Police Defend Physical Removal Of 77-Year-Old Driver
NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Police in Keene are commenting today about an incident involving a sergeant making a traffic stop and the physical removal of a 77-year-old woman from her vehicle.
The Keene Police Department released a statement earlier this week about the incident that happened on August 19.
According to the department, Sgt. Gene Geheb made the traffic stop on US Highway 67, near Spur 102.
Police dashcam video of the incident shows the officer explaining to the driver, later identified as Lynn Bedford of Cleburne, the she was traveling at 66 mph in a 50-mph speed zone.
The sergeant asked Bedford for her driver’s license and insurance verification at least four times but she would never comply. At one point she told the policeman, “Just hurry up I’ve got to go the bathroom. I have a bladder infection.”
Geheb interrupted twice saying, “Just let me see your driver’s license and insurance please.”
The grandmother then demanded, “Will you listen to me!” and she was told, “I want to see your driver license and insurance please, then I’ll listen to you.”
Bedford’s attorney, Clay Graham, claims his clients actions were justified.
“She had a pretty good reason for speeding, probably a justification or necessity for that,” he said.
Finally Bedford agreed to comply… with conditions. “I’ll give it to you in a minute,” she said.
Sergeant Geheb then stated flatly, “No you’ll give it to me now or I’m gonna take you to jail.” Bedford responded, “Well go ahead.”
The next challenge came as the officer tried to remove Bedford from her vehicle. The woman refused to get out even though Sgt. Geheb had her by the arm and repeatedly asked her to “get out of the vehicle.”
Bedford then threatened, “You are hurting me. I’m gonna report you hurted [sic] me. You twisted my arm.” When told to get out of the vehicle again Bedford said, “I will not.”
Attorney Graham said it was then that his client was unnecessarily handled. “You can see from the dash camera, of his vehicle, that he pulls her out of the car.”
Keene police officials say it was only after Bedford was finally removed from her vehicle, handcuffed and detained in a police cruiser that she handed over her license to the officer.
Ultimately, Bedford was ticketed for speeding and failing to identify herself.
Keene police chief Rocky Alberti said in the department statement that officials feel, “Sgt. Geheb did not violate any state laws or department policies, and in fact was following department policy in regards to violators not providing identification.”
Bedford’s attorney is calling for an independent investigation of the traffic stop and isn’t ruling out filing a lawsuit.
“She didn’t want to just ignore the fact, the reality that she was mishandled and has concern for the rest of the public there in Keene and then the greater public at large,” Graham said.
Keene, Texas is about 30 miles southwest of Fort Worth.
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