CLEVELAND -- Channel 3 has learned that some of the police officers and detectives involved in last week's high-speed pursuit have been involved in other incidents, according to their records.
The officers and detectives are:
- Patrol Officer WIlfredo Diaz #350 Appointment Date: 11-03-08
- Patrol Officer Michael Brelo #416 Appointment Date: 10-15-07
- Patrol Officer Cynthia Moore #1277 Appointment Date: 10-15-07
- Patrol Officer Michael Farley #409 Appointment Date: 04-08-96
- Patrol Officer Brian Sabolik #1021 Appointment Date: 01-10-11
- Patrol Officer Paul Box #2526 Appointment Date: 08-19-96
- Patrol Officer Randy Patrick #1580 Appointment Date: 08-04-97
- Patrol Officer Scott Sistek #1395 Appointment Date: 02-25-08
- Detective Michael Demchak #1621 Appointment Date: 10-23-82
- Detective Erin O'Donnell #1027 Appointment Date: 09-28-98
- Detective Christopher Ereg #767 Appointment Date: 08-30-99
- Detective Michael Rinkus #2182 Appointment Date: 01-06-92
- Detective William Salupo #1969 Appointment Date: 02-17-98
According to their records, court records and other published reports:
- Detective Michael Demchak and Detective Erin O'Donnell were named in a 2009 lawsuit that was filed by a state corrections officer alleging excessive force, court records show. The lawsuit alleges the following: The incident occurred in 2009 when Corrections Officers Martin Robinson and Jennifer Jones were working at the Northeast Pre-Release Center in Cleveland. The Corrections Officers, wearing state issued uniforms, were on the perimeter when two plainclothes Cleveland Police officers approached them to see what they were doing. It was dark out. The Cleveland officers pulled their weapons. Demchak and O'Donnell arrived soon after and got out of their police car. All four officers then tackled Robinson and placed him under arrest. Robinson's head bounced off the ground several times during the altercation. The lawsuit was later settled with the city paying $900,000.
- Patrol Officer Michael Brelo was involved in an incident on July 9, 2011, where a juvenile suspect attempted to drive away while Brelo was reaching for the keys in the ignition, police records show. The vehicle's door struck Brelo and his partner, Liz Galarza, as it backed up at a high rate of speed. Galarza then fied her weapon one time (the bullet struck the passenger compartment). After the vehicle crashed into an oncoming police car. Brelo arrested the suspect.
- Police Officer Michael Rinkus was one of nine officers involved in a shooting on Sept. 7, 2011, police records show. The police call began when a suspect shot his girlfriend in front of their child. Rinkus was of the officers who responded. They found the suspect on the front porch. The suspect ignored calls to drop his weapon and ran. Police chased him. On three occasions, the suspect placed a gun to his head and told officers to shoot him. After the third time, the suspect pointed the gun at officers, who returned fire. Rinkus fired 8 rounds. There were 23 shots in all.
- Rinkus was also sued in 2005 by a suspect alleging excessive use of force. The complaint says that CPD used a confidential informant to purchase drugs from the suspect on Oct. 28, 2004. During the purchase, police officers rushed the suspect's car and he attempted to drive away. Police pursued and stopped the suspect's car a short time later. They then smashed the car's driver side window and dragged the suspect out of the car through the door. "They proceeded to beat him unmercifully about the head and various other parts o f his body." The suspect sustained numerous injuries, including multiple facial fractures. The case was later dismissed.
- Patrol Officer Michael Farley was involved in a shooting in July 2003, according to the Plain Dealer story at the time. He and his partner were responding to a domestic disturbance. The officers and the suspect exchanged a barrage of gunfire on the following a chase. The shooting started after the suspect shot at the police cruiser, and the bullet when through the car door and struck Farley's partner in the hip.
- Patrolman Christoper Ereg was sued in October, 2012 by a suspect alleging excessive use of force. The complaint says that Ereg put handcuffs on the suspect and refused to loosen them when the suspect complained the cuffs were too tight. When she complained again, Ereg and another unknown officer said, "Well, I'll leave them on a little longer." The suspect later required surgery that included removal of the left dorsal wrist ganglion.
Related story: Cleveland: Chase/shooting renews calls for dashcams