Police account of arrest differs from Foley's
Posted 6/27/2007 04:02:00 PM
The police account of House Minority Whip Dan Foley’s arrest differs sharply from what the GOP representative says happened.
Regardless of who’s telling the truth, police reports and Foley’s booking mug are sure to come back to haunt him in future elections.
Foley pleaded not guilty Tuesday in
According to police, Foley was arrested while rushing the court and shouting profanities after a fight broke out at his son’s Gus Macker basketball tournament game. He also spit chewing tobacco at an officer before he was arrested, according to the report. He faces a maximum of 20 days in jail and a $784 fine, according to the Roswell Daily Record.
Foley is scheduled to go to trial on Aug. 2.
The reports of several police officers all present the same basic story of what happened on Sunday: A fight broke out on the court. Foley charged the court while yelling that someone had “hit my (expletive deleted) kid,” and one officer tried to stop him. Foley pushed his way past that officer, and two others grabbed him and forced him to the ground on his back, where he continued to resist. Foley was then turned onto his stomach and handcuffed, according to the officers’ accounts.
The officer Foley pushed past wrote in his report that the representative “overpowered me,” and that “Mr. Foley’s chewing tobacco had been spit on my white duty polo shirt. Mr. Foley also possessed chewing tobacco on the front of his shirt.”
Foley appears in his booking mug with a brown stain on his shirt. He admitted it was a tobacco stain but said he “couldn’t tell you” how it got there, and said he doesn’t chew tobacco.
“I get violently sick when I smell tobacco,” he said, adding that many members of the House can vouch for the fact that he tells them to quit chewing.
Foley asserts that he was “calm” but attempting to step in after the coach of the opposing team shoved his son to the ground.
“I would do that again for any kid,” Foley said.
The coach of Foley’s team told police that the other coach “put his arm out” to stop Foley’s son from getting into the fight, and that Foley’s son “stumbled back, and it may have looked to Mr. Foley that (the coach) did that on purpose.”
Several people watching the game cheered when Foley was arrested, according to police reports, and told police he was a lawmaker and had been yelling at players and officials during other games over the weekend.
Another interesting point – the
What does it mean for Foley’s career?
Regardless, the photo of Foley in handcuffs and with a tobacco stain on his white T-shirt is likely to show up in every race from now until the end of his career. Police reports detailing his use of profanity and accusing him of resisting officers will likely haunt him as well.
A conviction would further damage his reputation.
Many say the 37-year-old Foley has a temper, and it’s no secret that his speech often includes profanity. At the same time, he’s a skilled debater and organizer who has helped make House Republicans more effective than their Senate counterparts and the state GOP organization.
Foley said he isn’t prone to uncontrolled outbursts of anger, noting that he had never been arrested before Sunday.
“Why have I never been in a fistfight? Why I have never strangled anyone?” Foley asked. “Why have I never gone after a lobbyist?”
House Minority Leader Tom Taylor of
“From what I understand, there’s not really much wrongdoing that I can see in the thing. Dan didn’t really engage anybody,” he said. “… If he’d gone out on the court and pounded somebody that would be different.”
“I wasn’t there, so I really don’t know the details of it,”
Speaker of the House Ben Lujan, D-Nambé, on the other hand, said Foley’s conduct “sets a bad example for children.”
“It’s unfortunate that this thing had to happen, but I feel that we have to take responsibility and we should apologize when we do something not lawful,” he said. “It doesn’t set a good example when we try to interfere with the law.”
The police report
Here is the entire police report from Foley’s arrest. A warning: It does contain profanity.