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Old 03-31-09, 01:53 AM
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Dallas cop gets another complaint from NFL player

Dallas cop gets another complaint from NFL player
Ex-Cowboy claims wife was treated unfairly by same officer who detained Texans' Moats
Associated Press
March 29, 2009, 2:02PM

Zach Thomas' wife was given five tickets, four of which were dismissed, by Officer Robert Powell in July. Thomas was at training camp with the Cowboys at the time.

DALLAS — Former Dallas Cowboys linebacker Zach Thomas claims his wife was mistreated by the same Dallas officer now at the center of a misconduct probe involving Houston Texans running back Ryan Moats.

Thomas said his wife, Maritza Thomas, was stopped in July by Officer Robert Powell making an illegal U-turn. Her husband was at training camp in Oxnard, Calif. at the time.

Powell gave Maritza Thomas five tickets, four of which were later dismissed. She was handcuffed, put in the back of a police cruiser, detained at the Dallas County Jail for about three hours and threatened with the possibility of spending the night behind bars, The Dallas Morning News reported Sunday in its online edition.

In total, Maritza Thomas was detained for about five hours.

"This in no way compares to what happened to Ryan Moats and his family," said Zach Thomas, who played for the Cowboys last season and is now a free agent. "But we wanted to tell our story, not knowing how many others have been affected by Officer Powell. We know the vast majority of the Dallas police force are good and professional people, but this guy just seems excessive."

The charges that were dropped were failure to show proof of insurance, running a red light, having an improper address on a driver's license and not having a registration sticker on the windshield. She accepted deferred adjudication for the illegal U-turn charge, and her record will be cleared next month.

"This situation never should've happened," said Maritza Thomas' attorney, Brody Shanklin. "Unless extraordinary circumstances exist, no person should be arrested for a Class C citation. In this case, it was an example of Officer Powell being overzealous and exerting his authority in a manner that he never should have."

Bob Gorsky, Powell's attorney, questioned the timing of Thomas' allegations.

"I do understand that an arrest on multiple traffic charges happens often and is absolutely proper under these circumstances," Gorsky said. "Often, when there are multiple charges, an arrest made and bond posted, some of the charges from a single event are later dropped."

The Thomases said Powell was dismissive, but they have not alleged that he used abusive language. There is no dash-cam video available of the incident, but the police report lists the five citations and confirms that Thomas was taken to jail.

Powell has apologized for the Moats incident. A dash-cam video shows the officer berating Moats for about 13 minutes near the Baylor Regional Medical Center in Plano, where his mother-in-law was dying. He was stopped after rolling through a red light.

His mother-in-law died before he could make into the hospital.

Powell is on leave pending an investigation of the Moats incident.

Ex-Cowboy complains about cop who detained Texan | Chronicle | - Houston Chronicle
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