Friday, October 14, 2011

Brockton Councilor Calls For "Cowboy" Constable's License Revocation

By Lisa E. Crowley
BROCKTON—The lawyer for Weymouth constable Jerold A. Loomis the constable who pulled a gun on a deadbeat dad in the parking area of Trinity Catholic Academy’s Upper Campus in Brockton Tuesday and forced a lock-down of the school had no comment about the pending investigation into Loomis' actions.
“I can’t comment,” said Boston attorney Glenn Hannington, when reached by telephone Friday morning.
Loomis, operator of All State Constables in Weymouth and a veteran constable on the South Shore who has been highlighted in numerous media accounts including the celebrated 2007 arrest of pop-star Bobby Brown in Attleboro, declined comment and referred all questions to Hannington.
“You can call my attorney,” Loomis said over the telephone Friday morning and declined any further comment.
Loomis is under investigation for an incident at the Erie Avenue school that took place on school grounds at about 7:30 a.m. when hundreds of children were playing and being dropped off by parents and buses before school opened at 7:45 a.m.
Among the crowd was Principal Cynthia Dunn-Mcnally, who related her account of the incident to Thursday, and Ward 5 City Councilor Dennis DeNapoli, who works at the school.
“If I had the power these guys would be looking for a new line of work,” DeNapoli said.
“You don’t draw guns on school property for something like this,” he said.
Loomis and his son Adam, both constables, converged on a car driven by George Haikal, who, according to court documents, was wanted for arrest in Plymouth County for non-payment of more than $45,000 in child support payments.
DeNapoli said both constables were wearing black cargo pants and had a badge and gun holsters on their belts.
DeNapoli said neither of the two constables identified themselves and he thought the pair could be county sheriffs because of their clothes, but he and other school officials had no idea who they were or what was happening, especially because the pair did not tell any of the authorities on the scene who they were.
DeNapoli said although their badges indicated they might be law enforcement, he and other school officilas thought it might be a road rage incident.
During the morning drop-off, DeNapoli said, the school’s parking lot is cordoned off by large orange cones to funnel parents’ vehicles into a single lane for an orderly drop-off.
“All of a sudden there was this gray Ford Taurus or LTD or something like that and these two guys jump out,” DeNapoli said.
“They didn’t identify themselves—one went to the driver’s side and the other—Jerry Loomis—went to the front of the car and put his hand on the hood of the car in the middle where hood ornaments used to be on the older cars,” he said.
DeNapoli said everything happened lightning quick and numerous things were happening at the same time.
“One guy, the son, grabs George by the neck and yells for him to get out of the car,” DeNapoli said, noting Haikal’s two sons were exiting the car at the same time.
“It was bing, bang, boom,” DeNapoli said. DeNapoli said the whole incident lasted about 3 minutes, but the affects were long-lasting.
"They disrupted the whole school day and scared a lot of people," DeNapoli said.
DeNapoli said he went to the car and heard Haikal, who he has known for about 12 years, yelling, “Dennis, help me, help me Dennis.”
As all of this was happening, DeNapoli said, Jerold Loomis positioned himself at the hood of Haikal’s car and put his left hand on the hood and moved his right hand to the holster of a gun on his belt.
DeNapoli said at that point he was next to Loomis asking the pair, “what are you doing, what’s going on,” and at the same time Loomis is yelling for Haikal to get out of the car.
DeNapoli said Loomis told him they had an arrest warrant for Haikal at that point, but still did not identify themselves.
DeNapoli said at the front of the car, he was trying to get answers from Loomis, when Haikal’s car lunged forward.
“He didn’t have it in park, he had his foot on the brake,” DeNapoli said.
DeNapoli noted at the same time Haikal was being grabbed by the neck by Loomis’ son Adam and isn’t sure Haikal could have put the vehicle in park unless the son relented.
He said Loomis yelled, “put the car in park,” and it was at that point Loomis reached for and pulled his gun.
DeNapoli said he was stunned, as was Principal Dunn-Mcnally who along with DeNapoli asked Loomis to put the gun away.
“He pulls the gun and points it at George through the windshield,” DeNapoli said. “The whole thing was bizarre,” he said.
When she saw the gun, Dunn-Mcnally immediately began calling for staff to round up the more than 100 children on school grounds and hustled them into the school and locked the building down.
