On or about noon on 25 MAY 2006 while driving for SWIFT Company I had a trailer failure/break down. I called “ON ROAD” SWIFT for assistance and spoke to Pat who told me to wait for their roadside person, which was Southeast Trucking. I waited over 1 hour and a man pulls up in a pickup truck who did not identify himself. I told him what the problem was, as we walked in to the rear of the trailer and he said “What the ###? I can’t work on this trailer”. I asked him if the company told him that the trailer door needed new hinges. He said, “### no”. Then the roadside assistance person (Max Woods) left and never came back. I wait for sometime and then walked to a business office of Martin Transportation and asked to use their phone to call my company back to get onroad out here and to see what is going to happen from here. I spoke with Michael, SWIFT and told him how their onroad people that they sent out, on how they were acting. Martin Transportation told me that there was a trailer repair shop about a quarter mile down the street. The manager stated that they are really good on their work that they do. So I advised Michael, SWIFT about Mechanical Solutions and he told me to call them and gave me a reference number 210 to give to this new shop. I drove to Mechanical Solutions and they said that they would work on the trailer and for me to call my company to see if it was ok by them to drop the trailer off with them so I can go on my way. I called onroad back up from the owner’s phone, which is Shelby Smith and spoke to Carla, SWIFT and she said to not leave the trailer there and we don’t deal with Mechanical Solutions, because they are too expensive. So I walked out and the owner’s assistant, Donna Noble was giving me directions to Southeast Trucking.
All of the sudden the onroad person, Max Woods from Southeast Trucking who came out before drove up and jumped out of his truck and said, “ there you are, what the ### are you doing here. I am going to beat the ### out of you, I am going to kick your ###ing ###, no I am going to ###en kill you”. I asked him, “what did you say”. He repeated himself, and said, “ I am going to ###en kill you”. Then Max Woods pulled out a pocket knife and started to chase me with it. I tried to get away from him to call 911 for help. I did not know what address I was at, the 911 operator could not trace my call on the location where I was so I told the 911 dispatcher what happened. The onroad person Max Woods chased me in to an office. I was forced to lock myself and Donna Nobel, Mechanical Solutions in an office for several minutes to escape from Max Woods. I was on the phone with the 911 dispatcher. I yelled at Max Woods to put the weapon down. Then Donna Nobel also dialed 911 for help.
Mechanical Solutions, Shelby Smith the owner came out of his office and told Max Woods to calm down. Max Woods ditched the weapon (knife) somewhere before the Ashley County Sheriffs Office came out. The Crossett Police Department was called out also for back up. Prior to the Police arrived Max yelled to me “I know the Sheriff and he won’t do anything to me”. He yelled this while I was on the phone with 911. The sheriff requested for Max Woods to do a Breathalyzer test. The sheriff did not have a testing kit. So the Crossett Police Officer went in the back of her trunk of her car and got her testing kit to see if he was drunk. The sheriff searched of his truck (Max Woods) and found a weapon but not the one that he tried to use on me. The sheriff found a large knife in Max truck. The weapon, Knife he tried to use on me was a white handle and about 4 to 5 inches. Then Max Woods family arrives and talked to the sheriff for about 15 to 20 minutes. It was very hot and muggy and I was dehydrated and hungry.
I waited in my truck and about 3:55 PM I got out and walked around Max Woods truck to snap a picture of his tag number. Max Woods son ran over and stood in front of the truck tag so I could not get a picture of it. The sheriff said, “stop-taking pictures”, So I flipped my phone closed and walked back toward my truck. While walking back to my truck I felt someone grabbing my arm, so I pulled away because I thought it was either Max Woods or his son grabbing and attacking me. When I turned around I realized it was the sheriff. Without saying a word the sheriff pushed me against Max Woods truck, slapped handcuffs on my hands skin tight. I was thrown in the back of the sheriff car for about 15 minutes with the AC on low and which caused me to sweat like a pig. Officer Hughes (City Officer) came over to the car and talked to me. She turned the A/C up because it was very hot in the car. I called my mom using my cell phone and told her what had happened. The police officer gave me information to give my mom about the sheriff’s office location, phone numbers, and the sheriff’s name. The sheriff came over and asked, “what the hell are you doing?” I told him I called my mother. The sheriff asked me if I was some dam photographer and left me go.
I was escorted to Georgia Pacific company to my drop my trailer. I cleaned out my trailer, got my paper work, dropped the trailer and started to head to the trailer pool yard. I drove to the trailer pool yard, and was able to locate the new trailer with the load that I was going to take to Virginia. A SWIFT driver met me at the Georgia Pacific Company. I hooked up to the trailer, and he then pulled up and blocked my truck. We talked about what had happened several hours before. While I was there I still had a hard time gripping anything with my hands, because when I was arrested earlier in the day, the sheriff’s handcuffs cut off the circulation in my hands and wrists. I decided it was not a major problem to call rescue out from the city of Crossett. The purpose of having rescue to look at my hands was to have an information report to provide to give my doctor for evaluation if I continue to have further pain. I waited for EMS with the other SWIFT driver who was waiting for his load. We both were going to leave at one time regardless if EMS got there or not because we felt that neither one of us was safe to be in that county, because of what had happened to me before.
