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Statement From Chief Paul Bernat Regarding Thomas Webster 12-19-15



Cpl. Thomas Webster IV to Return to Dover Police Department on Administrative Leave with Pay

Dover Police Chief Paul Bernat announced today that Cpl. Thomas Webster IV will return to the Dover Police Department on paid administrative leave on Sunday, December 20, 2015.

Dover Police Department’s use of force policy requires that any officer involved in the use of deadly force that results in injury or death must undergo a psychological evaluation before returning to full duty.

Responding to calls that the Dover Police Department review Cpl. Webster’s actions in a videotaped arrest that occurred in August 2013, Chief Bernat reminded community members and elected officials that Delaware state law and Dover Police Department directives require that Cpl. Webster be afforded due process, including a hearing before a board of Captains, prior to any adverse employment action, including termination.

“The Dover Police Department has already completed its internal investigation and dealt with this incident independently of the concurrent criminal proceedings,” said Chief Bernat.  “As a law enforcement officer, Cpl. Webster is afforded rights under state law, and the Dover Police Department must abide by the law as well as its obligations under Dover Police Department directives.  While the Dover Police Department has treated this incident with the utmost seriousness, Cpl. Webster’s right to return to his job after having been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing must be honored.”

On December 8, 2015, Cpl. Webster was found not guilty by a 12 member jury on a charge of felony assault resulting from an arrest that occurred in August 2013.

Statement released by M/Cpl. Mark Hoffman, Public Information Officer, on behalf of Chief Paul Bernat

Man Arrested Twice in Three Hours for Vehicle Break-Ins at Hospital and Dover Police Department

Complaint # 50-15-37725/37751

Incident Date:  December 18th, 2015

Location:  Bayhealth Kent General Hospital and Dover Police Dept.

Officer Releasing Information:   M/Cpl. Mark Hoffman, Public Information Officer


Within three and a half hours, the Dover Police Department arrested the same man for breaking into vehicles.  At approximately 7:05AM, officers responded to the parking lot for a report of a suspect (Joseph Graden-28), breaking into vehicles.  Security officers from the hospital contacted Graden, who fled on foot.  He was later found hiding in bushes on the property and taken into custody without further incident.  During the investigation, it was discovered that Graden had broken into a Ford Escape in the parking lot and left his backpack inside of the vehicle, containing his driver’s license and wallet.  Graden also damaged the exterior of the vehicle while breaking into it.  Graden was arrested and charged with Criminal Mischief and Criminal Trespass 2nd Degree.  Graden was later released by Justice of the Peace Court 7 on an unsecured bond after being arraigned.

At approximately 10:36AM, shortly after being arraigned, an employee of the Dover Police Department exited the building to find Graden rummaging through his vehicle, which was parked directly in front of the station. The employee immediately notified officers in the building, who then ran to the vehicle.  Graden then fled on foot but was captured a short time later by Dover Police officers.  Graden continued to struggle with officers once captured, also throwing a bracelet he stole from the vehicle he broke into.  Once the victim and officers checked the vehicle, they discovered that Graden caused damage to the glove compartment, used a coat hanger to damage the center console lock, and ripped insulation from the back seat.  Graden attempted to steal other items inside the vehicle, including the bracelet he threw as officers contacted him.  Graden was committed to JTVCC on $2500.00 secured bond on the following charges:
-Theft Under $1500.00
-Resisting Arrest
-Criminal Mischief
-Disorderly Conduct
-Criminal Trespass 2nd Degree

Joseph Graden
Age: 28
Address: Gelden Road, Felton, DE