Sandusky police list errors that led to Cole's name in police report

SANDUSKY In a Dec. 23 police report, the Sandusky Police Department said they arrested a cocaine dea
jasonsinger
May 24, 2010

SANDUSKY

In a Dec. 23 police report, the Sandusky Police Department said they arrested a cocaine dealer at Diedre Cole's house, and Cole, a former city commission candidate, witnessed the arrest.

But department officials admitted this week neither of those statements is true.

Acting police Chief Charlie Sams said the erroneous information resulted from "sloppy police work" by Det. Eric Costante, the arresting officer.

Sams said Costante didn't talk to any of the witnesses -- a violation of the department's policy -- and assumed one of them was Cole.

"He thought he knew Diedre Cole," Sams said. "When he saw the lady in that room, he thought it was her and he put it in the report."

Sams also said a clerical error led to the police report incorrectly identifying the house as Cole's.

Cole, who met with Sams and interim city manager Don Icsman earlier this week to discuss the situation, said the report shocked and angered her.

"I informed Charlie Sams we don't pay our officers to assume," Cole said.

She also said the officer's explanation didn't sit well with her. She said all black people "must look alike."

"I ran for city commissioner for Christ's sake," Cole said, adding she and Costante have met before. "It's ridiculous. My picture was in the paper for sixth months straight. If that's an example of our police department and their efforts, I'm terribly sorry, but we have some corrections that need to be made and made immediately."

According to the report, at 5 p.m. Dec. 23, three police officers spotted Sylvester Ford, a known criminal with outstanding warrants, leaving 907 Hancock St.

When the police identified themselves, Ford ran back into the home. The police entered with guns drawn to find Ford standing in the laundry room with Cole and an "unknown female," the report says.

Sams said Costante never interviewed the witnesses, which is why he failed to identify one woman and incorrectly identified the other as Cole.

Cole found out about the police report Christmas night, when a Register reporter found it and contacted her. She said she's "lucky" someone noticed it.

"I live in public housing," Cole said. "If Metro would have gotten hold of that, I would have been evicted. There's a no-strike policy. ... I would have been exonerated, but I would have had to go through public humiliation."

Costante issued a supplemental police report Monday stating Cole wasn't present, but that another black woman, Mary Sanders, witnessed the arrest. It was she he mistook for Cole.

Costante also wrote 907 Hancock St. doesn't exist, and the arrest actually took place at 905 Hancock St.

"It was difficult to identify the numbers of the residence due to there being none displayed," Costante wrote.

Cole lives at 807 Hancock St., four houses from where the arrest occurred. Sams said someone in data entry at the police department must have seen 907 Hancock St. in the police report, and Cole's listed address of 807 Hancock St. in their computer, and assumed one of the addresses was wrong.

So the data-entry person changed Cole's address to 907 Hancock St., which is why the report identifies the home as Cole's.

"We're trying to figure out who switched that," Sams said. "That takes a little more work to figure out how that happened."

Costante received an oral reprimand for the incident and will undergo refresher training for "basic investigative procedures," Sams said. He will also be reassigned for two weeks to season(ed) detectives to learn from their tutelage.

An oral reprimand is a Step 2 disciplinary action, according to the Sandusky Police Department's labor contract.

Sams said the department can skip disciplinary steps if it's deemed necessary, "but we thought an oral reprimand was a good place to start."

Costante received counseling this fall from his supervisor, a Step 1 disciplinary action, for "cutting procedural corners" during an arrest, Sams said. His personnel file did not reflect that discipline. Sams couldn't immediately recall which corners Costante cut.

Costante joined the police department in March 2007. In September he became the department's G.R.E.A.T officer, which stands for Gang Resistance Education Awareness Training. The G.R.E.A.T officer speaks to school students about the perils of gangs.

As the G.R.E.A.T officer, Costante received a promotion to detective, so he could share his gang expertise with the narcotics unit.

Cole, the top vote-getter not elected in the November city commission race, could become a commissioner as early as March if fired police Chief Kim Nuesse is reinstated.

During the campaign season, Cole criticized the department for the way the city and department treated Nuesse.

Sams said Costante's mistake wasn't an attempt to discredit Cole and wasn't intentional in any way.

"I don't believe at all this was intentional," Sams said. "I think it was sloppy police work and a mistake we don't accept, and we want him to be better than that, and we believe he wants to be better than that."