When I was ready to take off, I received a call from a person claiming to be a police officer who worked in the city police department, stating that his EMS and officer can not find me. I gave him directions on how to locate me. Within an amount of minutes the deputy sheriff who I had a problem with earlier that came out to the call about Swifts onroad person several hours before, he drove up with a Crossett police officer. I was standing there still talking to the other Swift driver. The sheriff drove up and got out of his vehicle with his handcuffs in hand ready to arrest me for a second time. I asked him what is the problem now? He said “ I am arresting you for what had happened several hours before”. The deputy sheriff said to me “you did not do anything this time, either you can do this the easy way, or we can do this the hard way”. Right there I took that as a threat. So I let him arrest me again, not knowing what the charge was. My rights were never read to me, neither time I was placed under arrest. He put me in the back of the sheriff car, I called my mom and told her on what was going on. The deputy sheriff then took my cell phone from me. He searched my truck and was in there for several minutes. His cell phone was ringing and did not take the calls. He called his sheriff from his phone and told him that he had me and stated that if he lets me go this time I will leave the county. His sheriff said, “no bring him in”. The sheriff deputy told me that his sheriff wants him to bring me in. Also the deputy sheriff explained to me that it was his sheriff that requested for him to come all the way out to where I was to take me in. While on the way over to the sheriff’s office from Georgia Pacific Pool Yard, the deputy sheriff held a casual conversation with me and started to talk to me and asked me what was the purpose of me calling EMS? I explained to him again I was having severe pain in my hands and wrists, and when I get back to Florida, if I still have the pain I will see my doctor and he will know what to do. He said “no, you were trying to get us in trouble by slapping the cuffs on you too tight”. I told him that he was incorrect. Still talking we heard a call about a person in a school parking lot that was running his head to the ground. Then the sheriff asks me why would anyone do that. I told him I don’t know. I suggested to him that maybe someone needs to go there to stop him. He said “ no, someone else can, he won’t”. Still he explained to me that it was the sheriff requested that I be picked up, not him.
When I got to the sheriff’s office, the EMS was waiting to see me. The sheriff said, “you’re not seeing them”. The sheriff was there and they put me in the hallway for a long while, and finally I was seen between 2000 and 2030. They told me it will be $800.00 to be bailed out, for disorderly conduct, and refusal to submit to an arrest. I ask what was the disorderly conduct, and what was the refusal to submit to an arrest. The sheriff refused to answer the question. I called my mom and explained to her what happened, and what was required for me to be released. The sheriff said if you have $800.00 right now in your pocket, we will let you go. I offered to put the charge on my credit card, or take me to the ATM machine to with draw some funds. They said “no”. The sheriff walked up to me and said “ you see these keys, your not going to need these anymore, because I just got you fired”. I asked him why would you do something like that. He told me that he was a truck driver before and that the terminal manager believed him of what he said to them. I made a call to my mom on my cell phone to let her know what had happened and what I needed to get out. Again my rights were never read to me neither time when they decided to arrest me. The sheriff would not explain to me what the disorderly conduct was or the refusal to submit to an arrest. They cut my conversation with my mom very short. I was then put in a holding cell with 4 other people that were in there for felonies. I was not offered anything to eat nor had the opportunity to get anything to eat or drink all day. I was kept up for most of the night and treated like a criminal. When I asked the sheriff about the guy who pulled the knife on me, I was completely ignored. I was refused medical treatment to my hands and wrists. I spent the night and more than half of the next day in that holding cell with those felons and was not offered to speak to any attorney. The food I was served was poor quality until I was transported to the new county jail.
I waited at the new county jail until my mom obtained my release on Saturday morning 27 May 2006. The sheriff office told me if I paid the $800.00 the charges would be dropped and I would not have to show up at any future hearings. I found out that this statement was not true after my release. My mom paid the $800.00 bail and initially the young lady at the county jail would not give my mom a receipt for the $800.00 she paid to get me out. Then the lady gave us receipt but refused to put a name on it. After she was asked several times, the lady put both names on the receipt.
I called my employer on 27 May 2006 and asked to speak to someone in charge of employee relations, and but there was no one to talk to concerning my situation. Devin, SWIFT was the only person that I could speak to. So I explained to security what had happened, and I was advised that I was placed on a security hold. I was advised by him to get my stuff from the truck and leave the truck at Georgia Pacific and I won’t be penalized. I called SWIFT company again and spoke to Billy SWIFT in Ocala, Fl. He told me I was fired for what had happened. I tried explaining to him what happened to me by SWIFT’s contractor roadside assistance people, but he did not want to hear it. Billy told me law enforcement does not lie. So I called back to speak to the SWIFT terminal manager, Scott and he was not in until the next week. I called Phoenix, AZ Swift’s corporate office and spoke to a person name Scott Mason in employee relations and he listened to me my side of the story.
SWIFT charged me $242.43 for a truck recovery fee. Devin, SWIFT told me to leave my truck in Arkansas, while they (SWIFT) does an investigation. As to this date I still have numbness in my hands and fingers. Also I have severe pain in my left wrist which comes and goes, which I may have permanent damage.
My mother called and spoke to the Ocala terminal manager Scott Johnson on Friday morning and she asked him if he knows what was going on, or if he heard anything at all. Scott Johnson said no, I did not hear anything. Then my mother told him what she heard. Then he said that’s not what I heard. Then my mother asked him I thought you did not hear anything. He stated that I refused to take a sobriety test, and I was arrested for DUI. He stated to my mother that he wont back up his drivers and that he gets his drivers for a dime a dozen.
I called Swift down in Ocala, Florida not too long after this and requested to speak to Scott Johnson myself. A female named Sunday picked up the phone and when I told her who I was, Sunday said to me we know all about you and heard what you did, your nothing but the company drunk. I asked her why would she say that and where did she hear that from. She stated she heard it from the terminal manager Scott Johnson. I then hung up the phone and never called back.