Unneccessary roughness? Small-town cop yanks elderly woman from SUV

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by MONIKA DIAZ

WFAA

Posted on September 13, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Updated Thursday, Sep 13 at 10:56 AM

KEENE, Texas — A traffic stop on August 19 on Highway 67 near Spur 102 in Keene started like most. 

Sgt. Gene Geheb pulled a driver over for speeding 16 mph over the 50 mph posted limit.

The driver behind the wheel was 77-year-old Lynn Bedford. But the stop ended with Bedford being pulled out of her car.  She was handcuffed and left sitting in a squad car for nearly 35 minutes.

When the officer approached the vehicle, he told Bedford why she was being stopped.  The driver then made a request.

BEDFORD: "All right, let's hurry up.  I've got to go the bathroom."

OFFICER: "Let me see your driver's license and insurance, please."

BEDFORD: "I have a bladder infection."

OFFICER:  "Let me see your driver's license, please."

BEDFORD: "You listen to me."

OFFICER: "No. I want your driver's license and insurance, please. Then I will listen to you."

BEDFORD: "Why?  Why are you going to wait?"

OFFICER:  "Let me see your driver's license."

BEDFORD: "I will give it to you in a minute."

OFFICER: "You are going to give it to me now, or I'm taking you to jail."

BEDFORD: "Well, go ahead."

The stop was recorded by a camera inside the squad car and on another camera worn by Sgt. Geheb. It shows him opening the door and grabbing Bedford's arm. 

Bedford said "you're hurting me," as the confrontation continued. She threatened to report him and he yanked Bedford out of the car.  

She fell to the ground and Sgt. Geheb pulled her up and arrested her.

Attorney Clay Graham is representing Mrs. Bedford.  He believes the officer went too far.

"She is very disappointed to learn that instead of being protected and served, she was basically antagonized and assaulted," Graham said, adding that the officer had several options to deal with the circumstances he was facing.

"Get back in his squad car, follow her home, follow her to the nearest comfort room, use the restroom and then issue a citation or whatever he had discretion to do," Graham said.

The Keene Police Department turned down our request for an on-camera interview because of possible pending litigation, but Chief Rocky Alberti gave us this statement:

"The incident has been reviewed thoroughly by the Keene Police Department and the City of Keene administration.  All parties have concluded that Sgt. Geheb did not violate any state laws or department policies, and in fact was following department policy in regards to violators not providing information." 

On the day of the stop, Chief Alberti went to the scene.  After talking to both parties, Bedford was released.  She received two citations — one for speeding, the other for failing to provide identification.

Before Bedford drove away, the chief asked her repeatedly if she needed help to drive home.  Bedford said no, but she told him the incident left her shaken. 

Bedford's attorney told News 8 his client wants an apology from Sgt. Geheb.  He also said that she was bruised in the incident and still has problems with her left arm. 

Graham is calling for an independent investigation, and he plans to send the case to the Johnson County District Attorney's Office.

E-mail mdiaz@wfaa.com

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