Rookie cop takes heat for arresting off-duty officer

SWeAT hOg

SWeAT hOg
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Messages
37,700
Reaction score
67,938
I appreciate the role of cops in keeping society safe, but I really hate s*** like this


Rookie cop takes heat for arresting off-duty officer

May 30, 2012

It’s an impaired driving case like thousands of others except it involves a rookie Toronto police officer who crossed the thin blue line and paid the price.

Const. Andrew Vanderburgh was “harassed and berated” by fellow officers because on Nov. 28, 2009, he arrested and charged an off-duty police constable with impaired driving and having a blood-alcohol level over 80 milligrams, according to an internal police disciplinary ruling.

Some officers also allegedly called Vanderburgh a “rat,” Justice Paul Reinhardt wrote in a pre-trial ruling.

On Tuesday, Vanderburgh was in Old City Hall court to testify at Breton Berthiaume’s long-delayed impaired driving trial. He declined to comment except to say that while he does not regret charging a fellow officer, the fallout has been difficult.

Berthiaume, a Halton Region officer, has pleaded not guilty.

Also in court was Const. Suhail Khawaja, who accompanied Vanderburgh in his squad car the evening of the arrest.

That night, Vanderburgh and Khawaja went to Berthiaume’s home in High Park after a 911 caller reported seeing someone driving erratically on the Don Valley Parkway, and had recorded the licence plate number.

The officers took Berthiaume to neighbouring 22 Division, the closest station where a breath technician was present, and required him to give breath samples.

Some officers there “took exception to a police officer being charged or investigated,” Crown Attorney Mary-Anne Mackett told court Tuesday, providing an overview of the convoluted 2½-year-old case.

Reinhardt, who is no longer the judge in the Berthiaume case, said in his pre-trial ruling that disclosure he reviewed alleged Khawaja “refused to assist Constable Vanderburgh in the arrest and preparation of paperwork at 22 Division.”

“Constable Khawaja is purported to have stated on more than one occasion that evening to different informants that he wanted nothing to do with the arrest of a fellow police officer,” Reinhardt wrote.

Vanderburgh, meanwhile, continued to pay a price.

After Berthiaume was released, Vanderburgh drove a marked police vehicle back to his division and was followed by a 22 Division cruiser driven by Const. James Little.

Little pulled him over and gave him a ticket for allegedly disobeying a red light, which was later dismissed. Last year, Little pleaded guilty to one count of discreditable conduct under the Police Services Act.

Little chose “to disregard his professional obligations and embark on a course of retaliatory action against a colleague performing his sworn, lawful duty,” Supt. Robin Breen wrote in his ruling.

“He abused his position to express his personal displeasure about his colleague’s arrest of an off-duty police officer.” Little was docked 20 days’ pay.

Two other officers, including a staff sergeant who failed to intervene, were disciplined in the incident. One was also docked 20 days’ pay, the other 15.

“Those penalties are at the upper end and reflect seriousness of what happened and demonstrate the determination of the service to hold people accountable in a meaningful way,” Toronto police spokesman Mark Pugash said Tuesday.

Pugash said the names of the two other officers cannot be disclosed because they were dealt with at the divisional level. However, Reinhardt’s pre-trial ruling referred to incomplete police disclosure records of Khawaja’s “misconduct” on Nov. 28, 2009.

Berthiaume’s impaired driving trial, meanwhile, has been put over until Feb. 18 when he plans to represent himself after firing his lawyer. He remains on active duty with the Halton force.
 

Joeydego

your mom is a nice lady
V.I.P. Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2008
Messages
24,167
Reaction score
39,165
Tough shit. Dont drive drunk. It isnt 1950 anymore. If you're dumb enough to drink and drive, man up and accept what comes with it. This rooster sucker snuffed out FOUR lives
Three Officers Fired in DWI Crash - ABC News
I have no professional or ethical problem bringing a police officer, senator, judge or ANYONE in front of a judge for DWI. DONT be an asshole. Its really not that hard.
 

