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Ex-officer jailed after plea in assault

Posted November 2, 2009

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— A former Raleigh police officer entered an Alford plea Monday for the assault of a man in his estranged wife's apartment last February.

An Alford plea means the accused maintains his innocence while acknowledging that prosecutors had enough evidence to possibly win a conviction

Andrew R. Caruana, 33, was sentenced to a week in jail on misdemeanor charges of assault by pointing a gun, simple assault and communicating threats.

Prosecutor Phillip Cowan said Caruana, who was off-duty, went to his  estranged wife's apartment on Feb. 24, forced his way into the bedroom, hit her friend Paul Cardone and pointed a gun at him.

Caruana's lawyer argued that his client dropped the gun and picked it up, but never pointed it at Cardone.

"This was a horrible, horrible mistake on his part," defense attorney Bill Young said. "It's been an extremely painful experience for him and his family."

Since the alleged assault, Caruana and his wife have reconciled, Young said.

"He's ready to move on ... wants to continue healing process with his family."

Caruana resigned from the Raleigh Police Department in June. He had been with department for nine years, risen to the rank of senior officer and most recently been assigned to the Gang Suppression Unit.

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  • Journey985 Nov 2, 2009

    "LEO supporters do NOT support all LEO's regardless..... In this case, this FORMER officer acted criminally, so therefore he is a criminal and I (a LEO supporter) will NOT support him on here." Thats all I'm asking for wcnc, There are those (you know who you are) that would STILL try to defend this mans actions tooth and nail if they could. He was wrong, and he got caught, and now he will be punished!

  • wcnc Nov 2, 2009

    "This man SHOULD have known better, but as stated earlier, because they have badges and guns, they act like they can do whatever they want."

    How about rephrasing to a more accurate conclusion.... HE has a badge and a gun and HE acted like he could do whatever! One bad officer doesn't mean they all are!

    "Funny how the LEO supporters are not out here defending this dark spot on LE. "

    LEO supporters do NOT support all LEO's regardless..... In this case, this FORMER officer acted criminally, so therefore he is a criminal and I (a LEO supporter) will NOT support him on here.

  • pinehorse Nov 2, 2009

    Note taken, Journey985. I'm not defending this bad apple, just the apple tree. His LEO days are finished, justifiably so.

  • Journey985 Nov 2, 2009

    Funny how the LEO supporters are not out here defending this dark spot on LE. Hard to defend a man that has been found GUILTY!!!

  • Journey985 Nov 2, 2009

    manofjustice - "We don't know all that this young good man was going through. His ex-wife probably did something to provoke him. This may have been happening for years. This woman has a boyfriend that she probably cheated with while she was married to this nice cop." We are ALL responsible for our OWN actions, no one "MAKES" us do anything, no matter what the situation, we control what we do. If I tell you to jump off a bridge are you going to? No one held a gun to this former officers head and said "go beat up your ex-wifes boyfriend" he did that himself. As for "judging" him, sorry to say, he has been JUDGED and found guilty, so nothing further for us to judge.

  • Journey985 Nov 2, 2009

    Your comment was "never heard of anyone other than LEO doing something like this. I am just glad when non-LEO get arrested for domestic charges they don't lose their job only police should have their careers destroyed." Well NON-LEO's do lose their jobs over charges such as these. I have seen it first hand to a fellow employee where I work. SO THAT statement was completely inaccurate. As far as my comment of "officers have badges and guns and can act however they want" When you have LEO's assaulting other LEO's and feeling this is ok, or passing naked pictures, or speeding, or drunk driving, or having sex in patrol cars, or...well the list goes on, then YES I will make a statement like that. This man thought because he was a cop he could act/do whatever he wanted to, and now he has to pay the price for his actions.

  • manofjustice Nov 2, 2009

    I feel that we are judging this nice young man too harshly. We don't know all that this young good man was going through. His ex-wife probably did something to provoke him. This may have been happening for years. This woman has a boyfriend that she probably cheated with while she was married to this nice cop. Stop judging people.

  • didisaythat Nov 2, 2009

    Journey,

    I am so sorry that you do not agree with my comment, but as for doing research...My over ten years of personal experience with law enforcement,the judicial system and domestic violence I can say my comments are accurate. Where your comment of the officers have badges and guns and can act however they want is very wrong and please DO YOUR research before making these blatantly wrong statements in the future. Thank you.

  • Common Sense Man Nov 2, 2009

    "If ANY one of us had been convicted of the same they would have thrown the book at us, but he gets 18 months probation and he is complaining??"

    Fathom that, someone posting about something they obviously don't know anything about. Probation is standard for a case like this with no priors, so the "throwing the book at everyone else" whining just doesn't work. And he has the right to appeal just like everyone else who is charged and convicted.

    As far as my opinion.........I say stick it to him, he gives police officers a bad name.

  • Journey985 Nov 2, 2009

    Yes pinehorse, but this former officer was the one causing and threatening the bodily injury in this case. We are not talking about other officers, just this former one! The fact that he used hiss weapon in a threating manner towards a man his wife was seeing, and then assaulted him makes this even more heinous. This man SHOULD have known better, but as stated earlier, because they have badges and guns, they act like they can do whatever they want. Well I guess this officer found out that is not the case!!

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