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Schenectady police officer arrested for third time

Stalking, threats, more are alleged

Tuesday, November 11, 2008
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John W. Lewis
John W. Lewis

— Schenectady Police Officer John W. Lewis was arrested Monday for the third time in seven months, this time accused of threatening to kill his ex-wife.

Lewis, 39, of Oregon Avenue, was charged with third-degree stalking and second-degree aggravated harassment, both misdemeanors. He is accused of threatening Allison Fitz Lewis, his former wife, three times last week and a fourth time in August, each alleged incident spelled out in court papers.

In a telephone conversation with his ex-wife Saturday, Lewis allegedly told her he would be at her house every night and, if she were not there, he would go looking for her.

“He further stated that if he found her with someone, he was going to kill whoever she was with and kill her,” the court paperwork reads.

Each of Lewis’ three arrests since April have come as his marriage dissolved. The divorce was final in September, county records show.

After each arrest, he has been suspended without pay for 30 days, as he was Monday. Between the suspensions he returned to the payroll, but not to work.

Lewis was arraigned Monday and released to return to court Nov. 24. His listed attorney, Michael Horan, did not return a call for comment. Police union President Lt. Robert Hamilton also did not return a call.

Lewis was first charged in April, accused of the violation of harassment of his estranged wife. The case stemmed from allegations that he grabbed and pushed his wife during a dispute over their child. He was acquitted of that in June in a City Court trial.

In the meantime, however, he was also charged with a more serious count of criminal contempt, accused of violating an order of protection issued in the harassment case. In that case, he is accused of phoning the woman several times, driving by her and going to her work. The contempt case remains pending.

The latest allegations are more explicit, including direct threats. Papers reference four separate alleged incidents, one each Nov. 4, 7, and 8 and one Aug. 13.

In the August incident, Lewis allegedly told his ex-wife he was coming to her new boyfriend’s house to talk to her. Lewis also allegedly told her he would never let her be with anyone else.

The divorce was final in late September.

On Nov. 4, Lewis allegedly told his ex-wife personal items from her e-mail. Three days later, at about 4:30 a.m., Lewis repeatedly rang her door bell, asking whom she was with, according to papers.

It was on Saturday that Lewis allegedly told her he would keep coming over to her house, and then threatened to kill her.

Monday’s charges did not include a new contempt charge. The previous order of protection expired with the June acquittal. A new order, however, was issued Monday.

Lewis in July filed a notice of claim against the city, alleging that the city Police Department worked with his ex-wife to force him from his job, publicly embarrass him and create a hostile work environment, according to the notice.

He also alleged that police refused to accept an application for a warrant in which Lewis was the victim and to acknowledge his status as a victim of his ex-wife and another woman.

City officials tried to get Lewis fired 10 years ago over accusations that he used a racial slur during an off-duty incident on Feb. 27, 1998, behind the city police headquarters on Liberty Street. Several people overheard the remark.

Lewis kept his job after an arbitrator ruled that the city was “unduly harsh” in firing him.

Kevin Luibrand, Lewis’ attorney in the claim against the city, said Monday his client has since gone on disability for an undisclosed ailment. Nothing new has happened with the possible lawsuit, Luibrand said. He said it would be inappropriate for him to comment further.

 
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comments

November 11, 2008
9:11 a.m.
schdymom says...

This guy is nuts!! Law emforcement should not underestimate this situation and try to watch out for Ms. Fitz-Lewis and her family. I think the SPD is doing what they can, but I find it upsetting that while Mr. Lewis had one, sometimes two separate cases pending in Schenectady City court, he was still being paid. Allegations of Domestic Violence and alcohol abuse are serious and shouldnt be tolerated. Especially when the alleged perp is a memeber of law emforcement who has access to, owns and carries weapons.

I wish Ms. Fitz-Lewis the best, and want to tell her to stay strong!!

November 11, 2008
9:25 a.m.
cjane says...

Another nod to those in charge at the Schenectady PD. And they wonder why people think they're scumbags - perhaps its because they continue to reward behavior like this.

November 11, 2008
9:32 a.m.
schdy says...

This man is a danger. First the danger to this woman's life and second to the officers who have to answer calls related to his domestic violence behavior.

Leave it to the union arbitrators to let this man remain on the force.

November 11, 2008
10:21 a.m.
tonyonacell says...
(This comment was removed by the site staff.)
November 11, 2008
12:32 p.m.
lawschoolorbust says...

I refer back to my previous comment about this individual and hope that the citizens of Schenectady call for his removal and furthermore ask that the individual in question be placed on aggressive supervision. His ex-wife deserves the right to move forward with her life with whomever she may choose and without having to fear for her life or the lives of her companions.

November 11, 2008
2:32 p.m.
tonyonacell says...

If guilty, John W lewis as a disgrace to our community. He is on a downward spiral as compared to so many stalkers who escalated their actions until something bad happened to the victim. Mr Lewis should not be allowed back on duty, and no arbitrator should make a management level decision to keep or fire him. If allowed back on the force he should be required to check the gun back in at the end of the shift and out at the beginning so he doesn't have one off duty.
We need to support his wife for what he has caused her.

November 11, 2008
4:06 p.m.
NYreader says...

This is like a bad Movie of the Week. How many times does something like this have to happen before definitive action is taken? Will it be taken before his wife and family end up as another statistic?
Law enforcement officers of all branches often have trouble turning off the "I'm the law, I'm always right" switch when they go home. I sincerely hope that all parties receive the help they so obviously need.

November 11, 2008
5:43 p.m.
colin444 says...
(This comment was removed by the site staff.)
November 11, 2008
5:45 p.m.
colin444 says...

Also how can you be suspended and on disability at the same time? Has anyone actually checked to see if he was ever disabled?

November 11, 2008
7:36 p.m.
maxopinion says...

I DO BELIEVE THAT MR. LEWIS DOES HAVE A FEW SCREWS LOOSE , BUT SO DOES 90% OF THE POPULATION, THAT BEING SAID THERE IS ALWAYS 3 SIDES OF A STORY HER SIDE , HIS SIDE , AND THEN OF COURSE THERES THE TRUTH!!! WITH MY LIFE EXPERIENCE'S IVE SEEN THAT SOME WOMEN COULD BE VERY SPITEFUL AND BITTER, ESP. WHEN THEY HAVE BEEN CHEATED ON ,OR BETRAYED.. IT'S TO BAD THAT THERES A LITTLE BOY INVOLVED, THAT HAS TO WITNESS HIS MOM AND DAD PLAYING THIS STUPID LITTLE KIDS GAME......

November 11, 2008
8:28 p.m.
sullivan64 says...

This is a man with a pattern of abusive behavior - in both his professional and personal life. I think it is outrageous to call domestic violence, whether it be emotional, verbal, or physical, "stupid little kid games". This woman obviously loves her child, and is just trying to protect herself and her son from unnessesary and unfair harassment and abuse. Believe me, she does not want her life disrupted nor does she want the embarrassing publicity that comes with all of this. She just wants to live her life and be left alone.

November 11, 2008
8:32 p.m.
colin444 says...

Well Maxopinion as I said I know both parties and so I know the truth and not 90% of the population threatens to kill their ex wife and I would especially hope not a "police officer" I use the quotations because he clearly rarely goes to work. And Ms. Fitz is only trying to move on with her life that doesn't sound spiteful or bitter to me.

November 18, 2008
7:49 p.m.
paulhager says...
(This comment was removed by the site staff.)
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