UPDATE: Walnut Creek Officer Arrested for Allegedly Beating Woman with Baseball Bat Put on Administrative Leave

August 29, 2014 · 46 comments

A Walnut Creek police officer arrested in Richmond earlier this month after allegedly donning a mask and beating a woman with a baseball bat has been placed on administrative leave, police said today.

Gregory Thompson, 53, of Martinez, was arrested in the early morning hours of Aug. 16 in Richmond, where he allegedly used a bat to attack a woman walking in a residential neighborhood, according to Richmond police Capt. Bisa French.

Contra Costa County prosecutors are reviewing the case and expect to make a decision about possible charges next week, said Deputy District Attorney Barry Grove said, who declined to comment further on the case.

Walnut Creek police Capt. Mark Perlite said Thompson was placed on administrative leave immediately after the department learned of his arrest.

Perlite said Thompson is a 30-year veteran of the police department and was most recently working as a patrol officer.

Walnut Creek police are conducting their own investigation into Thompson’s arrest, he said.

The arrest happened after police received multiple reports around 2 a.m. on Aug. 16 of a woman screaming and a man with a bat in the 4000 block of Clinton Avenue, according to French.

She said when officers arrived on the scene, a witness pointed out Thompson, who was sitting inside his parked car.

He was not wearing a police uniform or in a police patrol car at the time of the alleged assault.

While speaking with Thompson officers noticed a mask on the vehicle’s floorboard. A search of the car also turned up a bat, two guns and zip ties, she said.

Thompson, who identified himself as a police officer, was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, criminal threats and felony vandalism, according to police.

He was taken to county jail in Richmond and released the following day on bail.

The victim was taken to a hospital to be treated for injuries suffered in the beating and was expected to recover, French said.

The woman told police that her car had run out of gas nearby and that she was looking for assistance when Thompson allegedly attacked her.

Police were unable to locate a second woman who was also reportedly struck by Thompson when she intervened to try to stop the attack, French said.

RELATED STORY: Walnut Creek Police Officer Arrested for Allegedly Beating Woman with Baseball Bat

1 Tom August 29, 2014 at 5:44 PM

At least he’s on leave.

I’m not a psychiatrist, but I’m sticking to my first reaction. Mental health issues.

30 years on the force……

2 Good advice... August 29, 2014 at 5:49 PM

Make Bail.
RUN, don’t walk to the retirement office.
Put in your papers.
Have your check automatically deposited.

In 6 years when you get out of San Quentin, it will be a nice nest egg for you.

3 Julio August 29, 2014 at 5:51 PM

You and I would be in jail but he is on PAID administrative leave. He is a very sick man. What else has he don as a cop. He should be so proud as a 30 year veteran. I hope he doesn’t get one dime of his pension!

4 PC August 29, 2014 at 6:00 PM

If this is anything like it sounds, we have got to be worried about the integrity of some police officers. The recent event in Missouri only make this more clear. We have to hold law enforcement to a higher standard.

5 Blink August 29, 2014 at 6:04 PM

Wander if he’s responsible for woman beaten found at Hillcrest park few weeks back…that story never got update

6 I'm The Urban Spaceman August 29, 2014 at 6:10 PM

Does he even know the victim? Not that would justify his criminal behavior…just strange he’s doing random acts of violence like this.
Sworn to protect and serve…here’s someone who needed assistance and they got a beatdown…someone forgot their oaths.

7 Frito Bandido August 29, 2014 at 6:17 PM

WTF?

8 valiii August 29, 2014 at 6:24 PM

This is why a lot of people are afraid of cops. Held to a higher standard? ha. Many of them can’t even keep to the same standard that citizens are held to. The “Blue wall” protects them. This guy will probably get off with just counseling and more desk duty with pay.
I see cops breaking traffic laws all the time (no emergencies), like running thru red lights and no headlights at night, but they act like it’s no big deal. If any of us did those things we’d pay the price..

9 Walnut Creek Resident August 29, 2014 at 6:50 PM

This makes me absolutely sick I’m tired of these people in authority taking advantage of other people and especially women that are defenseless what’s up with that? These guys must be really sick in the head and they need more than professional help they need to be banned from their position of authority obviously!

10 Blink August 29, 2014 at 7:15 PM

Thankful investigating officers have integrity and acted on evidence.
Good job!

11 bumper morgan August 29, 2014 at 7:26 PM

News outlets reporting that he was waiting for repeat vandals to re appear and vandalize his parent’s house. the lady appeared, and he allegedley committed some vigilante justice.

12 nee August 29, 2014 at 7:49 PM

WHY IS HE GETTING PAID LEAVE?????

