By Rick Bruni Jr. – Valley Independent
A California borough police officer accused of assaulting a handcuffed prisoner in November has been fired.
Borough council on Thursday unanimously voted to terminate Justin Shultz, 29, of Connellsville – because of previous complaints against him – California police Chief Rick Encapera said.
In December, Encapera charged Shultz with misdemeanor counts of official oppression and simple assault following a Nov. 9 incident involving robbery suspect Adam Logan of California.
A surveillance video at the police station showed Shultz entering a holding cell where Logan was handcuffed and had his foot shackled to a bench.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, Shultz shoved Logan against a wall before slamming him to the ground, causing the prisoner substantial pain.
By Rick Bruni Jr. – Valley Independent / Triblive.com
A California borough police officer who had been suspended earlier this year now is accused of assaulting a handcuffed suspect.
Chief Rick Encapera on Monday charged full-time Officer Justin Shultz, 29, of Connellsville, with misdemeanor counts of official oppression and simple assault.
The charges stem from an alleged early morning incident Nov. 9 involving Shultz and suspect Adam Logan, 27, of California.
Encapera said Logan was in custody at the police station around 3 a.m. awaiting arraignment on charges related to an alleged purse snatching.
Logan was standing in the holding cell, handcuffed behind his back and secured to a bench with a leg shackle, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
Encapera showed The Valley Independent footage from video surveillance inside the station, which shows Logan appearing to continuously bicker with Shultz and two other officers as Shultz finished searching him.
By Scott Beveridge – Observer-Reporter
California Borough is suing a former police officer in Washington County Court for the return on its canine officer, a dog she handled before resigning more than a year ago.
Borough solicitor Keith Melenyzer on July 18 filed the one-count lawsuit against Tracy Potemra-Hudak, asking a judge to order her to return the dog named Argo, which was purchased in early 2009 with a $4,500 federal grant, court records show.
California claims the 5-year-old German shepherd is borough property, having been appointed a police officer in June 2009, the lawsuit states.
The borough also is seeking the return of the dog’s property in Potemra-Hudak’s possession, including clothing she wore as its handler, dog fencing the borough installed at her residence and a radio.
Potemra-Hudak, who began working in the department and rose to the level of acting chief, resigned Dec. 14, under the terms of her worker’s compensation settlement, the lawsuit states.
She was directed Feb. 1 to return Argo to the department, according to the lawsuit served Wednesday.
story by Rick Bruni Jr – Valley Independent
California borough police Chief Rick Encapera said Sunday his department will not be shorthanded despite two full-time officers serving one-month suspensions.
California council on Thursday suspended officers Justin Schultz and Terry Childs without pay after the two returned an unmarked vehicle to Washington, Pa., May 3 during a Friday night shift.
Their action left the borough with just one available officer. The trip was not authorized, Encapera said.
While Schultz and Childs were away, a fight erupted outside Sigz Bistro on Second Street.
That incident required outside assistance. Police from Centerville, Charleroi Regional, Donora and East Bethlehem responded, Encapera said. At least three people were cited in the brawl, he added.
Encapera said that although the borough is down to three full-time officers and about 10 part-timers, he was able to fill Childs’ and Schultz’s shifts – which total 480 hours.