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  1. #1
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    Exclusive: New video released in cop dragged by car

    Exclusive: New video released in cop dragged by car

    Monday, August 11, 2008



    Related Video: http://vettetube.com/view_video.php?...78a164cd5b1f68

    TAMPA (Bay News 9) -- In a Bay News 9 exclusive, the state attorney's office has released more video of a high speed chase in which a Tampa officer was dragged for a half mile.

    In February, Tampa police were in hot pursuit of a Corvette, driven by Legrand Pratt Jr.

    Police say the incident began with an overnight traffic stop. Officers approached Pratt because he was illegally parked. Police say the vehicle was stolen and Pratt had a warrant out for his arrest.

    Police say Pratt took off, with officer Kieth Troung hanging on his car door.

    On newly released police helicopter video, the suspect's car is seen on infrared cameras speeding through streets of Tampa.

    Troung falls off at the intersection of Armenia and Beach.

    An officer in the helicopter is heard saying,"He's down, the officer's down."

    Minutes later, another officer catches up to Pratt.

    "A van chasing him or unit, I can't tell," an officer in the chopper is heard saying.

    The officer makes his move, bumping the Corvette driven by Pratt with his cruiser.

    "Take him out. There you go," someone in the chopper says.

    Both cars crash into a telephone pole. The cruiser hits the pole first followed by Pratt.

    Officers turn the infrared cameras off. Pratt is arrested. They take him away in handcuffs as the Corvette catches on fire.

    Pratt, who turned down Bay News 9's request for a jail house interview, goes on trial next month. He's facing a number of charges including attempted murder of a law enforcement officer.

    Troung is back at work. He continues his patrol on the midnight shift. He was lucky in that his injuries were road rash, bumps, bruises and a lot of soreness.
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  2. #2
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    BN9 exclusive: Officer disciplined for chase comments

    Friday, August 15, 2008

    TAMPA (Bay News 9)
    -- The Tampa Police Department has disciplined an officer for comments he made during a chase.

    The incident took place in February, when Tampa officers were chasing a stolen car.

    The high speed chase started off with an officer being dragged for a half mile before falling off the Corvette onto the road.

    Two officers chasing the vehicle were in a police helicopter and one of the officers in the helicopter, Alban Goodrum, cursed and wished death on the fleeing suspect, saying "I hope they (expletive) kill him."

    The helicopter pilot told Goodrum he needed to watch what he was saying and reminded him that a videotape was running.

    "Yeah Jeff," Goodrum replied. "I wasn't cursing. I was just cheering them on a little bit."

    "Yeah, yeah," the pilot replied. "But you got to watch. You can't do that on the video."

    Attorney John Trevena, who represents the alleged driver of the stolen car, Legrand Pratt Jr., wrote a letter to Tampa police chief Steve Hogue last week complaining about Goodrum's language.

    "We're not talking about the stands at NASCAR," Trevana said. "We're talking about what is supposed to be a professional approach to a very volatile situation."

    Hogue sent a letter back to Trevena Tuesday.

    "We agree that Officer Goodrum's comments were unprofessional and contrary to the policies and regulations of this agency," Hogue wrote. "He was promptly admonished shortly after the incident and ultimately disciplined in the form of a letter of counseling."

    Tevena and Hogue still disagree on the arrest that followed the chase.

    In the letter, Chief Hogue says the video does not "show any real detail of the force utilized other than an officer attempting to remove Mr. Pratt from his vehicle by means of an armbar technique."

    Hogue also said all the officers running to Pratt is a "swarming" maneuver designed for everyone's safety.

    The Chief also points out that Pratt walking away from the crash unassisted is proof he wasn't injured.

    Trevena said the officers used excessive force.

    "You have Mr. Pratt with his hands raised in the air," Trevena said. "Yet, he is still forcibly removed from the vehicle and just swarmed by multitude of police officers.

    "Punched, kicked, every type of contact you can imagine happened in that pile while they were supposedly trying to take him into custody."

    Trevena said he hasn't yet decided whether he's going to file a civil lawsuit. The Tampa Police Department said the internal affairs investigation into the chase is still open.

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