13 bumper morgan August 29, 2014 at 8:35 PM

Because of state law: Peace Officers Bill of rights.

14 Sharon August 29, 2014 at 8:45 PM

I’m saddened and in shock that Greg committed this crime. I know him. I’ve worked with him. He is not a monster. Something is very wrong with this whole incident. I pray for all of those involved.

15 Joe Blow August 29, 2014 at 8:55 PM

picture please!

16 Not surprised August 29, 2014 at 8:56 PM

I’ve only met one officer in Walnut Creek who was willing to do their job. He has since retired. The image of WCPD has just dropped even lower than I thought it could.

17 TinFoiler August 29, 2014 at 8:59 PM

I don’t care what the “news” is reporting as an excuse. Too phcking bad! This is RIDICULOUS!
LET THE RIOTS BEGIN.

And the Rest of You Police Officers – You had Better Speak Out Against this BULLSH!T!
PAID LEAVE?? FFS!!!

18 Michelle August 29, 2014 at 9:54 PM

PAID LEAVE ARE YOU F****ING KIDDING ME!

19 PhilthyPHRESH August 29, 2014 at 10:25 PM

And once again, thank you, the police, you’re doing a great job out here.

20 Car 54 August 29, 2014 at 11:05 PM

Let me guess, due to budget cuts they no longer give psychological testing when entering the Police force?
First come first served from the mental ward? Because who in their right mind would want to be a Policeman in this sick day and age?

21 Anon August 29, 2014 at 11:47 PM

A mask and zip ties…….? Sound far more serious than mental illness. Why has his photo not been released.

22 Princes August 29, 2014 at 11:53 PM

Greg,is the most wonderful person you ever meet. ;( and I will always be so thankful for keeping us safe and doing an amazing job as a police officer and I will always be so proud of him.

23 Bruce Bocci August 30, 2014 at 12:10 AM

So let’s see if I have this straight….. it’s after midnight … 2 women were out there on the street (probably everyone was drunk) ….officer has a bat….OK. It makes sense. 2 out & the bags are loaded, clearly not a “bunt” situation…. I’d tell the batter to swing away & try to get a hit.

24 @Princes August 30, 2014 at 12:21 AM

Greg is an a**hole. That woman needs to beat him with that same bat.

25 Don't Censor Me Bro August 30, 2014 at 8:11 AM

@Julio, sorry you don’t grasp the legalities of these matters. But that’s ok, you are not alone.

26 captain obvious August 30, 2014 at 10:56 AM

Paid administrative leave = Innocent until proven guilty. Just like the criminals who are arrested repeatedly for the same thing over and over….

Recent events in Missouri?? You mean where an Officer shot a thug who tried to take his gun after committing a robbery?

30 years of service and he makes a mistake. Yes it’s a big one but until you walk in someone’s shoes for 30 years, step off that high pedestal. Officers are held to a higher standard but are still human.

27 SpankyFortuna August 30, 2014 at 11:08 AM

I wasn’t aware that such violent people are permitted to bail out…

28 Mister Wister August 30, 2014 at 11:24 AM

@26,
Captain Bright, you are not.

29 offdutydeputy August 30, 2014 at 1:43 PM

Even someone arrested for murder has a bail. @ Mister Wister. I’m all ears. Please speak your mind.

30 MEe August 30, 2014 at 2:11 PM

They have a union. Unions and members fight for things. One is sick leave, which can cover anything from alcoholism ( but rarely other drugs ) to mental illness. This is aside of the charges. Also he is still innocent until proven guilty, like it or not. Looks really bad. But it is not for us to judge, but a jury after they see the evidence and hear both sides in court..But sometimes it does not look bad, and they have to treat them the same , under the rules, law. Innocent until proven guilty. But if proven guilty, yes, I think that should forfeit any retirement or pension. Though I suspect they are immune from being found guilty etc… OJ’s pension was immune from a civil suit btw. Could not be touched, he got ( while free ) some $6000 a month for life or something like that, no matter what.. But please be careful not assume too much, yet. You just never know. So I am wrong 99 times out of 100, still, hopefully justice will be done.. Either way.

31 J. August 30, 2014 at 3:41 PM

Did a Sergeant approve the arrest?

32 Carnac the Magnificent August 30, 2014 at 3:53 PM

Here is some food for thought as to why Thompson is on Administrative leave and not simply fired based on an arrest.

If Thompson were say a plumber or salesman would his employer automatically fire him for an arrest? No they would not, where is the nexis? Thompson is in the unique position of being in law enforcement where we expect him to enforce the law not break it. Because of his job, his employer cannot simply let him go back to work until the courts have adjudicated his case as if he were a plumber or salesman. I think everyone would agree that would be reckless; however, they cannot simply fire him either. That would violate his due process protection under the 18th Amendment and it would not be fair, what if he were actually innocent? So what is their options? They place him in limbo called Administration Leave. They continue to pay him but they strip him of his police powers and collect all city property like his badge, ID card and gun.

Because so many people throw out the Police Officers Bill of Rights but have absolutely no idea what that really means let me explain what is going to happen to Thompson.

There are two investigations going on here. One criminal being conducted by the Richmond Police and one internal by the Walnut Creek Police. The criminal investigation is pretty obvious where as the internal is likely a mystery based on the comments I’m reading. WCPD will be investigation Thompson for violating departmental policy.

There are two ways for Thompson to lose his job. If he is convicted of a felony, in which case he is bared by state law from ever being a police officer in California or if WCPD fires him for violating department policy.

Here is what is going to happen to Thompson from the administrative side. He is going to receive a letter either in person or by certified mail. He will be told what he is being investigated for and when to appear for his Internal Affairs Interview. Thompson has the right to an attorney, to be questioned by no more that two police officers at a time, he has the right to know the names of the peoples interviewing him, he was the right to tape record the interview, he has the right have the interview conducted at the time he would normally be working and to be able to use the bathroom when he need to and that is pretty much it. I fine it disturbing that being able to use a bathroom when needed had to be written into law. Makes me wonder what kinds of shenanigans police administrations used back in the day against their own employees but I digress.

During the interview, Thompson will be advised of his Miranda Rights. If Thompson refused to make a statement the interviewer(s) will then ORDER Thompson to give a statement and he will be reminded that if he fails to obey this lawful order he will subject himself discipline up to and including termination. That right folks, the United States Supreme Court has determined that Thompson doesn’t get a 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination for policy violations even if it is associated with a criminal investigation.

The DA cannot use Thompson’s compelled statement against him in his case in chief but he can use the information from the Internal Affairs Investigation in his rebuttal. Lets be honest here, if the DA already knows the answers, he can miraculously ask the right questions.

This leaves Thompson in a quandary. If he answers the question they will be used against him either in a policy violation or in his criminal trial. What does he do? Maybe get fired if you do give a statement, definitely get fired if you do not give a statement. No impact at trial if you do not give a statement, definitely screwed at trail if you do give a statement.

My predictions without any inside information. Thompson retires and by passes the Internal Investigation all together since it looks like he is 50. If you are not an employee anymore your employer cannot compel you to talk. If Thompson doesn’t retire, then he refuses to give a statement to Internal Affairs and is fired within a month.

The DA will prosecute Thompson since who doesn’t like sticking it to the man and it would appear on the face of it that prosecution is totally justified. Thompson pleads and does somewhere between 2 to 5 in state prison in protective custody.

And yes I am a police officer in central county but no I do not know Thompson. If Thompson did what he is accused of then he should get the maxim; if on the other hand he is innocent then he shouldn’t have his life ruined.

PS: The 8th Amendment guarantees everyone the right to bail; even murders have a right to bail. It goes hand in hand with the presumption of innocents.

At this point the only ones who have the facts are the Richmond Police and the DA’s Office. Be patient and let the system do it job.

33 Tom August 30, 2014 at 4:45 PM

Bail is set by the severity of the crime, prior criminal history and flight risk.

The Eighth Amendment prohibits excessive bail and cruel and unusual punishment.

Judges have the power to deny bail. They do it all the time.

34 @ Carnac August 30, 2014 at 5:52 PM

Thank you for you thoughtful and measured response; very enlightening. The story was very troubling at first because people associate masks, lying-in-wait and baseball bats with serial killers. Horrible, if tendencies like this were missed for thirty years by WCPD, normally a fine, professional organization. However, if it turns out he was doling out “street justice” to a squatter/vandal, while still very disturbing, at least, there is some kind of motive.

35 ChampagneKitty August 30, 2014 at 5:55 PM

to Carnac the Magnificent: Thank you for your comment and the insight you provided about what happens when a police officer is under investigation. It is very helpful.

36 Who knows August 30, 2014 at 6:19 PM

thanks for the info Carnac…most correct. But if you work in central county you know Contra Costa DA is terrible in getting any time for people in jail. He won’t serve 2-5 years in prison. Most i see even if convicted is 6 months, or some sort of suspended sentence and he wont even go to jail

37 Carnac the Magnificent August 30, 2014 at 6:25 PM

Tom

You’re giving everyone the impression Thompson is getting special treatment by being allowed to post bail. That is not the case. Initial bail is set at the time of booking. Officers use bail a schedule set by the court – a schedule used for every arrest by every police agency in the county. A judge has yet to see this case yet other than to approve the probable cause declaration to justify the arrest.

A judge at Thompson’s arraignment might increase bail or even revoke it but since he has yet to be charges there has been no arraignment yet.

38 Carnac the Magnificent August 30, 2014 at 6:50 PM

@ Who knows

We will agree to disagree and here is why. Mark Peterson is in the business of getting reelected. It would be very bad for his re-election if he were seen to be soft on crime.

Plus I truly believe the public has an unrealistic opinion about criminal punishment. People view things with their hearts and not their brains. David Rosen is perfect example.

39 Tom August 30, 2014 at 7:05 PM

Carnac the Magnificent—#37

I was raised by a judge, and I’m happily married to a lawyer. I understand the legal profession.

I was not saying he was getting special treatment. I was correctly stating the Eighth Amendment.

Thank you for sharing your opinion.

There’s a couple of good ball games on. Enjoy your Labor Day weekend!

40 Carnac the Magnificent August 30, 2014 at 7:46 PM

- Tom
My comment was really directed at the multitude who do not know the legal system. I’m sensitive to this because every time this stuff comes up it makes my job that much harder. Please enjoy your Labor Day too.

– @ Carnac #34

This is a disturbing case and these really isn’t anyway to make it better unless Thompson is found factually innocent which is about as likely as finding hens teeth.

Please remember this; Thompson was not acting within the course and scope of his employment as a Walnut Creek Police Officer. No City pays it’s police officers to enforce the law in another jurisdiction; alone, out of uniform, with a baseball bat for a weapon and in their own personal vehicle. This is what the legal system calls a frolic. What he did or didn’t do was on his own dime and of his own accord. This wasn’t a police operation.

Not that it matters but I believe Thompson is a lateral from another agency. He’s not what we would call in law enforcement a born and bred WCPD officer.

41 Sid August 30, 2014 at 8:36 PM

Carnac the Magnificent said “If Thompson were say a plumber or a salesman would his employer automatically fire him for an arrest? No they would not, where is the nexis?”

Any place I’ve worked an employee arrested for a crime like that would have immediately been told they were on leave WITHOUT PAY and prohibited from setting foot on company premises. There doesn’t have to be any tie-in to the job. Nobody else would get paid for the time unless their union contract provides for it. The rest of us non-union folks are “at will” employees. Our employer can fire us at any time, for any reason, except for reasons that are prohibited by law, such as race or gender. If you have any type of responsible job and get caught red-handed like Thompson did, there’s a very good chance your employer is not going to wait for a guilty verdict to fire you. The other employees don’t want to be around you. The customers don’t want to be around you. Your boss can’t trust you. You are a liability to the company. You’re fired. End of story.

42 My Ex Did the Same Thing August 31, 2014 at 8:50 AM

He didn’t use a baseball bat, just his feet and fists, when he beat the crap out of a 16-year-old African American kid who was handcuffed and taken behind the police station. He caused serious injury to the KID, and there was NO disciplinary action taken. When the lawsuit was presented, it was dismissed by the courts for lack of evidence b/c he had called into dispatch, at that time, to say he was at the hospital with his partner who had been bitten. Of course, he couldn’t possibly have been in two places at the same time. I could tell other stories about this guy, but I’m not in the mood. This incident was many years ago.

43 Cat Wrangler August 31, 2014 at 11:22 AM

@Carnac

Great comments and analysis of the process and inevitable resolution. TY for adding clarity, calm and insight into the matter.

TY also for your service to our community as a police officer. You sound like an excellent professional who tempers his service with wisdom and restraint.

44 BearCrawl September 1, 2014 at 11:05 PM

Sid….it appears as though you have just worked for a handful of employers that have no trust in the American judicial system and no respect for their employees. Scab labor? Maybe. But even while I was in military, my employer (the U.S. Government) wouldn’t stop my pay for a crime I was accused of, but not convicted. These employers that would terminate an employee for simply being accused are companies that I wouldn’t work for, and would never knowingly give my business to.

45 Sunfish September 1, 2014 at 11:23 PM

Have to agree with you on that BearCrawl.

46 cornfed September 2, 2014 at 2:38 AM

Man! I don’t know in which area of Ricmond this occurred and I don’t know the facts. There aren’t many if any “good” areas. If it’s the vigilante justice thing I can at least muster some understanding or even sympathy for the guy (please cop haters, no rants). That could even fall in with mental health issues. No excuses, but 30 years as an LEO can change a person, even twenty:) From there, explanations for this only get scarier.

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