Saturday, September 30, 2017

Problematic Police Behavior toward the Two Truck Fire Victims in Cattaraugus County

Several posts have discussed similarities in the suspicious truck fires of Salamanca pharmacist Dale Tarapacki and my brother Mark (see esp. July 23, August 24, and September 24, 2016; February 26, April 30, and June 13, 2017).  The investigations into both deaths clearly glossed over or ignored many troubling facts, including significant wounds to the body.  As observed in numerous posts on this blog, the New York State Police did not pursue the role of Salamanca police officer Mark Marowski in the events the day immediately preceding Mark’s truck fire that led to my brother’s arrest for DWI.  This post raises the issue of reportedly antagonistic behavior toward Dale Tarapacki by another local police officer.

A reliable source informed me that some time before his death Tarapacki was being harassed by a Salamanca police officer over an issue that had nothing to do with police business but rather was a strictly personal matter.  This Salamanca policeman reportedly accosted Tarapacki on several occasions in a menacing manner over a private matter which angered the officer, but for which Tarapacki himself was not responsible.  The incident that spurred this policeman’s hostility reportedly took place at the Holy Cross Club.  Out of concern for the source of the information, this post will not name the Salamanca police officer or state the specific nature of the incident.  But the unprofessional, and quite disturbing, behavior of that officer appears not to be an isolated example of policemen in the Salamanca area abusing their authority to try and settle private grudges.

Not long before his death, according to more than one source, Tarapacki was picked up for DWI.  It is not clear if the officer who hassled him was in any way responsible for his arrest.  But it is difficult not to see a parallel here with the events that preceded my brother’s death.  In that case, the time frame is clearer, and there is no question about Marowski’s action of calling the Salamanca police to arrest Mark for DWI immediately after he left the Holy Cross Club following their heated personal argument.  But, in both my brother’s and Tarapacki’s case, what followed a DWI was an unthinkably savage and suspicious death by fire that the investigating authorities (New York State Police in the one and Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office in the other) swept under the rug.