Collegedale police officer under investigation after sex allegation
Collegedale police officer Cpl. Matt Spears. / Chattanooga Times Free Press.
COLLEGEDALE, HAMILTON COUNTY -
(WRCB) - Collegedale Police are investigating one of their veteran supervisors,
after hearing allegations that Chattanooga Police observed him,
off-duty, having sex in a private car after midnight Sunday.
Matt Spears remains on duty while Collegedale's Internal Affairs
officers conduct their investigation, according to Chief Brian Hickman.
what I have been told is that he (Spears) was at the Samaritan Center
and supposedly inappropriate actions were being done there," Chief
Chattanooga Police Chief Bobby Dodd confirms that
officers reported seeing Cpl. Spears' cruiser parked next to a sport
utility vehicle in the parking lot of a strip shopping center at 9200
Lee Highway. Those officers, sources tell Eyewitness News, saw Spears
and a woman having sex
"They (the officers) were kind of shocked
it was going on," Chief Dodd says. "But they didn't feel it was their
place to do anything."
The officers, Dodd says, were answering a call alleging that a woman was passed out drunk in a parked car full of children.
officers charged Kimberly Farris with child endangerment and driving
under the influence. They placed the children in state custody.
Spears has declined to go on camera, but Monday afternoon he told
Eyewitness News that the reality is far different from what's been
"I was with my wife," Cpl. Spears said. "And I'd like to spare her any more embarrassment."
But it doesn't end there.
"We have decided to do an internal investigation to see if the allegations were correct," Chief Hickman says.
Internal Affairs investigators will gather statements from the Chattanooga officers, and proceed from there.
don't know how long it'll take," Chief Hickman says. "Maybe a week,
maybe two. I'm surprised to hear something like this. He (Spears) has
been a very good officer."
The Samaritan Center's manager also has expressed surprise at the allegations.
hate to hear anything going on that shouldn't be going on--on the
property here," Samaritan Center manager Tony Dahlberg says.
Dahlberg often hears from Chattanooga Police late at night. The Center's back loading dock is a tempting target for thieves.
fact, we got a call early Sunday morning, saying they'd caught
somebody," Dahlberg says. "They wanted to know if we wanted to press
charges or not."
Dahlberg was able to confirm the theft by
reviewing video from security cameras that monitor the back dock. The
Samaritan Center has no cameras in its front parking lot.
Highway is the dividing line between Collegedale and Chattanooga city
limits. As such, Dahlberg says, the respective police departments have a
"Sometimes, we'll have need and
Chattanooga Police can't get there right away," Dahlberg says. "There've
been times when they'll call and Collegedale Police will detain them
Collegedale Police have posted statements of Mission and Values on the department's webpage.
the goals, the department vows to "enforce the laws fairly and
impartially with integrity and professionalism"...while "understanding
that laws have a spirit as well as a letter, thus giving our officers
If source accounts are true, Chattanooga Police could
have charged Cpl. Spears and his woman companion with indecent exposure,
a misdemeanor under Tennessee law.
Chief Hickman says Cpl.
Spears could face disciplinary action ranging from demotion to
termination, depending on what the investigation concludes.
Tuesday, September 16 2014 7:10 AM EDT2014-09-16 11:10:48 GMT
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