Plymouth officer suspended 20 days after leaving gun in Wareham court

Feb 05, 2013

The Plymouth police captain who inadvertently left his gun in a Wareham District Court bathroom last week will be suspended without pay for 20 days and ordered to serve 10 days of extra duty without pay.

Captain John Rogers, Jr., was testifying in a case on Jan. 28 when he left his department-issued .357 revolver in the bathroom. He returned to find the gun missing, and a search of the courthouse commenced, but to no avail.

"The investigation into the loss of the weapon revealed that it was in fact taken from the courthouse restroom by a subject in court that day," said Plymouth Police Chief Michael Botieri.

Botieri said that officers found the gun on Jan. 30, but did not say where or with whom it was found. He noted that detectives from the Middleborough Police Department were "instrumental" in developing information that helped police recover the gun.

Rogers is a 28-year veteran of the Plymouth Police Department and currently serves as the department's Operations Captain, Botieri said, adding that the captain "has always presented himself in a professional manner and is a well-respected law enforcement officer in the area."

"Captain Rogers has taken full responsibility for his actions and has never been disciplined over his entire career," Botieri said. "He also recognizes that his behavior warrants severe disciplinary action."

In addition to his 30 days of discipline, Rogers will be relieved of his duties as Internal Affairs Investigator and will be "fully retrained" in the department's policies and procedures "relative to the proper handling of department-issued weapons," Botieri said.

The investigation was led by Wareham Police, with the assistance of Plymouth Police. The State Police, FBI, and other local police departments also assisted in the search, Botieri said.

Comments (11)
Posted by: Zephyr | Jan 29, 2013 13:12

This was in from Channel 5.


WAREHAM, Mass. —A Plymouth police officer's gun has gone missing after he inadvertently left it in a courthouse bathroom.

Chief Michael Botieri says Capt. John Rogers Jr. put the gun down in the bathroom of Wareham District Court at about 3 p.m. Monday, then left without taking it. When he went back for it minutes later, it was gone.

He immediately notified court officials.

Court officers and local police, with the help of a weapon-sniffing dog, did a sweep of the courthouse and passed everyone inside through a metal detector without success.

The Patriot Ledger reports that court officers collected the names of everyone on the court list of appearances and also searched the parking lot, the bushes and underneath vehicles without finding the weapon.


Posted by: joycebakes | Jan 30, 2013 06:47

I'm sure there is some kind of reason, but really!  I hope he washed his hands...  If it wasn't so dangerous it would be slapstick.  Please know that my comments up to now are not meant to treat this lightly and it is NOT funny!  But they are more to exaggerate the irresponsible, brain-dead carelessness in a situation of treating a gun so nonchalontly.  I sure hope and pray another deadly crime will not be charged to that gun.  A 357?  His 'off duty' gun?  If you can't be aware of a gun ALL THE TIME YOU WEAR IT, then don't wear it- save that for a responsible day.  Wouldn't you think he would have noticed a weight difference?  Maybe they should start putting GPS chips into the plastic or metal of the gun. I could find my dog with one phone call.  Insurance for gun owners? 

Posted by: totellthetruth | Jan 30, 2013 10:46

If its any consolation. They will find the person that took that gun. I'm sure they had surveillance cameras in the hallway outside that bathroom. Just see who went in/came out immediately after the Officer. Shame on the cop for being so careless with his weapon-no excuse.

 This whole theory is based on the fact that the Cameras WERE working in the Courthouse and not shut off due to budget cuts.

Posted by: Lou Ken Goud | Jan 30, 2013 17:51

OK unless the guy comes out of the bathroom waving the gun to the camera there isn't much you can really do.
You cant just smash in some ones door because they went to the bathroom after a cop did something irresponsible, That kind of stuff only happens in a policed state ...Oh wait a min...We are just about there aren't we?

I did the same thing just about ,with my wallet at a convenience store and actually caught the guy who went in after me, I kept him there till the cops came and the cop wouldn't search the kids truck. I had over $400 bucks in that wallet so I wrote the kids  plate down and the cops starts warn me!!!

I really do feel bad for this officer, they will never let him live this down & I pray to god nothing bad happens to anyone as a result of it.  I cant imagine the weight of that stress on my conscience.

Posted by: Joe Leggett | Feb 01, 2013 08:52

According to the S-T, The gun has been recovered, no charges as it has not been fired and the 'case is closed'.

Posted by: Knocked for six | Feb 02, 2013 07:20

Case should not be closed. Why would a police officer take out his firearm and put it down in a public bathroom? There are laws reguarding they responsibility of gun owners and this applies to police officers as well.

Posted by: harrythebarber | Feb 02, 2013 07:57

Wonder who got the reward????

Posted by: nova | Feb 03, 2013 12:59

The thing I don't like about this story's headline is that one could easily make the assumption that the officer who lost the gun was a Wareham officer.  I call that unfair.  Better to have read, "Plymouth Officer. . ."

Posted by: momof2 | Feb 03, 2013 18:48

I wouldn't worry about it NOVA. Shame on them if they don't take half a second to read the first sentence!


I am sure this was a pretty embarrassing situation. Kudos to the people that worked in finding the gun. Could have been a much worse ending thats for sure.

Posted by: nova | Feb 05, 2013 02:10

Thanks Mom, but some people only read the headlines.  I guess though that this was such a weird occurrence that people would read on.

Posted by: taxpayer wareham | Feb 05, 2013 12:43

This just verifies that their are two sets of standards, one for police and one for the rest of us. This violates the law, that is clear. The DA should be involved. The PPD should not be able to get away with this illegal action.

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