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Off duty cop involved in fight at party

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POSTED January 14, 2009 2:07 a.m.

Manteca Police are still piecing together the events that happened at a party over the weekend in which an off-duty officer and his son were reportedly involved in a fight that sent two people to area hospitals.

Police are investigating what actually took place early Saturday morning during a going-away party at a home in a neighborhood behind Sierra High School. Public Information Officer Rex Osborn said there is no investigation going on involving the off-duty officer who was at the party because nobody has filed a complaint against him. As of 2 p.m. Tuesday when he left work, Osborn said no one had come into the police department to file a complaint.

Anyone with a complaint has to go to the police department for officers to start an official process of investigating such allegations, Osborn said. That’s what happens even when the complaint is filed by a citizen against another citizen.

Complaints about unbecoming conduct by an off-duty officer is considered a special matter and is investigated by the police chief himself, Osborn said. But these types of complaints also need to be filed before an investigation can take place.

Osborn also said there is no police report yet available on the incident that transpired at the party. Witnesses told the Bulletin it was for someone going to Europe to study as a nanny and who left for Europe on Monday.

There was reportedly a gun involved at the fight but it turned out to be a BB gun, Osborn said.

Two injured victims

The two reportedly injured were Akeem Wade, 22, and Daniel Dineen, 20. Wade, who works for Pacific Union Railroad where he has been an employee for two years, claimed to the Manteca Bulletin on Monday that he was hit and kicked by the officer’s son and his friends until he was unconscious on the front lawn of the home where the party was being held. He said he suffered bruises in the face, and two of his front teeth were knocked out. His friend, Shiloh Martinez, said he dragged the unconscious and bleeding Wade away from the scene of the fight to one of the houses nearby. Homeowners at one of the houses took Wade inside and cleaned him up, after which Martinez drove his friend home. Wade said he drove himself to the hospital later that morning for treatment. At the hospital, he was interviewed by three police officers, he said.

The other reported victim was Dineen, according to his mother, Jean Daniels, who said she arrived at the scene when the cops were already at the house. She said she rushed to the scene after receiving a phone call from her daughter who was not at the party but who heard about what was going on from her sister who was at the party with the brother.

Daniels alleged that her son, who was trying to protect his sister, was “hit and kicked” by the officer’s son. Daniels said he took his son to the emergency room at Kaiser Hospital in Manteca.

Daniels also said she was there when the police confiscated Martinez’ camcorder.

“I tried to intervene with the police officer and asked (the officers) if I could take the camera real quick to download it and I’d give it right back, but all of them (the six officers at the scene) said  no. They had asked (Martinez) repeatedly to give the camera, but we couldn’t understand why we couldn’t make a copy of it. They are taking it for evidence, I was told, and that there was nothing we could do about it, that he (Martinez) could have done to keep it,” Daniels said.

She described the video camera as a “silver compact, hand-held camera” which Martinez had around his neck.

Martinez told the Bulletin the JVC silver camera belongs to his mother and that he had borrowed it from her when he went to the party to “just record friends.” He said, he used the camera to capture some of the fighting when it first erupted inside the house, including footage allegedly of the off-duty officer. Because of his videotaping, Martinez said he and Wade were “kicked out” of the party by the officer, not by the homeowners. They complied and proceeded to leave, Martinez said. But while they were walking to his car, he claimed they were followed by the officer’s son and “his group” outside where they allegedly beat up the two friends with Wade receiving most of the beating.

Osborn said the confiscated evidence was a cell phone with video capability but added that he has not actually seen it. He said the evidence will be “given back in its original form” after the contents have been downloaded by the police.

Osborn said the  off-duty officer was the one who placed the phone call to the police asking for police officers to come because of the fight. Wade and Martinez said other people at the party and in the neighborhood also called 911 to report the incident.

“Nobody went to jail, but one man went to the hospital,” confirmed Osborn.

As to the alleged actions by the off-duty officer during the reported incident, Osborn said the officer and his two children were simply there attending a social event.

“The police can’t regulate what people do on their own time,” he said.

However, if there are any complaints filed against him, the police chief himself will investigate it, Osborn said.

Martinez, accompanied by Akeem and their self-described “surrogate mother,” Roseanna Kohls, went to the police office on Monday to ask for his camcorder back but was told it was being held as evidence.

Daniels said she went to the police office Tuesday to ask for a copy of the police report on the incident. She said she was told “it won’t be ready for a couple of weeks.

“I know my son is going to file assault and battery charges,” she said.

Akeem and Martinez said they don’t understand what happened to them since they were all friends with the police officer’s son and several of those who were at the party. The two young men said all of them all played sports together in junior high and through high school. The two friends played football with the Delta Rebels in Manteca in junior high.

Akeem not only played with the Delta Rebels but played football all through his four years at Manteca High. Akeem said he was also friends with the officer’s daughter, a star soccer player, and that he had been to the officer’s house before.

“I know they are good kids. And I know Akeem is a peacemaker. He’s faced a lot of adversity growing up, but in spite of that he came out a good kid,” Kohls said.

The name of the officer or the other people involved are not being used as they have not so far been charged,  arrested,  cited, or a complaint filed against them. It is the same policy the Bulletin uses when non-officers are involved.

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