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St. Clair Shores

November 18, 2013

Police sergeant charged with armed robbery, other felonies

By Kristyne E. Demske
C & G Staff Writer

DETROIT — Four months after the alleged incident occurred, two police sergeants are facing charges that include armed robbery after attempting to retrieve a phone stolen from one of their daughters while she was in the city of Detroit.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy filed felony charges against Detroit Police Sergeant David A. Pomeroy, 47, and St. Clair Shores Police Sergeant Michael Notoriano, 42, in connection with a July 21 incident on the east side of Detroit.

In a press release, Worthy alleges that Notoriano’s daughter had her iPhone stolen while at a gas station in the 14000 block of Kercheval on July 20. With its “find your phone” application activated, the phone was traced to the east side of the city and, on July 21 — while off duty — Pomeroy and Notoriano allegedly approached a car with three Detroit males, aged 26, 27 and 28, inside. The sergeants were allegedly wearing their department-issued badges around their necks when they approached the men.

Pomeroy allegedly took a handgun and the iPhone from the vehicle and Notoriano allegedly took cash and a bag of marijuana from the 28-year-old’s pocket, then struck him in the face with a handgun before leaving in the truck.

The pair — who went through the Detroit Police Academy together and served together in Detroit for two years before Notoriano was hired in St. Clair Shores — was arraigned in front of Magistrate Sidney Barthwell in the 36th District Court Nov. 18. They each received a $20,000 or 10 percent bond. A preliminary examination is set for Dec. 18.

Notoriano, a 17-year veteran of the St. Clair Shores Police Department, faces charges of armed robbery, two counts of unlawful imprisonment, two counts of felonious assault, two counts of ethnic intimidation, felony firearm, willful neglect of duty (exercise of unlawful procedure) and two counts of failure to uphold the law (unlawful search, seizure and detention.

Pomeroy faces charges of armed robbery, two counts of unlawful imprisonment, larceny of a firearm, willful neglect of duty (exercise of unlawful procedure) and two counts of failure to uphold the law (unlawful search, seizure and detention.

Maria Miller, assistant prosecuting attorney and spokeswoman for the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, said the case was, “a little more complicated than it seems.”

“It was a very complicated case that came to us with … many things that needed to be followed up on, and that’s why it took so long,” she said.

Notoriano’s lawyer, Royal Oak attorney Todd Flood, said written statements and the video of the incident show two different stories.

“Unfortunately, in today’s world, it’s easy to make an accusation and the power of an accusation, at times, can jade or cause a person to be biased,” he said. “I’m hoping at the end that there’s the same amount of media attention when we show their innocence.

“If you look at what we read yesterday and the video that was shown, there’s two totally different stories and just because it’s written doesn’t mean it is true.”

Notoriano had turned himself into St. Clair Shores Police July 27 and was immediately placed on suspension without pay. Since then, he had been assigned to administrative duties in the department. But Nov. 18, St. Clair Shores Police said Notoriano had once again been suspended without pay, pending the results of the court proceedings.

“This is a very difficult time for the St. Clair Shores Police Department and we are reacting to the severity of the situation by taking into account which is in the best interest of this department and the city of St. Clair Shores,” St. Clair Shores Police Lt. David Centala said in a prepared statement. “This will be an ongoing situation dictated by the courts and the Detroit authorities, and we shall determine our course of action based on the developments as they become clearer.”

According to the release by Worthy, a 24-year-old Detroit man will also face charges in connection with the unarmed robbery and assault of Notoriano’s 16-year-old daughter. The man allegedly pushed the girl off her bike and grabbed her by the backpack, dragging her until he could grab her iPhone. He faces charges of unarmed robbery and aggravated assault but no arraignment details were available Nov. 18. The Sentinel does not usually name suspects until they have been formally arraigned on charges.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Kristyne E. Demske at kdemske@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1041.