Chattanooga, TN — Over the years, the Free Thought Project has reported on some utterly bizarre behavior from law enforcement. From judges stealing women’s underwear to police officers offering homeless people sh*t sandwiches, this behavior never ceases to amaze and infuriate. Adding to this long list of “weird sh*t cops do” is the following story out of Chattanooga, in which a police officer stripped to his underwear and “baptized” a woman he was arresting for having a marijuana roach.
Shandle Marie Riley is now suing Hamilton County government and two Hamilton County Sheriff’s deputies after she claims one of them stripped down to his underwear and forced her into Soddy Lake where he “baptized” her. Deputies Daniel Wilkey and Jacob Goforth are both named in the lawsuit.
According to Riley, the incident happened in February as she was driving to a friends house where her child was staying. Riley was then pulled over by the two apparently insane deputies who accused her of having methamphetamine. She had none.
Riley was then forced out of the vehicle by the deputies who then searched her car without consent, the lawsuit states. According to the lawsuit, Wilkey then asked Riley to “reach under her shirt and pull out her bra and shake the bra and shirt.” Riley says she asked if a female officer could be present for the search, to which Wilkey replied “the law did not require” it.
The officers then asked Riley if she had anything illegal and she told them she had a marijuana roach in her pack of cigarettes. The horror. Upon hearing this, according to the lawsuit, Wilkey “insulted the plaintiff,” calling her a “piece of s—,” saying she was lying about not having other drugs. But the lawsuit says Wilkey found nothing other than the “roach,” reports News Channel 9.
After calling her a piece of sh*t and humiliating her, Wilkey then asked Riley if she was “saved” and if she believed in Jesus Christ. According to Riley, she responded that she believed in Jesus Christ but was not “saved” by her own choice.
Wilkey then told Riley that “God was talking to him during the vehicle search, and [he] felt the Lord wanted him to baptize the plaintiff.,” and said that he felt “the spirit,” according to the lawsuit.
As News Channel 9 reports:
Wilkey then told Riley to get towels inside the home for a baptism, and said he would issue her only a criminal citiation for marijuana and not take her to jail, according to the lawsuit. Riley says she got the towels, and followed Wilkey in his patrol car, not saying where he was taking her. Riley says she was afraid to ignore Wilkey and not do as he commanded.
The two arrived at Soddy Lake, and were joined by Deputy Goforth. The lawsuit says Wilkey told Riley that Goforth was needed as a witness for the baptism to be “valid.”
The lawsuit says Wilkey then stripped down to his boxer shorts, and gave Riley the option to remove her clothes, which she declined. It says Wilkey then led her to waist deep, cold water, put one hand on her back and the other on her breasts, and submerged her underwater for “several moments.” At this moment, Riley says she “felt horribly violated.”
Then, according to the lawsuit, Wilkey used one towel to dry off and let Riley dry off with the other one, while Goforth “smirked” at her as she was using it.
After humiliating her, kidnapping her, sexually assaulting her, and “baptizing” her, deputy Wilkey then arrested Riley for the marijuana roach. In his arrest report, he claimed to have stopped Riley because her window tint was too dark and she admitted to having a joint in her car. His report mentioned nothing of the baptism.
The significance of the window tint violation is important here because the Free Thought Project just reported on a story today in which this very same cop is named in a separate lawsuit over a stop for window tint. In that incident, Wilkey and his fellow deputy handcuffed an innocent man, beat him, pulled down his pants, and then gave him an anal cavity search on the side of the road as passersby watched them look for a non-existent plant. The anal cavity search was so brutal, that the victim required surgery to repair his anus.
Despite both of these incidents, Wilkey has not been fired and instead been on paid vacation for several months.
Riley’s lawsuit is now seeking $1,000,000 in compensatory damages and $10,000,000 in punitive damages.