Corrections officer charged with mishandling firearm

ZANESVILLE, Ohio — A city corrections officer has been charged with improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle following an Oct. 2 crash.

Eric B. Lambes, 23, son of Zanesville Police Chief Eric P. Lambes, was charged with the misdemeanor after Muskingum County Sheriff’s deputies found a .45 caliber handgun in his abandoned Nissan hatchback.

According to court documents, deputies were dispatched to an address on Old Coopermill Road on a report of a suspicious vehicle. There they found the car registered to the older Lambes and were told that two men fled the scene on foot following the wreck.

Deputies found the gun on the back floorboard of the vehicle, with a bullet loaded in the chamber and a spent shell casing on the floor. Chief Lambes told deputies at the scene that his son drives the car, but that he did not know where he was.

Deputies contacted the younger Lambes, who works at the Zanesville City Jail, that morning at his apartment. According to reports, he told a deputy he had been drinking the night before and did not clearly remember the crash. He said his friend had been driving and he did not know how the weapon ended up in the backseat. He also said that no one had been shooting the weapon that night.

Eric B. Lambes is scheduled for an arraignment hearing on Oct. 29 in Muskingum County Municipal Court.


Correctional officer charged with pulling handgun on Dartmouth man

NEW BEDFORD — A state correctional officer was held in jail overnight to face a dangerousness hearing today on charges he pulled a gun on a man he believed was having a relationship with his estranged wife.

Joseph Williams, 37, of 558 Faunce Corner Road, Dartmouth, was arrested Wednesday night after police received a 911 call from the Pinnacle Health and Fitness parking lot in Dartmouth.

A man told police Mr. Williams pointed a handgun at him while they were arguing in the parking lot. The man said the defendant told him to “stay away from my wife or I’ll kill you,” court records said.

Mr. Williams told police he brandished his gun because the man kept walking up to him. Police seized a 9 mm Smith and Wesson handgun from the defendant’s home, court records said.

Mr. Williams was arraigned Thursday in New Bedford District Court on charges that include assault with a dangerous weapon, threats to commit murder, and carrying a firearm without a license.

According to court records, Mr. Williams is a state correctional officer. It was not immediately available which prison he has been stationed at or what his current employment status is.


Horry correctional officer charged with criminal domestic violence

Horry County Police arrested a J. Reuben Long correctional officer early Sunday morning and charged him with criminal domestic violence.

Horry correctional officer charged with criminal domestic violence

Police arrested 22-year-old Nicholas Dale Trevathan and booked him into the J. Reuben Long Detention Center just past 5 a.m. Sunday.

Trevathan was arrested at a Myrtle Beach apartment complex, according to a county police report.

Horry County hired Trevathan to work as a correctional officer at the county jail about ten months ago, J. Reuben Long jail director Tom Fox said.

The county will conduct an internal investigation into the Sunday morning incident, then determine Trevathan’s employment status, Fox said.

A county judge set Trevathan’s bond at $1,000 and released him on a PR bond at a hearing Sunday morning.

Surfside Beach Police charged Trevathan with shoplifting in November 2003, but judge Dennis Earl Phipps found him not guilty at a bench trial on June 14, 2004, according to a check with county records.

Trevathan’s charges will be heard by the county’s criminal domestic violence court.

No word yet on a trial date on Trevathan’s charge.


Ex-Lucas County officer allegedly assaulted prisoners

His civil rights trial begins in U.S. court


While a corrections officer at the Lucas County jail, Seth Bunke had authority over the inmates he supervised – a power federal prosecutors say he abused, but one that defense attorneys said was used appropriately when subduing angry prisoners. 

Mr. Bunke, 26, now of Jacksonville, N.C., faces five counts of deprivation of rights under the color of law for alleged assaults that occurred while he was employed by the Lucas County sheriff’s department. His trial, which is expected to last five days, began yesterday in U.S. District Court in Toledo. 

During a half-hour opening statement, Eric Gibson, an attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, portrayed the 6-foot, 6-inch, 275-pound Mr. Bunke as a man who “abused his power and violated the rights of his fellow citizens.” 

He said that on four different occasions in 2007, while Mr. Bunke was employed at the jail, the former corrections officer assaulted inmates. In another incident, Mr. Bunke claimed to be a police officer when he pulled over two men he apparently suspected of drunken driving, Mr. Gibson said. 

“Seth Bunke did whatever he saw fit whenever he wanted,” Mr. Gibson said, adding it could be “stopping citizens on the street” or “brutalizing inmates.” 

Mr. Gibson outlined the various incidents that involved inmates detained in the jail but not yet found guilty of a crime. He labeled an incident July 11 as the “coup de grace,” saying Mr. Bunke repeatedly kicked inmate Jeff Jones in the head and side after an oral altercation that occurred while the prisoner was being strip-searched. 

