Thursday, March 26, 2009

Officer Robert Powell Delays NFL Player as Relative Died

A police officer was placed on administrative leave Thursday over a traffic stop involving an NFL player whom he kept in a hospital parking lot and threatened to arrest while his mother-in-law died inside the building. Officer Robert Powell also drew his gun during the March 18 incident involving Houston Texans running back Ryan Moats in the Dallas suburb of Plano, police said.

"I can screw you over," he said at one point in the videotaped incident. When another officer came with word that Moats' mother-in-law was indeed dying, Powell's response was: "All right. I'm almost done."

Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle apologized to the family and announced that Powell would be on paid leave pending an internal investigation.

"When we at the command staff reviewed the tape, we were embarrassed, disappointed," Kunkle said. "It's hard to find the right word and still be professional in my role as the police chief. But the behavior was not appropriate."

Powell, 25, a three-year member of the force, stopped Moats' SUV outside Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano after Moats rolled through a red light.

Police officials said Powell told his commanders he believed he was doing his job, and that he drew his gun but did not point it. Kunkle said Powell was not necessarily acting improperly when he pulled his weapon out, but that once he realized what was happening should have put the gun back, apologized and offered to help the family in any way.

"His behavior, in my opinion, did not exhibit the common sense, the discretion, the compassion that we expect our officers to exhibit," Kunkle said.

Moats' wife, who was in the car along with other relatives, said Powell pointed his weapon at her.

"He was pointing a gun at me as soon as I got out of the car," Tamishia Moats told The Dallas Morning News.

The Moats family did not immediately return messages left by The Associated Press. Powell did not respond to requests for comment through the Dallas police union.

Video from a dashboard camera inside the officer's vehicle, obtained by Dallas-Fort Worth station WFAA-TV, revealed an intense exchange in which the officer threatened to jail Moats.

He ordered Tamishia Moats, 27, to get back in the SUV, but after pausing for a few seconds, she and another woman rushed into the hospital. She was by the side of her mother, 45-year-old Jonetta Collinsworth, when she died a short time later from breast cancer.

"Get in there," said Powell, yelling at Tamishia Moats as she exited the vehicle. "Let me see your hands!"

"Excuse me, my mom is dying," Tamishia Moats said. "Do you understand?"

Ryan Moats explained that he waited until there was no traffic before proceeding through the red light. When Powell asked for proof of insurance, Moats grew more agitated and told the officer to go find it.

"My mother-in-law is dying! Right now! You're wasting my time!" Moats yelled. "I don't understand why you can't understand that."

As they argued, the officer got irritated.

"Shut your mouth," the officer said. "You can either settle down and cooperate or I can just take you to jail for running a red light."

By the time the 26-year-old NFL player received a ticket and a lecture from Powell, about 13 minutes had passed. When he and Collinsworth's father entered the hospital, they learned Collinsworth was dead.

Kunkle said the video showed that Moats and his wife "exercised extraordinary patience, restraint in dealing with the behavior of our officer."

"At no time did Mr. Moats identify himself as an NFL football player or expect any kind of special consideration," Kunkle said. "He handled himself very, very well."

The Moats family, who are black, said they can't help but think that race might have played a part in the white officer's behavior.

"I think he should lose his job," Ryan Moats said.

When the exchange was at its most contentious, Powell said he could tow Moats' SUV if he didn't have insurance and that he could arrest him for fleeing because he didn't immediately stop when Powell turned on his sirens. The pursuit lasted a little more than a minute.

"I can screw you over," Powell said. "I'd rather not do that. Your attitude will dictate everything that happens."

The ticket issued to Moats was dismissed, Dallas police spokesman Lt. Andy Harvey said.

Texans spokesman Kevin Cooper said the team had no comment.

Moats, a third-round draft choice of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2005 out of Louisiana Tech, was cut by the Eagles in August and later signed with the Texans. In three seasons as a backup, he's rushed for 441 yards and scored four touchdowns.

He was a standout at Bishop Lynch High School, a private school in Dallas, rushing for more than 2,600 yards and 33 touchdowns as a senior.

Veteran Officer Donald Greer Arrested for Domestic Incident


A 24-year veteran police officer was called into city headquarters while on duty Wednesday and arrested on threatening and disorderly conduct charges, a department spokesman said.

Police said the charges against Officer Donald Greer, 46, stem from an domestic incident but provided no details. Greer was released on a promise to appear in court Thursday.

"The details of the arrest are a personal issue," Lt. Sean Cooney said.

