Texas Trooper to be Terminated After Roadside Cavity Searches
The female trooper that performed a roadside cavity search on two Texas women will be terminated, said the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The two Irving women said of the July 2012 incident as an unconstitutional search without probable cause and are suing Trooper David Farrell, Trooper Kelley Helleson and the director of the Department of Public Safety.
A spokesman for the DPS said in a statement on Tuesday: “The Director of DPS has made a preliminary determination to terminate Kelly Helleson.” Though by policy, Helleson will have the opportunity to meet with the director before her firing is final.”
The incident occurred on July 13 along State Highway 161 when Trooper David Farrell stopped a car driven by Angel Dobbs with her niece Ashley Dobbs as a passenger for throwing cigarette butts onto the highway. Farrell can be heard telling the women on the dash cam video that they could be cited for littering.
Farrell then returns to his cruiser where he requests Trooper Helleson to come search both women whom he said were “acting weird”.
While waiting for Helleson to arrive, Farrell had the women step out of their vehicle and began questioning them about marijuana.
When Helleson arrived, she can be seen putting on blue latex gloves in the dash cam video. When Angel Dobbs asks about the gloves, Helleson “told her not to worry about that.”
Then right there on the side of the road, the cavity search was done in front of bright police lights, in full view of passing motorists. Angel Dobbs was searched first, then her niece Ashley. The women claimed the trooper touched both their anus and vaginas, without changing the latex gloves between searches.
Dobbs said she never gave consent for the trooper to “frisk, pat-down, search or otherwise touch her” and that she never gave consent for Farrell to search her vehicle.
Farrell searched their vehicle and found no illegal drugs. He then administered a DWI test which Dobbs passed. The women were cited with littering and released.
The lawsuit goes on to say that a bottle of prescription medication was missing from one of the ladies purses after the search.
Attorney Charles Soechting Jr. said a records request to DPS produced no policy that allows for cavity search of any suspect in public.
DPS has not commented on the case.
The punishment, if any, for Trooper Ferrell has yet to be determined.
The Dallas County District Attorney’s office has received the case, and said that the case is being presented to the Grand Jury this month.