By Michael E. Miller
By Allie Conti
By Keegan Hamilton and Francisco Alvarado
By Jake Rossen
By Allie Conti
By Kyle Swenson
By Chris Joseph
By Michael E. Miller
According to the witnesses, Cinque told Henry, a freelance journalist from New York, to stop taking photos of voters. Supervisor of Elections Theresa LePore had recently ordered that voters were to be protected from photographers as they waited in line. When Cinque ordered Henry to stop, the journalist fled. The witnesses say Henry tried to make a quick left turn to lose Cinque and as he did, he slipped. Henry wasn't tackled, recalls retired Marine Lt. Col. Frederick Peterson from Virginia. "Police officers in my estimation acted with restraint and entirely properly," says Peterson, a frequent commentator on Fox News.
Henry says the discussion is beside the point. "It's hard to disentangle the fall from the fact that he was pursuing me," Henry said from his office in Sag Harbor, New York. "What I know is that when he landed on me, he started pummeling me."
The only witness to confirm that Henry was punched is Henry's friend George Wilson, a retired minister. From his home in East Hampton, New York, Wilson says he watched horrified as his friend was assaulted. "There were several punches from the policeman to him," Wilson says.
The author of the Post's story, former Pulitzer finalist Jane Daugherty, did not return a phone call for comment.
Henry, meanwhile, has vowed to fight the disorderly conduct charge. He recently turned down an offer from prosecutors, who agreed to drop the charges if Henry agreed not to sue for wrongful arrest.
Cinque blames the Post. He spoke recently at the Palm Beach County Courthouse, where he works in security. "The Post hates cops," Cinque said. "Everybody knows that."
Hollywood's Police Officer of the Year can't seem to stay out of trouble. Last month, 27-year-old Boca Raton businessman Michael Kleopa sued 43-year-old Officer Pete Salvoand the city of Hollywood, alleging the lawman roughed him up, then falsely arrested him.
It's the third lawsuit against the high-profile Salvo. The city settled a previous brutality case involving Salvo, who won the city's top cop honor last year after a successful investigation of a marijuana ring. The cost to Hollywood? $42,500. A wrongful death lawsuit is currently pending in federal court; it involves 31-year-old Vincent Del'Ostia, who died following an altercation with Salvo and other officers.
In the most recent instance, Kleopa alleges that on the evening of April 27, 2002, a valet parked his silver Mercedes in a handicapped spot at Giorgio's Grill on Hollywood Beach. Salvo noticed the illegal parking job. As the officer was writing a ticket, Kleopa confronted him. Salvo allegedly roughed him up a little, then arrested him for disorderly conduct. Kleopa said loudly, according to Salvo's report: "My Jewish lawyer will take care of everything."
And he did. Dan W. Moseshad the charge dismissed in August 2002. Two weeks later, Kleopa returned to Giorgio's. "As he walked in the door," Moses tells the 'Pipe, "Salvo grabbed him and said, 'Now I got you, motherfucker!' " Salvo, a squat, barrel-chested man with an unswervable sense of entitlement, charged the man with trespassing -- a crime the Broward State Attorney's Office refused to prosecute.
Add this to Salvo's police résumé, which already includes two dead bodies, a sexual battery allegation, and a host of Internal Affairs complaints.
Speaking of the Hollywood cops, there's also the sad story of Donald Baker.A 52-year-old Hollywood man who spent five years in prison on a robbery and assault charge, Baker hasn't had much luck with the justice system. On December 28, 2004, Judge Michael Gatessentenced Baker to another five years in prison after he was convicted on potentially fabricated evidence.
In April 2004, a jury convicted Baker of battery on a law enforcement officer after Hollywood police provided a grainy black-and-white surveillance tape that seemed to show the man strike and push to the ground Officer Francis Hoeflinger. Then video expert David Bawarsky found that some versions of the tape appeared to show police officers beating Baker without provocation.
But this evidence became available only afterBaker's conviction, meaning that his hopes for freedom now rest in the appeals process. Baker's mother, Dolores McNamara, recently sent an e-mail to Hollywood city officials, asking for greater scrutiny of the police department. "This has to be the case to put an end to the brutality," McNamara wrote.
But Tailpipe is still scratching his rusty noggin, wondering why, if there's clear evidence that Baker was convicted on trumped-up charges, he has to sit in jail.
-As told to Edmund Newton