Archive for Sunday, May 4, 2008

Surgeon arrested as prank backfires

May 4, 2008


— What was meant as a harmless prank by a group of teenagers ended with a baseball bat being smashed through a vehicle's windows and a Tulsa surgeon in handcuffs.

Richard Lee Cooper, 41, was arrested last week after police say he chased down a group of teens who rang his doorbell and ran away. He was arrested on seven complaints of assault with a dangerous weapon, but the Tulsa County district attorney's office is still considering whether charges will be filed.

Cooper's professional career also has been put in peril, as the Oklahoma Board of Osteopathic Examiners is investigating to see whether any board action should be taken.

Tulsa police received a call from Cooper's wife on April 26, saying several people were knocking on their door and ringing the doorbell, police officer Leland Ashley said.

"Then she called a little later and said her husband had left the residence and was chasing the vehicle," Ashley said.

Moments later, a 911 call came from a different person.

"One of the teenagers inside the vehicle said a man had run them off the road and was breaking their windows out with a baseball bat," Ashley said.

The teenagers told police they had been playing "ding dong ditch" and were driving down the street when a car began flashing its headlights and accelerating quickly toward them.

The teens then reported that after the vehicle "cut them off" and forced them to stop, an irate man jumped out of the car and approached them with a bat in his hand.

"They said he was yelling at them and beating the car with the bat, and they were telling him they were sorry and to take it easy," Ashley said.

When police arrived, Cooper was sitting in his car nearby, and Ashley said witnesses pointed him out to officers.

Cooper was arrested and booked into the Tulsa County jail. He later posted $70,000 bail, $10,000 for each count of assault, and was released.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.