A Cleveland-area man said he was held at gunpoint, ticketed and threatened despite explaining to a police officer that he was speeding home to help his wife, who has a high-risk pregnancy, give birth Northeast Ohio Media Group reported.
“Officer Robinson approached me yelling at me to put my hands up and holding me at gunpoint as if I was threatening his life,” Samuel Taylor said of the encounter. “His finger was on the trigger.”
According to WKYC-TV, Taylor’s wife, Katie, sent him a text message last Friday morning asking him to come home from work because she was in labor. Taylor said he was traveling at 38 mph in a 25 mph zone when he passed Cleveland Heights Police Officer William Robinson in his patrol vehicle.
Robinson started following Taylor, and signaled for him to pull over. But because he was “literally about six or seven houses” away from his home and street parking was blocked by other vehicles, Taylor said, he slowed down and pulled into his driveway, at which point Robinson allegedly approached him with his gun drawn.
Taylor said he spent the next 20 minutes explaining the situation to Robinson, and offered to let the officer follow him into the home if he holstered his weapon. Instead, the officer allegedly told him to stay in his car while he went to the home. At that point, Taylor said, he called the police department, and was threatened with felony charges by an unidentified lieutenant.
Meanwhile, Katie Taylor met Robinson at the door and confirmed her husband’s story.
“My wife said, ‘I need my husband to come here,'” Samuel Taylor said. “‘I’m going into labor. Please tell me what is going on. I need help.'”
Police Chief Jeffrey Robertson told WKYC that Robinson only had his gun drawn for two minutes during the encounter, then holstered it after “evaluating the situation.” Robertson also said that the officer arranged for a city ambulance to take the Taylors to the hospital.
The couple drove themselves to the hospital, instead, where Katie Taylor delivered a boy. Though the child, Jonah, was born healthy, Katie Taylor was briefly hospitalized for complications surrounding the pregnancy. Both have reportedly been allowed to return home. Samuel Taylor was cited for speeding and failure to yield for an emergency vehicle.
“Upon initial review we are comfortable that the officer followed CHPD protocol appropriately and he conducted himself in a professional manner,” Cleveland Heights City Manager Tanisha Briley said regarding the incident.
[h/t The Free Thought Project]