The Details of My Being Assaulted By a Police Officer and My Subsequent Arrest

The following story was submitted by Travis Rowland.

At 7:20pm on October 4th, 2012, I was sitting in my living room with my wife and our friend Kim (Michael’s girlfriend) waiting for my friend Michael Murray to arrive back to the house from an errand. While I was sitting in my living room, on my couch, I noticed police lights outside in my driveway; I immediately went outside and walked down the driveway to see what was going on because my friend had been pulled over. By the time I approached my friend’s vehicle at the bottom of my driveway the officer had already taken notice of me; I stopped about 4 feet away from the driver’s side window of the vehicle and was also equidistant to the officer. The officer proceeded to ask me who I was and why I was down there and if I was there to talk to him (him being my friend). I said, “No, he’s my friend and I am just wondering what’s going on.” I pulled out my driver’s license and handed it to the officer in order to identify myself properly. The officer responded by stating I needed to “go away.”

I asked him “Why? This is my driveway on my property,” and his response was “take a couple steps back please” I proceeded to take 2 steps back and then the police officer continued to harass me and order me to “go away.” I asked my friend if he was comfortable with me being present and if he had any objections to my being there; my friend replied “no.” The officer told me that it didn’t matter and continued to tell me that I was “interfering with official police work.” I told the officer that I was just down there because it was my friend, on my property and I wanted to observe and that I was not going anywhere.

The officer again ordered, not requested, that I “go away.” I again told the officer that I was not going anywhere because this was my property. The officer’s response to me was, “Don’t make me do this,” and when I continued to refuse he approached me, told me to put my hands behind my back and he said he “was detaining me for his safety.” I asked if I was being arrested and the officer said “no, you are not being arrested, you are being detained for my safety” so I refused to be handcuffed. The officer proceeded to grab my wrists on multiple occasions and I kept pulling my wrists free. I immediately told my friend to pull out his phone and start recording, the officer told him, “Don’t do that, it is illegal and I will seize your phone.” I told my friend that it wasn’t illegal and I urged my friend to record.

The officer then continued attempting to detain me, he slammed me against my friend’s truck and managed to get a handcuff on my left wrist, I kept asking if I was being arrested and the officer kept replying “no, you are being detained for my safety.” Throughout the struggle I was able to free my hands multiple times as the officer continually called for back-up and the officer was using the free hand-cuff in an attempt to control me. My friend stated to me later that the officer had called frantically for back-up 3 different times; throughout all of this my friend was recording with his phone. The officer grabbed the free hand-cuff and pulled it straight up in an attempt to subdue me, I had to bend over so that my arm did not break. I decided to press my right wrist in between the center of my chest and the pick-up truck since the officer was pressing his weight against me; I did that in an attempt to prevent the officer from hand-cuffing my right wrist. It was at this point that my wife came down, frantically screaming, “What’s going on?”

The officer refused to answer her. My wife pulled out my phone that she had grabbed from inside the house and began recording and it was at that time that the officer had already pulled my left wrist up using the hand-cuff to throw me on the ground. You can see the rest of what ensued in the video.

Unfortunately, the 12 minute long video that my friend recorded is mysteriously corrupted on the phone; I am an IT technician and have been using computers since I was 8 years old and I used every recovery tool in my arsenal without success, the video file is deleted from the phone and corrupted which completely boggles my mind.

My 6 year old daughter saw the entire thing out her bedroom window and it caused her a great deal of distress, she was absolutely terrified and now I have to try and explain to her the difference between good cops, overzealous cops and just plain bad cops. This is an extremely stressful ordeal for my family and I, as I completely respect authority and know my rights. I was well within my rights to stand there on my property and observe the interaction between my friend and the officer. I was assaulted, offended, humiliated and my rights were completely violated and it is going to take a very long time for us to get over this. As you can plainly see in the video, it wasn’t until AFTER I was assaulted and AFTER I was laying on the ground that the officer decided to arrest me. I was taken to Clatsop County Jail and booked and released on “interfering with police work.”

My friend was cited for “failure to maintain lane” because he was pulling off the highway, into my driveway on the deadliest stretch of Highway 101 in Warrenton, OR with a vehicle (which we now know was a Clatsop County Sheriff) riding his ass, driving recklessly and dangerously close to him, which caused him to take evasive action and pull to the opposite side of the highway early in order to slow down to enter my driveway.