Caleb

Platinum Supporting Member
V.I.P. Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2010
Messages
11,762
Reaction score
25,868
Let me get this straight. Someone called in a reckless driving complaint and took down the tag number. The police run the tag number, get the owner's address, and knock on his door. When he answers, they haul him in (not knowing yet if he was even drunk), booze test him at the station, and arrest him for DWI.

The police didn't pull him over drunk and can't place him behind the wheel, right? How in the hell does anyone know he didn't drink after he got home? I'm not all that "up" on Canadian law, but I have a feeling this joke of a case will be laughed out of court.
 

Caleb

Platinum Supporting Member
V.I.P. Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2010
Messages
11,762
Reaction score
25,868
Tough shit. Dont drive drunk. It isnt 1950 anymore. If you're dumb enough to drink and drive, man up and accept what comes with it. This rooster sucker snuffed out FOUR lives
Three Officers Fired in DWI Crash - ABC News
I have no professional or ethical problem bringing a police officer, senator, judge or ANYONE in front of a judge for DWI. DONT be an asshole. Its really not that hard.

Read the circumstances of the arrest, Joe. Sounds fishy, to say the least.
 

Joeydego

your mom is a nice lady
V.I.P. Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2008
Messages
24,167
Reaction score
39,165
Let me get this straight. Someone called in a reckless driving complaint and took down the tag number. The police run the tag number, get the owner's address, and knock on his door. When he answers, they haul him in (not knowing yet if he was even drunk), booze test him at the station, and arrest him for DWI.

The police didn't pull him over drunk and can't place him behind the wheel, right? How in the hell does anyone know he didn't drink after he got home? I'm not all that "up" on Canadian law, but I have a feeling this joke of a case will be laughed out of court.
I admit to not reading the whole article lol :laugh2: I just got mad when I read the AO was being harassed
If thats the way it went down, there's no case in the states, thats for sure.
 

Caleb

Platinum Supporting Member
V.I.P. Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2010
Messages
11,762
Reaction score
25,868
I admit to not reading the whole article lol :laugh2: I just got mad when I read the AO was being harassed
If thats the way it went down, there's no case in the states, thats for sure.

Read the story, my man. It sounds like a completely botched arrest, to say the least.

I'd be really interested in opinions here on whether or not that is a ridiculous arrest, regardless of the suspect's profession.
 

Caleb

Platinum Supporting Member
V.I.P. Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2010
Messages
11,762
Reaction score
25,868
Northernguitarguy, I GUARANTEE that there are an obscene amount of internal department politics behind the scenes in this case. This is just one reporter's take on one guy's side. I'm sure that there are a lot more factors in play.
 

Joeydego

your mom is a nice lady
V.I.P. Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2008
Messages
24,167
Reaction score
39,165
Id like to hear more facts on the case, especially the eye witness, whether or not the AO saw the deft drive (seems he didnt), how much time passed in between the 911 call and the arrest, etc. It can even be argued even IF he did drink and drive, an hour later he was far more drunk when they arrested him due to the time it takes for alcohol to get into the blood. This case would likely have little teeth in the states here. The case I posted of a city cop who snuffed out the lives of 4 people was FAR WORSE than this. I will go on record and say DWI DOES NOT FLY here in NY anymore. I've got 3 parking tickets to prove UMOS simply don't have a free pass in the good ole boys club like its often insinuated.
 

Caleb

Platinum Supporting Member
V.I.P. Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2010
Messages
11,762
Reaction score
25,868
Joe, I'm inclined to believe that the questions you have were not answered for a reason. The answers would not contribute to a good news story.
 

Howard2k

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2009
Messages
24,565
Reaction score
43,798
Maybe they knocked on his door, asked if he had been driving, he admitted to it, then they took him in?

If cops believe that they are above the law why would they be afraid of such an admission?

