Police in Utah arrested a man for video recording a conversation they were having with his mother before arresting his mother for failing to disperse the area after her son’s arrest, sending her into diabetic shock as they were walking her from the patrol car to the jail.
That led to Vernal City police dragging her handcuffed, unconscious body into the booking room and plopping it down where they stood around smiling as if it was all some kind of joke.
“I freaked out,” said her son, Coty Tabbee, 27, who had just been transported to the booking room in another patrol on disorderly conduct and interfering charges after he stood up for his right to record on a public sidewalk.
“They just didn’t care,” he said. “They just stood around watching, smiling.”
“I said, ‘do you think this is funny?’”
After more than two minutes of Tabbee repeatedly telling them that his mother is a diabetic and needs help, a deputy retrieved a blood sugar testing kit and tested her blood, indicting that the blood glucose level was 200 mg/dl.
The deputies called paramedics who performed CPR on her before transporting her to the hospital where she was cited and released for failure to disperse as well as disorderly conduct. Tabbee was released from jail seven hours later.
The incident, the second from Utah to emerge this week, took place July 27 when Tabbee’s mother had gone to the house of another woman who owed her $20. Hi videos are above and below. A local news station ran a story with the headline Vernal man claims police arrested him for recording mother’s arrest as they had not watched the video.
In a telephone interview with Photography is Not a Crime Friday night, Tabbee explained that the woman tends to drink and pass out, so his mother started yelling through the door to get her attention.
The woman called police and dispatchers said they could hear Tabbee’s mother yelling in the background.
After hanging up with police, the woman stepped out of her house and shoved a screen door into his mother, causing her arm to bleed, Tabbee said.
When cops arrived, his mother wanted cops to arrest the woman for assault, but they told her she would have to file a complaint with the Uintah County Attorney’s Office the following day, which was a Monday.
However, they told her they were going to arrest her for disorderly conduct because she had yelled through the door earlier.
At that point, she called her son, Tabbee, to inform him of the situation and to advise him she may be going to jail.
After the call, they gave her a citation for disorderly conduct and allowed her to leave. As she was driving away, she pulled to the side of the road to call her son, letting him know that she is not being detained anymore and he didn’t need to come.
But the cops wouldn’t allow that, so they walked up to her and told her she needed to leave or get cited for failing to disperse.
That was when Tabbee arrived at the scene with two cameras recording, including a smart phone.
He remained on the sidewalk next to his mother’s car, not saying a word until they asked they questioned him and he told her he was her son.
“Go away,” one cop said.
“I can be right here and record,” Tabbee responded.
That prompted officer A. Manning to approach him and order him away repeatedly, reminiscent of the infamous Suffolk County arrest that led to a huge settlement this year.
Manning twisted Tabbee’s arm behind him and shoved his midsection into a spiked fence, knocking his iPhone out of his hand where it shattered on the ground.
In jail after they had transported his mother to the hospital, the other officer, whose name is Larsen, told Tabbee the following.
“Ok Coty, If you’re not a dick to these guys, I will tell you how your mom is doing when I get back.”
“And I said ok, thank you,” Tabbee said.
Larsen’s wife seems to be just as pleasant, judging by a comment she left on Tabbee’s video on Facebook, which was captured as a screen shot before she deleted it.
Call the Vernal City Police Department at (435) 789-5835.
Call the Unitah County Attorney’s Office at (435) 781-5436.
Send stories, tips and videos to Carlos Miller.