In the midst of a national police staffing crisis, the city of Lorain, Ohio, has three fewer officers. Reports of the matter suggest that Lieutenant Tabita Angello was “climbing the ladder in a profession dominated by men” by spreading her legs at every opportunity. She may have just done it because she liked it but sex with your co-workers, and also a convicted drug trafficker, often leads to a bad end. It did this time.
Disturbance with two other officers
When officers with the Lorain Police Department rolled up to a disturbance call on September 21, they weren’t real surprised to find fellow cops in the alley. The alert came in from the FOP Lodge. Lt. Tabita Angello was the department’s first female detective, first female sergeant and first female lieutenant.
Local outlets note she “was on the fast track to a high-profile career with Lorain Police.” Not anymore. For starters, she “was involved in a disturbance with two other off-duty officers.” They tried to play the fight down to their buddies, who didn’t believe them.
The following day, “Sergeant Kenneth Zapolski, a 28-year veteran of the department, was arrested and charged.” He’s no longer on the force. He’s trying to stay outside the bars on “assault, domestic violence and menacing by stalking charges.”
As soon as they saw the disturbance report, the Office of Professional Standards started an Internal Investigation. Three officers in a scuffle was only the tip of a scandalous iceberg. Responding colleagues reported that “Zapolski had allegedly assaulted Angello, who was his live-in girlfriend, and another off-duty officer.”
That would be one of Angello’s “subordinate officers,” a “four-year veteran of the department who worked the night shift,” Carlos Trujillo. “Trujillo was found guilty of multiple administrative violations, including three counts of gross misconduct. His employment with the Lorain Police Department was terminated on Monday, November 14,” Lorain PD announced in a statement.
That’s what happens when you have sex with your superior while on duty. According to cops at the fight scene, “none of the three were initially cooperative with the investigation, declining to make any statements or pursue charges.” That’s okay, there was surveillance video to watch. It was interesting.
Kicked and stomped in the alley
What happened between the off-duty officers behind the cop club was filmed by a nearby business. “The footage showed Angello talking in the alley with an off-duty officer when Zapolski allegedly ran up and hit the officer in the face.” He hit the other cop hard enough to knock him over. “That’s when Zapolski kicked and stomped him.”
The clip also appears to show Zapolski shoving his live-in girlfriend at least once. As soon as he heard about it, Lorain Police Chief Jim McCann “ordered investigators to seek an arrest warrant for Zapolski.” His next call was to internal affairs.
Angello and Zapolski “were not cooperating,” so McCann placed both officers on administrative leave. “The two have been in a romantic relationship for years and lived with each other at the time.” They were also both ordered to turn over their departmental cell phones. Despite orders “not to tamper with or alter any data on the phones,” Angello grabbed the bleach-bit.
That was caught on tape, too. The geeks in forensics got the 2.2 gigabytes of erased data back. “A forensic download of Angello’s cell phone police said showed evidence of inappropriate texts and pictures between her and a subordinate.” Trujillo.
“Angello, while on-duty, had engaged in sex acts with one of her subordinate officers.” The “sexual rendezvouses between Angello and this officer happened at least three different times while on-duty as well as other off-duty incidents.” That’s about when they discovered “that Angello was also romantically involved with a convicted drug trafficker.” She dropped her panties for him in the squad car, too.
“The OPS investigation discovered Angello had engaged in sexual conduct with this felon several times while on duty.” McCann confirms “at least 5 but not more than 10 times, we could show, while on duty.” She “resigned in lieu of termination.” She was subsequently “criminally indicted by the Lorain County Grand Jury last week on two counts of tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony; two counts of tampering with records, a third-degree felony; obstructing official business, a second-degree misdemeanor; and three counts of unauthorized use of the Law Enforcement Automated Database System, a fifth-degree felony.“