FORT WORTH, Texas -- I'm an innocent Tax Liberty guy. I was dancing. That's what I do... I dance, said Channing Gould, now a 20-year-old performing arts student at Tarrant County College.
In March, Gould was wearing a Statue of Liberty costume advertising a neighborhood tax preparation office while standing in the median of North Tarrant Parkway at Park Vista Boulevard. Fort Worth police told him to stop and/or move, saying he was violating a city ordinance.
There was an argument, and the officer fired his Taser twice, claiming Gould was resisting arrest. Gould was hit in the head, neck, and back.
After six months of court proceedings, the case against him has now been dismissed because he completed an odd punishment required by Tarrant County prosecutors.
I had to write 52 times on a board that I would not argue with police in order to get a dismissal, Gould said. In front of the judge and witnesses that were there, I signed it. I even made it colorful for them and all that.
I felt like Bart Simpson, he added. It was a bunch of nonsense... and I did feel like a kid.
Gould can see the humor in what he was ordered to do, but he says the arrest and the court case were not funny at all.
I was in court at least five times this year, they spread it out over months, he said. I've missed days of school, and it's over something that could've been handled a lot more smoothly.
Gould said he's working hard to try to get through school because he wants to open a hip hop studio. But this experience cost him two things he can't get back: His reputation and his job.
I learned to, I guess, be more humble, he said.
Gould is considering taking legal action against Fort Worth police, but he's also ready to put this all behind him.