To top it all off, I am the right-hand-man to Gary Franchi over at (Restore The Republic) as I am the systems administrator.

  • Travis Rowland

    I would like to submit an official correction: this happened on October 4th, I submitted the wrong date.

  • BigPoppaAZ

    Talk about completely handling the situation in an incompetent manner. First and foremost, if you happen to see police lights outside your house, and your curious, then be sure to record your the event for your protection and the officer in question.

    Your mistake was the following, and I’m going to agree with some of the other staunch Blue supporters, you decided to interject yourself into a Police stop, in this case your friends, when not necessary. The Officer does not know who you are, and is in the middle of performing his duties, as provided by law. The fact you provided your ID when asked, is not relevant to the initial stop.

    Whether or not you agree is a non-factor, for the officer’s safety, he detained you, and by law this can be done in handcuffs. In order to allow the officer time to ascertain the situation, i.e., you interjecting yourself and why, as well as to ensure the safety of yourself, the person he pulled over (your friend), and himself.

    As stated earlier, you interjected, when not necessary. It was an asinine move, and now has placed you in a situation of your own accord.

    Film and observer, hold accountable, however when you interject yourself into a Police Matter of which you had no standing, then all bets are off.

    Use your head.

  • Common Sense

    ..yeah, it was the government who hacked your cell and destroyed the video.

  • John Q Public

    The best thing to do is to not go down and stick your nose in with the cops. You interjected yourself into the situation and that’s what happens. Take BigPoppaAZ’s advice.

  • Tom

    You have to treat an officer like a dangerous wild animal. They
    scare very easily and become aggressive if you get too close.

    In your situation it would have been best to record the stop from inside your home or close enough to your front door that you can easily walk back inside if the officer tries approach you.

    That said, courts have ruled that an officer does have the authority to restrain an individual being detained. By physically resisting you made the situation far more dangerous for yourself and opened yourself up to criminal prosecution and conviction.

  • Chris Mallory

    The cops were on his property. He had ever right to interject himself into what ever the government thugs were doing. If they didn’t like it, they were more than free to leave.

  • underoath

    “I know my rights”….obviously no you don’t.

    By your own admission he asked you nicely to depart the area, even saying please, and you refused. At that point that officer has every right to detain you. He doesn’t know you, he doesn’t know your intentions, and believe it or not people lie to the police all the time. How is he supposed to know you aren’t going to hurt him?

    You don’t have a leg to stand on here.

    It will be interesting to see how the anti cop gang reacts to this.

  • Tim

    police dont want civilian witnesses watch thier illegal activity and thats why they scare off and drive away bystanders

  • certain

    I’m not anti-cop, we need cops to protect our rights and property. I’m against criminals, whether they have a badge and claim all of their activities are legal or not. And as I have stated before, virtually all of our present day cops are criminals, either by committing crime or ignoring/covering for it.

  • shawn

    “He doesn’t know you, he doesn’t know your intentions, and believe it or not people lie to the police all the time. How is he supposed to know you aren’t going to hurt him?”

    And why are you programmed to accept that cops can simply make assumptions and then act on them? That is the big difference between people here, and cops. When we assume, we don’t generally have to power to do something. A cop does. Or at least thinks he does until the lawsuits are over.

  • Ken W

    I’m new to but I have been following the rampant police corruption for some time. You didn’t handle this very well — first off you didn’t have your camera recording? Why? I am sure you were angry or curious but when a cop knows a camera is on them the entire dynamic changes. Cameras make people accountable. Second, you should have asked him to get off your property and that he did not have consent to be on it. If he tried to dismiss this I would call 911 and report a trespasser and ask for another unit to be sent out. In the meantime keep recording. Third if he asked me to step back I would have stepped back a comfortable distance and then “called out” very audibly that I was still recording, etc. Now you’ve gotten yourself sucked into the legal machine and nothing good can come of it. You could financially destroy your family fighting all these bogus charges. Fourth, you never resist arrest, even if it is wrongful. That is setting you up for all sorts of problems.

  • t.

    Author boy chose to get involved. So he’s involved. And now wants to cry about it?

    I think my favorite part of this article is how he alludes that the police have employed some sort of super high tech capabilities that erased the recording off of his phone. What a screaming joke.

    And just for future knowledge there guy….officers don’t have to answer the shouted demands for information, the types of demands that your wife was making. Makes no difference if its your wife or a complete stranger.