Regardless, the issues is that police officers should be obeying the same laws us as. Unless perhaps police officers go through some scientifically proven alcohol tolerance building exercise where it can be shown definitively that they are simply not affected by the build up of alcohol in their system? I suspect that is not the case and that they get drunk just like us mere mortals.
 

Skintaster

V.I.P. Member
Joined
May 15, 2010
Messages
20,530
Reaction score
44,441
Ok, so the guy was arrested at home after someone took down the license of a car driving erratically? Yeah, the cop was most probably driving drunk, but it sounds like the way it all went down was screwed up.

I can't agree that he should have been arrested given the circumstances.

But! That "Thin blue line" bullshit shouldn't be tolerated anywhere. Cops should be held to at least as high a standard as the citizenry they're here to serve. Everyone knows that cops don't get speeding tickets off duty. Why? Same goes for their spouses most times. Why?

And I've known a few cops that would drink to excess and drive, both on duty and off. Not cool.

I support police officers, but not that gang mentality that a few adopt, where it's them against the rest of us, and a different set of rules applies.
 

SWeAT hOg

SWeAT hOg
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Messages
37,700
Reaction score
67,938
Joe, I'm inclined to believe that the questions you have were not answered for a reason. The answers would not contribute to a good news story.

I don't doubt that, BUT the harassment is uncalled for.

If the cop is innocent the facts will clear him.
 

Skintaster

V.I.P. Member
Joined
May 15, 2010
Messages
20,530
Reaction score
44,441
I don't doubt that, BUT the harassment is uncalled for.

If the cop is innocent the facts will clear him.

Yeah, it seems to me that other officers shouldn't harass a cop for crossing that line, and just wait for the investigation to go through. That's the kind of thing that makes some people not trust cops - The perceived double standard as far as accountability to the law.

Sounds like he still shouldn't have been arrested though. No direct proof that he was driving drunk, even though he probably was.
 

Joeydego

your mom is a nice lady
V.I.P. Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2008
Messages
24,167
Reaction score
39,165
serpico was SHOT because he wouldn't take payoff money.
 

Caleb

Platinum Supporting Member
V.I.P. Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2010
Messages
11,762
Reaction score
25,868
If the arestee was anyone but a policeman, this forum would be exploding with rants about what a bullshit arrest it was, and what a dick the AO is.
 

Joeydego

your mom is a nice lady
V.I.P. Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2008
Messages
24,167
Reaction score
39,165
If the arestee was anyone but a policeman, this forum would be exploding with rants about what a bullshit arrest it was, and what a dick the AO is.

THIS is true as well. LEOs are expected to be some type of super human cyborgs. Double standard clear as day.
 

Caleb

Platinum Supporting Member
V.I.P. Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2010
Messages
11,762
Reaction score
25,868
serpico was SHOT because he wouldn't take payoff money.

As a student of the profession, I really doubt the book/movie version of Serpico is all that true.
 

Skintaster

V.I.P. Member
Joined
May 15, 2010
Messages
20,530
Reaction score
44,441
If the arestee was anyone but a policeman, this forum would be exploding with rants about what a bullshit arrest it was, and what a dick the AO is.

Yeah, but he IS a policeman, and the problem is that their is often a double standard with how cops are treated by other cops when they break the law.

After rereading the story, I agree that he shouldn't have been arrested, and think that it's not a fair arrest.

I support cops, but too many of them are allowed "perks" that the rest of us don't get. Why is that?
 

Lurko

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2011
Messages
5,440
Reaction score
7,180
Too many police officers think that they are somehow above the law. They are not.
 

Joeydego

your mom is a nice lady
V.I.P. Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2008
Messages
24,167
Reaction score
39,165
As a student of the profession, I really doubt the book/movie version of Serpico is all that true.

I think he was shot in the foot, not the face and he was shot by a perp, not another officer. I do believe some of it. The Knapp Commission happened for a reason.
 

Latest Threads



Top