Jones, who was incarcerated on a probation violation stemming from a drug charge, was hospitalized for several days afterward with a collapsed lung. He has since sued Mr. Bunke, the county, and the sheriff’s department. 

Mr. Bunke is also charged with civil rights violations for four other incidents – on March 10, May 5, May 6, and July 10. Mr. Gibson said in each case, Mr. Bunke aggressively attacked an inmate, which was not in accordance with his training. 

Defense attorney Rick Kerger told jurors during a half-hour opening statement the jail is a “hostile environment” where many of the inmates are angry. That anger, he said, comes back into the jail and onto the floors. 

“The guards, the corrections officers – they have to control them,” he said of unruly inmates. And to do that, all they have are “their hands and their feet.” 

Mr. Kerger said each of the incidents outlined in the indictment against Mr. Bunke were handled “by the book.” 

He said inmates are told they are to listen to orders given by staff and that corrections officers are told to discipline inmates in private so a prisoner is not tempted to “save face” and cause a disturbance. 

“That’s the environment there, and when you go into a module, you’re all alone,” he said. “You have to command the respect of inmates.” 

Mr. Gibson said Mr. Bunke’s aggressive behavior went outside the jail when, on March 13, 2007, he stopped two men who were driving home. Mr. Bunke allegedly showed the men his badge and uniform and detained them. 

“He claims to be an officer, which he is not,” Mr. Gibson said. 

Mr. Kerger acknowledged that Mr. Bunke detained two men he believed had been driving drunk. But he questioned whether Mr. Bunke would have faced charges if he had stopped a drunken driver. 

“Those folks were stopped for a period of time and they were found to be sober, fine,” he said. “What if they weren’t?” 

Mr. Bunke, a Marine Corps veteran who became known for his role in assisting rescued prisoner-of-war Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch in Iraq in 2003, resigned from the sheriff’s department in July, 2007, just days after the incident involving Jones. 

He has since moved to North Carolina but returned to Toledo in February when he was arrested. 

As a corrections officer, Mr. Bunke was paid a salary of $27,000. 

Charges are pending against two other men in connection with the July 11 incident involving Jones. 

Sheriff’s Deputy Joel McConnell, 28, and James Kotlarcyk, 44, a corrections officer, each face one count each of conspiracy and falsification of records for allegedly falsifying reports of the incident. Currently still employed at the sheriff’s department, Mr. Kotlarcyk and Deputy McConnell have a Dec. 9 trial date set. 

Mr. Bunke’s trial will resume today with Judge Jack Zouhary presiding. The jury of 11 women and three men will be taken to view the fifth floor of the jail, where Jones was allegedly assaulted, before the first witness testifies. Among those subpoenaed is Sheriff James Telb

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Clark County corrections officer arrested for rape

A second suspect was arrested Friday in a Jeffersonville rape case.

Adonis Walker, who is a community corrections officer in Clark County, appeared in Clark County Circuit Court on Monday afternoon on allegations of rape. At the hearing, the prosecutor’s office asked for a 72-hour continuance before filing charges.

Court records allege that on Sept. 13, Walker and Johnny Colastin, 20, of Jeffersonville raped two female college students they met at Fourth Street Live, an entertainment complex in downtown Louisville.

Colastin was charged Sept. 26 with rape, a class B felony, and criminal confinement, a class D felony.

Deputy Prosecutor Dawn Elston said she did not know if Walker would be charged with class A or B felony rape.

According to a probable-cause affidavit in Colastin’s case, Colastin and Walker offered to take the two women and another man home from the popular downtown nightspot. Instead, the two took them to the 800 block of East Chestnut Street in Jeffersonville, the document states.

The male — who was in the vehicle — told police that several men exited the apartment. He said one of the suspects grabbed one victim and took her in the house while another pushed the other victim back into the car. He said that when he realized they were in danger, he ran to the 600 block of East Court Avenue and called 911.

Officers found the two girls in an apartment along the 2000 block of Paddlewheel Drive. Police said they found Colastin hiding in the closet. Colastin denied having sex with either girl.

Walker initially said he may have had sex with one of the girls. Later, he reportedly confessed to assaulting one girl and having sex with another who was sleeping, according to the affidavit in the Colastin case.

Both girls told detectives that they were very intoxicated and could not remember having sex with anyone. A forensic nurse determined that both girls had intercourse and both had injuries consistent with forced sex.

Walker’s bond was initially set at $50,000 cash only. Circuit Court Judge Abe Navarro gave the prosecution until 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in Circuit Court to file charges. At that time, the issue of bond will be revisited, Navarro said. Walker was not represented by an attorney in court.

Colastin is still being held without bond in the Michael L. Becher Adult Corrections Complex. His first pretrial conference is scheduled for Nov. 24, with jury trial set to begin Feb. 10