Cooney said he would not comment further and would not identify where the alleged incident occurred or where Greer resides.

Cooney said Greer turned in his badge and firearm and was placed on paid suspension, pending a review of the charges by the department's Internal Affairs division.

State domestic violence laws require residents to give up their firearms if they are accused of a crime from a domestic incident until the courts resolve the case, Cooney said. That could be a factor when police determine the length of Greer's suspension, Cooney said.

"He's been a good policeman for 24 years," Cooney said.

Former Officer Clovis Lovelace Faces Several Charges


A former Paducah police officer was arrested on several charges.

Clovis L. Lovelace, 63, a retired Paducah police officer, was arrested at his home on the 1400 block of Reed Avenue.

Lovelace was arrested on charges of first-degree stalking, first-degree criminal mischief, first-degree possession of a controlled substance (cocaine), first-degree possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, second-degree fleeing or evading police and resisting arrest.

Police received a report from Paul Bell that someone had shot out two windows and three tires on his pickup truck parked on North 11th Street sometime Monday night or Tuesday morning.

An investigation by Det. Mike Wentworth of the Paducah Police Department identified Lovelace as a suspect.

Det. Joe Hayes with the Paducah Police Department watched Lovelaces's home while search warrants were being obtained.

According to authorities, Lovelace confronted Det. Hayes and left the home in his vehicle when police attempted to arrest him.

Police say Lovelace later drove back to his home and was then arrested by police.

Police found more than 15 guns, one of which is believed to be the gun used to shoot Bell's vehicle as well as drugs and drug paraphernalia in Lovelace's home.

Clovis L. Lovelace was booked into the McCracken County Regional Jail.


Arraignment Set for Officer Joseph Houston Charged with Assault & Battery


The Associated Press reported that former Brewster Police Officer Joseph Houston,29, is charged with assault and battery and open and gross lewdness stemming from an incident at a Metallica concert Jan. 18.

Houston, who is no longer with the Brewster Police Department, was accused by parents of a concertgoer of allegedly urinating on the concertgoer and harassing his 17 year-old sister in a lewd manner. He was later arrested for trespassing by Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Police.

Arraignment is scheduled for April 8.

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Officer Richard Geib Charged with Assault


A police officer who lives in the township was charged Tuesday with simple assault against a 20-year-old woman at his home last week, police said Thursday.

Patrolman Richard Geib, 50, according to a police complaint, allegedly grabbed the woman around her neck, shoved her to the ground causing bruising and minor injury.

The incident allegedly happened on St. Patrick’s Day, and the woman reported it to police a week later.

Police said the woman obtained a restraining order against him.

Geib posted $1,000 bail with a 10 percent option, and has been suspended with pay pending the outcome of the case, police said.

He is scheduled to appear before a judge in Morristown on Wednesday.

Officer Russell Bushaw Arrested for Shoplifting


A Logansport police officer with nearly 20 years on the force has been suspended after he was arrested on charges of shoplifting.

Russell J. Bushaw was arrested Monday after employees at a Target store in Kokomo told police he was caught on surveillance video trying to swipe three Blue Ray DVDs.

Store officials said they have been trying to catch Bushaw for several months in connection with a handful of thefts.

Bushaw was suspended from the police department without pay pending an investigation.


Trial Under Way for Officer Allen Bonds Charged with Stomping Teenager


A trial is under way for an East St. Louis police officer accused of kicking and stomping a teenager nearly three years ago.

Allen Bonds is charged with aggravated assault in his confrontation with 18-year-old Jermond Owens.

Owens testified that he took a bike from outside a home in May 2006. He contends Bonds then followed him and eventually pulled him off the bike.

Owens says he doesn't remember anything after that.

A Belleville emergency room doctor testified that Owens' head injuries were so severe he required a breathing tube and he was airlifted to a St. Louis trauma unit.

Under cross-examination, Owens said he's hired a lawyer to pursue a civil case against Bonds.

Information from: Belleville News-Democrat,

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Hearing Will Continue for Officer Jason Judd Accused of Shooting Men

Parties will meet again April 24 in the case of Topeka police officer Jason Judd.

The date was set during a hearing this morning. Last week, a special prosecutor filed a motion asking that charges against Judd be dropped.

Last year Judd was accused of shooting two Topeka men, Daniel and Devin Llamas. The Llamas family today tells 49 News they are happy with the way today's proceedings went and say they are just looking for justice to be served.

Judd was with 3 other off-duty officers at the time.

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