Witness Recounts His Version Assault by Off-Duty Officer
A preliminary exam for off-duty sergeants from St. Clair Shores and Detroit police departments who are alleged to have robbed civilians while posing as officers continued Friday.
Lank Love took the stand to testify about the alleged assault July 21 at a gas station on French Road and I-94.
The 26-year-old recalled how before he went to the station that day with his cousin and brother - who previously testified - stated that he saw a black Ford F-150 drive through his neighborhood with two white occupants.
"White people don't come down our block," said Love, who believed the occupants were St. Clair Shores police sergeant Michael Notoriano and Detroit Police Sergeant David A. Pomeroy. "It made me suspicious about what they were doing."
Love and his family members drove in a Yukon Denali to the gas station, and while he was paying for fuel and a drink he saw the same black truck pull into the station. He stated that he saw two men jumped out and told his brother - who had just left the station mini-mart - to raise his hands.
He said the station clerk told him "don't go out there," but he testified that he went in and out of the store as he watched Notoriano frisk and take his brother's wallet and Pomeroy take his cousin back to the pickup.
Love added that Pomeroy then went back to the Denali, and recovered the stolen cell phone of Notoriano's 16-year-old daughter, which the officers had tracked to the station.
The officers then fled the scene, and Love stated that his unlicensed .45 handgun and more than $300 he had in the truck from setting up a bounce house with the family business.
None of the men in the car were arrested for the illegal handgun in the car, and Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Christine Kowal read a letter stating that no criminal prosecution would occur for the men from the presence of the handgun, and suspected marijuana, in the vehicle. The letter added that "no special consideration or promise of leniency is being offered in exchange for cooperation and truthful testimony," Kowal read.
But on cross examination by defense attorneys, Love testified that he never told investigators about the stolen money and gun in any of his statements to officers. Additionally, he testified he could not pick out the officers in a photo lineup but stated that he could see a necklace that normally holds police badges, and that both men had guns.
The exam adjourned Friday afternoon and will resume Monday with at least two more prosecution witnesses expected to be called.