Four Oakland police officers placed on leave following bizarre assault incident

Updated 4:19 pm, Wednesday, February 24, 2016
A police vehicle is parked at 7th Avenue and International Boulevard in the Eastlake neighborhood of Oakland, Calif. on Saturday, May 17, 2014.  less
Four Oakland police officers have been placed on paid administrative leave in connection with a bizarre incident that ended with the arrest of one officer on assault charges and allegations that the Police Department attempted a cover up.
The case revolves around a Dec. 7 incident in which the alleged victim, Olga Cortez, an Alameda County probation officer, called 911 to say that two men in their 20s appeared to be wanting to force their way into her home and that one may be armed. At one point, she said, she was assaulted by one of the men.
The men turned out to be police officers who were apparently off duty and had been drinking at a nearby bar. The Police Department says the four officers on leave were involved in the incident, although they are not specifying how except for the one who was arrested.
Police officer Cullen William Faeth was arrested on suspicion of assault and public intoxication. Police said that at the time he did not have a gun and was wearing plain clothes.
The strange confrontation happened at about 9:30 p.m., according to her attorney John Burris, who has called a news conference this afternoon.
“The family was traumatized (by) the officers’ conduct,” a statement from Burris reads. It goes on to accuse Oakland police of trying to cover up the incident to protect the officers.
The criminal investigation is complete, police said, and the case is currently being reviewed by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.
An Internal Affairs investigation within the department is ongoing.
Rachel Swan and Kimberly Veklerov are San Francisco Chronicle staff writers. Email:,
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