DPD Fires Officer Who Lied About Having Foot Run Over By Chase Suspect

Categories: Crime

EricWatts.jpg
WFAA
A dash cam video showed that Eric Watts wasn't actually run over like he claimed, which is why he no longer works for DPD.
On April 1, 2011, Dallas Police Officer Eric Watts went to check out a report that vehicles were racing in an area near Stemmons and Northwest Highway.

Watts reportedly saw an orange Nissan peel out of a parking lot, narrowly missing another car, turned on his lights and siren, and gave chase in violation of department policy prohibiting pursuits for traffic violators. The driver ignored the sirens and didn't stop until he became stuck behind a line of cars at an intersection. Watts stepped out of his squad car, drew his weapon, and told the driver to get out of the car.

The driver smiled, stepped on the gas, and drove away, running over Watts' foot in the process, the officer claimed in a report. The man was arrested shortly after and charged with aggravated assault of a public servant, except that, when DPD reviewed Watts' dash cam, they concluded the Nissan never touched him.

Watts was indicted in May for allegedly making a false statement during a criminal investigation. The criminal case is pending, but an Internal Affairs investigation is over and found that Watts violated DPD policy by initiating the chase, gave "inconsistent, conflicting, and/or misleading statements regarding a police incident," and generally bringing "discredit to the department," particularly once the media got involved.

And this, from DPD's press release:

"Officer Watts' actions are particularly disturbing because the false information he provided led to an arrest of the driver for a felony charge that carries a possible prison term of 5 to 99 years."

Watts had been with the department since 2005.

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10 comments
Juliofrajo
Juliofrajo

We are glad he doesn't work for dpd. Ruins it for the good cops out there who are never recognized for the good they do. Only the bad cops are always the center of attention. Btw watts, don't disrespect anyone in your next job.

Wes Scott
Wes Scott

Or maybe, just maybe, the drag racer could be charged with drag racing, resisting arrest and other crimes he committed AND the DPD officer would be fired and charged with a felony for filing a false police report alleging a felony that did not exist. In this case the officer caused all of this to happen to himself by violating a departmental policy of non-pursuit. Having violated that policy, the officer still could have avoided his own fate by being an honest person instead of lying and making a false allegation against the drag racer. Police officers have a higher duty to be honest and beyond reproach in their capacity as law enforcement officers.

conflator
conflator

what does what the arrestee did have to do with the cop lying?  does one thing excuse the other?

conflator
conflator

what does what the arrestee did have to do with the cop lying?  does one thing excuse the other?

Sacmankc135
Sacmankc135

The mentality of the majority of DPD officers under 55 is 'they are the law', which is a complete false hood, they are indioviduals hired to enforce the law!  To many of them as you say "demand", where they should use common sense, and the letter of the law *WRITTEN* and not made up at the time in their own peabrains.

Michael in LH
Michael in LH

 That is one of the real problems here. Despite being fired by DPD, this guy gets to keep his peace officer license and will just move to another department on down the road. Guys like this should have their license revoked and be banned from ever being a cop in Texas.

Michael in LH
Michael in LH

 I don't see anyone arguing that the idiot drag-racer should not be punished for his actual crimes. That is not the issue here at all. The issue is a cop decided that those crimes were not enough and decided to lie to cover his own ass for violating the chase policy. Seems fair, cop violates chase policy, perp gets a felony and hard time in prison for a crime he did not commit. Good on the DPD for getting rid of this scumbag. Cops like this guy can ruin the reputation of an entire department.

Anon
Anon

it's more than this one issue. if I had been convicted of something based on testimony of this police officer, I'd immediately contact my lawyer. his credibility is gone and I'd certainly argue that if he lied on this case, he would have had no problem lying under oath. that's a lot of cases going back to 2005 when this asshole started working for DPD and a lot of potentially guilty people who now have a reasonable claim that the legal process that convicted them was tainted.

Sacmankc135
Sacmankc135

OH THEYYYYYYYYYYYY DO, not on I-30 or I-35 anymore but all other locations, why do you think we have been using *fire trucks* (not the same as fire engine)  to block traffic, because those morons are to damn lazy to get out of the car afraid they may get hit, so they talk on cell phone.

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