By Danielle Armour
Authorities arrested and charged a Delray Beach police officer after he allegedly lied on police reports to cover up his relationship with a woman who acted as a confidential informant.
Officer David Melville Chin, 36/35, a member of the Department’s Street Narcotics Enforcement Unit, became entangled in a web of flirtation and lies, officials said. He is facing one count of perjury and three counts of official misconduct in the Aug. 15 arrest.
It is the second time in 30 days that prosecutors have investigated charges involving a Delray Beach police officer.
On Aug. 2, the state attorney’s office declined to prosecute Officer Frank Umbriac on charges that he had sex with a woman while on duty. The woman, who was drunk at the time, later told investigators that she had consensual sex with Umbriac, whom she called a “hot cop.”
Umbriac, who is on paid administrative leave, is still the subject of an internal investigation.
Chin, who is married, allegedly lied to investigators on numerous occasions, to conceal text messages, from April to September 2011, which documented a flirtatious, inappropriate relationship with Natalie Jerue, 26, of Hobe Sound, whom he arrested and eventually became his confidential informant, according to his arrest report.
The sworn statements Chin made during a deposition were in direct conflict with the text messages, the report showed. It wasn’t until several pages of text printouts were in his hand, that he admitted to romantically pursuing her. They never actually went out on a date, Chin said.
According to the arrest report by the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office, Chin crossed paths with Jerue, a friend of a confidential informant, in April 2011. Chin expressed his interest in dating Jerue by sending multiple text messages asking her out on dates.
Months passed by, then Chin charged Jerue with trafficking Oxycodone in June 2011. But the investigation into Chin, exposed fraudulent facts in some of the report for this arrest, investigators said.
In a misguided effort to persuade the State’s Attorney’s Office to dismiss the Jerue case, Chin presented a memo to the assistant state attorney authored by Officer Meer Deen. The memo states on the day of her arrest, Jerue “started providing information to the Police Department that led to several narcotics arrests within the City of Delray Beach, the seizure of approximately 200 Oxycodone pills, several handguns, a rifle and $3,800 in cash — all lies, according to the report.
This seizure, mentioned in the memo, refers to items recovered during a separate case, officials said.
Deen, unknowingly, wrote the probable- cause affidavit related to Jerue’s arrest, solely from adulterated statements Chin gave to him, leading to yet another falsified document resulting from Chin’s unrequited infatuation, investigators said.
Chin, who is out on bail, is on administrative leave.
Police Chief Anthony Strianese said in a written statement that whenever a police officer is arrested and charged with a crime, the negative implication affects not only the agency for which the officer is employed, but the entire police profession.
“As an agency, we regret any unfavorable perceptions that may result from this incident,” he said. “Despite this or any incident, our agency will continue to provide the exceptional service that our community has become accustomed to and deserves. This incident is not a direct reflection of the dedication and hard work done daily by the men and women of the Delray Beach Police Department.”
The chief said he remains confident in the systems that are in place.
“The Delray Beach Police Department does not condone and will not overlook violations of our policies and procedures and certainly will not allow violations of the law,” he said. “We will now let this case proceed through the criminal justice system.”