Collegedale police officer under investigation after possible sex allegation

Collegedale police officer under investigation after possible sex allegation

November 22nd, 2011 by Beth Burger in News

Collegedale police officer Cpl. Matt Spears

A Collegedale Police Department corporal remains on the job after an internal affairs investigation was opened Monday regarding a possible sex allegation, officials said.

Collegedale Chief Brian Hickman said he became aware of allegations involving Cpl. Matt Spears after reporters asked questions Monday.

"We received a tip this morning. Like anything else, we're going to go through internal affairs," said Hickman, declining to comment further about the alleged incident.

The allegation stems from an encounter early Sunday morning after two Chattanooga police officers responded to another call where a woman was intoxicated in a vehicle with three small children in tow in the 9300 block of Lee Highway, according to authorities.

In the process of making the arrest, the officers called for a drug recognition expert, a certification some members of law enforcement obtain that qualifies them to observe drug use rather than alcohol impairment in people.

Chattanooga Police Officer Randall Bissell and his partner waited for a Collegedale officer to respond because the 20-member department has an expert.

While waiting they noticed a marked Collegedale Police Department patrol car parked near an SUV. Bissell walked over to the patrol car and noticed it was empty. He began to walk toward the SUV and noticed a woman, who appeared to be topless, straddling a man in the passenger seat.

No report was ever made about the incident by Chattanooga police. However, officers will be turning in statements to administrators about what they saw to pass on to investigators, said Chattanooga Police Chief Bobby Dodd.

"They didn't feel it was their place to do anything. He wasn't a Chattanooga officer and it was not in their jurisdiction," Dodd said. "They were kind of shocked it was going on."

Spears would have most likely been off duty at the time. His shift finished about 11 p.m.

Contact staff writer Beth Burger at bburger@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6406.