Romulus police 'passed' on officer involved in Floyd Dent beating in 2011

There is new information about William Melendez, the police officer charged in the beating of Floyd Dent, and one city's police department that passed on him.

Melendez applied to the Romulus Police Department in 2011, while he was still employed in Inkster.

Looking back, Romulus Police Chief Jadie Settles says he is happy Melendez did not get the job.

On paper it seems he's everything you'd want in a police officer.

"The training, the experience, the military background," he said. "But you've got to look beyond that. You know, what kind of problems has this guy had in the past?"

But former Romulus Police Chief Robert Dickerson already knew the answer. FOX 2 obtained the application and resume William Melendez submitted.

He played up his SWAT training, experience heading up a narcotics unit and five years of service in the military.

But Dickerson, aware of Melendez and the "Robocop" moniker, said no thanks. 

Dickerson called him, "An overly aggressive officer involved in a federal investigation while working with Detroit police" at the time.

"Anybody in law enforcement back then knew about that investigation," said Settles. "And that was one of the reasons why Dickerson at the time didn't hire him."

Settles worked the vice unit for the Wayne County Sheriff in southwest Detroit. where he became well acquainted with Robocop's rep.

"A lot of the prostitutes and street dealers we would run into were terrified of this guy," Settles said. "Even just seeing him drive down the street, they would tell us these stories of things he had allegedly done to them. We had no way of verifying any of those claims."

Three years after Romulus police rejected Melendez, he faced a judge for punching out Floyd Dent after a traffic stop in Inkster.

FOX 2 showed Dent's lawyer Melendez's application.

"It says enough right there," Greg Rohl said. "Rejected, no interview necessary. So, someone was smart enough to recognize this guy was going to be a problem for the public.

"I'm glad someone was astute enough to recognize it. My question is what happened in Inkster."

When Romulus Police Chief Settles saw this video, he wasn't surprised.

"Not at all," he said. "When you got that type of background it's just a matter of time before you get caught up."

FOX 2: "How much of a bullet did you guys dodge?"

"A major bullet," Settles said.

Dickerson spoke with FOX 2 by phone and said he remembers the application. He said around the same time he fired a few Romulus officers after they were indicted in a Landing Strip case involving allegations of embezzling and racketeering.

Melendez's lawyer also spoke with FOX 2 and said that what may or may not have happened with another police department is of no concern.

He said they are only concerned with  Melendez's current charges including assault to do great bodily harm less than murder. He is due back in court next week.
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