Vian Officials Say Amended Police Report Circulated In Controversial Arrest

VIAN (KFSM) — Vian city officials released a statement explaining circumstances in a controversial arrest that led to the resignation of an officer and police chief last week.

Chief Ted Johnson announced his resignation on Wednesday (May 10), following the resignation of officer Lindsey Green.

According to a police report, on Tuesday (May 2) Green pulled over and arrested Josh Smith, a city councilman’s son, for driving on a suspended license. Vian officials said Green was tipped off by an off-duty officer that Smith was driving on a suspended license, and that this was a repeat offense.

Vian officials said an amended arrest report was circulated saying that Green pulled Smith over for a traffic violation. However, the original report did not reference any moving violation, stating that the sole basis for the traffic stop was the verbal report of an off-duty officer. A tip alone is not enough to pull somebody over. According to the statement, the Town verified that the sentence about observing a moving traffic violation was added about two hours after Green prepared the original report.

According to the report, town attorney Larry Vickers dismissed the ticket since there was no probable cause justifying the traffic stop. Additionally, Vickers never yelled at Green. The report states that Green expressed concerns to both Vickers and the city mayor Dennis Fletcher that she had been set up to arrest the city councilman’s son.

Since there was no probable cause to arrest Smith, he was released from jail, according to the statement.

Finally, city officials stressed that District Judge Jeff Payton did not advise Green on the legality of the incident, and that he told Green to talk to the city attorney. Judges are ethically barred from giving legal advice.

To read the full statement, click here.