Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Officer Robert Vargas - Lansing PD
Officer found guilty of verbal abuse
Lansing policeman on trial for incidents with ex-girlfriend
Lansing State Journal, MI - 1 hour ago
Published September 11, 2007
A Lansing police officer has been found guilty of being verbally abusive toward his former girlfriend over the telephone.
But he was found not guilty of a domestic violence charge.
Robert Vargas, 39, was arrested after a May 22 fight at the woman's Blackman Township home.
They had recently broken up, police said. Both charges are misdemeanors. Vargas, who has been on paid administrative leave since the incident, faces up to six months in jail and $1,000 in fines.
A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Oct. 15 in Jackson County District Court.
Vargas' attorney, Fred Blackmond, did not return calls seeking comment. Vargas' telephone number is not listed.The verdict came Friday after a jury trial before Jackson County District Judge R. Darryl Mazur.
A few days after the woman broke off the relationship, Vargas went to her home, yelled at her, and at one point, pinned her to a bed, according to trial testimony. On the stand, Vargas admitted lying to a superior when he at first denied being at the woman's home.
An internal investigation continues, Police Chief Mark Alley said Monday.
He could not say when it would be completed."Discipline could include, but is not limited to, termination of employment," Alley said. "Whether it's a misdemeanor or a felony, we look at the facts surrounding the incident on a case-by-case basis and make a determination from there."
Jackson County Assistant Prosecutor Daniel Schwalm, who handled the case, said the county's elected prosecutor, Henry Zavislak, instructed him not to offer Vargas a plea deal.
"He wanted to make sure (county residents) know we enforce the law equally with everyone, regardless of position," Schwalm said.
Vargas has worked for the department about a decade.
In 2004, Vargas was shot four times when he interrupted a robbery.
After being wounded, he shot and killed one of two men involved in the break-in. It was determined that Vargas' use of deadly force was justified.
Lansing police officer charged with domestic assault
Lansing State Journal
Published May 23, 2007
A Lansing police officer, who was arrested Tuesday night on a domestic assault charge, was placed on paid administrative leave today.
Rob Vargas, who has been with the department about a decade, was arrested in Blackman Township in Jackson County.
Vargas could not be reached today for comment.
Lansing Chief Mark Alley said Vargas also will face an internal affairs investigation, "where he could face anything from exoneration to termination.""We do not tolerate criminal misconduct by any member of our agency," Alley said.
In 2004, Vargas was shot four times when he interrupted a robbery at a south Lansing townhouse. After being wounded, he shot and killed one of two men involved in the break-in. Prosecutors determined Vargas' use of deadly force was justified.
The incident was the first time in more than a decade that a Lansing officer was shot in the line of duty.
MI POLICE OFFICER INVOLVED PERPETRATED DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LAW ENFORCEMENT MURDER SUICIDE