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Florida Deputy Suspended After Arresting Woman Speeding to Hospital to See Dad

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  • Florida Deputy Suspended After Arresting Woman Speeding to Hospital to See Dad

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,269813,00.html

    sheriff's deputy was suspended for manhandling a sobbing woman who was speeding to a hospital to see her ailing father and didn't want to wait to for him to write a ticket.

    After Deputy Kevin Stabins stopped Melissa Langston a second time in the hospital parking lot, video from his cruiser's dashboard shows him yanking her from her car and slamming her against it.

    "Please let me see my dad, " she cries as he handcuffs her. "If it was your dad ..."

    Stabins cuts her off, saying, "Now you're not going to see him, 'cause you're going to jail."

    Stabins, 29, was suspended for five days without pay for using excessive force. Charges against Langston, 37, were dropped.

    "I think (Stabins) understands that he was wrong and could have handled it better," Sheriff David Gee told The Tampa Tribune for Thursday's editions. "On both sides, really, it could have been done better."

    Stabins first stopped Langston after clocking her driving 63 mph in a 35-mph zone near University Community Hospital in November.

    The video shows her telling the deputy that her father had suffered a heart attack and had driven himself to the emergency room.

    Stabins returned to his car to write a ticket, but after several minutes, she drove into the hospital parking lot. After a short pursuit, she brakes, and he strides up to her, saying, "That was not smart."

    "I need to get there. I'm sorry but — oh, my god!" she says.

    As he tries to pull her out of the car, her foot slips off the brake and the car begins to roll forward.

    "Put it in park. Put it in park. Get out of the car. Hands behind your back. Now you're going to jail," Stabins says.

    He gets Langston out of the car, put her in an arm lock that left bruises, spun her around, and slammed her against her car's hood hard enough her feet leave the ground.

    Her father, William Johnston, stayed in the hospital six days, his wife, Mary Johnston, told the St. Petersburg Times for Thursday's editions. He went home with two stents in his arteries.

    It was not clear when the suspension takes place. The sheriff's office did not return a message left early Thursday by The Associated Press.





    Video:
    http://www.local6.com/news/13248846/detail.html#

  • #2
    63 in a 35!!!!

    And she drove off!!!!!

    The deputy should have tased her.
    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

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    • #3
      The suspension is crap. She was stopped for what could be reckless driving, and then flees from the traffic stop. From my point of view the force used was justified and to drop charges and suspend the officer is just more PC BS.

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      • #4
        Here's the full video, without the reporter or cuts in the film.

        http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=c76_1178143909
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        In Memory
        Officer J. Sanders
        EOW 12-15-2008


        Loyalty...Duty...Respect...Selfless Service...Honor...Integrity...Personal Courage

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        • #5
          Why do her circumstances matter at all? We are always supposed to obey the law. I understand and agree that most people would be hysterical in her situation but most people would not blatantly disregard a police officer.

          She was given a reality check: she's not above the law. Nothing is. But then the chief, or whoever, suspends the officer!

          How can you set such a precedence? That chief should be fired. He/she just undermined everything police officers represent because I'm sure everyone has some excuse. Now it's left to the officer to "divine" who's telling the truth?

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          • #6
            I just saw the vid......my .02 cents....

            Why did he need to bounce her off the car hard enough to cut her head open....? Yeah....she resisted by fleeing.....but once he got her out of the car, the resisting stopped.......

            From watching Fox, she's not suing for excessive force....she said she was happy that he got suspended.....

            And yes, the media is having a field day with this.....Fox, CNN, and MSNBC are running it.....and all the LEO experts are on talking about the excessive force......and all are saying he used too much....

            The Deputy should feel happy he didn't get fired and sued......especially in todays world.....
            Last edited by Bearcat357; 05-03-2007, 07:44 PM.

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            • #7
              He should have taken her to jail, but with a professional smile on his face. The level of force was a bit too much.
              "I neither approve or blame. I merely relate."- Voltaire

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Bearcat357 View Post
                Why did he need to bounce her off the car hard enough to cut her head open....? Yeah....she resisted by fleeing.....but once he got her out of the car, the resisting stopped.......
                He had to wrestle her out of the car, at first she didn't even put the car in park (as if she intended to drive off again).

                She was resisting. He told her to get out of the car and she didn't. So he did it for her and made sure to get her in cuffs before she tried anything else.

                Personally I think the cop was nice to start, before she tried fleeing. He was only going to give her a ticket and let her go on her way. I would have impounded her car and told her to walk across the street to the hospital. She was obviously in no condition to be driving.

                Originally posted by JSandi
                The level of force was a bit too much.
                I disagree. She was clearly not cooperating, she was trying to stay in the car and drive off again.

                I am actually a little surprised that the deputy didn't even hold her at gunpoint after she tried to drive off.
                Last edited by Fëanor; 05-03-2007, 08:35 PM.

