Diboll Police video chronicles controversial traffic stop

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - By Jena Johnson - email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A police dashboard camera shows a former Diboll Police officer aggressively approach a vehicle with a gun drawn, break the window and yank an elderly man out of the vehicle.

Former officer Grant Jones conducted the traffic stop July 27 in the Lufkin city limits, on the intersection of College Drive and U.S. 59 South. Jones had begun following the vehicle of Tracey Lott after he was speeding through Diboll to get his friend, Johnny Hodge, to a Lufkin hospital.

The video shows Jones walking fast to the pickup and pointing his gun and yelling, "Get out of the [expletive] car!"

Jones then pulls his retractable baton out and hits the window. Lott later said the baton broke his window. Jones then pulls Lott out of the car.

Jones resigned as police officer on Tuesday.

KTRE acquired the video a week after submitting an open records request to the City of Diboll.

After a week in the hospital, Hodge is at home, bed-ridden. He claims Jones almost cost him his life.

"I probably wouldn't have to stay as long as I did," Hodge said. "They probably would have gotten me re-cooperated in a couple of days. I got upset. He scared me."

An internal Diboll Police review of the video found Jones had violated policy by approaching the vehicle before back-up arrived.

While Jones will no longer patrol the streets of Diboll, Hodge feels his resignation is only a slap on the wrist.

"I think he ought to get six months in jail on top of it," Hodge said.

For Hodge, the case is not over. He says a civil suit may come next.

With the emergency flashers on, Lott was racing to the hospital, when Jones stopped them for speeding. Hodge says he couldn't afford to call an ambulance because his insurance didn't cover the cost.

Then he was written a ticket for speeding and failure to stop.

Diboll Police Chief Kent Havard says the department has replaced the shattered window and dropped the charges.

"I believe that not knowing what he was dealing with, things got a little ahead of themselves," City Manager Dennis McDuffie said.

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