Denver cops fired for practical joke, lie

CBS Denver
(CBS) DENVER - Two Denver police officers have been fired by the city for a 2010 incident where they tried to play a practical joke on a fellow officer, CBS Denver reports.

It involved telling some other cops that one of their own may be suicidal, and the humor was clearly lost on some.

According to CBS Denver, on Jan. 27, 2010, Officer Joshua Herrick, who worked out of Denver's District 6 substation, called Parker police while on duty to report that one of their officers who had called in sick, was at home, despondent and possibly suicidal. Parker police responded to the officer's home and were about to kick in the door, but Herrick and his co-prankster Thomas Sanchez later admitted it was all a joke that got out of hand.

Both officers were later charged with false reporting, but court records show a jury acquitted Herrick in 2011. The charge against Sanchez was dismissed in 2010.

Denver's manager of safety terminated both Herrick and Sanchez Nov. 27 for lying about the attempted prank, CBS Denver reports.

In his firing decision, Manager of Safety Alex Martinez wrote that the officers repeatedly lied about the incident.  Martinez wrote that both officers lied during Herrick's trial and were untruthful during the internal affairs investigation.

"Honesty is one of the department's most cherished core values. His untruthful and deceptive behavior breached this core value," wrote Martinez in his termination letters for both officers.

The pair can appeal their dismissal.