Blackstone Police Officer Lied About Military Service To Get Veteran’s License Plates, Hasn’t Worked Since 2019, Collected Injury Pay From PTSD Because Coworkers Were Mean To Him
Editor’s Note: We discussed this story on the Live Show (4:55)
This is Blackstone Police Officer Gregory Tappan.
He became a BPD officer in 2015 but quickly became a lightning rod for controversy in the department. Tappan became a favorite of former Chief Ross Atstupenas, who was not well liked by the union or most officers. In July of 2018 the union took a vote of no confidence in Chief Atstupenas, and Tappan abstained. According to a lawsuit he later filed in federal court, Tappan was harassed by other Blackstone police officers as a result.
In 2018 Tappan was suspended after then Lt. Gregory Gilmore (now the chief) filed a complaint, accusing him of falsifying a police report during a drug bust. He was ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing and returned to work in April 2019.
However, according to the lawsuit filed by Tappan in federal court, officers were mean to him when he came back to work. Consequently he filed for injury-on-duty (IOD) benefits, claiming that he had PTSD from the bullying, because apparently having your feelings hurt by coworkers is injurious to a police officer.
On August 7, 2019 Tappan was placed on unpaid leave after they began to investigate him for fraud by applying to collect IOD benefits when he clearly wasn’t injured. Tappan briefly was on unpaid leave while they investigated the IOD claim, but after he lawyered up the Town of Blackstone temporarily granted his application for IOD benefits on November 20, 2019. On February 22, 2020, the town served him with involuntary retirement papers.
This prompted him to file his lawsuit which you can read here:Tappan_v_Town_of_Blackstone_et_al__madce-20-40028__0001.0
Earlier this year the town agreed to pay him his salary through December 31, 2022, rather than continue the costly litigation.
In 2019, following the vote of no confidence in Chief Atstupenas, the Board of Selectman voted to have an independent investigator look into whether or not Atstupenas had created a hostile work environment. There were allegations that officers were reprimanded without cause, while loyalists like Officer Tappan received favoritism and were not reprimanded or investigated for more serious allegations.
In particular Atstupenas was accused of ignoring three separate incidents regarding Tappan that were reported to him:
- In 2018 his then girlfriend caught him having an affair with another woman (a dental hygienist) when the woman called his phone and the girlfriend answered it. In order to convince his girlfriend that he wasn’t cheating, and that the hygienist was lying, he began to harass the hygienist at work and accused her of getting his number after he had gotten work done at her place of employment. She filed a harassment report with the Mansfield Police Department which they sent to Blackstone. Atstupenas failed to investigate.
- His girlfriend didn’t believe him and briefly left him to move closer to her family. He began to harass her at work, which prompted her to file a report with the Dartmouth Police Department in July 2018.
- His girlfriend took their dog with him to where she was staying in Westport, and he continued to harass her by filing a report with Westport PD, accusing her of stealing their dog.
In his findings Private Investigator Paul L’Italien reached the conclusion that Atstupenas did show favoritism to Tappan by not investigating him for the three alleged incidents in 2018, and that this was the root cause of the toxic work environment.
Atstupenas retired later in 2019.
Tappan continues to collect taxpayer money until the end of this month, despite not being injured and not having worked since 2019. He took many vacations during that time, made no attempts to find a new job, and was counting on a big pay day from his lawsuit to live off of.
During that time his former girlfriend had moved back into the home they bought together in Mansfield with her daughter. She began to notice things that she considered to be red flags, including $154 in drug money that he was supposed to return to the town (used as part of a narcotics investigation).
Tappan has told everyone, including his former girlfriend, that he was a combat veteran. The former girlfriend thought it was strange when she overheard him talking to his lawyer about the lawsuit and mentioned being discharged from the military. When she questioned him about it he reportedly got aggressive and angry, and then a week later had veteran plates on his car.
She believes he did this out of spite because she questioned his alleged service.
You will notice that it says “operation enduring freedom” on there. According to the Mass DOT form to get the Veteran’s Plates applicants must sign a document under the pains and penalty of perjury, stating that they served in wartime conflict.
Tappan had told her that he had served 3-4 years, but the timeframe always changed. She thought it was suspicious when he refused to apply for a VA loan when they bought their house in 2018, and gave the excuse that he didn’t want to deal with the VA. She ended up finding his discharge papers that showed he served less than a year in 2008 before being discharged.
To be clear, we did a FOIA request for ALL documentation of his service time, and this is the only one that was sent back.
As you can see on his DD 214, it makes no mention of serving overseas in Operation Enduring Freedom. It specifically says that he has no foreign service at all.
Veterans’ plates are issued to veterans who served:
• 180 days of regular active-duty service (enlisted or drafted service) and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions (does not include training), OR
• 90 days of active-duty service (Reservists or National Guard), one day of which is during “wartime” and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions (does not include training)
It’s unclear how he obtained these plates, but he doesn’t appear to qualify for them, and seems to have gotten them to spite his former girlfriend. What is clear is that on the RMV application Tappan falsely affirmed, under the penalties of perjury, the truthfulness of his veteran status and combat deployment status. Consequently he may be in violation of Stolen Valor MA General Laws, Part IV, c272, Title I, § 106.
On Box 2 of Tappan’s DD214 it says USMCCR-K1:
This is the identifier as enlisting in the Reserves, not active USMC. After boot camp and AIT he was discharged from activity duty for training and reassigned to a reserve unit at Ft Devens a US army base (box 9).
Prior to that she was under the impression that Petey PTSD had served in Afghanistan, as he had casually mentioned being deployed in conversations many times.
While this was going on Greg Tappan’s relationship with his girlfriend began falling apart. He became aggressive towards her and began to say demeaning things about her 12 year old daughter. In one exchange he said that the girl needed a beat down for being messy, called the girl a rat, and accused her mother of being a “pussy with her.”
Petey PTSD thought her parenting style wasn’t aggressive (or abusive) enough, and told her mother to “beat the f***ing intestines out of her.” He accused the girl of being lazy, despite the fact that he hasn’t worked in almost 4 years while living off the taxpayers.
After discovering all of this his girlfriend finally left him, but not before he took both of their German shepherds and began to pursue a relationship with their 22 year old dog walker Abbi Duross, who he spent the holidays with.
Abbi helped him steal the second dog by taking it and giving it back to the breeder without telling her. He kept the other German shepherd. In a prior conversation he told his girlfriend that he couldn’t stand living with the dog.
She wanted him to leave their house but he had nowhere to go so she allowed him to stay in their guest bedroom while she made plans to sell the house. However, one night in October he came home late after being out and she was sleeping in what used to be his bedroom. She woke up to him in the room, standing over her asking if she would “like getting f***ed” that night. She asked him to leave the bedroom and he took her cell phone and refused to give it back. When she threatened to call the police off of her watch he finally gave it back, but vowed to get her back. The next day she sent him a text about it, and he responded by gaslighting and insinuating that she was a whore.
She applied for and was granted an emergency ex parte order out of Attleboro District Court on October 28, but a full year order was denied less than a week later when he agreed to move out of the house.
Greg Tappan is a fraud, a manipulator, and a liar who said he had PTSD from coworkers being mean to him so that he could leech off the taxpayers for several years. He is currently driving around with stolen valor license plates in order to bolster his reputation as a respected police officer and marine, and has said disturbing things about children. He has never been charged with a crime, and due to the fact that the former chief never investigated prior allegations against him none of this will come up if applies to work with another department. Let’s hope