Thursday night, January 22nd 2015, after attending the Mountain Grove PRC meeting, 69 year old rancher Bob Estep was heading to his home near Sparta when a car with it’s brights on pulled in behind him. Estep said he was trying to let the driver behind him know that the brights were blinding him by moving his rearview mirror attempting to flash the lights to the driver to his rear and moving the mirror around caused Estep to weave a little bit as he traveled down the road.
According to Estep, approximately 3 miles outside Sparta as he neared his turn off point, the vehicle behind Bob turned on it’s emergency lights indicating that it was a patrol car. Estep pulled over and waited for the officer to come to the side of his car. According to Bob Estep, he was waiting a rather lengthy amount of time, and he became concerned that there may be a problem, so he called 911.
When the 911 operator answered Bob began to explain the situation and then his door was suddenly ripped open and he was tased without any verbal instructions or explanation. The power of the taser threw him into the back seat of the car. Estep says he was then instructed to get out of the car, but he had been paralyzed by the taser and wasn’t able to comply and the officer threatened to tase him again if he didn’t get out.
Then Estep was pulled out of the car impacting his face on the pavement, and his feet became stuck under the car in the process. The officer instructed Estep to roll over and since his feet were stuck and he was still somewhat immobilized by the taser he couldn’t comply. Estep says the officer then stomped on his back four times and then pulled him from under the car.
Mr. Estep was arrested by Officer Spencer of the Sparta Police Department for driving while intoxicated and resisting arrest, and cited for weaving and failing to comply with the lawful orders of a law enforcement officer.
Apparently all of this was caught on the 911 call and we are in the process of trying to get that recording to share with you. Bob Estep was given a breathalyzer test and found to have no alcohol level indicated as he had only consumed lemonade and water that evening.
As of this writing, Mr Estep is in the hospital suffering from nerve trauma and heart issues related to the tasing.
As more information and documentation becomes available, we will make it available to our readers.