Greenfield police officer resigns over excessive force claim

Decision negates need for administrative hearing for his dismissal

Nov. 12, 2013

Greenfield — Greenfield police officer Thomas Roszak, charged in Milwaukee County Circuit Court with excessive use of force, has tendered his resignation.

As a result, the Greenfield Police and Fire Commission has canceled its planned hearing on a request to dismiss him.

"Because of the resignation, there was no need to proceed with the administrative hearing," Police Chief Brad Wentlandt said in a prepared statement.

Roszak is accused of flinging a woman in custody into a holding cell and calling her a vulgar name.

The incident occurred July 27 at the Greenfield Law Enforcement Center. According to the complaint, Roszak was helping book a woman for drunken driving and fleeing an officer when the woman refused to return to the holding cell.

According to the complaint, she put her hands on his chest and told Roszak that she hated him. He then allegedly lifted her up, carried her vertically to the cell and then tossed her in.

The complaint says she fell to the floor, hitting a stool affixed to the floor on her way down.

The complaint says she suffered bruises. It also claims that Roszak also called her a vulgar name and closed the cell door without checking for injuries.

After the incident was reported, he was immediately placed on administrative leave with pay, according to the Police Department.

Shortly thereafter, Wentlandt asked Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm for an independent investigation.

After the investigation, the DA's office charged Roszak with one felony count of misconduct in public office.

Wentlandt said in a press release at the time, "I am deeply troubled by the alleged conduct."

He also said, "The information alleged in the criminal complaint clearly does not conform to our high standards of professionalism and our expectations for officer conduct."

Roszak was to have been arraigned Nov. 1 in the Milwaukee County Courthouse but that arraignment has been put off until Nov. 20.

The woman in the incident has filed a notice of injury with Greenfield. That's generally a precursor to a future claim for damages and a potential lawsuit.

Roszak has served the department for nearly seven years with no prior disciplinary history, according to Greenfield police.

— Jane Ford-Stewart

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