Saturday, December 20, 2008

Richard Laude Speaks out About Traffic Stop


A man spoke out for the first time Friday about a traffic stop involving a Tennessee state trooper.

Richard Laude said he told Trooper Jimmy Knowles he had the wrong guy when he was pulled over for speeding, but he said he was cited and even roughed up anyway.

Laude was pulled from his motorcycle by a Tennessee state trooper following a traffic stop on Oct. 4.

"I kept telling him, 'You have pulled over the wrong vehicle. It wasn't us,'" Laude said.

Laude was on his motorcycle with girlfriend Angela Cousens.

Knowles is under investigation.

"We're looking at the situation as a whole," said Col. Mike Walker of the Tennessee Highway Patrol. "We need to know everything involved in that traffic stop."

That night, Knowles said he clocked about a half-dozen motorcyclists speeding on Interstate 40 in Wilson County. He said they were going at least 133 mph.

Laude said he saw the speeding motorcycles, too, but wasn't part of the group.

"Another motorcycle passed me in excess of 130 miles per hour on the shoulder," said Laude.

The pursuit had gone on for nearly 30 miles when Knowles spotted Laude and pulled him over. Lebanon police cruiser video shows Laude on the side of the interstate.

"He instantly jerked me off the motorcycle, threw me onto the ground. He put his knee in my back," Laude said.

The video only shows Laude being pulled from his motorcycle.

Laude wasn't arrested, but he said the reckless endangerment citation could force him to lose his commercial driver's license. He's been driving trucks for more than 20 years.

The THP is investigating what happened, but Laude said he wants his day in court and Knowles off the job.

Cousens said Knowles forced her to sign a false statement about what happened.

Knowles has been with the THP for six years with no disciplinary problems.