FULL TEXT COMPLAINT FILED IN FEDERAL COURT - Angel Dobbs and Ashley Dobbs v David Farrell, Kelley Helleson and Steven McCraw, Case 3:12-cv-05141L, Filed Dec 17, 2012
Female US cop caught on tape giving two women body cavity search during routine traffic stop... and 'using the SAME gloves on both'.
Two Texas women are suing after state troopers subjected them to a humiliating and invasive 'roadside body cavity search' that was caught on video.
Female trooper Kellie Helleson is seen in the footage aggressively searching the private parts of Angel Dobbs, 38, and her niece, Ashley Dobbs, 24, in front of passing cars.
The women, who claim the trooper used the same rubber glove for both of them, were initially stopped by Helleson's colleague David Farrell on State Highway 161 near Irving after he saw one of them throw a cigarette butt out the window.
Farrell can be heard in the disturbing video questioning the pair about marijuana though he failed to find any evidence of the drug in the vehicle.
However, he requested the women be searches after allegedly claiming they were 'acting weird.'
The lawsuit states he then tried to 'morph this situation into a DWI investigation,' according to the Dallas Morning News.
Angel Dobbs passed a roadside sobriety test and the women were given warnings for littering.
Pulled over: The women were initially stopped by Helleson's colleague David Farrell on State Highway 161 near Irving, Texas
Angel Dobbs said Helleson irritated an anal cyst she suffers from during the search, causing her 'severe and continuing pain and discomfort.'
The suit said: 'Angel Dobbs was overwhelmed with emotion and a feeling of helplessness and reacted stating that Helleson had just violated her in a most horrific manner.'
The two women are also suing the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Steven McCraw, who they claim ignored previous complaints about 'unlawful strip searches, cavity searches and the like.'
Lawsuit: The women are also suing the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety for ignoring prior complaints about searches
The Dobbs' lawyer Scott H. Palmer said the shocking incident, which was filmed on one of the trooper's dash-mounted cameras, was a roadside 'sexual assault.'
He said the Texas Rangers investigated his clients' complaints but failed to take any action against the troopers.
'You can see what's happening clearly,' he told the Dallas Morning News of the video. 'No one's ever seen the likes of this. We can't let them get away with it.'
Pedophile Texas police chief sentenced to 3 years prison in molestation case by Attorney Scott Palmer Blog
by DAVID SCHECHTER
December 18, 2012
Updated yesterday at 8:52 PM
ADDISON, TEXAS – Two Irving women have filed a lawsuit against the Texas Department of Public Safety, alleging state trooper Kelley Helleson as responsible for a painful and humiliating cavity search during a routine traffic stop in Dallas in July.
Angel and Ashley Dobbs sued Helleson along with fellow trooper David Farrell and Steven McCraw, the director of the Department of Public Safety. They filed the lawsuit on Monday in the federal U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
Farrell, who pulled the aunt and niece over, says on tape that he saw them throw a cigarette butt out the window while driving northbound on Highway 161 near Belt Line Lane. He said he smelled marijuana in the car and called Helleson to conduct the search. No drugs were found and they were released with a warning.
"I didn't know what I could say or what I could do," Ashley Dobbs, 24, said. "I felt helpless."
DPS spokeswoman Katherine Cesinger said the department would not comment on pending litigation. She did say, however, that the Texas Rangers investigated the stop and forwarded the results to the Dallas County District Attorney's Office.
On Tuesday, the two women joined attorney Scott Palmer at his Addison law firm to address the media. The lawsuit alleges that Helleson used her fingers to search inside each woman's genital areas. The suit also says that the trooper did not change the glove she was wearing and performed the search without consent. Angel Dobbs, who was driving her boyfriend's car at the time, also passed a field sobriety test.
The suit also says Helleson failed to properly explain the extent of the search, telling Angel Dobbs, 38, "not to worry about" why she was putting on blue latex gloves.
"This intrusive cavity search occurred on the side of a public freeway illuminated by lights from the police vehicle in full view of the passing public," the lawsuit reads. "Moreover, this roadside body cavity search was done without her consent."
McCraw is being sued for being aware of a "long standing pattern of police misconduct involving unlawful strip searches, cavity searches and the like, yet failed to take corrective action." It also alleges that his employees were not trained to know that probable cause is required before a cavity search.
DPS has not responded to a request for comment.
"I was molested, I was violated, I was humiliated in front of other traffic," said Angel Dobbs. "I had to watch my niece go through the same thing and I could not protect her at that point."
Both women and their lawyer say the suit is to prevent further incidents like this one.
"In this instance, they have completely failed the citizens of Texas," said Charles Soechting, the second lawyer representing the two women.
Ed. note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly listed Angel and Ashley Dobbs as cousins. Ashley is Angel's niece. The story has been corrected.