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NEWS
February 8, 2015 | BY LARA WITT, Daily News Staff Writer wittl@phillynews.com, 215-854-5927
FORMER Philadelphia Police officer Kevin Corcoran walked into court yesterday facing up two years in prison for a conviction stemming from his undocumented arrest of an Iraqi War veteran in March 2013. But hours later, he walked out - practically a free man - after a judge sentenced him to one day in prison for obstruction of justice. Before sentencing, Common Pleas Judge Robert P. Coleman cited Corcoran's "stellar" career prior to his arrest in the case, saying that given the charges, the recommended sentence of two to 23 months in prison was unfair.
NEWS
February 8, 2015 | BY STEPHANIE FARR, Daily News Staff Writer farrs@phillynews.com, 215-854-4225
WHEN CHILDREN play cops and robbers, everyone has to pick a side, but former Philadelphia Police Officer Christopher Saravello played both parts while he was on the force. Saravello, 37, pleaded guilty in federal court yesterday to conspiring with three drug dealers to rob other drug dealers and drug buyers of money and narcotics while he was on the force. Standing before U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno, Saravello, a bald man, bore a striking resemblance to Thomas "Herc" Hauk from the television series "The Wire.
NEWS
February 7, 2015 | By Aubrey Whelan and Mark Fazlollah, Inquirer Staff Writers
The day after Najee Rivera was arrested a year and a half ago, his girlfriend went to North Philadelphia's 25th Police District and saw his bloodied and broken face - his orbital bone fractured, an eye swollen shut, his face sewn up with stitches and staples. Sitting next to him Thursday night, Dina Scannapieco of South Philadelphia said she had asked the dazed, 23-year-old Rivera where he had been arrested. "As soon as I picked him up, we went right over there," Scannapieco said.
NEWS
February 6, 2015 | BY JENNY DeHUFF, Daily News Staff Writer dehuffj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5218
A FEDERAL judge yesterday sentenced two corrupt former Philly cops to a total of 23 years behind bars, castigating one of them in harsh language. Jonathan Garcia, 26, and Sydemy Joanis, 28, both of Philadelphia, were sentenced to 17 1/2 years and 5 years, respectively, by U.S. District Judge Legrome Davis for robbing drug dealers and pocketing the proceeds. "You never should have been a cop," the judge told Garcia. "This is about what was lacking in you . . . You were a junkie who was a cop. You've done more harm than you can fathom.
NEWS
February 6, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
As corrupt police officers go, Jonathan Garcia was more brazen than most. Less than two years after joining the force, he was making illegal traffic stops and stealing cash seized from drug dealers. He sold heroin, often in uniform and in broad daylight, across the street from the 17th District station in South Philadelphia. And, as he explained to a federal Judge Wednesday, he did all of this thinking that was just the way the system worked in a city with a history of dirty cops.
NEWS
February 6, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
TWO COPS accused of brutally beating a man in North Philly two years ago with fists and a baton as he writhed, bleeding and wailing in pain, were arrested yesterday and charged with aggravated assault and related offenses. Officers Sean McKnight, 30, and Kevin Robinson, 26, allegedly lied about what happened, pretending they were the ones who were attacked that night, District Attorney Seth Williams said at a news conference. Their lies triggered the arrest of Najee Rivera, then 21, who was charged with aggravated assault and resisting arrest, Williams said.
NEWS
February 4, 2015 | BY DANA DiFILIPPO, Daily News Staff Writer difilid@phillynews.com, 215-854-5934
A PHILADELPHIA police sergeant was arrested yesterday for allegedly giving police a phony name and birth date when he tried to turn in guns anonymously last summer. Sgt. Brandon Ruff, 28, surrendered to police Internal Affairs yesterday. He was charged with one misdemeanor count of false identification to law enforcement authorities, according to the District Attorney's Office. One handgun he turned in was reported stolen in South Philadelphia in 2010, and authorities traced the other two back to separate owners, according to the D.A. Commissioner Charles Ramsey has suspended Ruff, an eight-year veteran, with intent to dismiss.
NEWS
February 3, 2015 | BY JENNY DeHUFF, Daily News Staff Writer dehuffj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5218
DRUGS MAY have been a factor in the death of a man in a holding cell at police headquarters Friday night, police said yesterday. The man, identified by police as Daniel Wichterman, 29, of the Parkwood Manor section of Northeast Philadelphia, was found dead seven hours after an afternoon arrest for DUI. The cause of death was still unknown last night. "It is believed that Wichterman was on some type of narcotic," police spokeswoman Tanya Little said. Little said Wichterman's car crashed into another vehicle about 3 p.m. on Holme Avenue near Fairfield Street in Northeast Philly.
NEWS
February 3, 2015 | BY WILLIAM BENDER, Daily News Staff Writer benderw@phillynews.com, 215-854-5255
IF RANDOLPH Sanders is a killer, he's also a phenomenal liar. There he was, sitting on a bench at Turning Points for Children last month, telling a TV news reporter how shocked he was by the execution-style slaying of beloved colleague Kim Jones as she was waiting to catch the bus on Jan. 13. "We're all just stunned, just stunned," Sanders said during an interview with 6ABC reporter Vernon Odom soon after Jones' death. Sporting a plaid scarf, cuffed jeans and a well-groomed beard, Sanders, 36, shook his head in disbelief.
NEWS
January 30, 2015 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
"CAN YOU believe this guy?" That's what Officers Anthony Sherman and Paul Austin said to one another Monday as they watched a punk in a mask walk past them on his way to rob a Dunkin' Donuts in Olney. It was so bizarre that the two Police Department veterans, partners since 2001, initially thought they were witnessing a prank. Until they saw the masked man pull out a handgun, that is. "Our training took over. It all happened so fast," Sherman said yesterday. "Our concern was for our safety and the safety of the other people around us. " The keen-eyed officers - who had just left that Dunkin' Donuts, on Front Street near Godfrey Avenue, after signing its security log per their usual routine - noticed that the robber was lefthanded.
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