Irving Women Claim Assault, Humiliation After Roadside Cavity Search

CBS Dallas-Fort Worth
December 18, 2012


State Trooper Kelley Hellerson sexually assaults Angela and Ashley Dobbs

State Trooper Kelley Hellerson sexually assaults Angela and Ashley Dobbs

TOR note:  The new probable cause for a roadside cavity search is tossing a cigarette butt out of your car and “acting weird?”  Another episode of the continued dehumanization of everyday American citizens.  Abu Ghraib comes to Dallas.  Additional reports of the same incident from Daily Mail UK here and NBC News (with transcript) here.  -DB

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Two Irving women have filed a federal lawsuit against State Troopers and the head of their department alleging that they were subjected to a humiliating and illegal “cavity search” during a traffic stop.

38-year-old Angel Dobbs and her niece, 24-year-old Ashley Dobbs, were pulled over last July near the area of Highway 161 and Beltline Road for allegedly tossing cigarette butts out of the window of their vehicle while on a ‘road trip’ to Oklahoma.

The women’s attorney Scott Palmer says State Trooper David Farrell claimed he smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle and performed a search, which turned up nothing.

Trooper Farrell then called in a female trooper, who proceeded to do a very personal cavity search to see if they women were hiding any illegal items.

Ferrell asked for the search because he said the women were “acting weird,” the suit said.

After putting on gloves, Angel Dobbs says the trooper asked if it was okay to search her.  Dobbs says she didn’t answer, but asked the trooper why she had the gloves.  “At that point, she told me to shut up and just listen,” Dobbs told CBS 11.

The women said that the female trooper, Kelley Helleson, proceeded to use her fingers to search their anuses and vaginas, using the same latex glove on both women, on the side of the road in full view of other passing vehicles.

On the video, the trooper can be seen feeling around Dobbs’ bra.  Then, Dobbs says, Helleson opened the back of her jogging pants.  “At this point, I’m in clear shock. I can’t even believe this is happening.  Turns me around goes down into the front of my pants into my inner thigh and at which point she goes up with two fingers.  I just look at her and say ‘oh my God, I’ve just been violated.’”

Without changing her latex glove, Trooper Helleson began searching Ashley Dobbs.  “She went down, then turned me around, and went down my front and then she actually dug.  I didn’t know what I could say, what I could do. I felt hopeless.”

“I was molested, I was violated. I was humiliated,” Angel Dobbs later said of the incident.

After finding nothing on the women and performing a roadside sobriety test, which Angel Dobbs passed, the women were given a warning for littering and sent on their way.

After the searches, Angel Dobbs is heard on the video expressing her frustration.  The trooper blamed it on cigarette smoke.  “It’s because someone’s a daily smoker in that car, you can attribute it to that,” the trooper is heard saying.

Attorney Scott Palmer says the incident was a violation.  “We believe both troopers Farrell and Helleson displayed a wreckless and callous disregard for these women’s constitutional rights and their safety.”

Read the rest of the article.