NOME, Alaska — A Nome Police Department employee told a colleague he punched a homeless woman while being on duty. Earlier this year, he has been rehired by the city as a police dispatcher.
The officer, known as Carl Putman admitted hitting the woman with a “balled fist” after she passed out, according to prosecutors. At that time, he lost his police department job, in February and pleaded guilty to 4th– degree assault.
The Police Department hired him back earlier this month, as a 911 dispatcher making $21.52 an hour. The woman – who was also a key witness in the 2003 murder case against Nome police officer Matthew Owens – said that she requires that he need to get jail time and not a new job.
According to the city officials, Putman was hired on a temporary basis to fill the need for dispatchers. And, he could be replaced as soon as a suitable employee is hired, said City Manager Tom Moran.
Putman, at the time of the case, admitted to police that he had picked Habros up on Front Street. She was under an effect and he planned to take her to the shelter. The victim passed out, and he couldn’t revive her.
Putman agreed to plead guilty and received a suspended imposition of sentence. He will not serve jail time if he meets the conditions of his release. But the woman wasn’t happy about the sentencing.
He said he hit her on the left side of her head, possibly above her ear. And according to the victim, he gave her a black eye.
The Nome Police Department rehired Putman on a temporary, emergency basis on August 4, city records showed.
As a dispatcher, he “acts as the initial point of delivery of law enforcement and public safety services to the community,” due to the city job description.
“I can’t trust them,” Habros says about the police.