SAN DIEGO – A San Diego Police Officer was arrested Wednesday on rape and kidnapping charges and fired from the department.
The officer, 26-year-old Daniel Dana, was arrested the day after Police Chief William Lansdowne announced an effort to stem a tide of legal and conduct problems with some officers.
Dana becomes the tenth SDPD officer to face criminal or misconduct charges in recent months.
A 34-year-old female reported early Wednesday morning she was sexually assaulted by an on-duty officer, according to SDPD Lt. Andra Brown.
“The female stated she had developed a friendly relationship with the officer over the past several weeks and that she received a text message from the officer and arranged to meet him.” said Brown.
Later the officer, now identified as Dana, allegedly told her she would be arrested if she did not comply with his demands for sex and oral copulation.
Dana was arrested Wednesday afternoon and booked into the county jail, charged with kidnapping and rape under the color of authority.
“As of today, Dana is no longer a member of the San Diego Police Department,” said Brown.
Dana’s arrest comes a day after Chief Lansdowne publicly apologized on behalf of his department for what he called an “unprecedented number” of accusations of impropriety or criminal behavior on the part of SDPD personnel.
Over the past three months there have been ten cases, including Dana’s, six of which have resulted in arrests of officers.
Dana joined SDPD about 4 years ago after leaving the Marines.
SAN DIEGO – Police Chief William Lansdowne apologized on behalf of his department today for a recent spate of officer-misconduct cases and pledged to do everything possible to regain the public’s confidence and “repair the damage done.”
“I want to personally apologize to every citizen of the city of San Diego,” Lansdowne said during a late-morning briefing, adding that there was “no excuse at all” for the purported misdeeds on the part of sworn members of his agency.
In response to what he called an “unprecedented amount” of accusations against SDPD personnel surfacing over the last three months — nine cases total, five of which have resulted in criminal charges — Lansdowne outlined a seven-step program designed to prevent such cases.
The revised strategies include increased internal-affairs staffing, more ethics training, a 24-hour complaint hot line, a review of the department’s discipline manual and use-of-force tactics, “wellness” assessment during officers’ annual evaluations and a series of meetings with all employees.
The SDPD’s command staff believes the plan will help restore the department’s image, which, the chief said, has been “tarnished” by the series of cases involving alleged officer misconduct.
“And we will work hard to repair that,” Lansdowne told news crews outside downtown San Diego police headquarters.
The latest allegations against an SDPD officer came to light Monday, when the department acknowledged the arrest of William Johnson, a 12-year department veteran, on suspicion of driving while intoxicated in the South Bay.
Johnson was off-duty when he was taken into custody by Chula Vista police about midnight Saturday, following a collision that left another motorist with minor injuries. He will work a desk assignment pending the outcome of the case.
Last week, SDPD officials announced that an internal investigation was under way into whether a patrolman used excessive force while arresting an allegedly drunk and combative man outside a North Park nightspot.
The officer, whose name has been withheld, was one of three San Diego police officers who struggled to subdue 38-year-old Shawn Allen McPherren in front of the Alibi bar late on the night of May 1, SDPD Executive Assistant Chief David Ramirez said.
A witness captured the arrest with his cellphone camera and later contacted television stations, which aired the images.
The footage shows the uniformed personnel crouching around McPherren, who was prone on a sidewalk, grappling with him while one of the officers apparently punched him forcefully in the midsection or arms a half-dozen times.
The following day, an SDPD motorcycle patrolman pleaded not guilty to driving under the influence and hit-and-run allegations in connection with an off-duty Feb. 22 traffic accident on Murray Ridge Road in Serra Mesa. Officer David Hall, 41, faces up to three years and eight months in prison if convicted of the charges.
In late April, a judge ordered San Diego police Sgt. Kenneth H. Davis, 47, to stand trial on one count of stalking a fellow officer he had dated and three counts of making harassing telephone calls to her. Davis, a 23-year department veteran, could serve up to three years in prison if found guilty of the allegations, which came to light in February.
On April 11, an SDPD patrolman was involved in an off-duty dispute during which he allegedly assaulted a 17-year-old neighbor boy he caught smoking marijuana. The officer, a Mira Mesa resident whose name has not been released, has been transferred to desk duty pending the outcome of an internal investigation and a concurrent review by the District Attorney’s Office, said SDPD Lt. Andra Brown, a department spokeswoman.
In March, 42-year-old Art Perea, a vice officer with the department, resigned amid accusations of raping a Point Loma Nazarene University student at an El Cajon home. He has not been charged in the case, which remains under investigation.
On March 11, San Diego police Officer Anthony Arevalos, 40, was arrested after a woman accused him of sexually assaulting her following a traffic stop in the Gaslamp Quarter.
Four other women subsequently came forward and made similar allegations against Arevalos, who has pleaded not guilty to 18 felony counts, including sexual battery, false imprisonment, assault under color of authority and receiving a bribe.
On March 24, San Diego police Officer Roel Tungcab was arrested by sheriff’s deputies in the aftermath of a fight with his wife at their Imperial Beach home. Tungcab, 39, faces misdemeanor domestic violence charges.
On March 29, an SDPD officer was recorded wrestling with an allegedly inebriated and disruptive soccer fan at Qualcomm Stadium.
The 49-second recording, posted on YouTube the following day, shows the officer on the floor of a stadium concourse, struggling to subdue 27-year-old David Rangel of San Diego.
The officer, whose name has not been released, at times used an arm to put Rangel in a chokehold from behind and finally shoved his head onto the concrete, causing a loud smacking sound when the side of the suspect’s face and the palm of his hand hit the floor.
Police officials opened an internal probe into the arrest, which occurred during a Mexico-Venezuela soccer game.
Another cop arrested? What is going on here in San Diego?