Police officers are known for protecting and serving citizens. But what happens when the actions of these individuals are called into question?
Earlier this year, the validity of case report testimony by one Scottsdale Police Sergeant, Anthony Bellissimo, was questioned, leading to his resignation. Unanswered questions about cases he was involved in over his career remain, including ongoing cases.
On April 7, Bellissimo was on duty when a shots-fired call was received at Jackrabbit Lounge, in the 4200 block of North Drinkwater Boulevard. According to the report, Bellissimo was to supervise officers, impound evidence and write a report at the site of the shooting.
According to the report, Bellissimo not only failed to fulfill his duties as sergeant but also provided misleading reports as to his whereabouts.
According to an internal-affairs report, when confronted with information about the shots-fired call, Bellissimo claimed he was handling a fighting call at 2:19 a.m. However, during their investigation, Scottsdale investigators pulled records that showed the fighting call came in at 2:40 a.m., 21 minutes after the shots-fired call.
In addition, Bellissimo indicated to investigators that he had interviewed an officer by phone about the call and he “distinctly remember[s] making a phone call.” Despite his claim, cell phone data shows that Bellissimo never made the phone call to another officer about the shots-fired claim.
Although Bellissimo has not been charged, the internal-affairs report concluded that, “all of [the] statements about his [Bellissimo’s] availability to respond were untrue.”
Bellissimo resigned on May 16 while the Internal Affairs Unit Officers investigated the April 7 shots-fired call. The Scottsdale Police found that Bellissimo was untruthful in interviews, showed poor judgment and failed to supervise the April 7 report of shots fired near the Jackrabbit Lounge in Scottsdale, AZ.
In such cases, officers’ names are typically placed on an “integrity list” of Maricopa County police officers whose truthfulness has been challenged, said Jerry Cobb, a spokesman for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.
Many cases handled by Bellissimo, including Arizona DUI arrests, may now be called into question due to doubts about his truthfulness.
What This Means for Defendants
Such cases illustrate the need to always protect yourself and your family with a qualified, experienced criminal defense lawyer. Knowledge of this and similar cases can help in your defense. Hiring an experienced Arizona DUI attorney is strongly advised since an Arizona DUI conviction will remain on your record permanently and will be used as a prior offense for the next seven years.
Our criminal defense team in Scottsdale has been involved in more than 15,000 DUI cases in Arizona. and we give you the benefit of our expertise when fighting your case.
Having an Arizona DUI attorney with experience means your case will be handled by DUI lawyers who know how the system works and how to best defend you against an Arizona DUI or drunk driving charge.
Please contact Corso Law Group today for a free consultation. Our criminal defense attorneys will meet with you to discuss your unique situation and help you determine the best means of action.
To schedule a free consultation, please call (480) 471-4616. Corso Law Group is located at 17470 N. Pacesetter Way Scottsdale, AZ 85255.