Oxford cop apologizes, says '$500 fee' comment was 'sarcastic' - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Oxford cop apologizes, says '$500 fee' comment was 'sarcastic'

Posted: Updated:
Officer Todd Barraco says his comment about a "$500 fee" was "sarcastic" and he apologizes. Officer Todd Barraco says his comment about a "$500 fee" was "sarcastic" and he apologizes.
OXFORD, Mich. (WJBK) -

Oxford Police Officer Todd Barraco is stepping forward with his side of the story after a man accused him of being a cop for hire.

"I'm required to keep my composure, and I didn't do that," said Barraco.

Nathaniel Bennett told us he tried to get the Oxford police officer to help him deal with a domestic issue to avoid a potentially violent situation and was told if he wanted to be helped out, he would have to pay up.

"I charge a $500 fee.  I want $500 cash if I'm going to be your personal service to go over and exchange messages.  Can you drop off $500 cash to my police department please?" Barraco can be heard saying in a recorded phone conversation.

"That sounds like bribery and extortion," Bennett responded.

"Pure frustration moment.  I was dealing with some other cases that were pretty high emotion," Barraco explained.  "I know Mr. Bennett was dealing with a relationship that [had] gone bad, and I made a sarcastic comment to him.  For that I apologize to him."

Barraco claims he didn't mean it, and he wanted to make that clear to Bennett, who agreed to meet with him at the police department.

"Mr. Barraco apologized.  He stated he was under a lot of stress, but he still should not have said what he said," Bennett said afterwards.  "I believe he does need to be held accountable for his actions, but at the same time, he still does need to have some livelihood."

Oxford Police Chief Michael Neymanowski has suspended Barraco without pay until he completes his investigation.

"There [are] rules and general orders that he did violate within my agency.  So at this particular time, I'm taking all the information.  There is going to be certainly some disciplinary actions taking place because what he did was certainly wrong," the chief said.

However, this isn't the first time Barraco has been in trouble with Oxford Police.  He was disciplined for verbal misconduct a couple of years ago and we've learned before that for some misconduct when he was a juvenile probation officer in Lapeer County.  The chief judge said Barraco agreed to resign after he was caught bugging his boss' office.

"No I was not.  That's incorrect," said Barraco.  "He's wrong, and I left to go into another career."

Barraco later admitted to us off camera he recorded his job evaluation, and he decided it was in his best interest to leave.

Barraco is currently a part-time officer with Oxford Police, but his full-time job is principal at Venture High School, an alternative high school in Imlay City where he helps troubled kids turn their lives around.

"I'm an adult, and I tell them that if you make a mistake, come in, we'll talk about it, and that includes me.  I will always do that.  If I make a mistake, own up to it and move on," Barraco said.

Neymanowski said he did consult the prosecutor's office on this, but was told it didn't qualify as bribery or extortion and should be handled internally.

The chief said he should have his investigation wrapped up by next week.

  • Taryn AsherTaryn AsherMore>>

  • Community comes together to support slain Armada teen's family

    Community comes together to support slain Armada teen's family

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:55 PM EDT2014-07-31 03:55:10 GMT
    Nearly a week after 14-year-old April Millsap was found murdered in the small town of Armada, friends, family and even those who didn't know the young girl gather for music in the park - this time hoping for justice.They were there to help raise money to ease the burden on April's heartbroken mother."We're as well as can be expected," said aunt Sarah Lichtenfelt. "They are just grateful for all the prayers and support, that's all we ask is to keep praying for strength."In the middle of it all...
    Nearly a week after 14-year-old April Millsap was found murdered in the small town of Armada, friends, family and even those who didn't know the young girl gather for music in the park - this time hoping for justice.They were there to help raise money to ease the burden on April's heartbroken mother."We're as well as can be expected," said aunt Sarah Lichtenfelt. "They are just grateful for all the prayers and support, that's all we ask is to keep praying for strength."In the middle of it all...
  • Man accused of calling taxi to move a body