Comments

Dr Fill

Darkhorse said: "Hmmmm, are the good old boys up to no good?"

Is there ANY doubt what-so-ever?

Det. Eric Costante should be fired immediately! Impropriety cannot be tolerated. A reprimand on the sloppiness of his work is a complete cover up for the real offense.

If Charlie Sams thinks, for a New York second, that he can get away with that, he should also be fired!

Captain Gutz

Maybe it's not that all black people "must look alike.", but all obese people?

Mum-of-One

So not only do we have a police officer making up details we also have a data entry person making up details also. Lets hope the officer involved is not promoted again, I don't think we need him to share any more of his "expertise" with us.

sus804

the officer admittedly erred, but cole says "i ran for city commissioner for Christ's sake." sounds like a real classy lady, someone i would certainly want as my commissioner if the other becomes chief again. glad i live in perkins, nice piece of voting last november, sanduskians...

wheresyourpride's picture
wheresyourpride

wow it's nice to know she lives in public housing. She has time for everything except to go find a job and support herself. I was watching the tv show street court. A lady on there was complaining about her metro home how it wasn't good enough for her. then she made the comment ive been on metro for 18 years. WTF 18 years! Taxpayers have been paying your rent for 18 years thats insane. Again must be nice to sit on your butt and get your rent paid. btw Are we really surprised by SPD. Does anyone remember the girl scout cookie incident?

devilsadvocate

1. I wouldn't recognize her or any of the other candidates who ran for office? Does running for office make you an instant recognizable celebrity?
2. Metro housing? I thought she had a job or something? What qualifications did she have? Don't remember that being mentioned.

Wes Poole

Two years as a policeman and he's our gang expert with a promotion to detective? We can cut this position to save money.

Vester

People can live on Metro Housing and work too. Lots of folks have to do this. To even suggest that Ms. Cole doesn't have a job, maybe she doesn't, but most people on Metro have jobs, low income jobs.
Sandusky Police doing their standard investigating procedures. They have some good officers, but NO leadership. They need to get rid of the rest of the "Good ole boy" network in this town.

cam

Are you kidding me? Metro housing? She ran for public office saying she would be one of the ones to get the city on track, budget and all. I guess we should have voted her in. Then maybe we could have got more gov grant money and more gov money in gerneral. Why? This woman knows how to play the system already. What a shame on the police for bad work ethic again. But what a shame on Cole. She ran around for 6 months as she said her picture was in the paper and at that time our tax money helped her. She is no diffrent then the police on ethics.

CountryCowboy

Cole was super good at mentioning Jesus Christ at any point in her campaign when it was the time or place to discuss merits, experience, qualifications or training. Now it is time to see if her same Jesus is a man of forgiveness or frivolous lawsuits.

Mr. Info

She not only has a job, she owns her own successful small business. I think it's called "Intimate Scents." But whether your rich, poor, black, white, Hispanic, fat or skinny, the police shouldn't be linking you with cocaine dealers if it isn't true. That's about as bad of a mistake as you can make.

Breaking News

If she got appointed, wouldn't she be double dipping from taxpayer money?

"I ran for city commish for Christ sakes" - hilarious line, I wonder if she yells that when her McDonald's drive thru order is taking a bit longer than usual.

Taxpayer

Det. Constante will NEVER get fired. He is covered under UNION protection. That is why YOU are outraged he gets a slap on the wrist and back to business as USUAL. How does it feel?? How would YOU like to have YOUR name in a police report because someone SPECULATED you looked like someone? Would looking in the SR and seeing YOUR name or YOUR picture shock YOU? Cole is right about government section 8 housing. That is why all the thugs just "stop by" or "visit" while living in a taxpayer assisted residence. So the usual "procedure" is to "reprimand" the officer with "counseling" and having him work with experienced officers??? So WHO trained him in the first place?? Experienced officers?? Sounds like it was swept under the carpet until someone FOUND it. It is NOT Sam's fault. The PEOPLE of the city have allowed the FOP to bargin for MORE money for MORE failure and to constantly protect all the problem children of SPD. I am sure you could name a few star personnel that have been allowed to keep their job and almost deplete the legal defense fund of the UNION.

Nostradamus

Re: Mr. Info

Not trying to be negative here, but how sucessful could the business possibly be with her still having to live off of Metro?

That'd be like NASA flying the shuttle from Cleveland to Detroit and then saying they had a "sucessful" space mission.

