Saturday, October 22, 2016

Police officer who stuck his middle finger up at a Mayfair cocktail bar bouncer before calling him a 'P***' is sacked from the force

A London police officer who used racist and abusive language towards a Mayfair cocktail bar bouncer - sticking his middle finger up and calling him a 'P***'  - has been dismissed from the force.

Pc Emilio Sabatino 'let himself and his colleagues down' through his behaviour while off duty, according to a senior officer from the Metropolitan Police professional standards unit.

Sabatino brandished his warrant card and mocked Gurmeet Singh's SIA (Security Industry Authority) accreditation when he was asked to leave the Dirty Martini bar.

Mr Singh told a Metropolitan Police misconduct hearing he approached Sabatino and a friend in the lavatory on August 29, 2015. He explained that door staff checked the toilets every 20 minutes to check there was 'no alcohol or broken glass on the floor.'

Mr Singh said: 'He said he was a police officer and showed me his badge. 'He said 'Can I vouch for my friend?', then he showed his ID card to me.

'I said 'I don't know what you are showing me your badge for.' 'He didn't say anything so I called my manager.

'He was asked to come out of the premises and make his way upstairs. As we came outside, he asked if he could come back inside. Then he questioned why I had my SIA badge on. 'He said 'I can show my [police] badge to whoever I want to. I said 'I haven't committed a crime.'

Mr Singh continued: 'He was a little bit aggressive because he wanted to get back downstairs. 'He stuck his middle finger up and said 'P***' and I said I would make a complaint.'

He added: 'I was quite shocked. You wouldn't expect that from anyone. I think it's bullying.'

Mr Singh told the hearing he found Sabatino in the lavatory standing three feet away from a friend and urinating at each other.

Pc Sabatino said he and his friend Tim Blunn - the fiancé of his girlfriend's sister - had joked about 'crossing streams' as they relieved themselves. He told the hearing he had been drinking for five hours before the incident occurred, although he said he was only 'seven' out of ten. Pc Sabatino said: 'I wasn't drunk as in staggering, I knew what was going on around me, but I was in good spirits.

'I was at the urinal. Tim has then come in behind me. I don't know for what reason, but he thought it would be funny to start urinating in my urinal.

'As Tim finished, he turns towards Mr Singh. Mr Singh then got quite close to him and said 'you can't be doing that. Why are you urinating on the floor?' 'I stupidly said 'I'm a police officer'. I wanted to calm Mr Singh down.

'Obviously, bouncers have to act in a certain way because they are dealing with people who are intoxicated.

'I showed him my warrant card, because anyone can say they're a police officer. 'From the moment I showed him my warrant card, he seemed to take offence.

'He took it as a threat. He said 'are you trying to threaten me?' He wouldn't let me explain.'

He added: 'I don't usually drink cocktails. I told Mr Singh to 'f*** off' as I was leaving. It wasn't directed in a threatening way towards him. It was more like 'f*** off, I'm done with this conversation'. 'I put my middle finger up at him, but it wasn't even towards his face height, it was just a swing of the arm.

'I don't know why it even came out of my mouth. I never swear at all really.. I have never sworn at members of the public. I truly, truly regret it.'

Sabatino had also told the hearing he wouldn't use racist language towards Mr Singh as he has an Italian father and colleagues from 'all different faiths'.

He said: 'I don't know where he's got this word 'P*** from. I told him to f*** off, which I truly regret, but I didn't say the word 'P***'. 'I didn't say anything racial, especially not after giving my name and being on camera.'

The misconduct panel found that Sabatino had used his status as an officer to excuse his own behaviour, that he was escorted from the premises, produced his warrant card a second time, verbally swore at staff, and used the term 'P***', all of which amounted to gross misconduct.

A charge of urinating on the floor was found not proved.

Chief Superintendant Matt Gardner, from the directorate of professional standards said: 'Mr Sabatino has let himself and his colleagues down as a result of off duty behaviour.

'He has been found to use racist and abusive behaviour to a member of the public who was simply doing his job, a scenario similar to what police officers do 24/7 in their role to protect Londoners.

'We do not want officers with these behaviours in the Metropolitan police and he has been rightly dismissed with immediate effect.'

Sabatino, based at Brent Operational Command Unit, was dismissed without notice.

Original report here

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