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Cape police: Group claims city computer system, web site hacked

By Staff | May 1, 2015

The city of Cape Coral says a group unhappy with a plea arrangement reached in the wake of an arrest outside a downtown business last summer claims it has has “unlawfully intruded” into the city’s website and computer system and is threatening to release personal information on 300 Cape Coral Police Department officers.

“Since last Thursday, the Cape Coral Police Department has been receiving threats from a group that is unhappy with a verdict in a court case,” the release issued Friday states.

“Travis Robey, 21, took a plea to a felony charge of Resisting and Officer With Violence following his arrest on June 29, 2014 when he fought with officers outside of a Cape Coral pool hall.

“Since then, the group has been posting threatening videos online and conducting a ‘doxing’ attack against department personnel. Doxing is a when someone searches for and publishes private or identifying information about (a particular individual) on the Internet, typically with malicious intent.”

The city says the group claims it has “intruded” into the city’s computer system and website. City officials say that is not the case; neither the web site nor the system have been hacked.

Nonetheless, the department and the city’s Information Technology department have been working to secure the city’s networks and systems, police officials said, adding they also have reported the matter.

“The Cape Coral Police Department is working with multiple State and Federal partners on the ongoing criminal investigation,” said CCPD spokesperson Det. Sergeant Dana Coston in the release. “The Cape Coral Police Department takes threats against its personnel, whether explicit or implied, very seriously. We are vigorously exploring all investigative avenues at every level.”

The department did not name the group but southfloridacopblock.com, a police watchdog web site that focuses on alleged police misuse of authority and excessive force, reported that the group is Anonymous Hackers Group.

The Anonymous Facebook page includes the following April 28 post:

“Greetings Cape Coral Police, This is Anonymous. It has come to our attention that you chose to use unnecessary force of action on June 29, 2014 against a mister Travis Robey. The nation as a whole saw the video recorded by his friend. Since then the citizens of not only Cape Coral but of the state of Florida asked for the termination of Officer George Ann Lytle, Hugh Esterly, Coby Palmer, and Officer Christenson which you did not comply to Chief Bart Connelly. You not complying shows lack of caring for the citizens of Cape Coral. You did not even address the public on their grievances. Well Travis Robey finally had his chance to appear in court yesterday April 22nd 2015 to prove his innocence and out of fear he was forced to plead guilty to resisting arrest for his family’s sake before the jurors were even selected. In result he did not have his day in court. We are anonymous and we have decided to hold the case in our court for we are the judge and the jury. We have found the defendant not guilty. We demand that the four officers involved to be terminated. For wasting our courts time we have compiled a list of your entire active 300 plus officers’ addresses, phone numbers, and social media sites. Along with the video we will be posting 30 of those. For every two days you keep the four officers on your pay roll we will add another 30 of your officers. You should really keep a tighter security of your server data. We suggest you heed our warning chief. To the Cape Coral Police Department, expect us.”

Robey, who is now 21, pleaded guilty to Resisting an Officer with Violence, a third degree felony, and was sentenced to 24 months probation, paying court costs, and 100 hours of community service, an earlier release from the CCPD states.

Police say Robey was arrested on June 29, 2014 outside of BA Hustler’s “after officers responded to a call of a suspicious person yelling and hitting a car in the parking lot. When Officers made contact with Robey at his truck, they saw cannabis in plain view and began a narcotics investigation.”

Robey reportedly “became verbally and physically resistant towards officers and attempted to run away” after officers said they were detaining him so they could conduct their investigation.

Police say officers chased Robey into a nearby field and attempted to take him into custody but he reportedly “continued to resist despite repeated verbal orders.” He was tasered and pepper sprayed and “When the resistance escalated and Robey began striking Officers with fists, he was subdued with a baton.”

He was charged with Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer, Resisting With Violence, Possession of Marijuana, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Robey, who told officers he was waiting outside for his girlfriend to get off of work from the bar as he was underage, suffered a broken leg. His arrest photo posted the Lee County Jail site shows visible bruising about the face.

The confrontation was videotaped by a witness and appeared on various websites as cited in the Anonymous post.

Roby and his parents alleged excessive use of force and the department opened an internal investigation into the complaint.

A message requesting contact left on the Anonymous Facebook page had not been answered at the time this story was posted.