DUI Arrest Sparks Controversy
It's a gorgeous community of wide open spaces and small town charm, but not everything in Chelsea is as sweet as iced tea.
"We live in a good ol' boy system here in this town," said assistant police chief Travis Hogan, playing a dashcam video of a DUI arrest from two months ago that has taken on a life of it's own.
"My officers have received threats. I personally and the chief has received threats to our jobs," he said.
It began with a white Jeep being pulled over by Officer Nicholas Pappe.
"Evening sir," said Pappe.
Soon to be under arrest, Mr. Brian Haggard, described as a well connected local businessman, none too pleased about the traffic stop.
"It's very common for someone to say 'Please man don't do this to me,'" said Hogan.
What isn't very common is what happened next. A flurry of phone calls from influential people.
"I was shocked when I received the phone call from the police commissioner. I thought he knew better than that. But for him to call me and ask me if I would allow him to leave his home to the traffic stop and pick that individual up and take him home in lieu of even a citation much less an arrest, I find that highly unethical," said Hogan.
And it didn't end there. The gentleman arriving at the scene there, that, says the assistant chief, is the city manager.
Did you talk to the chief? "He says did you talk to the chief?" said Hogan.
"It's not that he showed up and tried to prevent my officer from doing anything, but it was just his mere presence. I mean that is so rare for a city manager. This, I believe in my four and a half years this is the one and only time the city manager has come to a traffic stop," said Hogan.
"If you would give me a free pass tonight, I would sure appreciate it," said Haggard to Officer Pappe.
Undeterred, the officer continues with the arrest, which has since created, two months of unrest for the police department.
"What we've been dealing with now we call it the fallout on Facebook," said Hogan.
So much fallout, the assistant chief wrote a full page letter to the editor in the local paper.
"We're human beings doing a job. Show some respect people," said Hogan.
And on top of all that says Hogan, is the continued fury of Mr. Haggard.
"He has made it a point to tell anybody that will listen in this town that 'I will have the job of the chief, the assistant chief, and Nick Pappe,'" said Hogan.
Mr. Haggard declined an on camera interview but denied ever making any kind of threats and said that the "cops are ruining the reputation of the city." Chelsea, Oklahoma. Don't let the peace and quiet of the scenery fool you.
"It's kind of put a wedge in the town," said Hogan.
The police commissioner at the time of the incident declined an interview and efforts to contact the city manager were unsuccessful.