A police officer in Ossining, New York, has been arrested on criminal charges after allegedly sending herself menacing text messages and then falsely blaming her colleagues, according to the Westchester District Attorney’s Office. Officer Emily Hirshowitz, who joined the Ossining Police Department in 2016, now faces multiple felony charges.
Hirshowitz was charged last Wednesday with three counts of first-degree filing a false instrument, a felony, and four counts of third-degree falsely reporting an incident. The charges stem from an incident last year when she filed a complaint with the DA’s office, claiming to have received harassing and anonymous texts on her personal phone. In her complaint, she accused fellow police officers of being involved in the harassment.
The investigation began when Hirshowitz provided screenshots of the messages to investigators, which contained disturbing content, including threats urging her to commit suicide and derogatory insults. Concerns escalated as local police and leaders became involved, considering the messages increasingly threatening. The DA’s office continued the investigation despite Hirshowitz expressing her desire to withdraw the complaint.
Following an extensive investigation, the DA’s office obtained a warrant to search Hirshowitz’s phone and Apple iCloud account. The investigators discovered that several phone numbers associated with the messages were owned by the police officer, leading them to suspect she was the source of the messages. However, the court documents also indicated the involvement of another individual known to the DA’s office in connection with three additional messages.
The specific officer suspected of sending the messages was not identified in the court documents, but local attorney Paul DerOhannesian, representing former Ossining police Officer Louis Rinaldi, confirmed that his client is under investigation in relation to the text messages. Rinaldi had previously resigned due to unrelated disciplinary charges.
Hirshowitz was released after her arrest and is scheduled to appear in White Plains City Court on July 12, according to her attorney. The Ossining Police Department suspended her with pay in June.
The Ossining Police Department, the DA’s office, Rinaldi’s attorney, and Hirshowitz’s attorney have not yet responded to requests for additional comments.
As this case unfolds, there is growing confusion surrounding the allegations, with many details yet to be revealed. The authorities involved are expected to continue their investigation to uncover the truth behind the alleged fabrication of the menacing text messages.