Unfortunately, abusive control freak fathers are well-represented in the nation's police forces. Dad SGT. SHANE SAMPSON is certainly one of those fathers. It is insane that even after a divorce, mothers can continue to be harrassed--not only by their ex-husbands, but by the other "boys in blue" that the ex-husband works with. EVEN ARRESTED ON BOGUS, TRUMPED-UP CHARGES. Utterly disgusting.
Ex-wife's custody arrest, ordeal lead to police suit
By GEORGE MAST • Courier-Post Staff • May 3, 2010
CAMDEN — Her hands and feet shackled, Nooshin Sampson tried to understand what was happening as she sat shivering in the back of a Camden police vehicle.
Hours earlier she had been arrested at the Atlantic City International Airport after stepping off her return flight from Florida with her 2-year-old daughter. The criminal complaint that led to her arrest was signed by Camden police Sgt. Shane Sampson -- her ex-husband and the father of her child.
"I couldn't believe it. I thought this was a joke," Nooshin Sampson recalled, as she struggled through tears to tell her side of the eight-hour saga that followed her arrest.
Many of the details of that Dec. 28 night are in a federal lawsuit filed by Haddonfield attorney Joseph Osefchen against the 44-year-old's ex-husband, other officers involved in the arrest and the city police department.
In the lawsuit, Nooshin Sampson, of Pine Hill, claims she was arrested on a bogus warrant by her ex-husband with the help of his police friends. She says an injury on vacation kept her and her daughter out of the state for a few extra days during December and when she came back to New Jersey she was arrested because of a warrant put out by her ex-husband.
The lawsuit, filed April 21, came on the heels of Shane Sampson's April 7 arrest. The now-suspended officer was charged with official misconduct and harassment charges.
Shane Sampson could not be reached for comment.
The lawsuit states it was filed to "remedy a tragic situation in which a group of Camden City police officers conspired among themselves to abuse the awesome power they wield as police officers in order to try to help one of their fellow officers "win' a child custody dispute with his ex-wife."
City Police Chief Scott Thomson said the sergeant's misconduct was uncovered by the police department's swift and thorough investigation into the allegation and referred to the prosecutor's office for criminal charges. At the time of the incident, Shane Sampson had already been placed in a restricted duty assignment, Thomson said.
"We have thoroughly investigated the actions of all officers involved and will take appropriate measures to address violations that have been identified," Thomson said. "As our policy, we will not comment on the specifics of personnel issues. Rest assured it will be handled in a fashion that ensures corrective behavior."
Jason Laughlin, a spokesman for the Camden County Prosecutor's Office, said investigators determined that none of the other officers' actions were criminal.
While Shane Sampson may have been the one to instigate the criminal complaint, the lawsuit states the complaint was also signed by Sgt. Joseph McCray. A third Camden police officer picked up Nooshin Sampson from state police custody after she was arrested at the airport and a fourth processed her at the Camden police headquarters.
"It's logistically and physically impossible for one guy to do all this," Osefchen said.
Osefchen said the criminal complaint itself should have raised concerns from any who saw it as it stated that neither of the parties involved lived in Camden. Aside from being compensated for his client's illegal arrest and detainment, Osefchen said he hopes the lawsuit will create policy changes at the police department to prevent something similar from happening again.
Sitting in Osefchen's Haddonfield office, Nooshin Sampson said things turned sour in her relationship with Shane Sampson shortly after they were married in 2006. The couple filed for divorce soon after their daughter was born the following year.
Four months before Nooshin Sampson's December arrest, Shane Sampson was arrested by Monroe Township police for disorderly conduct, according to police records included in the lawsuit. During the Aug. 15 incident last year, Nooshin Sampson said Monroe police were helping her retrieve her car from her ex-husband's home. Shane Sampson became belligerent during the incident, cursing about "Monroe Township's blue- uniformed pretty boys," according to police reports.
In December, Nooshin Sampson received court approval to take their daughter to Tampa, Fla., from Dec. 15 to Dec. 22 to spend time with her sisters and mother. However, a day before she was planning to return home, she fell and injured her shoulder. Sampson said she immediately notified the court and her ex-husband she wouldn't be able to return until Dec. 28 because of the injury.
But when she emerged from the airplane at the Atlantic City International Airport around 6 p.m. that day, Sampson said she was approached by a state police trooper with the arrest warrant signed by her ex-husband.
"I just begged him, "Don't handcuff me in front of my daughter,' " Sampson said.
She said the officer complied, and informed her that her ex-husband was at the airport but would be kept in a separate wing.
Sampson said she then waited several hours at the airport until a friend picked up her daughter. With her daughter gone, Sampson said she was frisked and led handcuffed to a state police cruiser and driven to a local police station.
There she waited alone in a cell until a Camden police officer arrived, frisked her again, and placed her in the back of a police van with her wrists and ankles shackled.
At the Camden police station Sampson said she was booked and sat down next to a prostitute. During the wait she said she told an officer present she wanted to file a complaint with Internal Affairs but was told by the officer he didn't know where the office was.
Sampson said she was ultimately released around 2 a.m. -- but she had no cell phone or money as she sent her belongings along with her daughter.
For an hour she huddled along with homeless people in the lobby of the police station. Eventually she ventured out in the city and was approached by a man who offered to pay her train fare to Lindenwold. At about 5 a.m. a friend picked her up at the Lindenwold PATCO Hi-Speedline station.
While that December night has changed her forever, Sampson said she is moving on with her life. In three weeks she will graduate from nursing school.
"I never thought anybody would be capable of this," Sampson said of the alleged actions that led to her ex-husband's arrest. "I didn't think the system would allow it." Reach George Mast at (856) 486-2465 at email@example.com