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#2482: Louima Cop: I Wasn't In Stationhouse (fwd)


Louima Cop: I Wasn't  In Stationhouse 
By HELEN PETERSON  Daily News Staff Writer

Former Police Officer Charles Schwarz yesterday said he wasn't even in
the 70th Precinct stationhouse as the Abner Louima sodomy attack
unfolded in a bathroom. Clearly nervous and speaking in a slow,
deliberate manner, Schwarz  convicted last year of holding Louima down
as ex-Officer Justin Volpe sodomized him  said he was outside        
searching his patrol car. "I was never in that bathroom," Schwarz,      
34, said during nearly two hours of  questioning in Brooklyn Federal
Court by his defense lawyer, Ronald Fischetti.                       
The testimony marked the first time  Schwarz talked about the Aug. 9,
1997,assault under oath, telling a hushed courtroom that he was stunned
by his arrest.  "I was devastated that myself, a United States Marine, a
married man, a cop with eight years, is now being charged with this    
horrible crime," Schwarz said. "It was one of the worst moments in my
life." He said cops must search patrol cars for any type of contraband,
such as a weapon, prisoners may hide while being transported.          
He said he searched the backseat and underneath the front seats, found
nothing, and then briefly went back inside the stationhouse before going
to the hospital to have an injury to  his head and arm checked.    
Earlier, he said, he patted down Louima at the front desk after     
arresting him during a melee outside a Flatbush, Brooklyn,nightclub.He
said he processed paperwork as his partner, Officer  Thomas Wiese, and
Volpe argued about the arrest.  When Fischetti asked who escorted Louima
from the front  desk to the rear of the stationhouse, Schwarz said he
thought it was Wiese.  Schwarz said he talked about a tear in his
uniform with a patrol sergeant near the front desk after processing
Louima, and then went outside to search the car.Schwarz said he didn't
remember leaving the front of the stationhouse at any point while he was
in the stationhouse.Two other witnesses, both cops, have testified they
saw him leading Louima toward the bathroom in the rear of the          
stationhouse.Wiese, however, told investigators that he was the cop who
led Louima toward the bathroom  and that he later walked in on the
attack. Volpe pleaded guilty last year to shoving a broken broomstick
into Louima's rectum, and last week testified that Wiese  not        
Schwarz  was in the bathroom during the attack.Schwarz, Wiese and
another cop, Thomas Bruder, are charged with conspiring to obstruct
justice for allegedly making a pact  to lie in an effort to protect
Schwarz from being charged in the  attack.Schwarz is expected to
continue his testimony today when the trial resumes.