A New Year's resolution for some of the rank and file at the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department may be to stay out of trouble and avoid being arrested.
Since August, two sheriff's deputies and a sergeant have been arrested or cited on suspicion of assault, disorderly conduct and solicitation of prostitution.
Of the Sheriff's Department's approximately 3,600 sworn and civilian employees, it's not uncommon for some to err, as is human, said Lt. Rick Ells, who heads the Sheriff's Department's public affairs division.
Ells did acknowledge, however, that having four sworn employees accused of or charged with criminal conduct over a five-month period could be considered excessive. He said deputies are held to a higher standard of conduct when they're off duty.
"We shouldn't be getting in trouble, and I think this is an aberration ...," Ells said.
About 1:15 a.m. on Dec. 30, Ontario police arrested Chino Hills sheriff's Deputy Michael Bada on suspicion of picking up a prostitute in the 3000 block of East Shelby Street, said Ontario police Sgt. Mike Caldera.
The case has been submitted to the District Attorney's office and is pending review, said Susan Mickey, spokeswoman for the District Attorney's office.
About 5 p.m. on Dec. 30, Sgt. Mark Martinez, who's currently assigned to the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, was cited for misdemeanor battery during a football game at San Diego's Qualcomm
Both Robson and Eddy refused medical treatment. The case will be reviewed by San Diego's city attorney, who handles misdemeanor cases, Munoz said.
On Aug. 30, Lake Havasu City police arrested Deputy Joseph Catalano II on suspicion of beating a man into unconsciousness outside a BJ's Tavern in the 2100 block of North McCulloch Boulevard.
According to a Lake Havasu City police report, at least three witnesses reported seeing Catalano approach a man as he sat on a bench outside the bar and punch him in the left eye. The punch knocked the man to the ground, and Catalano reportedly punched the man twice more in the face before running off.
The responding police officer found the victim, identified as Derek Harlin, laying unconscious on the ground, a pool of blood forming under his head, according to the police report.
Another officer detained Catalano, and later noted in his report he could smell alcohol on Catalano's breath and Catalano's speech was slurred.
Catalano was subsequently charged with misdemeanor assault and disorderly conduct.
Police learned the alleged assault stemmed from a verbal exchange between Catalano and Harlin inside the bar.
During an interview, Catalano told police that Harlin "got crazy" and tried to "get him" inside the bar. He said Harlin threw a punch at him and missed, so he punched Harlin in the face. He said he then heard someone say "just go," and so he ran.
Catalano's story conflicts with that of other witnesses, who told police they saw Catalano exit the bar and punch Harlin "for no reason."
Catalano turned down a plea bargain with Lake Havasu City prosecutors, and has a bench trial scheduled for Jan. 26, said Kristin Rienfeld, assistant city prosecutor for Lake Havasu City.
Rienfeld said she wasn't at liberty to discuss the terms of the plea bargain Catalano rejected.
Catalano faces a maximum of 180 days in jail if convicted, Rienfeld said.
Neither Catalano nor his attorney, Kenneth Sondgeroth, could be reached for comment Friday.
Martinez and Bada also could not be reached for comment.
Martinez, Catalano and Bada all remain on active duty, Ells said.
Martinez has worked for the Sheriff's Department since 1992, Catalano since May 2000 and Bada since December 2005, Ells said, adding that the department has launched administrative investigations into all three employees.