Monday, November 12, 2007

Felony assault charge dropped against tasered trucker

Land Line, a magazine for independent truckers reports the Newton County Prosecuting Attorney's office has dropped a felony charge of assaulting a law enforcement officer faced by a Tennessee trucker. Larry Works agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest. He was placed on probation for two years:

According to Works, the incident started when he and his wife pulled into the Petro on Interstate 44 in Joplin, MO, in July 2006.

The couple waited to pull into a tractor-trailer space so they could park and walk their dog at 6:30 p.m. on July 29, 2006. Larry Works said he motioned to a man in a Newton County Sheriff’s Department patrol car that he wanted to walk his dog by a nearby tree, and the man leaned out of his driver’s side window and mouthed “no,” while pointing to other spaces in the parking lot.

Works told Land Line he obliged and tried to make a button-hook turn to the right, but as he pulled forward, the patrol car pulled forward and blocked him.

“His squad car shot right up to my front fender,” Works said. “All I could see was his light bar.”

A man wearing a pink polo shirt, khaki shorts and casual shoes got out of the patrol car and slammed his own driver’s side door open so hard it came back and hit his leg, Works said.

According to Works, the two argued and eventually the man said, “I think I’ll just arrest you,” although he hadn’t shown a badge or identified himself as a law enforcement officer.

Works said he backed in to the original parking spot he wanted, and the man then went back to the patrol car and called someone. The man pulled the patrol car back behind his trailer and came running up the side of the trailer carrying a pistol and a hand-held two-way radio, Works said.

The man climbed up the driver’s side step and according the Works, tried to open the door, which was locked, before falling to the parking lot and drawing his pistol and telling the truck driver to leave his truck.

“I said, ‘No man, this isn’t right,’” Works told Land Line. “’We need to call the supervisor – you’re out of control.”’

Works said the man and two uniformed Newton County sheriff’s deputies broke the passenger-side window of the truck, tasered him seven times and pepper sprayed him in the face.

As a result of being pepper sprayed and shot with the stun guns, Works said he suffers aches in his joints and teeth and uncontrollable muscle twitching and shaking. He told Land Line his sinuses still burned months after he first inhaled the pepper spray.

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