    Man accused of calling taxi to move a body

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:20 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:20:50 GMT
    A mother is struggling with the fact that her 21-year-old daughter lost her battle with drug addiction, and then she learns the despicable lengths two people went to get rid of her child's body.
    A mother is struggling with the fact that her 21-year-old daughter lost her battle with drug addiction, and then she learns the despicable lengths two people went to get rid of her child's body.
  • Renisha McBride's family leaves courtroom as photos are shown

    Renisha McBride's family leaves courtroom as photos are shown

    Thursday, July 24 2014 6:29 PM EDT2014-07-24 22:29:16 GMT
    On day two of the trial for Renisha McBride's shooting death, the final hours of her life and the moments after her death were detailed in court. Thursday the jury heard what Ted Wafer, her accused killer, told police about the shooting that night.  
    On day two of the trial for Renisha McBride's shooting death, the final hours of her life and the moments after her death were detailed in court. Thursday the jury heard what Ted Wafer, her accused killer, told police about the shooting that night.  

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Twitter tussle erupts after Price traded from Tampa Bay to Detroit

    Twitter tussle erupts after Price traded from Tampa Bay to Detroit

    Thursday, July 31 2014 7:31 PM EDT2014-07-31 23:31:19 GMT
    A friendly scuffle broke out on Twitter after the news Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price was traded to Detroit.
    A friendly scuffle broke out on Twitter after the news Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price was traded to Detroit.
  • Dearborn man bound for trial for fatal soccer referee punch

    Dearborn man bound for trial for fatal soccer referee punch

    Thursday, July 31 2014 7:14 PM EDT2014-07-31 23:14:05 GMT
    A Dearborn man will see a trial for second degree murder, accused of killing a soccer referee with one punch.Baseel Abdul-Amir Saad was bound over for trial in the death of John Bienewicz in 16th District Court today.Saad was ejected from an adult soccer game in Livonia -- when witnesses say he turned around and punched Bienewicz in the face June 29 .A Wayne County medical examiner testified that Bienewicz lost consciousness before he hit the ground.The defense said that it was a competitive ...
    A Dearborn man will see a trial for second degree murder, accused of killing a soccer referee with one punch.Baseel Abdul-Amir Saad was bound over for trial in the death of John Bienewicz in 16th District Court today.Saad was ejected from an adult soccer game in Livonia -- when witnesses say he turned around and punched Bienewicz in the face June 29 .A Wayne County medical examiner testified that Bienewicz lost consciousness before he hit the ground.The defense said that it was a competitive ...
  • Testimony: Renisha McBride pounded on homeowner's door before being fatally shot

    Testimony: Renisha McBride pounded on homeowner's door before being fatally shot

    Thursday, July 31 2014 6:15 PM EDT2014-07-31 22:15:47 GMT
    DETROIT (AP) -- A former medical examiner sparred with a prosecutor Thursday over a wound on the hand of a woman who was fatally shot on a Detroit-area porch, telling jurors it seems to fit the defense's claim that Renisha McBride was pounding on the homeowner's doors before she was killed.Dr. Werner Spitz, a forensic pathologist, said photos of McBride's body show a "small superficial laceration" on her left hand. It "could have come from pounding on something," Spitz said.The testimony was ...
    DETROIT (AP) -- A former medical examiner sparred with a prosecutor Thursday over a wound on the hand of a woman who was fatally shot on a Detroit-area porch, telling jurors it seems to fit the defense's claim that Renisha McBride was pounding on the homeowner's doors before she was killed.Dr. Werner Spitz, a forensic pathologist, said photos of McBride's body show a "small superficial laceration" on her left hand. It "could have come from pounding on something," Spitz said.The testimony was ...
Powered by WorldNow

WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
5151 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016
Main Number: (202) 244-5151
Newsroom: (202) 895-3000
fox5tips@wttg.com

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices