Saturday, October 10, 2009

OHP Releases Report on Trooper Daniel Martin

A Holdenville man was sweating and was in “fight or flight mode” before he was arrested by a state trooper during a scuffle last week, an incident report states.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol released the report Friday on an Oct. 3 arrest in Holdenville that led to two troopers’ being put on paid administrative leave.

The release of the report followed a Tulsa World request under the state’s Open Records Act seeking the trooper incident report and a copy of a complaint filed against the troopers.

The World also requested the release of videotapes from the dashboard cameras from the troopers’ cars.

OHP Capt. Chris West said the videotapes would be released to all media once the agency’s investigators are through with their review. As to the complaint filed against the troopers, West said that is part of the investigation and not a public document.

The OHP released a narrative of the incident, a copy of the probable cause affidavit into the arrest that was filed in Hughes County District Court, plus the incident report from Trooper Tommy Allen.

Allen and Trooper Daniel Martin were put on leave as a result of the complaint.

Martin landed in the national spotlight earlier this year after he scuffled with a Creek Nation paramedic in May in Okfuskee County. The OHP suspended him without pay for five days in July as a result of that encounter.

The complaint against Martin and Allen stems from the arrest of Kristopher Douglas, 28, of Holdenville, who was charged with obstructing an officer, a misdemeanor.

In his report, Allen said a motorist, identified as Lucas Carson, ran a red light and was pulled over. The motorist pulled into the driveway of a home on Creek Street.

Martin, Allen’s backup officer, also arrived on the scene and was standing by as Allen dealt with the driver.

Allen said that while he was interviewing the driver, Martin made contact with Douglas, who came up behind the two patrol cars.

According to Allen, Martin asked Douglas to step aside, to which Douglas responded that he was on his way to his uncle’s house, which was at the end of the driveway where the traffic stop occurred.

Allen said Douglas continued to try to walk past them despite three requests from Martin that he stand by the street until the troopers were finished with the traffic stop.

Allen said he confronted Douglas about ignoring Martin’s commands and then took a soft hold of Douglas’ right hand.

He said Douglas stared down at his hand and then at the trooper, then back down to his hand and then stared at Allen again.

Allen said he released his hold only after Douglas stepped back.

“Trooper Martin knew from his past law-enforcement experience that Mr. Douglas was in the 'fight or flight mode,’?” Allen wrote. “At this time Mr. Douglas was sweating, and this was on a cool evening where the temperatures were in the low 60s.

“Mr. Douglas was clenching his teeth and blading himself as if he was angry.”

At that point, Allen said, Martin pulled out his retractable baton and expanded it.

Allen said he went to arrest Douglas by taking hold of his left arm and putting it behind his back. Allen then said he swung his right arm around Douglas’ neck in order to get him face-down on the ground.

While he was taking Douglas to the ground, Allen said, Martin struck Douglas once on the leg with the baton.

Allen wrote that Martin used the baton because he thought Allen needed assistance and “because Douglas was a large-size individual, resisting, and appeared to be under the influence of some type of drug.”

Douglas is described in court records as being 6 feet 1 inch tall and weighing 240 pounds.

He has a drug conviction out of Oklahoma County for which he received a suspended sentence, records show. His attorney said Douglas successfully completed that sentence.

After Douglas was subdued, he was put in a patrol car and taken to the Hughes County Jail. He posted bond and was released about 90 minutes later.

Douglas’ uncle, Jerry Ford, witnessed the arrest and believes that the troopers overreacted and used excessive force.

He said Douglas, who lives across the way from him, was not involved in the traffic stop at all and was merely coming over to his house to help him install drywall.

While Douglas was sitting on the ground in handcuffs, his wife came from across the street with a baby in her arms, en route to Ford’s house, the OHP report noted.

The report said she was allowed to pass through the scene “since she did not present a threat and was carrying a small child in the cool air.”

No comments: