Suffolk police officer placed on leave over incident

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 9, 2002

Staff report

Suffolk Police Officer, Patrick E. Araojo, 31, was placed on administrative leave this week following an incident that took place on Halloween night.

Araojo, who has served the department for five years, was charged with trespass and assault and battery after Barbara E. Ray of the 2100 block of King Street told police he assaulted her.


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The charges against the officer were filed after Ray herself was charged with assault and battery of a neighbor.

Ray allegedly got into a shoving incident with her neighbor, Anthony B. Cummings, who told police Ray shoved him when he walked across a six-foot wide grassy strip of land that she contends is her yard in the Regency Estate neighborhood.

Actually, the strip of land separates Regency Estates with another development, Woodshire Landing, and both neighborhoods are just off Nansemond Parkway. Cummings lives in Woodshire and he and a friend were trick or treating with the friend’s nine-year-old son when the incidents occurred.

Police also investigated a shooting incident that took place this week, leaving a 25-year old woman with a gunshot wound in the shoulder.

The shooting took place Tuesday at about 8 p.m. as the victim, Willetta B. Holmes, visited the home of a friend on Battery Avenue.

While Holmes sat in a chair to have the friend, Patricia D. Brown, braid her hair, bullets slammed into the home, one striking Holmes and another lodging in a mattress in a bedroom at the rear of the home.

Rescue personnel removed the bullet from Holmes’ shoulder simply by pressing the flesh around the wound, causing the bullet to surface at the site of entry. Holmes was also treated and released from Obici Hospital’s emergency room.

Suffolk Police Detective C.M. Gonzalez is investigating this incident and asks that anyone who may know something about the shooting to call him at 923-2350, or call Crime Line at 539-1222. Callers to Crime Line do not identify themselves and if information leads to an arrest, the caller becomes eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

Suffolk Police are still looking for a man wanted for questioning in an armed robbery, and they have also asked for help in capturing him. Police said Derrick Lamont Saunders should be considered &uot;armed and dangerous.&uot;

Saunders, 21, is believed be carrying a large caliber silver and black handgun. He allegedly used the weapon during the broad daylight robbery of a residence at 325 S. Wellons St.

Police said that anyone spotting Saunders should not approach him but call 923-2350 instead. Or, call Crime Line at 539-1222.