Two women sue Texas Troopers for illegal roadside cavity search
A federal lawsuit filed by two Irving women claims that Texas State Troopers humiliated them by performing illegal cavity searches on the side of the road after a cigarette butt was thrown out of their car window.
State Trooper David Farrell called in a female trooper to perform cavity searches of Angel Dobbs, 38, and her 24-year-old niece, Ashley Dobbs, because he said that he smelled marijuana and the women were “acting weird,” attorney Scott Palmer told KTVT on Tuesday.
Angel Dobbs recalled that the female trooper, Kelley Helleson, asked for her permission to perform the search and then told her to “shut up and just listen.”
Dashcam video shows Helleson searching the anuses and vaginas of both women with the same latex gloves in full view of other passing cars.
“At this point, I’m in clear shock. I can’t even believe this is happening,” Angel Dobbs explained. Turns me around goes down into the front of my pants into my inner thigh and at which point she goes up with two fingers. I just look at her and say ‘oh my God, I’ve just been violated.’”
And then the trooper performed the same procedure on Ashley Dobbs without changing her gloves.
“She went down, then turned me around, and went down my front and then she actually dug,” Ashley Dobbs said. “I didn’t know what I could say, what I could do. I felt hopeless.”
After the body cavity searches turned up nothing, Angel Dobbs was given a sobriety test, which she passed. The women were then given a ticket for littering and allowed to leave.
“It’s because someone’s a daily smoker in that car, you can attribute it to that,” the trooper can be heard telling Angel Dobbs in the dashcam video.
“I was molested, I was violated. I was humiliated,” Angel Dobbs insisted to reporters, adding that the trooper also took a bottle of Vicodin that had been legally prescribed to her.
When the women filed a complaint with the Texas Department of Public Safety, they said they were told that they would be charged with lying if they filed an affidavit.
For its part, the Texas Department of Public Safety claimed it had “conducted an inquiry surrounding the events” and then provided the findings to the Dallas County DA’s office.
Watch this video from KTVT, broadcast Dec. 18, 2012.
Watch this video of the search from KTVT, broadcast Dec. 18, 2012.