Police explain controversial chase after Whitehouse jogger - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Police explain controversial chase after Whitehouse jogger

WHITEHOUSE, TX (KLTV) - A Whitehouse woman says she was just out on a morning walk when a police officer attacked her, put her in handcuffs and took her to the police station.

The incident happened Friday morning off Maji Road in Whitehouse, but the police department says that's not the whole story.

Whitehouse Police say it all started when a motorcycle officer patrolling a neighborhood noticed a truck parked along the woods and woman walking nearby. Video captured by the camera on the officer's helmet shows the woman initiate the conversation.

"What's up?" she asks.

"How are you? the officer replies.

"I'm fine," the woman responds while quickly walking away.

"Do you live around here?" asks the officer.

"Uhh..." replies the woman right before she takes off running.

"You need to stop running because I've got to talk to you," says the officer as he follows her on his motorcycle.

Whitehouse Police Chief Craig Shelton explains what was happening on the video. "[The officer] advises our dispatch over the radio that she's running from him and refusing to stop. So they dispatch other units to come because we don't know what's going on or why she isn't stopping. Usually if someone doesn't stop for us they've got warrants or drugs," says Shelton.

The officer gets off of his bike, catches up with the woman and wrestles her down to the grass. It's that part of the video that Shelton says has gotten them the harshest feedback.

"For his safety and hers, he turns her around and puts her on the ground and puts her in handcuffs," says Shelton.

The video shows the woman screaming for her husband who she already has on the phone. When backup arrives, they get the woman to explain why she was running.

"I thought you were fixing to take me somewhere and hurt me. I thought you were a bad police officer. I was a teacher for 9 years. I'm a Christian. I go to church," the woman says.

"She's walking right next to the woods, there's a blue truck parked there, it's unoccupied. Where are the occupants of the truck? Are they in the woods? Are they laying down in the truck? Are they breaking into a house? It just looked awful odd," explains Shelton.

According to Whitehouse Police, they've responded to 78 different incidents that neighborhood in 13 months. Chief Shelton says residents have asked them to patrol their neighborhood and keep an eye out for suspicious activity. Police say that includes people running from them.

"He was just trying to do his job and do it to the best of his ability and I stand behind him," Shelton says about the motorcycle officer in the video.

Police say they could have filed evading and resisting arrest charges against the woman, but they did not want to do that. We reached out to the woman who ran from the police multiple times Monday. The story was brought to our attention when she reached out to us Friday. She spoke with us before the video was released, but since then we have not been able to reach her.

Whitehouse Police add, that had the woman stopped to talk to the officer, he would have advised her to walk on the other side of the road for her own safety because her back should not be turned to oncoming traffic.

Copyright 2014 KLTV. All rights reserved.
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