RED RIVER PARISH, LA (KSLA) – An Ark-La-Tex district judge involved in an altercation with a Louisiana State Trooper has asked that criminal charges against the trooper be dismissed.
A short statement from the Attorney General's office says, "The Attorney General's Office has received a request that criminal charges on Trooper Eric Schonfarber be dismissed. Judge Lewis Sams has requested that we not pursue criminal charges related to an incident that occurred between the Judge and Trooper on June 29, 2009 in Red River Parish. The Attorney General's Office will honor his request."
Shonfarber was facing charges of aggravated assault, simple battery and false imprisonment after his altercation with Sams.
Schonfarber pulled Sams over in the parking lot of the Red River Parish Courthouse because of a seatbelt violation. Incident reports of the stop say Sams admitted to the violation, but would not show his district judge ID and badge to Schonfarber when he asked to see it.
At some point, the report says the trooper threatened to use his taser on the judge, then threw him on the hood of the patrol unit.
The incident ended with the judge being released and issued a ticket.
One issue in the case was the fact that the trooper was in a patrol unit that didn't have a video recorder, although numerous witnesses at the courthouse saw what took place.
The case was turned over the LA Attorney General's Office after Red River District Attorney Julie Jones recused herself from the case.