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3 OHP troopers cleared after skirmish with hearing-impaired man

Three Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers were cleared of wrongdoing the same day a hearing impaired man who was punched in the face and dragged from his vehicle was charged with resisting arrest.
by Matt Dinger Published: February 27, 2014

Three Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers have been cleared of wrongdoing in the arrest of a hearing impaired man after a hit-and-run accident.

The man that was arrested, Pearl Pearson Jr., 64, was charged Wednesday in Oklahoma County District Court with a misdemeanor count of resisting arrest.

Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater cleared troopers Eric Foster, Kelton Hayes and Jason Owens in a letter to Col. Rick Adams, the chief of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Statements made by the troopers concerning Pearson’s arrest are consistent with Foster’s dash cam video and the statements of four witnesses, Prater wrote in the letter.

On Jan. 3, the troopers responded to a call from the victim of a hit-and-run accident at 19th Street and Interstate 35 in Moore. Authorities said Pearson was involved in the accident but did not stop at the scene.

Foster and Hayes stopped behind Pearson’s vehicle at Interstate 40 and Eastern Avenue, but he did not roll down his tinted windows for the troopers until after they’d given multiple commands to do so, the letter states.

Pearson pointed at his ears when troopers told him to raise his hands and put them out the window, so they made hand gestures, but Pearson’s hands remained on the steering wheel. As troopers approached the driver’s window, Pearson suddenly reached his hands between his left leg and the door, the letter states.

Hayes used his left arm to pin Pearson’s hand, and struck him with the closed fist of his right hand in the face “to stun and disorient him,” Prater wrote.

Once it was determined Pearson was not lunging for a weapon, Foster opened the vehicle door and pulled Pearson from it and onto his feet.

Once outside the vehicle, Pearson “jerked and attempted to pull away from the Troopers,” before they tackled him to the ground and attempted to handcuff him, the letter states.

Pearson, who was wearing a coat, had not been searched for weapons and repeatedly attempted to pull his arms to his waist area, Prater wrote.

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by Matt Dinger
Court Reporter
Matt Dinger was born and raised in Oklahoma City. He has worked in OPUBCO's News and Information Center since 2006, and has been assigned to the breaking news desk since its formation in fall 2008. He specializes in crime and police reporting.
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