William Vasilakos has a novel claim against Hartford, Connecticut Officer Michael Presti — alleging that Presti took his cellphones and then emailed revealing pictures of and videos of Presti’s girlfriend to his own phone.
The federal lawsuit concerns the arrest of Vasilakos, 39, for breach-of-peace charge in Stamford on Aug. 16, 2008. According to the lawsuit, Presti kept the confiscated phone and forwarded the images and videos to himself. Vasilakos later found evidence of the forwarding of the material.
We saw a similar case involving private misconduct involving a phone left at a McDonalds.
The Stamford police would only say that the matter was handled internally. But that handling did not involve the most obvious conclusion: termination. Absent termination, it is hard to see how the police department could handle such a matter if these allegations are true. If true, this officer stole private files and violated the privacy of two citizens. It would be hard to believe that any review board would consider such a person fit to continue as an officer.
What is also strange is the lack of a charge. Vasilakos would have preferred that the officer steal the phone rather than the more valuable images. Yet, if he stole the phone, he would have presumably been charged. Instead, he stole the far more valuable images and violated their constitutionally protected privacy . . . and is retained as an officer.
11 thoughts on “Police Officer Allowed to Remain on Force after Arresting Man and Stealing Images of His Girlfriend From His Cellphone”
@Anon Nurse It can be worse than you think…
Chicago woman awarded $7.7 million for false arrest
A trained nurse, Rachelle Jackson immediately ran toward the sound of the crash. A Chicago police car had collided with another vehicle and was starting to smoke, two officers still inside. Fearing an explosion, she quickly pulled one officer from the passenger side.She never imagined her act of kindness nearly six years ago would land her in jail for more than 10 months on charges that she robbed, battered and disarmed a peace officer.
Jackson filed a lawsuit, and on Thursday a federal jury found against the city and several Chicago police officers, awarding Jackson $7.7 million for false arrest, malicious prosecution, coercive questioning and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
“I’m going to go home and lie down for a little bit,” an ecstatic Jackson, 41, said after the verdict. “I feel relieved. I’m happy, and I’m thanking God.”
The case began in November 2002, when a car ran a stop sign in Jackson’s neighborhood, slamming into the squad car. Jackson was walking nearby and rushed to the scene. When she arrived, the officer behind the wheel was unconscious and the passenger, Officer Kelly Brogan, was dazed.
She pulled Brogan from the wreckage and helped her to a nearby stoop. Soon after, police approached Jackson and told her that the driver’s weapon had been stolen. When she was asked to go to the police station for questioning, she thought it was as a witness to the accident.
Instead, Jackson was accused of the theft. She was held for two days with little food and water and was threatened with violence until she agreed to sign a statement police had prepared for her. She was then charged and spent more than 10 months in the Cook County Jail awaiting trial.
Her case was later thrown out by a Circuit Court judge. Jackson sued the city, Brogan and the two interrogation officers in 2003.
Defense attorney Andrew Hale said the amount the jury awarded Jackson was “excessive” and that he would file post-trial motions to have the amount reduced.
He also questioned Jackson’s intentions when she pulled the officer from the car.
“The officer said [Jackson] came at her, tried to get her gun and put her in a full-Nelson hold,” Hale said. “I’m disappointed the jury could think that would be a legitimate rescue technique.”
But Jackson’s attorneys said it was clear she was trying to help the officer, not harm her.
“This was an innocent woman who saved a police officer from a burning car,” said Chris Smith, who tried the case with Dan Alexander. “There were many heroes out there who helped the police, but they all turned into suspects because some guy ran away with the gun.”
In light of the Wikileaks spectacle I am surprised he is not placed on the “Most wanted” list. 🙂
This is just the “teeny, tiny” tip of a mighty ‘berg, of course… (credit to Gilda Radner)
As rafflaw said, if this had been the mayor’s daughter, the outcome would probably have been quite different.
I’m a law abiding nurse (a no arrests, convictions, just generally goin’ about my business, hard workin’ kind o’ gal), but the things that I’ve seen over the past few years, involving the police, would make the average person terrified…
Wake up, America… (which doesn’t apply to most of “the regulars” who post here)
Maybe you should try YouPorn….You just might find what you’re looking for……lol…
This thread is useless without better pictures.
This is BULL SHIT. The Officer should be fired, charged, convicted and sentenced as any member of society….it seems perfectly clear to me a 1983 action should be appropriate and the department should be charged with conspiracy under the same….just sayin….
William Vasilakos has a novel claim against Hartford, Connecticut Officer Michael Presti — alleging that Presti took his cellphones and then emailed revealing pictures of and videos of Presti’s girlfriend to his own phone
what? officer presti is giving away pictures of his own gitlfriend.
I think you may have left out an important word there.
Nice. But at least no one was beaten, tased, or choked.
“The Stamford police would only say that the matter was handled internally. But that handling did not involve the most obvious conclusion: termination.”
Obviously the offending officer was banished to the cyber-crime unit.
One more example of the fact that the police can do nothing wrong in the eyes of their administrators. What if the phone belonged to the Mayor’s son-in-law and the pictures that were stolen were of the Mayor’s daughter? Would that be a reason to charge this police officer and to terminate him??
Comments are closed.