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Cop's Drink Was Stinger

October 23, 1995

Police Officer Billy Danchak of Queens' 103rd Precinct and president of the precinct's 103 Club decided it might be a good idea to have a Snapple machine installed. So he had one installed in the precinct's muster room next to the candy, soda and juice machines. But unlike the others, the Snapple machine didn't make money. There were never enough dollar bills in its changer to justify restocking it.

Then last month Danchak noticed a Snapple repairman at the machine. The Snapple man, who hadn't reported to the front desk as visitors are required to do, told Danchak he'd received a complaint that the juice wasn't cold enough and was cleaning the condenser.

But Danchak was the only cop in the house authorized to make a complaint. And he hadn't made one. Nosing around, he discovered the Snapple man had been seen at the machine before. So Danchak marked three dollar bills, photocopied the serial numbers, placed the bills in the machine's dollar changer and passed the word: If the Snapple man reappears, call Danchak.

On Oct. 4, the Snapple man reappeared. Hiding in the bathroom opposite the muster room, Danchak watched him through a window, then sprang. Danchak ordered him to empty his pockets. Among his $69 in cash, Danchak discovered the three marked bills.

The Snapple man, identified as Robert Rivera, of 220 Stockholm St., Brooklyn, was charged with petty larceny. Snapple said the company had recently dismissed him for ripping off machines along his route, which extended to Long Island and included other police precincts.

But when Snapple refused to divulge the specific stops on Rivera's route, the cops became angry. Because of what they termed Snapple's "lack of cooperation," they're talking about removing the machine from the precinct.

Mike and Don and Eric and Richie. It's not only the NYPD that's investigating cops who provided private security for boxer Mike Tyson after his release from prison earlier this year.

Two cops from the Indianapolis force were charged with "conducting an escort without supervisory authority" after they used their patrol cars to escort the convicted rapist from the Indiana Youth Center to Indianapolis International Airport at speeds of up to 70 mph.

Back in New York, the Transit Bureau's Inspections Unit is completing its investigation of Sgt. Eric Adams, who was part of Tyson's 20-man escort. Adams' alleged crime: consorting with a convicted felon, a prohibition under the NYPD's patrol guide.

Adams, president of the Grand Council of Guardians, the umbrella group of black law enforcement officials, was a candidate for president of the NYPD Guardians, one of the groups that make up the Grand Council. Now he says he's dropping out and throwing his support to Noel Leader, another Tyson escort. So far as is known, no one's investigating Leader.

Printable versionNor, so far as is known, is anyone investigating PBA Second Vice President Richie O'Neil for escorting another felon, Tyson's promoter Don King, to the recent funeral of Finbar Devine, the drum major of the Emerald Society's pipe and drum band. King, currently on trial in federal court for insurance fraud, served four years for manslaughter in 1967.

Seen: Barry Brown, shedding his anonymity as a police informant for the Mollen commission in the pages of The New York Times, the New York Post and Newsday and on CBS.

Unseen. Brown's media-savvy attorney Richard Emery, who fears Brown's imminent indictment by Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau.

Unheard from: Assistant Manhattan District Attorney Dan Castleman, chief of Morgenthau's investigation division, who with Morgenthau will decide whether to indict.

Also unseen. Chief of Department Louis Anemone during last week's nights of potential disorder at the Fulton Fish Market. The hard-charging Anemone did not accompany the 250 to 300 cops who monitored the 400 workers and their fishhooks. The Disorder Control Unit under his pal Captain Tom Graham appeared there only one night. Instead, the operation was headed by Chief of Patrol Wilbur Chapman, with whom Anemone has been feuding.

A week unseen. Police Commissiboner William Bratton and staffers Peter LaPorte, Janet Lennon and Lt. Cal Mathis; Deputy Commissioner Jack Maple, Internal Affairs Chief Pat Kelleher, Queens North borough commander Gertrude LaForgia and an unknown cast of others who spent seven days in Miami at a conference of police chiefs. Funding of $19,000 for most of them was provided by Bratton's favorite charity, the Police Foundation. Taxpayers paid for Bratton and Maple.

Seen again. Back in time for last Thursday's mayoral news conference on United Nations security and the weekly "one on one" with Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Bratton grinned like a Cheshire cat. Maple was resplendent in red-striped shirt, blue blazer and blue and yellow polka-dot tie. He explained that wearing a tie not matching his shirt allowed him to sport his two-tone Allen Edmonds spectator shoes.

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© 1995 Newsday, Inc. Reprinted with permission.