Charges filed against officer accused of roughing up suspect
GREENFIELD (WITI) — Charges have been filed against a Greenfield police officer accused of roughing up a suspect in custody.
30-year-old Thomas Roszak faces one count of misconduct in public office (act in excess of lawful authority).
The criminal complaint in the case says Roszak was working as a Greenfield Police Officer on July 27th when he was participating in the arrest and booking of Amanda Luke — who was under arrest for driving while under the influence of an intoxicant and feeling.
According to Greenfield police, 30-year-old Luke led them on a slow-speed pursuit near 60th and Forest Home in July. An officer saw that she was driving on a rim and tried to pull her over. She kept going — and the officer pursued her for a mile before using his vehicle to force her to stop.
According to reports, Luke, who has three prior drunk driving convictions, refused to take a breath test. So she was arrested and charged with two felony counts of eluding police and driving while revoked.
The complaint says Roszak removed Luke from her holding cell for purposes related to the arrest and booking process.
During this time, Luke made repeated demands to make a telephone call, at which time Roszak ordered her to return to her cell.
Luke then placed her hands on Roszak’s chest, and said “I (expletive) hate you,” according to the complaint.
The complaint says Roszak responded by picking up Luke in her torso area with both hands, causing her feet to life from the floor. He then quickly guided her across a hallway to her cell, where he then flung her into the cell, causing her body to leave the ground and strike a steel stool affixed to the floor of the cell.
As a result, Luke suffered numerous bruises across her body — and surveillance audio and video caught the incident, according to the complaint.
Greenfield Police Chief Brad Wentlandt issued the following statement after charges were issued:
“On Saturday July 27, 2013 one of our patrol supervisors became aware of a possible excessive use of force by a police officer while processing a suspect who had been arrested for Operating Under The Influence, Fleeing an Officer and Hit & Run.
The supervisor immediately removed the officer from duty and the officer was placed on Administrative Leave (suspended with pay).
On Monday July 29, 2013 Chief Wentlandt contacted the Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm requesting an independent review and investigation into the actions of the officer. The officer involved is a veteran officer with no prior disciplinary history.
We learned today that Officer Thomas Roszak has been charged with one felony count of Misconduct in Public Office related to the incident.
As the Chief of Police I am deeply troubled by the alleged conduct and have ordered an internal investigation to determine the extent of rule and policy violations.
The information alleged in the criminal complaint clearly does not conform to our high standards of professionalism and our expectations for officer conduct.
The involved officer remains on paid administrative leave as required by law. No additional information will be released while the internal misconduct investigation is ongoing.”