Officer-spitting Lufkin man pleads guilty

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A Lufkin man pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of harassment for spitting on officers and allegedly claiming to have HIV during an arrest for public intoxication.

Sir John Oliphant, 33, was arrested July 4, 2011, for yelling and showing signs of public intoxication. According to the arrest affidavit, an officer was trying to arrest Oliphant, who has said in the past that he is infected with HIV, and Oliphant spat at the officer on the arm. He is also accused of spitting at another officer during the arrest.

Once Oliphant was taken to the jail, jailers placed Oliphant in a restraint chair and put a spit mask on his face, according to an affidavit.

An HIV test was conducted on July 5 and it stated Oliphant did not have HIV.

Oliphant contacted KTRE with the results, while out on a PR bond to undergo surgery. He claimed officers fabricated a different story.

"The officers had pulled me out the police car while I was handcuffed, and I fell and busted my elbow and my head," said Oliphant. "And, it was blood on the restraint chair, and I told them that's how you catch aids because it was blood on the restraint chair. And, I was bleeding, and they assumed that I said I had aids."

Oliphant pleaded guilty Thursday morning in District Judge Paul White's courtroom. Oliphant faces prison time ranging from 2 to 20 years and a fine not to exceed $10,000 for the two counts of harassment.

In the courtroom Thursday, Oliphant claimed he was intoxicated the night of his arrest, stating he was under the influence of PCP, alcohol, and a bag of what he thought to be cocaine.

"I knew what everything was except for that bag," said Oliphant.

Oliphant's attorney, John Tunnell, also stated Oliphant used prescription medicines.

"Oliphant has taken some sort of psychotic medications for bipolar disorder," Tunnell said.

However, Oliphant and his attorney stated he was fully aware and competent to continue his plea hearing.

The state was represented by prosecuting attorney Dale Summa.

"I find Mr. Oliphant competent at all relevant times," White said.

White did not find Oliphant guilty Thursday, but ordered him to complete a pre-sentence investigation.

PSI Investigations are currently taking about 45 days to process and turn in to the judge. Oliphant will be held at Angelina County Jail until his sentencing hearing.

Copyright 2012 KTRE. All rights reserved.