Says Texas DPS: Earlier This Month, a State Trooper Used Excessive Force on the Tollway

Until today, there has been not a single word of media coverage about an incident on the Dallas North Tollway earlier this month involving a state trooper accused of using excessive force to make an arrest. But moments ago Tela Mange, spokesperson for the Texas Department of Public Safety, sent word that on October 10, a 42-year-old trooper named Arturo Perez did just that, prompting his firing by DPS Director Steven McCraw. That happened one week ago today.

Actually, that's not entirely correct: Perez, who worked in the state prison system for 16 years before moving to the DPS a little more than three years ago, opted to retire before he was formally fired. Nevertheless, McCraw has asked the Texas Rangers to investigate the incident "based on readily observable evidence from the Trooper's in-car video," according to the DPS's statement. Perez had been patrolling the Dallas North Tollway since July of this year.

Mange tells Unfair Park she's not sure where on the tollway the incident occurred, or what precisely happened; we're still woefully short on details. And the video will not be released any time soon: Mange says the Rangers will turn over their evidence, including the tape, to the Dallas County District Attorney's Office. It will be released only when the case is closed.

Update at 10 a.m. Saturday: Last night, Fox 4 ran an interview with Randy Isenberg, the attorney for Whitney Fox, who Perez arrested for drunken driving near the Lemmon Avenue exit on October 10. The piece shows the injuries Fox sustained during her arrest. It's after the jump.

Says McGraw in a statement released today, "Our troopers receive the best instruction available in the world on use of force issues, and we do not tolerate behavior that so clearly contradicts that training as evident in this instance. Ultimately, it is my obligation to remove from duty any employee who cannot perform consistent with our training, standards and mission to provide public safety."

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky