IMPD's Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has opened a criminal investigation against an officer accused of shoving a south side resident to the ground during a road rage incident captured on surveillance video.
Tom Trickle said he was crossing the street in the 800 block of West Banta Road at about 8:30 a.m. Thursday when an eastbound gray sedan approached him at a high rate of speed.
"I think he was doing every bit of over fifty miles per hour," said Trickle. "I give him a hand gesture. I basically gave him the bird."
Trickle said he cursed at the driver speeding through the 35 mile-per-hour zone and then walked to the driveway of a neighbor to await delivery of a refrigerator.
Minutes later, the gray sedan returned and what happened next was captured by a neighbor's surveillance camera.
"All of a sudden the same vehicle pulled up," said Turner. "I recognized it. I seen that it had emergency lights on when he went past and tapped his brakes I realized that it was an unmarked car."
Turner said the driver stopped in the westbound lane and blocked traffic on the busy road to confront Trickle.
"When he pulled up he opened the door," said Turner. "He had a polo on with a badge embroidered on it so I assumed at that time that he was on duty or had just gotten off duty.
"The gentleman opens his door and the first words out of his mouth were, 'Who the F do you think you are flipping me off?'"
Trickle did not back off from the angry driver.
"He goes, 'Get out of my face,' and then he takes both hands like that and shoves me," said Trickle, "and I just go back. My head hits the ground, you know."
Trickle said he is recovering from brain cancer surgery and was knocked senseless by the fall.
The video shows Trickle on the ground ten feet away from the original point of confrontation with the officer bending over him.
"When the officer chucked him immediately he got on top of him, followed him down the driveway, was on top of him, had his shirt grasped in one hand and then was trying to knock his hands down with the other," said Turner. "Never identified himself by name, never identified himself as an officer until I realized that he had a patch on and I requested him to get a supervisor out here."
Uniformed officers, a supervisor, a district commander and Internal Affairs detectives responded as Trickle was bundled into an ambulance and taken to the hospital to be checked for abrasions.
"I never knew he was a cop until after it was all done and over with," said Trickle. "He didn't have a marked police car and he didn't have a uniform on so I didn't know who he was."
"My take is if the guy would have just slowed down in the first place we wouldn't even be here," said Turner. "There was no reason to come back here. No reason whatsoever."
The officer is a plainclothes patrolman assigned to the southeast district and is now on administrative leave.
IMPD's SIU investigates criminal allegations against officers.