Monday, August 11, 2008

After wife shot him, cop called a cop, not 911

When Eleanor Adderley fired four shots at her police chief husband in their Plantation, Florida home, he didn't call 911. Instead Frank Adderly called another top cop, Plantation Deputy Police Chief W. Howard Harrison.

Adderley had reached out to Harrison earlier the night of July 8 with concerns about his wife. Harrison said he and Adderley are on a contact list of upper-level police administrators in Broward County, and it is not uncommon for one chief to call another.

When asked if the situation was out of the ordinary, Harrison said: "Aside from the obvious? No. I get phone calls all the time."

Eleanor Adderley was charged with felony aggravated assault -- not attempted murder. She told authorities that she didn't intend to hit her husband -- only to scare him.

Formal charges were expected to be filed within the next week.

The shooting came less than two months after she learned about an affair her husband had. The facts of the case do not support charging her with attempted murder, said David Bogenschutz, Eleanor Adderley's attorney. "It's a horribly traumatic situation for her and her family as a whole, "he said. "She is dealing with it as best she can with the support of a lot of people and healthcare professionals."

Despite criticism from outsiders, the majority of Fort Lauderdale city commissioners have defended Adderley and described it as a private matter. "'He has personal problems in his family he needs to get through," said City Commissioner Cindi Hutchinson, who called Adderley a "good police chief."

At least one person is calling for a city of Fort Lauderdale investigation into Adderley's actions.

"Maybe he didn't want the media to find out he and his wife were running into apparently serious domestic issues," said Ken Harms, former city of Miami police chief who testifies on police matters. "Why did he call another deputy chief of another department rather than 911?"

He questioned how Eleanor Adderley got access to the chief's gun. "Did he leave it unsecured and if so why? His failure to properly secure his weapon raises serious concerns," (info from the Miami Herald)

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