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Officers to Stand Trial for Alleged Assault

Off-duty sergeants from St. Clair Shores and Detroit police departments are alleged to have robbed, and assaulted, civilians while posing as officers.

Off-duty sergeants from St. Clair Shores and Detroit who allegedly assaulted civilians while retrieving a stolen cell phone were bound over Monday to stand trial in Wayne County Circuit Court.

Judge Joseph Baltimore made the decision after hearing four days of testimony from six witnesses called by the prosecution against St. Clair Shores Police Sgt. Michael Notoriano and Detroit Police Sgt. David Pomeroy.

The men are alleged to have assaulted and robbed the three men of cash, wallets, marijuana and an unlicensed gun July 21 at a gas station after they tracked down and recovered an iPhone stolen from Notoriano's daughter the previous day at a different gas station.

"I find these crimes were committed and there is sufficient probable cause to believe these officers committed these offenses," Baltimore said as he bound the officers over to stand trial.

The men will return to the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice Jan. 27 for their circuit court arraignment. Both are free on bond.

"These two officers thought they would never see Lank Love, Sergio Love or Robert Cureton (the three witnesses) for the rest of their life," said Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Christine Kowal. "They were going to fall anonymously off the chart with another unsolved crime in the city of Detroit."

Prosecutors called all three of the complaining witnesses during the exam, including Robert Cureton who took the stand Monday.

He stated that he was in the passenger seat of a Yukon Denali on July 21 rolling a joint when the off-duty officers pulled into the gas station in an F-150. He stated that he was removed from the Yukon, and had his marijuana, wallet and cash taken from him before he was placed in the officer's truck.

After Pomeroy retrieved the stolen iPhone - which Cureton said he bought for cash just hours after it was stolen - Notoriano was alleged to have used the N-word before striking Cureton with a gun in the nose.

Although Cureton, and other witnesses testified his nose was bloodied, investigators stated during the exam that no blood was found in the Ford truck.

Prosecutors also introduced text messages from Notariano's phone that included the N-word. While Notariano's attorney, Todd Flood, said the text messages were "horrific" and "ugly," but "it is not that he is going to take the phone because it is based on race. He is going to take the phone because that's the person who robbed his daughter of the phone."

Additionally, defense attorneys stated that videos from the crime scene do not show the alleged assaults of the men, nor do initial reports show that the N-word was used during the incident.

While defense attorneys argued that the video from the incident didn't show the assault, testimony also placed Cureton at the gas station when Notariano's daughter was robbed.

"What you saw from the three witness is nothing less than perjury," said Michael Rataj, who is representing Pomeroy. "There is no credible evidence to support bind over in this case."

The St. Clair Shores sergeant has been charged with armed robbery, two counts of unlawful imprisonment, two counts felonious assault, two counts of ethnic intimidation, felony firearm, willful neglect of duty (exercise of unlawful procedure), and two counts of failure to uphold the law (unlawful search, seizure and detention).

The Detroit sergeant has been charged with armed robbery, two counts of unlawful imprisonment, larceny of a firearm, willful neglect of duty (exercise of unlawful procedure, and two counts of failure to uphold the law (unlawful search, seizure and detention).

If convicted, both men could face up to life in prison.
David Micallef January 14, 2014 at 11:19 AM
I really wish this would have dug a little deeper. If I knew nothing else about this incident, and didn't have the sense to look deeper, I'd walk away reading this with the impression of two racist, rogue, police officers. I'd like to add that these officers did what any man with children would have done had his little girl been beaten and robbed. We also aren't talking much about what these "defendants" did to that girl, and we glance over the fact that they has an unlicensed weapon. It's not just Patch, it's media in general: half a story.
steve pesek January 23, 2014 at 05:37 PM
i would like to know what his little girl was doing riding a bike with a friend a half mile south of alter rd. if you know that area it is allegedly an area filled with drug dealers and crack whores, as a growen man i would not visit that area. i think as you say only half the story is told.

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