NASHUA, N.H. (CBS/AP) — A Massachusetts State Police trooper and New Hampshire State Police trooper have been relieved from duty after the violent arrest and beating of a driver who led police on a two-state chase.
Police say Richard Simone, 50, of Worcester, led them on a one-hour pursuit that was captured on video Wednesday as it went from Holden, Massachusetts all the way to a dead end street in Nashua, New Hampshire. When Simone got out of the pickup truck, he appeared to kneel and put his hands on the ground when at least two officers began punching him.
Thursday afternoon, Massachusetts and New Hampshire State Police officials both announced their troopers had been relieved from duty. The troopers have not yet been identified.
“The Massachusetts State Police expect and demand all department members to act at all times with integrity, honor, and adherence to the law,” the Massachusetts State Police said in a statement Thursday afternoon. “If it is determined that a department member has not lived up to those expectations, we will take appropriate action.”
Mass. State Police said their trooper was relieved pending an internal hearing scheduled for Friday.
New Hampshire State Police Director Col. Robert L Quinn said during a press conference Thursday that the trooper was relieved “immediately” after the events of the arrest. He said New Hampshire State Police would conduct their own investigation, and would cooperate fully with the New Hampshire Attorney General’s criminal investigation.
The New Hampshire trooper is on leave without pay.
“The events of Wednesday evening are disturbing,” said Quinn. “However, we will not know the complete facts and circumstances surrounding this event until the investigation by an independent agency is concluded.”
The pursuit began when Simone refused to stop for local police in Holden. He was wanted on multiple warrants for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, larceny, and failure to stop for police.
Holden police chased him, and a Massachusetts State Police cruiser followed.
The chase went through several towns at speeds exceeding 100 mph, with the pickup truck “making abrupt lane changes as the (suspect) continued to try to evade capture” and crashing at least once, said Dave Procopio, a state police spokesman.
But spike strips laid out by police eventually took their toll as the pickup truck rolled to a stop on Hughey Street in Nashua, New Hampshire.
WBZ-TV’s helicopter video showed the truck stopped next to a utility pole on a dead-end street before police officers surrounded it with their weapons drawn….”
Ed.: I once met a young woman at a seminar for sports counseling who was doing some deep research into the conjunction of post-game violence in athletes, particulary in terms of domestic violence.
That was two decades ago, and that kind of research has surely progressed, but the tentative focus or finding involved hormones (testosterone, in this case) and the stressors of competition and the physiological changes inherent in large-muscle exertion.
(Clearly there have been multiple other examples, cases, lawsuits, etc. involving alleged excessive use of force, police violence, etc. The questions involved also extend to military examples and situations.)
Related questions may involve the degree to which law enforcement professionals are routinely involved in high-intensity weight training or other forms of physical large-muscle exercise, and whether or not individuals were involved with steroids, performance enhancing drugs, HGH et al (i.e., was this roid rage?). You can easily find heavy metal music for gym workouts using the search term “songs about roid rage”. Equally, interested body-builders can easily find over-the-counter testosterone supplements right next to the generic erectile dysfunction caps.
Certainly a prolonged high-speed chase of a suspected culprit is extremely stress-inducing and can be likened to an athletic competition.
Equally, it involves issues of social dominance.
Is road rage related to roid rage?
While extended and deep research is necessary, my own cursory online search done with the text “violence in athletes testosterone competition large-muscle exertion” turned up the following:
Excerpt from Chapter 3 of
Abstract of Reproductive hormone increases in response to acute exercise in men,
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 35 18(4):369-73 August 1986
TESTOSTERONE AND DOMINANCE IN MEN
the unedited penultimate draft of a BBS target article that has been accepted for publication (Copyright 1997: Cambridge University Press) and is being circulated for Open Peer Commentary.