Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle fired two officers Thursday, including one who let a suspected robber caught in the act go free and another whose past misconduct had lead to more than 50 days of suspensions since he joined the force nearly 14 years ago.
Officer Bobby Cole, hired in 2001, declined to comment. Senior Cpl. Gerald Williams, hired in 1994, could not be reached for comment.
Josh Goad, the victim in the robbery, applauded Kunkle's decision to fire Cole.
"He had plenty to arrest him," Goad said Thursday. "I told Officer Cole, 'This is the guy that just robbed me.' "
Cole and another officer were working off-duty security at a club on North Central Expressway on Feb. 4, 2008, when they intervened to stop three men who were holding Goad at gunpoint. Two suspects fled. They captured the third.
Goad told investigators that the captured suspect told the officers that he could take them to his accomplices. Goad said Cole asked for the suspect's contact information and told him officers would be in contact.
"I was under the impression that the gentleman was going to jail and they were possibly going to go get the others," Goad said.
But Cole released the suspected robber after Goad left. The officers did not initially file a police report and didn't tell anyone that armed robbery suspects were on the loose.
After the suspect was released, two additional robberies occurred. Police later captured the suspected robbers, including the one who had been released.
In his statement to investigators, Cole said that he didn't broadcast a suspect description over the radio because his battery was dead and that he had planned to call in an aggravated robbery report but forgot to do so. He also said he didn't believe he had enough evidence to arrest the man.
"I am truly sorry if [in] any way the department's name was tarnished due to my actions," Cole told investigators.
Seven days after the robbery, Cole also failed to arrest a suspect who had been accused of family violence, internal affairs investigators found.
Internal investigators also concluded that Cole entered false information on a police report and failed to fully investigate a police incident in August 2007. Details of that incident were not available.
In Williams' case, internal investigators concluded that he slept on the job, failed to devote his full attention to the job and violated the department's administrative leave policy.
The investigation was prompted after a fellow trainer complained that Williams was sleeping while training recruits.
Two rookie officers told internal investigators that Williams would have them pull over their squad car and then fall asleep. The officers also told investigators that Williams would sleep in the passenger seat while they drove to calls.Williams told investigators that he believed that the recruits may be making the allegations because he had been stern with them.
"While I may have been drowsy on occasion and my eyelids got maybe just a little heavy, I have never fallen completely asleep while on duty to the best of my recollection," he told internal investigators.
In 1997, Williams was suspended for 30 days for infractions including excessive force and lying to investigators. He was fired but later reinstated.
He was suspended for 20 days in 2002 for additional infractions. In 2006, he was promoted to senior corporal, a rank that allowed him to train rookie officers.