Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Officer Dean Toward - Charges Dropped - Warren PD

On February 15, 2008 Warren Police Officer Dean Toward was arrested for domestic violence...

Chesterfield Sgt Jill Gray and officers Joseph Lentine and Aaron Robinson arrested Warren officer Dean Toward for the DV incident, in which Officer Toward was accused of striking his step-daughter with a door during an argument.

Warren officer Dean Toward was never formally charged with domestic violence. Charges were dropped after Toward's step-daughter contacted the prosecuting attorney.

In October 2008, Officer Dean Toward filed a lawsuit against the Chesterfield police officer who arrested him for the February 2008 domestic violence incident. In his lawsuit, Officer Toward contended that the Chesterfield police officers violated his civil rights when they arrested him on suspicion of domestic violence. Toward was seeking compensation from the arrest, claiming it had caused him.  

In February 2010, Officer Toward's lawsuit against Chesterfield officers Jill Gray, Joseph Lentine, and Aaron Robinson was dismissed. The court ruled that probable cause [under Michigan's domestic violence arrest policies] did exist in the February 2008 domestic violence arrest of Officer Dean Toward.


In 2011, Officer Toward was named in a lawsuit. In 2009, during a domestic violence arrest in which Officer Toward partook in, Dawanne Sparks lost a tooth and his jaw was broken.

In December 2012, Warren officer Dean Toward was back in the news. He had filed a whistle blower lawsuit against the Warren PD and is requesting "seven figures" for verbal abuse and retaliation.

Former Warren cop wants justice
Posted: Dec 13, 2012 5:19 PM CST
Updated: Dec 13, 2012 5:41 PM CST
Fox 2 News

It's a whistleblower lawsuit that could make one former Warren cop a millionaire. Dean Toward said he reported a fellow officer for being too aggressive. He says what came after was verbal abuse and retaliation.

"I'll take you to jail for 15 different damn things. You want to get tough? You want to get smart? You want to act hard? I don't give a (expletive) It's my city."

Veteran officer Dean Toward says this aggressive language and behavior from a fellow Warren officer made him uncomfortable. Back in April, Warren Police responded to a call that someone was shot. Toward says a woman pointed them toward a nearby house where two young kids lived and according to her often caused trouble.

"Stop talking give me your ID."

Police later learned the kids were innocent. Fox 2 was in court Thursday morning when the charges were dropped and teens were set free.

"Finally the right thing has been done and should have been done a long ago," says Toward.

Dean Toward says he filed a complaint of the officer whose voice you hear in the video. But those complaints fell on deaf ears. Toward says instead the officers turned against him he was forced to work the front desk -- and later reassigned to the jail to feed the prisoners. What he calls pure retaliation. Toward says he was forced to quit when officers refused to let him get candy and medication from his locker during a diabetes related health problem.

"Mr. Toward was not able to leave the building .. he was not able to leave the post if he left the post did he would be fired. He was completely just retaliated against because he was doing what was right." says Attorney Ray Guzall

Toward is seeking seven figures in his whistleblower lawsuit. A trial date has not been set. Fox 2 also reached out to the city attorney representing the Warren Police Department and those calls had not not been returned at the time publication.

But, let's not forget that Officer Dean Toward, can obviously dish it out, as is evident of the arrest of Dawanne Sparks in a domestic violence incident. Sparks lost a tooth and his jaw was broken in an arrest that Officer Toward partook in on August 26, 2009.




Cops cleared in arrest of police officer
Published: Wednesday, February 17, 2010
The Voice
By Norb Franz, Journal Register News Service

Three Chesterfield Township police officers did not violate the civil rights of a Warren police officer arrested on suspicion of domestic violence but never formally charged, a federal judge has ruled.

Warren patrolman Dean Toward sued the three Chesterfield officers - Sgt. Jill Gray, Joseph Lentine and Aaron Robinson - in October 2008 stemming from his arrest eight months earlier.

U.S. District Judge Steven J. Murphy III recently granted a defense motion for summary disposition to dismiss the case.

"We were confident from the beginning that the arrest was supported by probable cause. That was based on statements by the victim at the scene," said G. Gus Morris, an attorney with Troy-based law firm McGraw Morris, hired by the township to represent the three officers.

"Officers have to make judgment calls in domestic violence situations fairly quickly so things won't escalate. We feel they made the right decision to arrest (Toward)."

Morris gave this account of the incident: Toward, 47, was babysitting his stepdaughter's children at his home in the township on Feb 15, 2008 . The 36-year-old woman's 4-year-old son told him, "Mom says you hate me," said Morris quoting the boy.

When the woman arrived to pick up her children, an argument ensued when the two adults discussed the boy's remark. She went to her car with her children to leave, but her 6-year-old daughter forgot a book and returned to the door. Toward didn't answer until his stepdaughter "pounds" on it, Morris said.

When Toward opened the door, it struck the girl, injuring her slightly. The Warren officer claimed the woman rushed at him. However, she reported that he pulled out clumps of her hair and caused her to suffer a finger fracture.

Toward called police, and Officers Lentine and Robinson arrived. But Robinson stepped back after recognizing Toward as a distant relative.

Toward asked the officers to summon their patrol supervisor, and Gray arrived.

After Gray investigated, she ordered Lentine to arrest Toward.

"She determined there was probable cause that Toward was the instigator," Morris said. "He was cooperative. He disagreed with their assessment, obviously verbally, but didn't fight or resist," the attorney said.

Toward was held in custody in the Chesterfield Police Department lockup for 16 hours before being released on personal recognizance bond. The detective assigned to the case requested a warrant from the Macomb County Prosecutor's Office charging Toward with domestic assault. Four days later, prosecutors denied the warrant, citing insufficient evidence after the victim called.

In his lawsuit, Toward did not specify the amount of compensatory and punitive damages he was seeking but claimed the incident caused post-traumatic stress and emotional distress.

He has until March 1 to decide whether to appeal Judge Murphy's ruling.

"That'll be completely up to Mr. Toward," said his attorney, Ben Gonek, who then declined further comment.

Warren Police Commissioner William Dwyer, who was appointed to the city's top police post nearly two months after Toward's arrest, said Wednesday he was not familiar with the incident and referred a reporter to Deputy Commissioner Jere Green.

Green did not return phone calls.

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