Slaughter, LA — Slaughter Police Officer Danny Coy Hobgood was arrested this week because he apparently lost his temper in a gas station parking lot and slugged another man. That man happened to be Slaughter Fire Chief Billy Poche. One cannot help but wonder if Hobgood would have been arrested had his victim been an average citizen and not the fire chief.
According to the East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office — who is investigating the incident — around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, video was posted to Snapchat showing the Slaughter police officer punching another man. The sheriff's office said that Slaughter Police Chief Dave Almond requested that the office investigate the altercation.
“It was investigated and upon the conclusion of the investigation. Chief Greg Phares and the investigatory staff thought that there was enough evidence to do a probable cause warrant and book the officer," said Sheriff Jeff Travis.
According to WAFB 9, the sheriff’s office goes on to say after speaking with witnesses and reviewing video footage of the encounter, Officer Hobgood was arrested and booked into the East Feliciana Parish Jail on a simple battery charge. Any disciplinary action as a result of the arrest will be handled internally by the Slaughter Police Department, the sheriff’s office says.
Investigators noted that they are still unclear as to how this situation escalated so quickly, but that witness testimonies and the video were enough to bring charges against the officer.
“I’m not exactly sure how it got started. Investigators have looked at that and they have looked at the video and evidence and decided that a simple battery charge on the officer was warranted," Travis said. “It’s rather unfortunate that it did happen, but we take an oath to uphold the law and in this case, it’s unfortunate that it was an officer that we felt had broken the law, but we have to apply the laws equally and fairly there."
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As the brief video below shows, the two men appear to be having some sort of verbal disagreement when all of the sudden, Hobgood cocks back and slugs the fire chief. The chief responds by defending himself as the pair squares off. Then, Hobgood launches another attack. Hobgood and the chief then parted ways with the chief yelling something back at Hobgood as he left the scene.
“It’s rather unfortunate that it did happen, but we take an oath to uphold the law and in this case it’s unfortunate that it was an officer that we felt had broken the law but we have to apply to laws equally and fairly there," Travis said.
According to police, the fire chief is not expected to face any charges as it was clear from the video who instigated the assault.
Hobgood has since been booked into East Feliciana Parish jail on a count of simple battery.
As stated above, one cannot help but wonder how this situation would've played out had the chief been a regular citizen. Time and again, we see officers lose their tempers in a fit of rage and beat the hell out of innocent people. When the innocent person attempts to protect themselves from the officer's assault, this is considered "resisting arrest" and that person is then arrested and charged with a crime.