DeNapoli said shortly after Loomis pulled the gun, Haikal was dragged out of the car, slammed against the side of the car, handcuffed, dragged into the constable’s vehicle and driven away.
“I’ve never heard anything like it—on school grounds? It was like a movie,” DeNapoli said.
DeNapoli said as of Thursday night Haikal was being held in Plymouth County Correctional Facility, formerly known as Plymouth County House of Correction.
Court documents show Haikal was sentenced to 60 days in jail. Documents state he will serve at least 30 days of the sentence and the remainder will be suspended until Oct. 31, 2012.
Court records show Haikal owes Loomis $72 for Tuesday's arrest and at least another $500 for unpaid fees in connection with Haikal's child support payment problems.
Haikal is expected back in court Nov. 15.
DeNapoli said he was not frightened during the incident and that his main concern was for the safety of the children, Haikal and trying to figure out "who these guys were" and why they caused such a scene in front of hundreds of youngsters.
“Through the whole thing they never identified themselves, only that they had an arrest warrant,” DeNapoli said.
When the constables drove away with Haikal, DeNapoli said he and school officials began calling law enforcement agencies to find out if they had any information on what had just happened.
DeNapoli said Brockton Police had not been informed of anything the Loomis’ were doing and neither had State Police.
DeNapoli said when the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office was contacted a secretary told school officials that indeed the Loomis’ were hired to arrest Haikal.
Jerold Loomis was an integral player in Bobby Brown’s high profile arrest, which took place at Attleboro High School and included Loomis, local police and sheriffs.
Loomis also has been prominently highlighted in a news article by the Boston Herald in 2005 and an in-depth report by The Patriot Ledger in 2004 about the hunt for dead beat fathers.
The Herald called Loomis the gun-toting, “dead beat dad bounty hunter.”
In the same Herald article Loomis told the newspaper he has captured dead beat dads in many places including weddings, funerals, work places, exiting flights at Logan Airport and hiding in ceilings and under beds.
“Do you think they would do that if that was their child’s school,” DeNapoli asked. “They’re cowboys—they should be in another line of work,” he said.
On Wednesday morning, DeNapoli said, school officials consoled Haikal’s two sons, who had no idea what had happened to their father and were devastated by the incident.
“I told them he’s OK,” DeNapoli said.
DeNapoli said Haikal’s situation is complicated and Haikal needs to deal with the issues, but to have the arrest take place the way it did Tuesday morning, on school grounds, not only in front of Haikal’s children, but also hundreds of other innocent bystanders, the Loomis’ put everyone in danger.
“What happens if the car rolls forward and the gun goes off? Somebody could have been hurt or killed,” DeNapoli said. “George isn’t a murderer. He’s not a criminal. This could have been handled in a much different way,” he said.
Also, DeNapoli said, he can predict what Loomis might say about the incident and why he pulled his gun.
"He's going to say his life was in danger from George's car, but I was right next to him," DeNapoli said. "What's George going to do, run me over, too," DeNapoli said, adding Haikal was asking DeNapoli for help from the constables and doesn't believe Haikal was trying to injure anyone when the car lunged forward.
"Was my life in danger? No. I was worried about the gun, not George's car," DeNapoli said.
Brockton Police Chief William Conlon told Thursday that he is working with the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office to investigate the Loomis’ actions and possible repurcussions.
Like DeNapoli, Conlon said the pair could have done a number of things besides what took place Tuesday.
“There seemed to be a lack of judgment,” Conlon said Thursday.

1 comment:

deputydasilva said...

Who is this DeNapoli person? Let me tell you from a police officer standpoint. What Mr DeNapoli perceives as a threat is totally different that what a trained officer perceives. I believe it also could have been handled different but I also know that Mr. DeNapoli should have minded his own business. He stated that he saw the guns and he saw the badges. At this point he should have kept his distance and not interfered with two officers trying to arrest someone. Maybe it was Mr. DeNapoli that caused the suspect to become distracted and not listen to the commands of the officers. Maybe if Mr. DeNapoli had not gotten involved then the suspect would have obeyed the commands and they wouldn't have had to draw their weapons.
Mr. DeNapoli, I suggest in the future you leave the law enforcement to the officers and stick to your job or maybe next time the suspect comes out shooting and you catch one between the eyes.