Despite a litany of complaints & lawsuits, why is Carl Holmes being promoted again?
POLICE Officer Christa Hayburn stayed holed up in the bathroom of the Philly Empire Lounge, in North Philadelphia, trying to figure out how to duck outside without being spotted by her boss.
She felt trapped and afraid. The door to the ladies room opened.
" 'Remember. Don't forget to tell me when you're leaving,' " her boss, Inspector Carl W. Holmes Jr., allegedly said from the doorway.
Earlier, he'd allegedly pulled her close and given her an unwanted kiss.
Finding no back exit, Hayburn waited until the bar had cleared out that night in January 2006. She left, walked to her car, put the keys in her door and, suddenly, she heard his voice.
Holmes, a 6-foot-6, 280-pound former offensive tackle for Temple, grabbed her hand and led her to his department-issued Dodge Durango, she said.
"I kept telling him I had to leave, my husband was waiting for me, that I had to go and I didn't want to do anything," Hayburn told the Daily News in an exclusive interview.
But Holmes, who is married, wouldn't listen, she said, adding that he touched her breasts, the inside of her thighs and placed his fingers in her vagina. He then allegedly unbuckled his pants, took her hand and forced her to rub his penis.
Hayburn, 36, said that she didn't resist more forcefully because she was afraid. She said that she didn't immediately report the alleged incident because she feared retaliation. When she did file a complaint with Internal Affairs in 2008, Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey demoted Holmes to captain.
"There was no wrongdoing. No criminal charges were ever filed, not even close to being filed," Holmes' attorney at that time, Wadud Ahmad, told the Daily News recently.
Holmes, 47, later regained the rank of inspector. Next month, he is expected to be promoted to chief inspector, even though complaints against him continue to pile up.
Internal Affairs has two open investigations on Holmes. One centers on an allegation of inappropriate behavior with a female civilian subordinate, which sources say is unlikely to be substantiated.
The other concerns an incident in which Holmes allegedly shot a raccoon outside his Roxborough home, where there is an outbreak of rabid raccons.
In addition to Hayburn's complaint, 11 people outside the Police Department have lodged complaints against Holmes during his 22-year career, mostly for physical abuse. Internal Affairs has substantiated only one of them.
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