Arrest Warrant Issued for Hero Cop

An arrest warrant has been approved for a former Philadelphia Police officer once hailed as a hero, after he allegedly threatened a woman in Port Richmond last week.

By David Chang
|  Tuesday, Feb 7, 2012  |  Updated 12:13 AM EDT
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Arrest Warrant Issued for Hero Cop

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An arrest warrant has been approved by the District Attorney for former Philadelphia Police Officer Richard DeCoatsworth, according to public affairs.

Police say the warrant is for an incident in which he allegedly threatened a woman in Port Richmond last week.

Last December, DeCoatsworth retired from the police force on disability.

He is best known for an incident in 2007 when he was a rookie officer in which he was shot in the face. DeCoatsworth managed to chase down the suspect for several blocks before collapsing. He called in enough information by radio that police were able to track down and arrest the suspect later the same day.

His heroism earned him an invitation from Vice President Joe Biden to attend President Obama’s first congressional address at the U.S. capital in February of 2009. The officer sat with First Lady Michelle Obama during the address. He was also honored by his peers as a 2008 Top Cop.
He was involved in two more dramatic incidents soon after.

In April of 2009, police say DeCoatsworth was jumped and attacked by a man when he tried to disperse a crowd at the Logan section of the city. During the struggle, sources say DeCoastsworth’s gun went off and hit the suspect who took off running. Another officer responding to the scene shot the suspect dead, according to sources.

In September of 2009, police say DeCoatsworth and another officer stopped a man on a motorcycle in the Kensington section of the city. While they were questioning him, a second man allegedly jumped on the motorcycle and drove at the officers. Police say DeCoatsworth shot at the suspect, who sped off. The suspect was found later at the hospital where his mother had taken him to be treated for a shotgun wound.

During the incident, local witnesses claimed the two suspects did nothing wrong and that DeCoatsworth and the other officer acted recklessly, shooting while children were nearby.

In November of 2011, Internal Affairs investigated an alleged scuffle between DeCoastworth and another officer, according to philly.com.

The Daily News also reports he amassed nine citizen complaints, accusing him of assault, abuse and misconduct.

As for the latest incident, police are waiting for the warrant to be signed by a judge before they execute it.
 

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