Monday, July 30, 2012

Michael Dyer in traffic stop where gun, suspected pot found UPDATE

Posted By on Mon, Jul 30, 2012 at 6:46 AM

The Jonesboro Sun is behind a pay wall, but I can relay that the newspaper this morning has an extensive story on star running back Michael Dyer's abrupt dismissal from the Arkansas State football team yesterday after less than two weeks officially in the fold following his transfer from Auburn, where he'd had unspecified problems..

The Sun says the dismissal appears to be related to a traffic stop in March in White County. Dyer was cited for speeding 96 in a 70 mph zone and fined $17 (this apparently was an error; the fine apparently was $175, according to subsequent reports) and given five days of community service. But a Sun review of records on the stop indicates that the state trooper who made the stop found another person in the car with a handgun and a substance believed to be marijuana. No charges were filed over these items, apparently.

The Sun obtained the video of the stop, which includes a conversation between Little Rock Christian graduate Dyer and Trooper Royce Denney, who either knew or came to know Dyer was a football player. The videotape shows Denney asking Dyer if the gun is registered.

"Carrying a pistol around? Uncool ... You've got a career ahead of you but you're being a total dumbass right now," the newspaper quotes from the video.

Denney says he could report the incident to Coach Gus Malzahn, but adds: "What's the best way to make you think? You're a grown man and I'm not trying to treat you like a kid." He also reportedly tells Dyer he doesn't want to tell Malzahn about the incident "because of the NCAA crap."

According to the newspaper account of the video, Dyer responds: "I'm done with this. This is my second chance over here." He urged Denney to take the gun. Eventually, Denney turns the camera off.

The newspaper reports that Denney is under investigation for his actions in the traffic stop. Two vehicles were stopped; the gun was found in Dyer's. The State Police are promising a statement on the issue soon.

Dyer left Auburn after admitting during a trial of another man that his gun was used in the robbery and that he had smoked marijuana. Though he only reaffirmed his commitment to stay at ASU despite being unable to play in the fall less than 10 days ago, he'd transferred to ASU six months ago and participated in spring practice.

UPDATE: The State Police has issued the following statement on the matter and also provided a a copy of the video (Arkansas Sports 360 has posted a clip from it here). It raises questions about the deference accorded in the traffic stop to a football player, along with other questions about handling of the gun and potential drug found.

Colonel JR Howard, Director of the Arkansas State Police, has received a final report from the department’s Office of Professional Standards and the Command Staff Review Board relative to an internal investigation of a March 10th 2012 traffic stop by State Trooper Royce Denney.

The traffic stop involved two vehicles, one operated by Michael Dyer and the other by Ronnie Wright.

Both drivers were cited by Trooper Denney for speeding 96 miles per hour in a 70 mile per hour zone. The tickets are on file at White County District Court.

A copy of the traffic stop video recording captured by Trooper Denney’s patrol car camera has been released under the provisions of the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.

Presently there is a personnel matter associated with the investigation of Trooper Denney pending before Colonel Howard and at this time the department is prohibited from acknowledging any further information about the internal investigation.

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