An Oklahoma City police officer was being held in jail Thursday night after being accused of a string of on-duty sexual assaults in a case described as “disturbing” by the city’s police chief.
Daniel Ken Holtzclaw, 27, a three-year veteran of the Oklahoma City Police Department, was arrested about 3 p.m. Thursday outside Gold’s Gym, 2301 W Memorial Road, on complaints of rape, forcible oral sodomy, sexual battery and indecent exposure. He was being held in the Oklahoma County jail in lieu of $5 million bail.
The arrest was announced at a short-notice 4 p.m. news conference featuring Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty and Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater.
Holtzclaw is accused of stopping women — some as they walked through neighborhoods — and threatening them with arrest, Citty said. Police said Holtzclaw forced women to expose themselves, fondled the women, and in at least one instance, had intercourse with a woman, Citty said.
Holtzclaw, an Enid native, worked the 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. shift at the Springlake Division, which predominately patrols the northeast part of Oklahoma City. Police said most incidents happened at the location of the stops, but some victims were taken to remote locations.
Citty said the case angered and disturbed him, and he praised his detectives for their work in identifying additional victims.
“Trust is something that we are constantly having to work on,” Citty said. “When something like this happens, I have to hope that most of the community realizes that our officers, 99.9 percent of them, are trustworthy, and when something like this happens, our officers take this very personally.”
Investigators have received statements from six women, and one woman is scheduled to provide a statement, Citty said. The chief said all the victims are black women between the ages of 34 and 58, and the incidents occurred from February to June in the area of Lincoln Boulevard to Interstate 35 and NE 14 to NE 50.
Detectives began investigating Holtzclaw after a woman complained to police June 18. He was placed on administrative leave the same day.
“We started the investigation and we started looking at traffic stops he had made throughout the previous months to try to identify and initiate contact with females that we knew he had stopped during that period of time, just to see if they had been sexually assaulted,” Citty said.
Prater said he anticipates charges against Holtzclaw will be filed by Aug. 29.
Citty said authorities feel there are additional victims in the case.
“We are releasing the picture and if there is anyone that was victimized by this officer, we certainly want to hear from them,” Citty said.
Any possible victims are asked to call the Oklahoma City police sex crimes unit at 297-1133.
Holtzclaw was one of four Oklahoma City police officers named in a wrongful-death lawsuit filed in the May 1, 2013, death of Clifton Armstrong, 38. The lawsuit was filed in January.