Officer Punished after Accusations of Excess Force

By Jessica Toumani

June 18, 2010 Updated May 5, 2008 at 11:20 PM EDT

It was October when Indiana's NewsCenter first told you about a couple who claimed a Fort Wayne police officer put them through what they call a "nightmare."

More than six months later, punishment for that detective is made public.

In October, Lorie Squadrito showed us bruises she said were left by Detective Scott Morales.

A police report indicates Morales arrived at Squadrito's home after Fricker's restaurant staff reported her as a suspect in the theft of a picture frame.

Squadrito says it was a case of mistaken identity and the confrontation ultimately ended with Morales shoving her out of a squad car.

According to a police report, Morales later apologized for his actions.

" Took his glasses off, started crying and saying what he did was wrong, he had a bad day and gave us a lot of personal reasons," Squadrito told us in October.

"Something needs to happen, he had a bad day and if something doesn't happen, tomorrow could be worse and someone gets hurt really bad," said Squadrito's boyfriend Chad Rybolt, also in October.

The couple was interviewed by Internal Affairs in December, but told us last week they'd heard nothing about a punishment.

Chief Rusty York says a lack of initial cooperation from the parties involved, including the couple and the restaurant staff, is to blame for the delay.

York informed the Board of Public Safety Monday that Morales was suspended last month for three days without pay.

"We felt that Officer Morales should have forwarded a report to the prosecutor's office instead of pursuing that further that evening, we also felt there was some inappropriate interaction between the two as far as the conversation went," says Police Chief Rusty York.

This is Morales's 12th suspension during his 18-year career.

He was suspended more than a decade ago for an extended amount of time for theft while on duty.

Calls to Squadrito Monday night went unanswered.

She told INC last week she was unhappy with the delay in punishment and planned to move forward with a lawsuit.

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