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Orange County News For Immediate Release Contact: Ryan Greenbaum Friday July 14, 2023 845.615.3657, 845.415.0868c
District Attorney Hoovler Concludes Investigation into Actions
of Off-Duty City of Middletown Detective
Suspended Detective Pleads Guilty to Disorderly Conduct for Engaging in Fighting and Tumultuous Behavior
City of Middletown Detective Admits Unprovoked Slapping of Fourteen-Year-Old Boy
While Off-Duty in Restaurant Bar
Detective Ordered to Undergo Alcohol Abuse Treatment and Completely Abstain from Alcohol
Admissions in Plea May Be Used in Administrative Proceedings Concerning the Continued Employment of the Defendant as a Police Officer
District Attorney will Not Call Defendant-Detective as a Witness on any Cases
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that on Thursday July 13, 2023, City of Middletown Police Detective Frederick Slanovec pleaded guilty to Disorderly Conduct in connection with a May 6, 2023 off-duty incident at the Olde Erie Restaurant in Middletown. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office, in conjunction with the City of Middletown Police Department, investigated the incident which included allegations that Slanovec had struck a fourteen-year-old boy with an open hand. Fortunately, the minor suffered no injuries which would have supported Assault charges. The investigation revealed that Slanovec had been drinking prior to and during his confrontation with the minor.
Slanovec, who has been suspended by the City of Middletown Police Department since the incident, pleaded guilty pursuant to a written plea agreement with the District Attorney’s Office. In the Agreement, Slanovec admitted that on May 6, 2023, at approximately 3:30 PM, while inside the Olde Erie Restaurant, he told the a fourteen-year-old boy that he had placed the boy’s father in prison, and that he was going to arrest the boy sometime in the future, notwithstanding that Slanovec was aware that there was no reasonable cause to believe that the boy had committed any criminal offense or violation which would warrant such an arrest. Slanovec further admitted that he struck said minor upon his face with an open hand, and pushed the minor’s head so that it struck a wall. Slanovec also admitted that while outside of the restaurant he asked the minor if he “was ready for another round,” and admitted having consumed alcoholic beverages before his encounter with the minor and driving away from the restaurant.
As part of the plea disposition, Slanovec was ordered to attend one year of alcohol abuse treatment and abstain from consuming any alcoholic beverages for one year. Under the terms of the agreement, the City of Middletown Court and District Attorney’s Office will receive reports every 60 days regarding the Slanovec’s compliance with the alcohol treatment. A permanent Order of Protection was issued on behalf of the boy and his family. Importantly, Slanovec, who is still suspended and facing administrative charges concerning his continued employment with the City of Middletown Police Department, agreed to waive any sealing of the record which would otherwise occur by operation of law so that his admissions can not only be used in the administrative proceedings currently pending against him, but can also be viewed by any potential future employers in the future.
The District Attorney’s Office notified the City of Middletown Police Department that it does not intend to call Slanovec as a witness in future cases.
District Attorney Hoovler thanked the City of Middletown Police Department for their investigation and cooperation in the matter. To avoid any appearance of impropriety the District Attorney’s Office determined the charges that were ultimately brought against Slanovec. At the time of the plea, the Court was notified that a grand jury had heard evidence in the matter. A first arrest for slapping or shoving which does not result in injuries to the victim, frequently results in a plea to an offense other than a crime, and those records are usually sealed within a year absent any further violation by the offender. Here, since the defendant was a police officer, albeit off-duty while the incident occurred, the District Attorney’s Office mandated that the plea agreement include a waiver of the normal sealing provisions so that future employers, particularly any police agencies considering hiring the defendant, can be made aware of the incident and so that prosecutors may make appropriate disclosures to defendants’ attorneys on cases where the defendant might be called to testify.
“There is little doubt but that this detective’s senseless actions in striking the minor were related to alcohol abuse,” said District Attorney David M. Hoovler. “Notwithstanding his exemplary police record and lack of prior offenses, his actions in this case cannot be excused merely because he committed these acts while off-duty and after drinking. The young victim in this case knew that the defendant was a police officer and the defendant’s actions will likely cause him, and others, to not trust and appreciate those police officers who risk their lives everyday keeping us safe. I sincerely hope that this defendant, and all who suffer from alcohol or other substance abuse issues, seek the help that they need to overcome their issued before they seriously harm others and themselves.”
The case was investigated and prosecuted by Chief Assistant District Attorney Christopher Borek.
This criminal charge is merely an allegation that a defendant has committed a violation of the criminal law, and it is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the State of New York’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.