Nov 25, 2013 Russ Tarby Uncategorized
Violent crimes rarely occur on schedule. They happen when they happen, and police need to be ready to respond at any time.
That’s the way it was on a sunny Monday morning, Oct. 28, when two women were stabbed to death at 915 Second St. in the village of Liverpool.
With one of his full-time officers returning from a training session that morning, Liverpool Police Chief Don Morris answered the call himself.
Liverpool Mayor Gary White, a former deputy chief of the Syracuse Police Department, noted that “a double homicide here is highly unusual.” It’s also unusual for the chief of police to be the one personally pursuing the suspect, the mayor added.
White’s comments were made at the Nov. 18 meeting of the village board of trustees.
“After the 911 call came in, Don grabbed his gear, left his office, jumped into his car and chased the suspect all the way down to Onondaga Lake where he was arrested,” White said. “I want to thank the chief for what he did. We really appreciate his effort.”
The suspect, later identified as 26-year-old Justin A. Dallas of 119 Radisson Court, Syracuse, drove a gold Kia automobile apparently stolen from the murder scene where homeowner Samantha Rainwater, 30, lay dead. Brandy Dallas, 24, was rushed to a hospital where she died.
As he fled the scene, Justin Dallas refused to pull over after Morris turned on his siren and flashing lights.
Sheriff’s deputies Mike Quigley and Karen Munroe joined the pursuit as it continued through the village business district to the main entrance of Onondaga Lake Park, where the Kia turned into the park and drove directly toward the lake at the mouth of Bloody Brook.
Morris and the two deputies followed Dallas into the lake where they subdued him in waist-deep water about 30 feet off shore.
“It’s significant what Don did,” White said. “Not many police chiefs would do that. That’s dedication!”
For his part, Morris, who attended the Nov. 18 village board meeting, thanked deputies Quigley and Munroe and pointed out that LPD Officer Sean Pierce was the first village policeman at the murder scene.
At the village board meeting, Christina Fadden Fitch, a resident of Hiawatha Trail, asked the chief if the LPD is routinely notified when an order of protection has been issued for women living in the village.
If the court order involves a village resident, Morris said, his department receives notification. “Then, if the order is violated, the officer has no discretion,” Morris said. “In that case, an arrest must be made.”
On the day of the murders, Assistant District Attorney Jeremy Cali said that, after an altercation with his wife, Brandy Dallas, Justin Dallas was charged July 14 with menacing, unlawful imprisonment and criminal possession of a weapon, and a judge issued a restraining order against him.
On the day she died, Brandy Dallas was visiting Rainwater at 915 Second St., and did not list that address that as her legal residence, so village police remained unaware of the restraining order.
“And we did not have any [prior] domestic violence incidents at that residence,” Morris said.
Fitch finished the discussion by noting that “It’s incumbent of the resident to alert police” about possible threats to their safety.
Justin Dallas remains behind bars without bail after having been arraigned the night of Oct. 28 by Liverpool Justice Anthony LaValle. The judge assigned Syracuse defense attorney Thomas Ryan to represent Dallas.
Three DWIs in October
Liverpool Police Chief Don Morris informed the village board of trustees at their Nov. 18 meeting that officers issued 106 citations for violations of the state’s vehicle and traffic laws during October after making a total of 151 traffic stops. Thirteen warning tickets were also issued.
In addition, three arrests were made for driving while intoxicated and ten traffic accidents were investigated. Two parking tickets were written.
Officers made 162 residential checks during the month responding to 306 complaints or calls for service. The LPD arrested 23 persons last month on 29 criminal charges.
The chief reminded residents that winter parking hours are now in effect, prohibiting parking along residential streets from midnight to 8 a.m., an in the village business district from 2 a.m. to 8 a.m.