Arrest Caught on Tape Leads to Officer Indictment

12-22-03 - Nearly six months after an arrest caught on tape, a federal grand jury has indicted a former Oklahoma police officer on a complaint of using excessive force.

Richard Wyrick was working as a Colbert police officer when he pursued a car into Denison. He followed the elderly man into a convenience store, spun him around, and hit him once in the face. Now he's accused of violating the civil rights of James Murray of Cartwright, Oklahoma.

According to Wyrick's police report, he began pursuing Murray's vehicle about 1:30 in the morning after he saw him parked in the middle of State Highway 91 in Colbert. The in store tape appears to show that Murray was unaware the officer was pursuing him. The elderly man broke his hip during the arrest.

Wyrick also faces a charge of falsifying records pertaining to a federal investigation. Wyrick allegedly made a false entry into the Oklahoma Uniform Incident/Offense Report to obstruct the FBI investigation of Murray's arrest.

If convicted, Wyrick faces up to 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.