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Thread: Ex-Cop shoots officer
07-18-07, 12:51 PM #1
Ex-Cop shoots officer
This happened very close to where I grew up in NJ. Crazy stuff!
Riva had history of job, drug, relationship problems
DANIELLE P. RICHARDS / THE RECORD
Totowa Police Officer Keith Schaffer was one of the dozens of well-wishers who stopped by the home of wounded Police Officer John Sole on Tuesday. Sole was shot in the arm Monday night.
Peter Riva's life began to unravel two years ago over drugs and a troubled relationship.
On Monday night, his life came to a tumultuous end after, police say, he tried to run over his ex-girlfriend, Lisa M. Rose, and her companion outside Totowa Municipal Court, then shot pursuing Totowa Patrolman John Sole. The injured officer fired back, fatally wounding Riva when he refused to put down his gun.
The chaos started Monday night after a Municipal Court judge tossed out a harassment complaint that Riva -- a former patrolman and probation officer -- filed against Rose, of Englewood. He alleged that she had called and threatened, "You are dead. You are going down.''
Rose remained in St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center in Paterson on Tuesday and spent much of the day in intensive care, according to her attorney. Her companion, John C. Barron, was released from the hospital, Passaic County Prosecutor James Avigliano said. It was unclear what their relationship was.
Sole, 41, was also released from the hospital early Tuesday morning and was recovering at his Totowa home from a shoulder wound.
Meanwhile, the Totowa Road neighborhood where the shooting unfolded celebrated a local hero Tuesday: retired Paterson police Capt. Philip Bevacqua, 77, helped subdue Riva during the fatal confrontation.
But unanswered questions remain about the pressures that led Riva to try to kill people.
Riva, 60, grew up in Totowa, graduated from Passaic Valley High School and was a Vietnam veteran. He later graduated from William Paterson College. He worked as a borough cop for two years in the 1970s. He also worked as a patrol officer in Millburn from 1975 to 1987, according to Millburn Capt. David Barber, who described Riva as a very nice, polite and well-mannered colleague. Several officials said Riva also worked as a police officer in Midland Park in between Totowa and Millburn.
It was unclear why he left those police departments.
Then for 18 years he held a steady job as a Passaic County probation officer. He rose to the rank of senior officer with a salary of $76,000 a year, Kirk Nixon, Passaic County court administrator, said.
"He wasn't a standout, but he did his job until he got involved with this stuff two years ago," Nixon said, "and that's when we suspended him."
That was in September 2005, when Riva was suspended without pay for conduct unbecoming a public employee after he was brought up on drug charges and Rose charged him with aggravated assault. Riva had a trial date scheduled for Monday in state Superior Court in Hackensack on that drug charge.
Descriptions of Riva at the shootout were of a madman who fought with police, struck terror in the neighborhood and ignored warnings to relinquish his weapon.
"I ran to the window and saw him struggling,'' said Cheryl Tubman. The shooting took place in front of her house. "[Sole] yelled at him: 'Put the gun down,' '' she said. "Phil Bevacqua was wrestling with him and tried to push the gun away. I was shaking and praying, please don't let Phil get shot.''
Avigliano said Riva was not allowed to have a gun because "he had a history of domestic violence.''
Riva did not have a permit for the gun, a .38-caliber revolver he used in the shooting, Avigliano said. Authorities didn't know how Riva obtained the weapon.
Sole cut Riva off in his patrol car three blocks away from town hall Monday night after Riva struck Rose and Barron. Riva fired at Sole six times after a brief struggle, striking the officer once in the left shoulder.
Sole returned fire after telling Riva to put his gun down, Avigliano said.
He said Sole was "absolutely correct in his actions."
"The officer showed tremendous restraint after being shot in the shoulder,'' Avigliano said.
At the start of the evening, there was no indication of what was to come.
Totowa Borough Court Administrator Georgeann Gosnell said Riva was upset with the judge's decision, but seemed in control. Gail Cannon, who said she was Riva's girlfriend, had accompanied Riva to court and also said that he appeared fine when he left. She drove home in a separate car.
Before Riva became involved with Rose, he had married twice and had a son with his second wife, said Riva's brother, Dennis.
Dennis Riva blamed Rose for the tumultuous relationship with his brother.
"My brother's dead,'' Dennis Riva said. "It's a terrible tragedy.''
The complaint that brought Riva and Rose into court Monday was the last in a long series the couple had filed against each other, describing a physically violent and abusive relationship.
In March 2005, she accused Riva of punching her in the face and forcing her into a bathroom where she fell down. He countered by accusing her of punching him in the face, kicking and biting him. Both complaints were dismissed the next day, but she charged him with aggravated assault the following September. In 2006, she obtained a restraining order against Riva.
"She was in fear for her life,'' said Warren Neumann, a private investigator who said he was hired by Rose this spring.
He said Rose contacted him because she alleged that Riva was stalking her and had a gun.
Riva had filed another complaint against another companion of Rose's, Kenneth Poruks, of Ridgewood, related to a traffic accident. The complaint was also supposed to be heard the night of the shootout, but Poruks never showed.
"Their history was somewhat sordid," Neumann said of Riva and Rose.
On Tuesday, Monday's night hero -- Bevacqua -- was saying he even felt a little sorry for Riva.
"I felt bad a little bit, but he brought this on himself," he said. "I think he lost it yesterday [Monday]."The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "Beans" on LEF.
07-18-07, 01:05 PM #2
saying 'he lost it' is putting it mildly
We dallied under
Vine maples and sapling alders
Searched for lady slippers
Found blackberry riots and
An old skid road
Brought ghost ferns and
Hollows filled with
While waves wrapped
Intricate lacings of weeds
'Round mule spinners
His cyanotic eyes
Were hard enough to make
The sun turn tail and
Tender enough to attract me
To his world of illusion
07-18-07, 01:32 PM #3
That just plain sucks!
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