City Desk

Man in Wheelchair “Punched” Transit Cops?

What, exactly, happened before Metro Transit Police officers threw Dwight Harris from his wheelchair on U Street last week?

According to what one officer involved said in a sworn statement, Harris "punched" the transit cops. He was booked for assaulting a police officer and for having an open container of alcohol in the May 19 incident.

If video of the episode hadn't emerged, the District's criminal justice system would have quietly chugged along, with the transit cop's account perhaps representing the most trusted version of the event. Instead, the officers involved in the arrest have been put on administrative leave pending an investigation.

That sworn statement says Harris was drinking a can of Stack High Gravity Malt Liquor when two officers approached him outside the U Street/Cardozo Metro station. Harris smelled of alcohol and had "slurred speech and bloodshot eyes." The conflict came about when the officers tried to cite Harris for drinking in public, says the statement.

"The defendant refused to identify himself," the statement says. "The defendant began to drive away." The cops stopped him, the statement continues, and Harris was informed he was going to be arrested. When they tried to cuff him, though, Harris decided to scrap.

"The defendant resisted, began to swing his arms and [began] punching both officers," the statement reports. His "flailing" arms made contact with one officer's arm and also threw Harris out of his wheelchair. "Flailing" and "punching" isn't what we see in the video, though.

Metro hasn't returned a request for comment.

Photo by man pikin Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0

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  • Typical DC BS

    Seems like these two officers did a very poor job. How hard can it be to take on a wheelchair-bound guy drinking a cold one? Geez.

    And then they needed to knock the guy from the chair in order to handcuff him? Talk about extremely poor judgment. Why are they even on the force?

  • Southeast Ken

    A law suit is in the making. Some police officers are unprofessional and think, they can do whatever they like and get away with it. It reminds me of the 2 NYC Hispanic officers fired today for misconduct and allegdely raping a woman, while she was drunk.

  • Truth Hurts

    I'll go further than "unprofessional officers" who did a "very poor job" and used "extremely poor judgment".

    They assaulted the guy (which is a crime) and then tried to cover it up by lying and filing false charges (both also crimes).

    If a citizen loses his cool and assaults someone (inflicting a head injury on the victim), there normally is a criminal prosecution. The US ATTY can, and should, prosecute the cops.

  • Wah! Wah! Whine!

    The idiot should have been arrested for drinking Stack High Gravity Malt Liquor. That deserves a good beat-down right there. And don't even try to tell me this drunken ape wasn't belligerent and abusive. It's their culture. Look how they behave when they're NOT drunk.

  • http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/2011/05/26/man-in-wheelchair-punched-transit-cops/ Flippy Bolippy

    Where the video? Where it be? Where it be at?

  • noodlez

    IM W/T.H. ON THIS ONE!

    WHY ARE METRO OFFICERS WALKING THE STREETS? THEIR ASSES SHOULD BE ON POST! AT LEAST 1 OFFICER SHOULD BE POSTED AT METRO STOPS ESPECIALLY AT END OF LINE STOPS AND HIGH VOLUME ONES!

    THESE BAMMAS WANT TO SHAKE US DOWN AND PROFILE US WITH THEIR ILLEGAL SEARCH AND SEIZURE KNOWING DAMN WELL THE CHANCES OF THEM CATCHING A TERRORIST ARE SLIM TO NONE. HOW MANY FOLKS HAVE BEEN CAUGHT THRU RANDOM SEARCHES ACROSS THE U.S.?

    ALL THOSE FAKE TOUGH LOOKING CLOWNS NEED TO GO BACK TO THE POLICE ACADEMY AND DEVELOP SOME MUCH NEEDED TRAINING AND POLICEMAN SKILLS!

  • Big-K

    Lets see, I am assuming that any ignorant person beleive a person in a wheel chair is totally helpless and can not Possibly hurt a big bad cop. Just for the record, There are number of wheel chair persons in jail for murder, assualt and drug distribution of course we are not going to talk about the few wheel chair persons who in the last year and half who have been arrested for weapon possession, yes the ignorant few, keep on drinking that koolade!

  • seDCdude

    Ayy FOOL-K

    ain't no mo' left slim cause you done drank it all!!

    GTFOH and take WWW's dumbazz right along wit'cha!

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