Carl Popp lives in Oakwood, Ohio, a small Dayton suburb and a place where the police seemingly have free reign to intimidate, assault and threaten citizens. Mr. Popp has somewhat of a history with Oakwood employees. His children, who suffer from learning disabilities have been bullied in the schools for years and his complaints have fallen on deaf ears. Instead of listening to complaints and attempting to resolve the problems, Mr. Popp claims that the city has started a campaign of harassment and intimidation against his family.
Oakwood projects itself as an affluent and wealthy municipality and they definitely have the money to show for it; by all appearances, the police budget is over 50% of the city’s operations budget. And these cops appear to be very busy harassing local citizens using any means they have at their disposal to keep complaints to a minimum and obscure what is really happening behind the closed doors of bureaucracy.
In November 2014, Mr. Popp’s service dog escaped from the house and immediately headed for another dog being walked by its owners in the neighborhood, causing Popp’s dog to be attacked and injured in what turned out to be a short dog scuffle. As the good citizen that he is, Mr. Popp decided to go to the Oakwood police station and report the incident and to inquire if the other dog was vaccinated or see if he could track down the owner of the dog and find additional details about her status.
What should have been a short meeting turned into a strange visit where Carl Popp was supposedly threatened and assaulted by an Oakwood police officer. During the visit to the station, Mr. Popp attempted to ask questions and sought help in identifying the name of the other dog owner, but instead he ended up being ticketed for not having a leash on his own dog — it is worth to note that this service dog is trained to be leash-less in order to help disabled individuals in cases of emergencies.
According to Popp, during the encounter, Captain Hill, an officer with Oakwood PD came out into the station lobby and immediately stood inches away from Popp’s face who is a former veteran and was standing “at ease” with his hands behind his back. Hill demanded to see Popp’s hands and then placed his palm in Popp’s chest saying, “Don’t come at me” and proceeded to slowly push him back. Hill repeated this bizarre pushing action several times until Popp was physically pushed back, then stated,
“You are not in control here, I am!“
Unfortunately this incident occurred in an area with no cameras present or no other witnesses observed, outside of Popp’s teenage son who was left in shock witnessing his father being treated this way.
The following day, Mr. Popp’s wife, Tammy, went to the police station to file a complaint against Captain Hill for assaulting her husband. She wisely decided to secretly record the meeting she had with the Oakwood Police Chief Alex Bebris in order to hold them accountable. To her amazement, the police chief not only refused to take her complaint but actually threatened her with prosecution if she was to file a complaint!
In an audio recording which was provided exclusively to TruthVoice, Oakwood police chief Alex Bebris is heard attempting to discourage a member of the public from filing a misconduct complaint against one of his officers and worse, intimidating and threatening a member of the public with prosecution, should the investigation turn out nothing.
The problem is of course that the department’s own internal investigation unit would investigate itself and the officer in question, likely finding no problems and leading to a very real threat of prosecution being issued to those wishing to file complaints. This type of behavior from a public servant is completely unacceptable and we are calling on the Oakwood City Council and the Oakwood Mayor to immediately investigate the circumstances surrounding the audible threat made by this police chief and take immediate steps to suspend, fire or otherwise discipline this individual.
As you listen to the audio below, you will notice that before he is issuing threats to Mrs. Tammy Popp, he appears to try to mislead her by offering her a “Witness Statement” form instead of an actual complaint form against an officer.
Police Chief Alex Bebris: “There is a penalty in the State of Ohio for making a false complaint against an officer and if the complaint is investigated and determined to be false, I will personally recommend that case itself be reviewed by the prosecutor and if those charges are false, there will be a prosecution..”
Tammy Popp: “I love intimidation…that’s wonderful.”
Police Chief Alex Bebris: “I’m just telling you what the law is in Ohio.“
Fortunately, the Popps were not intimidated by this attempt and kept a copy of this recording, deciding that it is time to expose what is clearly thuggish and inappropriate behavior. After being found guilty of not having his service dog on a leash, Carl Popp contacted me and provided me with audio recordings, documents and other materials showing a pattern of misconduct and intimidation on the part of Oakwood PD.
Calls for comments from Alex Bebris and the Oakwood Mayor have not been returned.
If readers desire to contact Oakwood Police, you may contact them on the city’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/oakwoodohio or call them at 1-937-298-2122 to voice your opinion on this matter. The City Manager can be reached at 1-937-298-0600.
Virgil Vaduva is a Libertarian security professional, journalist, photographer and overall liberty freak. He spent most of his life in Communist Romania and participated in the 1989 street protests which led to the collapse of the Ceausescu regime. He can be reached at vvaduva at truthvoice.com.