Felony charge dropped against Texas driver after dashcam footage showed police officer injured himself by kicking car

Dashcam footage saved a man from felony charges after a police officer accused him of seriously injuring the cop in the Woodlands in Texas.

The incident unfolded as Toby McLaughlin, a 40-year-veteran, was directing traffic outside of the Ironman North American Championship on April 27 at about 3 p.m.

The Montgomery County Precinct 2 Constable’s Office initially claimed that McLaughlin was hit by a driver who was ignoring his orders and then sped away in the white Honda Civic.

MacLaughlin was transported to the Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital in serious but stable condition.

Police found the 50-year-old driver and charged him with failure to stop and render aid causing serious bodily injury, which is a third-degree felony. He was given a $30,000 bond and held at the Montgomery County Jail.

“Those videos don’t take sides.”

That’s when dashcam video saved the day.

The video does show the driver ignoring the officer’s order, but rather than showing the officer being struck, the video shows that the officer tried to kick the moving car and injured himself after falling to the ground.

The video also records a man’s voice reacting to the incident and yelling, “Why the f*** would you kick the car?!”

After the district attorney’s office reviewed the video and saw that the officer had injured himself, the felony charge was dropped against the driver.

KPRC-TV’s legal analyst, Brian Wice, said that the proliferation of dashcam videos and other surveillance technology has revolutionized the amount of evidence available in these cases.

“I believe that ring doorbells, dash cams, and municipal surveillance cameras are probably among the most consequential developments in the criminal justice system in the last generation or two, because it underscores the criminal justice system’s dual commitment to freeing the innocent, convicting the guilty,” he explained.

“Those videos don’t take sides,” he added. “And we can have almost instant real-time exoneration, or in some cases real-time conviction, based upon those compelling videos.”

The driver was instead charged with a class-C misdemeanor related to obedience required to police officers.

The maximum possible punishment is a $200 fine in court costs,” said Wice.

“Our thoughts and prayers remain with Investigator McLaughlin as he recovers from his injuries, and we wish him a speedy and full recovery,” read a statement from the police.

The Woodlands is special-purpose district that is located about 28 miles north of Houston.

Here’s the video of the incident:

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