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2 Officers Fired for Leaving Boy With Dahmer

September 07, 1991| From Associated Press

MILWAUKEE — The police chief fired two officers Friday for leaving an "obviously incapacitated" naked boy in the hands of Jeffrey L. Dahmer two months before dismembered bodies were found in Dahmer's apartment.

A third officer was technically fired, but his dismissal was stayed.

Chief Philip Arreola cited "acts of omission" by the officers in the May 27 encounter. They included a failure to take witnesses' names at the scene and failure to take the 14-year-old boy into protective custody.

The mutilated bodies of 11 males, including the youth, Konerak Sinthasomphone, were later found in Dahmer's apartment. Witnesses called police on May 27 after seeing the youth on the street, naked and bleeding, records show.

Dahmer has admitted killing and dismembering 17 males since 1978.

"I have concluded the officers failed to properly perform their duties," Arreola said.

Patrolmen John A. Balcerzak, 34, Joseph Gabrish, 28, and Richard Porubcan, 25, were suspended July 26 and charged with departmental violations. Arreola on Friday fired Balcerzak and Gabrish but stayed the dismissal of Porubcan, who will be under close supervision for one year, effectively on job probation.

The chief said Porubcan was allowed to keep his job because of his relative inexperience and because he was less culpable in handling the incident.

A state investigation concluded last week that the three committed no crimes.

Laurie Eggert, an attorney for the police union, said Balcerzak and Gabrish were deeply disappointed with the decision and would appeal. Porubcan issued a statement saying he was saddened by his colleagues' dismissal.

The three officers questioned Dahmer but decided to leave Sinthasomphone at Dahmer's apartment after accepting his explanation that the boy was his 19-year-old lover, records show.

Dahmer later said he killed the boy as soon as the officers left, according to court records.

The three officers violated department procedures by failing to take an "obviously incapacitated child into protective custody," Arreola said.

"As chief, I recognize that both I and the entire department must accept responsibility for the inadequate police response of May 27th, 1991," Arreola said.

Dahmer, 31, a candy factory worker, has been charged with 15 counts of first-degree intentional homicide.

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