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                • #9
                  Okay, two sides of this:

                  The woman should have stayed put and obeyed the law. Driving off as the officer is writing up a citation is just sheer stupidity on her part. However, I don't see how that much force would be justified. Sure she drove off on him but there are several other videos of pursuits where it shows the officer instructing the occupant of the vehicle to get out of the car, not just walking up to it and yanking her out of it. I fully support officers using force when it is absolutely needed. In this case there was a lot more the officer could have done before using that kind of force on her.
                  Never argue with idiots - they just drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.

                  Chaos, Panic and Disorder....my work here is done!

                  As her tears fell at his feet, she didn't say "I Love You," what she said meant even more: I laugh, I love, I hope, I tried. I hurt, I need, I fear, I cry and I know you do the same things too. So we're really not that different, me and you.

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                  • #10
                    Hm. This is one of my hesitations about becoming a police officer. Did he act correctly? Is that how you're supposed to act?

                    I would want to be a police officer to help the community; put the bad guys behind bars and help the good people. A daughter speeding to the hospital because her father had a heart attack and was in the ER... I would put her in the latter category. I mean, I would want to help her get to the ER where her father could've been dying or dead. I'd want to make a difference in a good way. It makes me sad to see this.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Scelous View Post
                      Hm. This is one of my hesitations about becoming a police officer. Did he act correctly? Is that how you're supposed to act?

                      I would want to be a police officer to help the community; put the bad guys behind bars and help the good people. A daughter speeding to the hospital because her father had a heart attack and was in the ER... I would put her in the latter category. I mean, I would want to help her get to the ER where her father could've been dying or dead. I'd want to make a difference in a good way. It makes me sad to see this.
                      Except for that pesky fact that people lie....all the time....and someone going that fast is putting others in danger.

                      She should have stayed for her ticket, but she chose to flee. As far as that officer knew, she was a wanted felon, and armed.

                      Never assume - anything - ever.

                      By the way, we had a similar situation a few years ago. She was going 60+ in a 25. She peeled off after she was pulled over, yanking the ticket book out of the officer's hands as she left.

                      She thru it out the window a few blocks away, and was arrested in front of her child's school.

                      Did I mention she was driving her 6 year old to school, and was running late?
                      Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

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                      • #12
                        Oh yeah!

                        Annnnnnnnd........

                        She's a lawyer!
                        Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by willowdared View Post
                          Except for that pesky fact that people lie....all the time....
                          Yeah, I was thinking about mentioning that. I know that police officers have to deal with a lot of scumbags, and plenty of people will lie to officers, especially to avoid a ticket or worse. So thinking that she could've been lying is defintely understandable.

                          The thing for me is, she seemed suitably distraught. She still could've be lying, but couldn't the officer have said, "What's his name?" and checked the hospital to verify? That's the part that gets me. He was in a position to help someone in a difficult spot, and that's part of what seems appealing to me about choosing the LEO career.

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                          • #14
                            Yup, after watching the video I saw NOTHING wrong with what he did or how it was handled and it's unfortunate that the Sheriff sided with the female. I don't understand how we as a country or a people are so afraid of hurting someone's feelings by saying "Hey, you screwed up, deal with it!"

                            I pulled over a man who was rushing his wife to the hospital as she was pregnant...I didn't write him but he blew a red light in front of me, and didn't pull over until he got to the hospital, which was right around the corner from the infraction. I chewed him out, told him he could kill himself, his wife and the unborn child and then left....did I want to yank him out...oh hell yes...but I didn't. People can't think clearly in terms of their own crisis', we have bred a society of people that can only think of themselves and what's important to them.

                            The officer needs to get representation and take action against his department.

                            The one thing about female's is many of them are excellent at turning on and off the tears to get what they want or need...they use it on cops all the time, so I can fully understand why the officer might not react to her hysterics. Could he have called the hospital and verified the info...sure...that is, IF the hospital would actually advise the dispatcher if the person was there, and for privacy rights, that may not have happened. Also, who is to say if she would not have driven off while he was attempting to verify the info...would that have given him more right to do what he did or less??

                            I stand behind that man for doing his job, and I didn't see any excessive force at all.
                            Last edited by JSD73; 05-03-2007, 09:42 PM.
                            Moooooooooooo, I'm a goat

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Scelous View Post
                              The thing for me is, she seemed suitably distraught. She still could've be lying, but couldn't the officer have said, "What's his name?" and checked the hospital to verify? That's the part that gets me. He was in a position to help someone in a difficult spot, and that's part of what seems appealing to me about choosing the LEO career.
                              And maybe, if she had stayed for ticket, he would have done just that.

                              She was still doing 63 in a 35.

                              35 usually means residential.

                              That means people pulling in and out of driveways, and maybe kids playing nearby.

                              What do you think happens when a vehicle t-bones another vehicle at 63 mph? I'm thinkin' not so good.

                              Vehicle vs pedestrian....even worse.
                              Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

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