Completely unrelated to the story, but it's getting pretty old watching people work the system with welfare, metro, and other government assisted programs. How hard is it to implement a drug testing guideline that in order to recieve benefits you are drug tested at random intervals.

Darkhorse

Someone needs to be explain how Constante made detective in two years (hired from the outside) over the officers that have years in on the police force trying to obtain rank through testing and working themselves up the ladder. So much for the union protecting your rights when ranking. How does Constante make rank of detective and make a huge error such as this one?

Bess

This report is about a Sandusky policeman observing a black woman at the site of a disturbance, attaching a name without identifying the person in question, and then the officer or worse, a clerk, changing the address of the disturbance. I would conclude that this is more than “sloppy” police work as the acting police chief described it. I would call it fraudulent. If this officer is capable of such action he should be dismissed. If the acting police chief is not capable of such analysis then he should be dismissed as well.

The dismissal should hold whether the person named is a public figure or private citizen. The dismissal should hold whether the person named is rich or poor, black or white, etc. I believe any blogger here would be incensed if he/she found their name in a police report and he/she was nowhere close to the incident reported. It wouldn’t matter if you lived on Columbus Avenue or in McArthur Park.

This makes me wonder how many errors are in police reports and how many others have been wrongly named for the convenience of the police department. The police department doesn’t appear to take this too seriously.

Anonymous

Ms. Cole needs to stop thinking that she is instantly recognizable and using the Lord's name in vane. If she knew Christ, she wouldn't be talking like that in the first place.

Then, all parties involved need to remember the NEVER assume rule because it makes an a s s out of u & me, not me specifically, I'm just writing it.

Fireside

Who was the data entry person? Seems were condeming everyone but this nameless person. Another FOP member by chance?

unreal

I just love how the register can write an article and not get all of the facts about it. Hey, SR why not just ask SPD for the details of the report showing, who wrote it, who approved it, and WOW- how about anyone who made a change on it. Don't play the blame game, get the facts. Wouldn't this make your article a lot shorter and more accurate. WOW that is simple isn't it. I am not blaming anyone: The officer should have been more thorough in his report and Cole should have been more concerned about he City of Sandusky's image than to give fodder to the SR. If people would stop running to the SR and quit the negative comments on the blogs this community would be so much better off.

Julie R.

Typical of the high school thug games that Sandusky and Erie County play. This intentional error will now be labeled as the county's favorite of "oh gee, this was an honest mistake." The Erie County courts play this incorrect address crap, too.

trucker

Why does things always have to become racial:??

Quote"All Black People Must Look Alike"

trucker

and yes i must agree with everyone else.
Metro and Obese????
I thought these people were poor?
I quess potato chips cost less than a granola bar.
Walking is free, sit n watch cable not!
Water is cheap, pop is not!
A job.. very interesting?
Just enough to get by and still qualify???
very interesting.
Definite system player!!
I smell a lawsuit

Bess

Trucker I am so glad I don't know you I would be oh so tempted to rap you up against the side of the head to shake up your brain.
Trucker. A system player??? Your implication is those who have little, insure they continue to have little, so they can receive just a little from government programs. Get a grip man. There are citizens all over this country looking for work, and those who would be looking for a better job stay quietly satisfied with what they currently enjoy. To believe the poor, homeless, and hungry want to remain in their position is beyond ignorance.

bored reader

"I ran for city commissioner for Christ's sake," Cole said, adding she and Costante have met before. "It's ridiculous. My picture was in the paper for sixth months straight. If that's an example of our police department and their efforts, I'm terribly sorry, but we have some corrections that need to be made and made immediately."
----------------------
Surely, she didn't actually run for "Christ's sake". He died for her sake. Yes, some corrections need to be made. That's only one of them.

Yadayadayada

Get rid of this pretender police chief. You had a good one, she was elected to the city commission after this screw up was appointed.
As for this whole incident , it appears racism, and incompetence are both doing very well in the Sandusky Police Dept.
Sad it is........

bored reader

If she has a job AND a successful business, why are taxpayers paying her rent? Is the successful business unreported income? Tired of moochers living off the rest of us. Now the city will have ANOTHER lawsuit to pay for. Glad I don't live in the city.

