Members of the police department in Stow say they are “deeply disturbed, shocked and disgusted” after hearing that Stow Police Chief Ralph “Rusty” Marino was placed on indefinite leave over the weekend, and a video surfaced online which appeared to show him attempting to meet up with a 14-year-old boy.
“We fully understand that these alleged actions, if true, may serve to undermine the trust that the Stow Police Department has worked hard to create within the Stow community,” part of the statement, posted on the department’s Facebook page, says. “These alleged actions are outrageous in any civilized society but amplified in a small community such as Stow.”
On Saturday, April 18, 2020, representatives of the State Police met with Stow Police Chief Ralph “Rusty” Marino at the…
Marino placed himself on leave, and was “relieved of all duties” after meeting with members of the state police on Saturday. Sgt. Darren Thraen was named acting chief, according to a statement from the town.
“The Town of Stow and its police department will cooperate fully in any investigation of Chief Marino or any other matters,” part of the statement reads. “There is no reason to believe that the activities being investigated involve or concern the operations of the Stow Police Department.”
The statement doesn’t give a reason for Marino’s abrupt relief of duties. However, WCVB reported that a video posted on YouTube by a channel titled “Predator Poachers Massachusetts” appears to show Marino attempting to meet up with an underage boy. He is confronted by someone claiming to be an activist who says he attempts to catch predators by posing as minors online. The video has over 150,000 views as of Monday morning; it was posted on Sunday.
Town officials didn’t say in the statement if Marino is facing criminal charges.
Town officials plan to discuss formally making Thraen acting chief, and placing Marino on leave, at a meeting on Wednesday, the department’s statement said.
The department notes that it is “fully operative and ready to respond.”
“We thank the public for the trust that you have placed in us and we are working tirelessly to ensure that this trust is preserved and strengthened despite the allegations surrounding the news from this weekend,” part of the statement says.