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When the Batterer
is a Cop

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The Rogues Gallery

A number of Sonoma County police officers have been fired or criminally charged with domestic violence within the last year or so. When you read the court documents on these guys, they all sound like the same case – they call their partners the same names, pick them up in the same way, threaten them with the same things. We're beginning to think there's a required course at the police academy called Domestic Violence 101.

John McLaughlinJohn McLaughlin, SRPD

Fired by Santa Rosa Police for domestic violence against his wife. We've been trying to get more information on this for weeks but the file is always up in Judge Bertoli's office. Whazzup with that?




Craig Gooch, CHP
Gooch's ex-wife filed a domestic violence restraining order against him in 2000. In her sworn declaration, the victim recounts a March, 2000 incident when he "reached out from behind and grabbed my throat with both his hands. He then stated ‘If my son ever says that again, I'll kill you,'" then struck her son in the face. (The boy had told Gooch to leave.) Craig Gooch immediately called police and accused his wife of assaulting him.

In another incident, he pushed his way into the bedroom, called her a "fucking cunt," then said, "I'll kill you!" Other witnesses detail how Gooch belittled, intimidated and obsessively controlled his wife, constantly harassed her at work, threatened to steal her children, and repeatedly violated restraining orders. While it appears police were called several times, Gooch was never charged.

In March, 2000, Gooch was also investigated by the CHP for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a teenage member of the CHP Explorer program. He is still on the force.

Curt LubiszewskiCurt Lubiszewski, CHP

CHP officer, tried on three counts of domestic battery and one count of vandalism against Mitzie Grabner. Grabner and Bonnie Garrett, who was previously married to Lubiszewski, reported numerous incidents of ongoing violence including grabbing them by both arms and pushing them against walls or down stairs, flying into rages and calling them "fucking bitch" and "fucking cunt," head-butting, threatening to commit suicide with his gun, and throwing away phones and keys so they couldn't leave.

On February 26th, the jury came back with not guilty verdicts on all counts.
Lubiszewski was also the focus of three CHP internal investigations, including domestic violence. He received a slap on the wrist for driving his kids around in his CHP cruiser; all other allegations were "unsustained."
He continues to work with the California Highway Patrol.

Darwin Kennedy, RPPD

Former Rohnert Park Police officer, convicted of domestic battery in August, 2003. Kennedy was charged with 2 counts of battery and 3 restraining order violations. He pled guilty to one count of misdemeanor battery. The other charges were dismissed, and he was put on probation. Police reports and restraining order documents describe Kennedy flying into a rage, calling the victim a "fucking bitch" and "cunt." The documents also state he stalked her, made retaliatory traffic stops of her friends, threatened to commit suicide with his gun, threw away her keys, and threatened to throw her belongings on the freeway.

The incident he pled guilty to involved pushing his way into the victim's house, grabbing her by both arms, pulling her out of her apartment and slamming her against the wall, bloodying her nose. She had numerous visible injuries, and her terrified young daughter was home at the time. Witness statements to police also detail Kennedy's constant stalking and repeated, wrath-filled phone calls.

Kennedy's had at least two subsequent restraining order violations involving threats, harassment and attempting to pressure the victim to recant her previous statements. As a result, his probation was revoked and he posted a $15,000 bond. Soon afterwards, he violated the terms of his bail and was again arrested. He's currently in jail on a no-bail hold and facing new domestic violence related charges.

May 2004


© Tanya Brannan, Purple Berets
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