    But let’s look a .little further…look for some points that maybe don’t connect. Watch, and more importantly listen to the video. His article makes it sounds like this officer was scared for his life and that he screamed and pleaded for backup on the radio. The article also makes it sound like there was a massive fight and that the author endured incredible brutality. Now compare that to what you hear on the video. The officer is talking calmly to him. Simple, clear and calm voice commands. The officer isn’t even breathing hard. Listening to him it sounds no more stressful than writing a parking ticket. Certainly no indication that the office er was out of control and assaulting the author.

    In the end, he made a bad choice to get involved in the middle of a situation that didn’t pertain to him. He could have / should have stood back and observe red or even recorded the stop. But he want more. He got it.

  • Buford T. Justice

    Sorry Travis-
    You are not gonna get the big paycheck score you’re looking for on this incident. Too bad you’ll not be able to retire and you’ll have to (gasp) get a real job to support yourself instead of trying to hit the jackpot with a lawsuit. If you are looking for the big payoff you’ll have to be a bit braver and tougher and be a bit more willing to stick your nose into somewhere it doesn’t belong.

  • http://yahoo larry

    Stupid is as stupid does.

  • Travis Rowland

    Looks like the trolls are out tonight, lmfao!

  • Travis Rowland

    Here is the real funny part, all of these people who are talking this crap in the comments don’t even have real names! Either government plants or brainwashed and indoctrinated sheep. So sad.

  • Steve H.

    First, I don’t believe you because you didn’t record the encounter. Second, you have to stay at least 15-20 feet away from the detainees even if it’s on your property and you can’t talk to the detainees and you can’t incite others with any kind of fighting words, it’s better to get your camera out, get the best angle you can from 15 to 20 feet away either on your property or a sidewalk (so that you are lawfully present) and record the encounter and most important, keep your mouth shut. In spanish, it’s Callete su Boca.

  • Phil Hall

    I would like to address my comments to those who find fault with Mr. Rowland and his “approach” to this situation.
    First, he wasn’t looking for a fight, he did not expect to be assaulted by the officer, so why would he have a video recording device running prior to approaching the officer (duh).
    Second, he should not be criticized for not knowing how far he has to be from an arrest scene or that he didn’t obey the officer (even if he said please). He simply asked to know what was going on, offered his ID to show respect and freely admitted to knowing the person pulled over.
    He did not post this to learn how to legally take video without interjecting himself. Travis wants police brutality stopped!! Travis wants the cops to treat him like a human being especially while on his property. You don’t do that by sneaking up with a video camera while your friend is given a bogus citation. Travis wants the system to change and the rest of you pussies want him to go along with the system. Well shame on all of you. Your not revolutionaries, your lap dogs waiting for your doggy treats, while people like Travis step outside the lines of propriety and get pounded down by the very people who are supposed to serve and protect us. Read about Gandhi, Rev. King, Mother Theresa – These folks didn’t put up the status quo either.

  • Ken W.

    You think your friend is in the same class as MLK, Mother Theresa and Ghandi for interjecting himself into a traffic stop and then handling it poorly enough to get arrested?

  • Phil Hall

    Ken – Please try not to be an unmitigated bore. You obviously don’t understand that Ghandi, Mother Theresa and MLK fought against the very idea of “CLASS”. Anyone who has courage enough to act upon their convictions is in keeping with the spirit of Mother Theresa, MLK and Ghandi. All Rosa Parks did was refuse to move to the back of a city bus and she’s considered a hero in the civil rights movement.

    I wonder what “class” of people you put police officers into? What “Class” are you? These questions are rhetorical so please don’t bother to reply to this post since I find you’re views Fascist and offensive.

  • Travis Rowland

    The only thing I have to say to you people is, wake up before it is too late. You are all consumed in the rat-race and wrapped up in your little worlds and don’t realize that you have been brainwashed and indoctrinated to eat up whatever the media and the government feed you. You are as lambs to the slaughter following the wolf in sheep’s clothing. I am seriously concerned for you people as you fail to realize the most basic of morals and principals that our God demands we abide by. Keep judging and hope that you are not judged by the same standards that you hold others to.

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  • Travis Rowland — supporting documents for my case, including all of the DA’s discovery.

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  • PaulTheCabDriver

    The proper response when being tail-gated by a cop is to immediately see “a rabbit that ran in front of your car”. Since you are an animal lover, you must slam on your brakes as hard as you can. Let the cop explain to the judge why he was following too close to your vehicle to avoid an accident.

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