Phoenix officer facing murder charge has mixed work history

by Lynh Bui – Oct. 19, 2010 12:00 AM

The Arizona Republic

Phoenix police Officer Richard Chrisman, who is facing a second-degree murder charge, had been suspended for misconduct in 2006 and was the subject of several internal investigations related to on-duty traffic incidents, personnel records released Monday show.

Chrisman’s personnel file also show he has received several commendations and positive performance reviews during his nearly 10 years on the force.

Chrisman is accused of fatally shooting 29-year-old Danny Frank Rodriguez while answering a call in south Phoenix on Oct. 5.

He’s scheduled to be arraigned on Oct. 21 and is free on $150,000 bail. Chrisman is also accused of one count of aggravated assault and one count of cruelty to animals.

Records show Chrisman was suspended without pay for 10 hours on Jan. 27, 2006. The incident of officer misconduct involved Chrisman slipping his partner drug paraphernalia to plant on a homeless woman as a prank in 2005.

Chrisman admitted the joke was his idea and that his behavior was “way beyond unprofessional,” according to a suspension report in his personnel file.

via Phoenix officer facing murder charge has mixed work history.

Precinct in South Phoenix gets a new commander

Crockett returns to lead South Mountain unit

by Sadie Jo Smokey – Oct. 17, 2010 12:00 AM

A police commander who began his career in south Phoenix is returning to lead the South Mountain Precinct.

Cmdr. Chris Crockett, a 23-year veteran of the department, began his new assignment Oct. 11.

Phoenix Public Safety Manager Jack Harris said the change in leadership was in the works prior to a police-officer shooting of an unarmed man in south Phoenix on Oct. 5.

“There has been criticism of how we react with the community,” said Harris. “There is a perception that we can do things better. (The shooting incident) may have accelerated the implementation, but it wasn’t the motivating factor.”

Crockett said one of his missions is to lower the crime rate.

“When things don’t go right, I’ll be ultimately responsible and I’m going to fix them,” Crockett said. “We want to treat everyone fairly and be held accountable.”

As an officer, Crockett worked in the South Mountain Precinct under various assignments beginning in 1987.

In 1999, he led 65 officers at the department’s substation at 2330 E. Jones Ave. serving an area between 16th and 48th streets and South Mountain and the Salt River bottom.

South Phoenix community activist Gail Knight said crime rates decreased by 25 percent and community/police relationships improved under Crockett’s leadership. Knight praised Crockett’s return.

“He’s homegrown,” said Knight. “The community is very excited. It’s good to see him back.”

read more at Precinct in South Phoenix gets a new commander.

Phoenix Officer’s Wife Has Criminal Past

Sarah Buduson

Reporter, KPHO.com

POSTED: 8:55 pm MST October 18, 2010

UPDATED: 10:44 pm MST October 18, 2010

PHOENIX — The Phoenix police officer whose account of a domestic violence call led to murder charges against officer Richard Chrisman is married to a convicted felon.

Sergio Virgillo’s wife, Maria, was convicted of illegal control of an enterprise in 2008 and sentenced to three years probation.

Court documents show Maria Virgillo was one of four people indicted in a drug smuggling operation that trafficked in meth and cocaine in July 2008.

She was sentenced to three years probation in November 2008.

During that time, the indictment says Sergio Virgillo was a detective for Phoenix’s drug enforcement bureau and that his wife provied information obtained from him about undercover practices to her brother, who is named as an “intricate member” of the drug trafficking organization.

via Phoenix Officer’s Wife Has Criminal Past – Phoenix News Story – KPHO Phoenix.

Alley garbage collection to move curbside

Council members are considering changing garbage collection services for thousands of Phoenix residents.

Following a presentation by Solid Waste department’s John Trujillo, members of the Housing and Neighborhoods Subcommittee asked why the department didn’t relocate all alley collection to curbside.

Of the city’s 400,000 solid waste customers, approximately 32,000 residences, primarily in older neighborhoods, would be impacted.

Councilman Bill Gates, who represents north and northeast Phoenix, said some residents complained that they felt targeted after their trash collection was relocated to the curb.

“A message needs to be sent that this is where we’re going as a city,” Gates said.

Aidee Valenzuela, of south Phoenix, said she wants curbside collection.

“We have alley service and we hate it,” said Valenzuela. “When people have big items they dump it in the alley and not the bin. It’s hard to keep clean.”

via Alley garbage collection to move curbside.

PD: Robbers attempt hit on armored car

PHOENIX – Police are investigating after an attempt was made to rob an armored car in south Phoenix Tuesday, according to the Phoenix Police Department. …

PD: Robbers attempt hit on armored car

Police: Pimp Arrested, Accused Of Forcing Teen To Turn Tricks

Police: Pimp Arrested, Accused Of Forcing Teen To Turn Tricks

Cara Liu – Reporter, KPHO.com

POSTED: 10:17 pm MST October 8, 2010

UPDATED: 10:50 pm MST October 8, 2010

PHOENIX — A Phoenix man has been arrested, accused of forcing a teenage girl into prostitution.

Al Green, 20, was arrested after the SWAT team busted into his home Friday evening, said police.

Police said the investigation began after the victim, an 18-year-old girl, escaped Friday morning and her grandmother called police in south Phoenix. According to detectives, the girl was lured from a bus stop near 24th Street and Broadway Road about a month ago.

via Police: Pimp Arrested, Accused Of Forcing Teen To Turn Tricks – Valley News Story – KPHO Phoenix.

10/27: The House at Secret Garden to open in Phoenix

10/27: The House at Secret Garden to open in Phoenix

by Howard Seftel – Oct. 8, 2010 09:38 AM

Republic restaurant critic

South Phoenix isn’t exactly a destination-restaurant neighborhood. But a new restaurant, the House at Secret Garden, sounds intriguing enough to draw in even the type of clientele who might never otherwise set foot south of Van Buren or west of 32nd Street.

It’s set in the historic South Mountain mansion, built in 1929. The mansion has a rich history: back in the ’60s, it housed a hippie commune. Recently, it has operated as an event venue (and will continue to do so).

Chef/owner Dustin Cristofolo, 29, sports a promising pedigree: his mother, Pat, operates the Farm at South Mountain and a catering company. He has experience, too, including culinary training and a stint working the front of the house at Quiessence, one of this town’s premier restaurants. The House at Secret Garden is his first venture – “my baby,” he says.

He calls his fare “American eclectic,” which means there are many regional and global touches. He’s also emphasizing the “local, organic” angle. So the pork will come from the Meat Shop in downtown Phoenix; goat cheese will come from Black Mountain Ranch in Snowflake; and produce will come from Maya’s Garden and McClendon Farms. He’s also making his own fresh pasta.

via 10/27: The House at Secret Garden to open in Phoenix.