A Nassau County police officer whose attorney claims she was wrongfully arrested by fellow officers in an off-duty incident tainted by “racial animus” pleaded not guilty to resisting arrest and harassment charges on Jan. 9.
A district court judge in Hempstead released Dolores Sharpe of Jamaica, Queens, on her own recognizance after her plea, which came after dozens of supporters packed the courtroom for her arraignment. The charges against the 19-year veteran stem from a Nov. 29 incident in West Hempstead, in which Sharpe, who is black, was arrested by two Nassau County police officers who are white.
Last month, Sharpe’s attorney, Fred Brewington, held a press conference in his office and offered Sharpe’s version of the incident that led to her arrest. Brewington said that she had parked outside a Dollar Tree store on Hempstead Turnpike before officer Charles Volpe drove up to her in a police car and berated her, telling her she was interfering with an investigation by blocking his view.
According to Brewington, Sharpe told Volpe that she was a fellow officer and asked if she could help, before Volpe cursed at her and she went into the store. Volpe verbally abused her when she came outside a short time later and got into her car, telling her to get out of the car, Brewington said, but she refused and told Volpe to call a supervisor.
Sharpe drove off when Volpe did not do so, and Volpe pulled her over two blocks away and told her to get out of her car, according to court records. Officer Victor Gladitz demanded her identification, arrested her and put her in handcuffs, according to Brewington, who said that a sergeant then arrived on the scene and ordered her handcuffs removed.
According to court documents obtained by the Herald, Nassau County prosecutors allege that Sharpe committed the misdemeanor of second-degree harassment by taking a neck chain from her pocket and attempting to strike Gladitz with it. “At no point in time did the defendant have permission or authority to take her chain out and swing it at Officer Gladitz’s face,” one document says, describing the incident as happening during a traffic stop.