Utah Trooper Punches Woman During Traffic Stop

Sgt. Andrew Davenport is on paid leave while incident is investigated
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2011 11:14 AM CST

(Newser) – A highway patrol trooper is on paid leave after a video emerged of him punching a woman during a traffic stop, CNN reports. Darla Wright, 53, allegedly refused to stop when officers attempted to pull her over for speeding; after a chase, authorities trapped her car between two vehicles. Sgt. Andrew Davenport, who can be seen in the video breaking the driver’s side window, says he “delivered three close hand strikes to her head” because she would not roll down her window or take her hands off the steering wheel, and because Tasers have failed him when used at short distances.

"The suspect was still trying to escape, she had the accelerator floored and engine revving in an attempt to push our vehicles out of the way," he wrote in an incident report, adding that he wanted to “stop her from trying to drive off and strike our vehicles or possibly run us over.” His dashboard camera caught the incident, which is now under investigation. Wright was taken into custody on several charges, including reckless driving, eluding police, assault on a police officer, and suspicion of DUI.

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