Dover Police: Officer Indicted, Kicked Man in the Head - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Dover Police: Officer Indicted, Kicked Man in the Head

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Cpl. Thomas Webster Cpl. Thomas Webster
DOVER, Del. – A Dover police officer has been arrested, after he was indicted on an assault charge, according to the Dover Police Department.

Police say Cpl. Thomas Webster turned himself in and has been released on $5,000 bond.

Police said Webster is charged with second-degree assault, which is a felony, for an incident that allegedly happened on Aug. 24, 2013. 

Authorities said Webster, who was assigned to the patrol division, responded to the Hess gas station (renamed Speedway Service Station) for a fight where one person possibly had a gun.

Investigators said Webster contacted a man, later identified as Lateef Dickerson, who matched the description of one of the people involved in the fight. Webster attempted to take Dickerson into custody.

Police said Webster, along with another officer, held Dickerson at gunpoint, ordered him to get on the ground, and then Webster kicked him in the head once, knocking him unconscious.

After that happened, police say Dickerson was put in handcuffs and taken into custody.

The incident was captured on video by a Dover Police Department in a car camera system.

Dickerson was taken to the hospital for injuries. He was found to have a broken jaw, according to police.

In November 2013, the Dover Police Department placed Webster on paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation and review of the case by the Delaware Attorney General's Office.

In March 2014, the Delaware Attorney General's Office took the case before a grand jury. That grand jury did not return an indictment for Webster. This year Matt Denn replaced Beau Biden as attorney general. According to a spokesman for that office, Denn reviewed the case and asked for it to be re-presented to a grand jury.

The United States Attorney's Office for the District of Delaware reviewed the case and found that there was not a civil rights violation. After both agencies conducted their separate investigations, the Dover Police Department completed the internal investigation on Webster finding that his actions regarding this incident were outside of Dover Police Department policy.

There's always a concern when an officer is arrested. Police officers, we're no different than anybody else. We're human. We're going to make mistakes," said Lt. Jason Pires, a spokesman for the Dover Police Department. "However, we do have checks and balances in place to ensure that the officers are held accountable for their actions. This is one of those situations where we investigated the complaint we reviewed it. And we did our due diligence as far as taking the appropriate action as far as Dover Police Department is concerned."

In June 2014, Webster returned to full duty with the Dover Police Department and was reassigned to the patrol division.

On Monday the Dover Police Department said it learned that the Delaware Attorney General's Office indicted Webster on second-degree assault.

The Dover Police Department said it placed Webster on leave without pay pending the outcome of the case.

Webster's attorney told WBOC Webster was extremely disappointed the case was brought before a second grand jury. The attorney added the evidence hadn't changed, but the atmosphere had.

Monday night Dover Police Chief Paul Bernat met with dozens of officers at the police department building. Dover City Council had an emergency executive session.

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