Chung Lee

It appears she has been introduced to the Sandusky PO PO so they should know who she be:

10 Concerning: Cole, Diedre
D.B.A./A.K.A.:
Filed: 01/13/2000
Arr. Agency: N/A Case #: CVF0000109
Docket Entry: Click
Charge: MONEY ONLY
Case Type: Civil
11 Concerning: Cole, Diedre
D.B.A./A.K.A.:
Filed: 03/21/2008
Arr. Agency: N/A Case #: CVI0800680
Docket Entry: Click
Charge: UNPD TAXES
Case Type: Small Claims
12 Concerning: Cole, Diedre
D.B.A./A.K.A.:
Filed: 11/05/2009
Arr. Agency: N/A Case #: CVG0902725
Docket Entry: Click
Charge: FORCIBLE ENTRY
Case Type: Civil
13 Concerning: Cole, Diedre Y
D.B.A./A.K.A.:
Filed: 02/01/2000
Arr. Agency: SPK Case #: TRD0000634
Docket Entry: Click
Charge: A C D A
Case Type: Traffic
14 Concerning: Cole, Diedre Y
D.B.A./A.K.A.:
Filed: 09/20/2004
Arr. Agency: SPD Case #: TR0405394
Docket Entry: Click
Charge: PARKING TICKET
Case Type: Traffic
15 Concerning: Cole, Diedre Y
D.B.A./A.K.A.:
Filed: 06/28/2006
Arr. Agency: OSP Case #: TRD0603009
Docket Entry: Click
Charge: UNSAFE VEH
Case Type: Traffic
16 Concerning: Cole, Diedre Y
D.B.A./A.K.A.:
Filed: 04/14/1998
Arr. Agency: ODNR Case #: CRB9801630
Docket Entry: Click
Charge: NO FISH LICENSE
Case Type: Criminal
17 Concerning: Cole, Diedre Y
D.B.A./A.K.A.:
Filed: 10/26/1998
Arr. Agency: SPK Case #: CRB9805583A
Docket Entry: Click
Charge: PASS BAD CHECK
Case Type: Criminal
18 Concerning: Cole, Diedre Y
D.B.A./A.K.A.:
Filed: 10/26/1998
Arr. Agency: SPK Case #: CRB9805583B
Docket Entry: Click
Charge: PASS BAD CHECK
Case Type: Criminal
19 Concerning: Cole, Diedre Y
D.B.A./A.K.A.:
Filed: 10/26/1998
Arr. Agency: SPK Case #: CRB9805583C
Docket Entry: Click
Charge: PASS BAD CHECK
Case Type: Criminal
20 Concerning: Cole, Diedre Y
D.B.A./A.K.A.:
Filed: 10/21/1998
Arr. Agency: SPD Case #: TRD9807758
Docket Entry: Click
Charge: 40/25 SPEED
Case Type: Traffic
21 Concerning: Cole, Diedre Y.
D.B.A./A.K.A.:
Filed: 12/21/2001
Arr. Agency: N/A Case #: CVE0102993
Docket Entry: Click
Charge: AUTO ACCIDENT/P
Case Type: Civil

goofus

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained libelous or defamatory statements. href=http://www.sanduskyregister.com/legal/discussion_gu
idelines/>Discussion Guidelines

Anonymous

That officer should be fired ! Rightfully so. Ms Coles character was tarnished as a result his lack of training. Who cares if he's protected by the UNION or not, he should be up for dismissal,I'm sure the bargaining unit would agree. He just cost the CITY yet another law suit. If I were her I'd be contacting me a civil attorney ASAP. She has a good case !!!!As far as her living conditions and her assistance with METRO, its irrelevant to what she had to go through as a tax paying citizen. It's degrading for her to be publicized based upon her financial hardship.The economy has forced many of us to live in a poverty state. Whats wrong with receiving help when you need it. Especially when you've paid into this funding as a tax paying citizen over the years. I'm sure this is not this officer's first offense with making a mistake. He's been cocky officer from the jump, it's just finally catching up with him. You fire Neuesse over a parking ticket, come on give me a break. He's a sad case as an official officer...

sus804

hey counting the days, have you ever made a mistake at work, or do you even have a job? sounds like you know the officer and have a problem with him; lose his job for making an error, get serious! and cole tells sams that "WE dont pay our officers to assume." being on metro, i doubt if she pays any of his salary or any other salary within the city. and no, mr counting the days, the bargaining unit does not and will not agree agree with dismissing the officer; thats what progressive discipline is all about as its clear that you obviously have no idea.....

Pages