A man who used a cellphone app that mimics squad car lights is accused of trying to pull over an Oklahoma City motorcyclist.
Undercover agents from the police department's vice squad stopped the alleged ruse after they saw the flashing light in a car Wednesday.
The driver, Michael Railly, 28, of Moore, was arrested on complaints of impersonating a police vehicle, assault and battery of a police officer, driving under the influence of alcohol, speeding and no state driver's license.
Capt. Dexter Nelson said members of the vice squad thought the driver was trying to pull over the motorcycle, but the passenger in the car had a different story.
“They had undercover officers that watched them,” Nelson said. “Their impression was that they were trying to pull over a guy on the motorcycle.”
State law prohibits the use of red and blue lights at the front of a vehicle by anything other than law enforcement or wrecker services, Nelson said.
Joshua Robert Sossamon, a passenger in the car, said Railly was not trying to impersonate an officer. They were lost, he said.
“I remember there being a motorcycle that was turning left in front of us,” Sossamon said. “Apparently, he supposedly had the app on at that time. We weren't trying to pull anyone over. That's absurd.”
Sossamon said police used excessive force during the arrest.
Officers reported that Railly thrashed in the squad car and kicked a policeman who asked him to calm down. He was placed in restraints during the incident, police said.
“They very forcefully pulled him from the car,” Sossamon said. “Keep in mind he is handcuffed. They threw him to the ground in front of me. They hog-tied him, and then, because he was still being belligerent, they sprayed him in the face while he was hog-tied, because he was still speaking. They sprayed him in the face with Mace, and then threw him back in the car.”
Nelson said he did not know if the officers used pepper spray. The restraint system does not entail hogtying people, he said. It's a belt system.
Sossamon, 33, of Moore, was arrested on a complaint of public drunkenness. He said he was not drunk and was never tested for sobriety.
Nelson said a breathalyzer or sobriety test would not typically be given during a public drunkenness arrest.
“It's just the officer's observation,” Nelson said. “If he wants to contest the officer's observation, he'll have to go to court.”
Sossamon said it wasn't clear he was under arrest.
“They simply took me out of the car ... and placed me into the squad car and didn't say another word to me, except how to pronounce my last name. I didn't even know I was under arrest until we were en route. I asked the officer ‘Where are you taking me?'”
The men were taken to the Oklahoma County jail, where Railly remained Thursday. His bail was set at $13,000. Sossamon was released without posting bail.