‘Lady Liberty’ given writing homework after tussle with Fort Worth police

Posted Saturday, Sep. 28, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Editor’s note: The original version of this report incorrectly characterized the outcome as a plea bargain. It was an agreement that resulted in dismissal of the case, without a plea.

The ending to the dancing “Lady Liberty” case was almost as bizarre as the beginning.

In March, Channing Dontray Gould, 20, was arrested after he was told to stop dancing in a roadway median while wearing a Statue of Liberty costume.

His efforts on behalf of Liberty Tax Service, police said, were distracting the drivers. Gould, however, declined to go quietly. Three officers had to wrestle him to the ground, and he was twice shocked with a Taser.

On Sept. 20, the case was dismissed after an agreement between the prosecutor and the defendant.

Gould had to write “I will not argue with police officers” 50 times on a large easel in Tarrant County Criminal Court Judge Brent Carr’s courtroom.

Prosecutor Anna Summersett said she reached the agreement in the interest of justice.

“My job is to do justice,” she said. “Sometimes justice is jail time, sometimes it is probation, and sometimes it is a dismissal.”

Efforts to reach Gould, a performing arts student at Tarrant County College, for comment were unsuccessful.

10 bizarre sentences handed down by judges

The incident began on March 11 when Fort Worth officer T.R. Greer came upon Gould dancing in the 4800 block of North Tarrant Boulevard.

“Black male wearing a light-color green robe along with a foam headdress,” the police report says.

Greer called out to Gould several times over his patrol car’s public address system, telling him to leave the median, the report says. He left his car and repeated the instruction several times.

Gould shot back that he was working.

“This is not your jurisdiction. Get away from me,” the report quotes him as saying.

Greer told Gould he was under arrest for violating a city ordinance that prohibits distributing, selling or soliciting on medians and traffic islands.

Gould refused to get into the patrol car, the report said. Officers took him to the ground and, when he continued to resist, Greer fired his Taser twice. Officers were finally able to handcuff Gould.

He was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital for evaluation and to have the Taser probes removed.

Although Gould’s punishment was unusual, it’s not unprecedented.

In January, a Houston judge sentenced a 53-year-old man to take a yoga class after he was convicted of slapping his wife. An Indiana man had to carry a sign saying “I failed to appear for jury duty.”

And a Florida judge once sentenced a man charged with battery of his wife to take her bowling and to Red Lobster.

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Mitch Mitchell, 817-390-7752 Twitter: @mitchmitchel3

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