Above: SRO Bert Montalban, left, speaks to members of a parent group last year. Officer John Carter is on the right.
Humberto Montalban, Officer Bert to students at Cole Middle School, was arrested by the state police Wednesday, accused of sending harassing texts to an ex-girlfriend in June.
The arrest follows a complaint filed with the EG police against Montalban. EGPD asked the state police to investigate. According to a press release issued by the state police, the Major Crimes Unit found Montalban had sent his ex-girlfriend a series of text messages over the course of several days in June for the sole intention of causing emotional distress. He was charged with one misdemeanor count of cyberstalking/cyberharassment.
Montalban, 58, of West Warwick, has been on the EG police force since 2009, following a 25-year career with the Warwick police. He was named a student resource officer in 2013, working primarily at Cole Middle School, where he was a fixture. Montalban directed traffic at the beginning and end of each school day and knew most students by name.
He has been suspended with pay, as per the police Officers’ Bill of Rights, according to EGPD Chief Stephen Brown.
This is the third time an EGPD officer has been arrested in the past 15 months.
Scott Cole was arrested for a DUI in West Warwick in April 2018, then accused of sending inappropriate texts to a woman he arrested shortly after he returned to duty last August. He returned to duty in March. In June, Mark Edmonds Jr. was arrested and charged with three felony domestic assault charges. Edmonds, who had been on the job for less than a year and so was not protected by the Officers’ Bill of Rights, resigned a few days later.
Upon his arrest, Montalban was arraigned by Justice of the Peace Michael Robinson, and released on personal recognizance. He is due back in court on Aug. 16.