyd(579 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

lifes2short that wasnt a justifiable reason to pull a gun. Taser yes mace yes gun no.

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14justanopinion(1 comment)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Taser? Mace? Seriously? Either of those two could be more detrimental to these young kids than pulling a gun. The officer did NOT fire the gun. He ordered them to the ground. They ran when they saw him.

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