Lawrence skateboarder injured during arrest charged with 3 misdemeanors

photo by: Douglas County Sheriff's Office

Duc Minh Tran, pictured in June 2019

A Lawrence skateboarder who was injured in a June incident that sparked an internal investigation at the Lawrence Police Department is now facing charges in connection.

Duc Tran, 43, of Lawrence, was charged Friday in Douglas County District Court with two class A misdemeanors: interference with law enforcement and assault of a law enforcement officer. He was also charged with failure to obey lawful order of a police officer or fireman, an unclassified misdemeanor.

The Journal-World reported in July about Tran’s case. Around 11 p.m. Saturday, June 29, Tran was skateboarding in the street near the intersection of Seventh and New Hampshire streets when a Lawrence police officer, Brad Williams, stopped him.

photo by: Sara Shepherd

Lawrence resident Duc Tran is pictured Wednesday, July 3, 2019, in downtown Lawrence. Tran says his left elbow was fractured when a Lawrence police officer arrested him in June 2019.

Lawrence police previously told the Journal-World that the stopped skateboarder was “argumentative, refused to provide identification, and attempted several times to walk away,” and that he “shouted at and approached the officer with a skateboard raised overhead in a manner which led the officer to believe the subject was about to inflict immediate bodily harm upon the officer.”

Tran told the Journal-World he did protest being detained, saying he’d been let off the hook before for skateboarding in the street. But he said he was screaming that his arm was broken when Williams twisted his left arm behind his back.

Sgt. Amy Rhoads, public affairs officer for LPD, told the Journal-World at the time that the department had launched an internal investigation into the incident.

“We take these things very seriously, and we hold our officers to the highest standards,” Rhoads said.

Reached via email Friday, Rhoads said she had no updates on the internal investigation.

The morning after his arrest, Tran was taken to the hospital for X-rays. He was diagnosed with a fractured elbow, which he had splinted and wrapped. He had scrapes on his legs and shoulder, and he said both shoulders were dislocated during the arrest.

photo by: Contributed photo

Lawrence resident Duc Tran shows one injury he says was caused by a Lawrence police officer, Saturday, June 29, 2019.

Wichita-based attorney Mark Schoenhofer is representing Tran in the case. In court Friday, Schoenhofer entered a not guilty plea on his client’s behalf and requested a jury trial.

Tran was initially arrested on suspicion of felony aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer with a deadly weapon, and interference with law enforcement. He was booked into the Douglas County Jail and processed on June 29, then released without being charged, and thus no bond was set in his case.

photo by: Contributed photo

Lawrence resident Duc Tran shows one injury he says was caused by a Lawrence police officer, Saturday, June 29, 2019.

Now, over this coming weekend, he must report back to the jail, have his booking photo and fingerprints taken again and sign his $500 own-recognizance bond.

After Tran’s first appearance Friday, Schoenhofer told the Journal-World that he and his client don’t intend to “try the case in the press.”

However, “We just plan on trying the case in front of six folks in this community, and we’re confident he’ll be acquitted of the charges,” Schoenhofer said.

Tran’s next court appearance, to schedule a jury trial, is set for Sept. 25.

Contact Mackenzie Clark

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