Riverside Police Detective Scott Alan Impola Charged with Beating

[ Arraignment set for Tuesday, 12/29/2009 0 8:30 AM Department 22A Riverside ]

A Riverside Police Department detective is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday on misdemeanor charges that accuse him of forcing his way into the apartment of his estranged wife and beating her male companion, according to court documents.

Det. Scott Alan Impola (this might be him) faces one count each of running an unauthorized license plate check on an SUV driven by Michael Ernest Garcia, trespassing by forcing his way into the Riverside home of Tina Anderson Impola, and assaulting Garcia.

The crimes were committed June 4 along the 19700 block of Westerly Drive after the off-duty detective spotted Garcia’s white 2004 Toyota parked in front of Tina Impola’s home, District Attorney’s Investigator Adrian Soler said in an affidavit filed in support of the arrest warrant.

Defense attorney Michael James Schaaf declined to discuss the situation yesterday saying he hadn’t seen any of the police or prosecution documents.

“Scott Impola is a good cop,” Schaaf said of his client. “But I don’t want to comment” on the case.

Impola remains employed by the police department pending the outcome of the court case and an administrative investigation, said Sgt. Jaybee Brennan. Court records don’t indicate if Impola has been formally arrested and booked.

At the time of the confrontation, the 42-year-old detective and his wife had been separated about a year and lived apart, according to the affidavit.

Impola was outside his wife’s apartment about 9 p.m. when he requested the records check, which constituted a willful and unauthorized disclosure of Department of Motor Vehicles information, Soler wrote.

Impola looked through the living room window about 9:45 p.m. and saw her and Garcia on a couch, Soler wrote. When Tina Impola saw her husband, she confronted him on the front porch, then went back inside and shut the door, the affidavit says.

Seconds later, the detective knocked on the door and said he wanted to talk, but allegedly pushed his way inside when his wife opened the door.

“The suspect then used his hand to choke (Garcia) and punched the victim in the head with his fist,” Soler wrote. “Suspect Impola eventually let go of the victim, walked outside and waited for the police.”

Impola invoked his Miranda rights and refused to make a statement, according to the court document.

Paramedics treated Garcia for bruises on his forehead, scratches on his neck and cheek, and swollen eyes.

Impola is described in the affidavit as 6-feet-2 and 210 pounds. Garcia’s size isn’t mentioned.

Reach Richard Brooks at 951-368-9462 or rbrooks@PE.com

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