By Kimberly Vetter
Advocate staff writer
July 14, 2012
Two police officers resigned this week in lieu of being terminated or seriously disciplined, police said Thursday.
One officer resigned after being arrested and accused of stealing a cellphone. A second officer resigned after trying to break into the Baton Rouge Area Violence Elimination project office downtown, police said.
Police Chief Dewayne White said he wants the public to know he does not condone such behavior and he is prepared to handle situations in which officers abuse their power and violate the public’s trust.
“This Police Department is policing itself,” the police chief said. “We are getting rid of individuals who do not hold themselves to the high standards of this Police Department.”
In the first case, Jake Chustz, a five-year veteran of the Police Department, was arrested Wednesday for allegedly stealing an iPhone from the vehicle of a traffic crash victim, police spokesman Cpl. Tommy Stubbs said.
In the second case, Sgt. Monroe Allmond was caught picking the office lock Wednesday, Stubbs said.
Chustz, 28, 13153 Country Park Ave., took the phone while investigating a June 2 crash involving an alleged drunken driver, who was arrested and booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison, Stubbs said.
After the driver was released from jail, he could not find his cellphone, which he left in his vehicle after being arrested, Stubbs said, adding Chustz searched the vehicle at the crash site before the vehicle was towed and impounded.
The owner of the vehicle used an application called “Find my iPhone” to try to locate his phone, Stubbs said.
The application showed the name assigned to the phone was changed the day of the accident from the victim’s name to Jake Chustz, an arrest warrant said.
The application showed that as of July 5, Chustz was still using the phone.
The victim recognized the officer’s name as one of the officers who investigated his crash, Stubbs said.
The victim contacted the Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division and filed a compliant, Stubbs said.
A subsequent investigation led to the Wednesday arrest of Chustz, who was booked into Parish Prison one a count of felony theft and malfeasance in office, Stubbs said.
Chustz, who was hired as a police officer in July 2007 and was assigned to the department’s Second District, resigned in lieu of termination, Stubbs said.
In the second incident, Allmond was caught before he could enter the BRAVE office and nothing was taken, Stubbs said.
Allmond worked for the Police Department for more than a decade, Stubbs said.
Criminal charges will not be pursued, Stubbs said.
Allmond was not involved in BRAVE, a street-level conflict resolution and crime-fighting effort that will initially target the city’s 70805 ZIP code.
The police chief said the department is going to equip the BRAVE office with an alarm and a lock that cannot be picked.