By Carlos Miller

Bay City cops

Former Bay City public safety officers Keath B. Bartynski, Brian K. Ritchey (from 2002) and Don Aldrich via Michigan Live.


Three Michigan police officers were forced to resign this week after they were caught on video stealing a man’s phone who had photographed a cop car parked on the wrong side of the road before posting it on Facebook.

And all it took was a seven-week investigation in which Bay City officers Brian Ritchey, Don Aldrich and Keath Bartynski sat at home on paid administrative leave.


Meanwhile, prosecutors are still trying to determine if they will file criminal charges against any of the officers.

The stolen phone? That’s still missing.

However, a 20-second video clip from another citizen shows the phone in the hands of one of the officers after they had placed the man in handcuffs and forced him to sit in the back of a police car.

According to Michigan Live:

Bay City attorney Jason Gower, who said he is representing the man who filed the complaint, said the alleged incident in question took place at Steamer’s Pub, 108 N. Linn St. He said his client — whom neither he nor police have named — told him the incident began after he stepped outside the bar and took a photograph using his Samsung S3 smartphone of a police Chevrolet Tahoe parked nearby.

He said his client uploaded the photo to Facebook with the caption: “Bay City’s finest illegally parked so they can flirt with a Bay City bartender, keep it up Brian Ritchie [sic] you’re doing our city proud.”

Gower said his client told him Ritchey later entered Steamer’s and, along with Aldrich, who was at the bar off duty, confronted his client. Gower said his client used his phone to record the two officers’ encounter with his client.

A short time later, Gower’s client told him, Bartynski arrived while on duty. Gower’s client told him the three officers later went outside where Bartynski placed the man in handcuffs, searched him and put him into the back of a police Tahoe.

Gower said his client told him he was later released, and his client said his cell phone went missing and has yet to turn up.

If they don’t get criminally charged, the cops will probably end up rehired at another police agency where they will likely be in the news again if history is any indicator.

After all, as Michigan Live reports, Richey has had a DWI, Aldrich has been sued for assault and Bartynski has been accused of civil rights violations.

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