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According to The Morning News, Maritza Thomas was pulled over on July 27, 2008, by Officer Robert Powell for an illegal U-turn. She was issued five tickets, four of which were later dismissed. She was handcuffed, placed in the back of a police cruiser, spent about three hours in the Dallas County Jail and threatened with the possibility of spending the night behind bars.

"This in no way compares to what happened to Ryan Moats and his family," said Zach Thomas, who played for the Cowboys last season and is now a free agent. "But we wanted to tell our story, not knowing how many others have been affected by Officer Powell. We know the vast majority of the Dallas police force are good and professional people, but this guy just seems excessive."

Powell's attorney, Bob Gorsky, questioned the timing of Maritza Thomas' allegations, saying she had not complained about her arrest until the Moats incident became public.

The Thomases considered filing a complaint against Powell but declined, "because we didn't want to cause a stir," Zach Thomas told The Morning News. He said they believed it "was maybe a guy having a bad day."

Charges that were dropped against Maritza Thomas, who is Hispanic, were failure to show proof of insurance, running a red light, having an improper address on a driver's license and not having a registration sticker on the windshield. She accepted deferred adjudication for the illegal U-turn charge, and her record will be cleared next month.

The Morning News report said she was detained roughly five hours.

Her attorney, Brody Shanklin, said, "Unless extraordinary circumstances exist, no person should be arrested for a Class C citation. In this case, it was an example of Officer Powell being overzealous and exerting his authority in a manner that he never should have."


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Powell's attorney disagreed.

"I do understand that an arrest on multiple traffic charges happens often and is absolutely proper under these circumstances," Gorsky said. "Often, when there are multiple charges, an arrest made and bond posted, some of the charges from a single event are later dropped."

According to Maritza Thomas, a pharmacist with no prior criminal record, Powell would not accept an explanation of where the proper paperwork was before she was taken to jail. Her mother, Teresa Lozano, who she said was making her first trip to Dallas and speaks little English, was forced to ride with the tow-truck driver when the car was impounded. She later posted bail for her daughter's release.

"My mom was begging for him to let her go to the apartment that was five minutes away to get the paperwork," Maritza Thomas told The Morning News. "He unbuckled his holster, and she got scared."

The Thomases said Powell was dismissive, but they did not allege that he used abusive language. There is no dash-cam video available of the incident, but the police report lists the five citations and confirms that Thomas was taken to jail, The Morning News reported.

Judge C. Victor Lander, the city of Dallas' chief municipal judge, said under Texas law a person can be arrested for any Class C misdemeanor citation except speeding and having an open container, The Morning News reported.

When an officer gives someone a traffic citation, it is in lieu of arrest, Lander said. The officer does have the option of making an arrest, he said.

"It really is giving the individual a break by issuing them a ticket. But it's a break most people get," Lander said.

Dallas police say it is not unusual for an officer to arrest someone who is issued three or more citations during one traffic stop, The Morning News reported.

On Friday, Powell issued an apology for his actions in the Moats incident. He has been put on paid leave.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 30, 2009

Houston Texans News

News » Zach Thomas says Moats cop jailed wife in '08

Zach Thomas says Moats cop jailed wife in '08

Zach Thomas says Moats cop jailed wife in '08
The wife of former NFL linebacker Zach Thomas was handcuffed and jailed for making an illegal U-turn in 2008 by the same Dallas police officer who recently prevented Houston Texans running back Ryan Moats from seeing his dying mother-in-law in the hospital, The Dallas Morning News reported.

'My mother-in-law is dying'

Mark Bruener Name: Mark Bruener
Position: TE
Age: 35
Experience: 14 years
College: Washington
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