Crime Briefs

August 12, 2009

Alleged police handcuffing incident under investigation

City police are looking into whether a patrol sergeant handcuffed a homicide detective during a disagreement as they investigated a reported abduction. The incident is alleged to have occurred Friday night in the Northwest District after patrol officers secured a possible crime scene in the reported abduction of a female corrections officer, who was later located unharmed. Sources with knowledge of the incident say homicide detective Joshua Ellsworth arrived to assume control of the investigation. In addition to suspicious deaths, the homicide unit investigates abductions and generally has precedence over those crime scenes. An argument ensued, and patrol Sgt. John Brickus allegedly placed a handcuff on Ellsworth's right arm. Ellsworth was not arrested, and the argument was defused. Police confirmed that a request for an internal investigation was filed by one of the officers on Tuesday. Robert F. Cherry, the city police union president, said both officers were "committed, hardworking police officers with strong reputations" but declined further comment. Anthony Guglielmi, the Police Department's chief spokesman, said the agency is investigating but will not let the incident distract from crime fighting.

- Justin Fenton

Woman in Cherry Hill hit by bullet in her living room

A Cherry Hill woman was shot Tuesday night while watching TV in her home, said a city police spokesman. Around 9 p.m., police said, a woman in the 2800 block of Carver Road was struck by a bullet that pierced her window frame and struck her in the back of the left shoulder while she sat in her living room, , said Agent Donny Moses. The 59-year-old woman, whose name was not released, was taken by ambulance to Maryland Shock Trauma Center and was expected to survive, said Moses. He said Tuesday night that it appeared the woman was not the intended target and that no arrest had yet been made. One of her neighbors said she heard several gunshots from outside her home and remained seated in her chair. "I didn't even go outside or go near the window," she said. "I hope the woman who was shot is OK and I'll pray for her recovery."

- Richard Irwin

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