Wrong Side of the Law

March 19, 2011

Some violent law enforcement officials in Saipan belong behind bars.

There are cases where no charges against the rogue officers have been filed. One of the worst involved the brutal beating of an innocent foreign contract worker by an officer who left the DPS and was rewarded with a another CNMI government position.

On October 18, 2010 a Chinese worker, Jin Dong Wang was severely beaten in what appeared to be a case of mistaken identity during a police raid. Six months have passed and no arrest has been made.

DPS Commissioner Tudela claimed in November 2010 that former police officer Jesse Dubrall was involved. After the assault Dubrall resigned on October 22, 2010 and on October 25, 2010 he was working at the Office of the Public Auditor.

Tudela said that case was forwarded to the FBI.  Why has there been no arrest in this case? If a civilian had assaulted the Chinese worker, you can bet that he/she would be sitting in a jail cell by now.

Maybe arrests are not made because the Office of the Attorney General doesn't prioritize the cases or looks the other way if the attacks are committed against foreigners? This week a federal court judge allowed the OAG an extension to respond to a lawsuit filed by Quiriano Adlaon.  Adlaon charges that he was beaten by Department of Corrections Officer Jesse Reyes Babauta.

According to the complaint, Adlaon was taken into custody for DUI and reckless driving. He was handcuffed and taken to the DPS. He took and passed a breathalyzer test three times, and a field sobriety test twice. Still he was taken to the Department of Corrections and put into a cell. He asked why he was being held if he passed all the tests and was informed that he was being held for DUI and reckless driving. He was never charged with those offenses.

While in custody in the cell, Adlaon was assaulted by DOC officer Jesse R. Babauta after he questioned why Babauta had not given him water.  Babauta allegedly hit him in the mouth so hard that his teeth were dislodged and later needed treatment. Adlaon bled profusely in the cell for an hour and he yelled for help. No one at DOC responded.

As if that was not enough, Adlaon was again the victim of false arrest on November 1, 2009. He was arrested by DPS officer Roque Camacho who went to his residence where he was sitting outside with friends.  The officer charged him with speeding and disturbing the peace.

During the arrest another police car arrived with Officer Cepeda and an unknown female officer. The three officers handcuffed and placed the plaintiff in their patrol car and drove him to the Department of Corrections.  There he was put in a small padded room, handcuffed and restrained with a ball and chain where he stood for over two hours. (Seriously, a ball and chain?)

During that time his hands and wrists were injured by the handcuffs. He was then transferred to a cell where he spent the evening until his release the next day at 3:30pm. Again he was never charged with any violation of the law. He was falsely arrested and imprisoned.

The complaint identifies the following defendants: Former DOC Commissioner Dolores San Nicolas, former DOC Commissioner Gregory F. Castro, DPS Commissioner Santiago Tudela, DPS Officer Jesse R. Babauta, DOC Officer Patrick Maanao, DPS Officer Jesse Cepeda, DPS Officer Roque Camacho, the CNMI Government, CNMI DPS, CNMI DOC and DOES 1-10.

The lawsuit lists 2 causes of action for the deprivation of due process for unlawful arrests and imprisonments, 2 causes of action for 2 incidents of assault and battery resulting in serious injury, and the intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Why does this man need to hire an attorney to sue? Why didn't the OAG file a case and put the offending officer(s) behind bars where they belong?

Aside from brutality cases, many CNMI law enforcement officials have been charged with criminal violations, many of them violent.  The following is a list of some Department of Public Safety and Department of Corrections officials who have been arrested over the last 10 or so years:
There could also be a list of law enforcement officials who have not been arrested, but have assualted innocent citizens. It is probably too lengthy and too difficult to document. Most of the police brutality cases in which no officer was charged, appear to be assaults on foreigners. Aside from the Jin Dong Wang and Quiriano Adlaon cases there are others.

In February 2010 Li Gui Xiang alleges she was assaulted by police officers on Saipan. In May 2007, employees of the Top Fashion garment factory in Tanapag alleged police brutality when during a sit down protest police officers pepper sprayed and kicked some of the protesters. (The brutality was captured and posted on You tube.) In October 2005 Dan Gao Bright, a tour agency operator was pulled over while driving, allegedly assaulted by Police Officer John C. Sablan and falsely imprisoned for 8 hours. In August 2005 a Chinese store owner alleged police brutality.  In August 2003 then DPS commissioner Edward Camacho and an unnamed policeman were sued by Zhang Qisen who was allegedly assaulted and falsely detained. In August 2002 another Chinese victim, Kwon Woo Kim, sued DPS officer Ralph Mendiola Torres for false arrest, assault and battery and other civil rights violations.  Does anyone see a pattern here?

The CNMI may hold the record for the most corrupt public officials per capita. It certainly must hold the record for the most victims of labor abuses, human rights, civil rights and criminal cases per capita.  Additionally, it can boast the most cases of crimes per capita where the victims rights have been ignored and the criminal abusers have not been charged.


Anonymous said...

Great work compiling this information. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

If shit like this was the case at some stateside town, you bet your bottom dollar the FBI would be all over it. Where are the federalees?

The Saipan Blogger said...

That is an incredible list.

Anonymous said...

The federal authorities have prosecuted at least 8 of those on the list.

Anonymous said...

Federal authorities have prosecuted some of these thugs including Tyron Fitial. What a creep he is. Interesting how many are repeat offenders. Shows how incompetent local judges are. Slap on the wrist or write a letter and then they're free again.