Part-time cop pleads ‘no-nonsense’ against domestic violence – Delco Times
MEDIA COURTHOUSE – A part-time Bethel Township and Ridley Park police officer pleaded “without question” to common assault on Monday to an alleged incident of domestic violence in February.
Johnathan Thomas Lazaro, 28, of 800 Block in Chester Pike, was sentenced to two years probation in the county and not to have inappropriate contact with the victim, who currently lives with him, according to the defense attorney Robert J. Bush.
Common Plea Court Judge Dominic Pileggi also ordered Lazaro to take anger management and parenting education classes, and to comply with the recommendations of a drug addiction assessment under the terms of the submitted negotiated plea. by Bush and Assistant District Attorney Diane Horn. The remaining charges of harassment and terrorist threats were dismissed.
Police said at a preliminary hearing in May that they responded to the apartment Lazaro shared with the woman around 11 p.m. on February 11 for a domestic call. An officer said he told Lazaro at that time to leave for the night, freshen up and come back in the morning.
But police were called back to the apartment at around 4:44 a.m. on February 12 for another domestic disturbance appeal, according to a probable cause affidavit. Dispatch was reporting an open line with a woman crying for help and asking someone to call the police, according to the affidavit, and several other tenants had also called 911 to report a woman screaming.
Police said they went to talk to Lazaro, who was described as consistent but intoxicated. Officers said they learned that Lazaro went to a bar after being ordered to leave earlier and then returned to another person’s house where he continued to drink. Lazaro said he returned to the apartment because he wanted to pick up his 2-year-old daughter, police said.
The officers who responded said Lazaro was not fit to drive at the time. They also said Lazaro reported several places where guns were stored in the house, but that they played no part in the incident.
The woman made a statement to police that night recounting the allegations in the affidavit and Lazaro was arrested.
“She said she was on top of the situation and was ready to move forward with what she said,” according to an officer.
The alleged victim said the argument started because of a missed call she received on her phone.
“He thought I was still talking to someone I was talking to before,” she said. “He thought I was still trying to talk to this person because he saw that they were trying to contact me.”
The woman said that when Lazaro returned he was arguing with her and getting loud, waking the child. After picking up the toddler, she said Lazaro pushed her onto the bed as he tried to get her phone. Lazaro then continued to grab her arms and push her against walls and doors until he found himself on top of her on the sofa, she said.
Horn played a recorded segment of the abuse protection hearing during the preliminary hearing in which the woman described Lazaro holding her by the neck on the sofa with one hand while trying to pick up her phone with the other. She said he was squeezing her neck tight enough to hurt her and that if he had used both hands she would have passed out.
“I kept saying, ‘You have to stop, I’m going to call 911 again’, and that’s when he said, ‘I’m going to kill you before I call 911′” , said the woman.
Bush argued at the preliminary hearing that the charges should be dismissed because the alleged victim no longer wished to continue the case and had withdrawn an abuse protection order. Horn replied that it is not uncommon for victims of domestic violence to change their mind and it is the duty of the Commonwealth to move forward with the charges.
Horn noted on Monday that Lazaro had filled out a Bill 79 form to relinquish any firearms in the house and Bush said his client intended to ask the Prospect Park Police Department to keep his guns in stock. for the duration of his probation. Lazaro will be able to request that his file be struck off after completing probation to retrieve these firearms.
Lazaro, who has been released on $ 2,500 cash bail since February 12, was hired as a part-time officer at Bethel and Ridley Park in February 2020. Ridley Park Police Chief Robert Frazier said after Lazaro’s arrest that he was no longer on the schedule. there and hasn’t been for some time, and Bethel Township Police Chief John Egan previously said Lazaro had been taken off the schedule “indefinitely” and was not receiving no paycheck.