Temple: Officer's actions appropriate in arrest of autistic resident, police say

A Temple police officer who pulled an autistic man out of a roadway, took him to the ground in a grassy area and then arrested him acted in accordance with department policies, a review found. (File)
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TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) Temple police Wednesday said the actions of an officer who pulled an autistic man out of a roadway on Jan. 14, took him to the ground in a grassy area and then arrested him for evading arrest “did not violate any department policies or procedures,” police spokesman Cody Weems said in a press release Wednesday.

A review found that Officer Jacob Perkins “used minimum force to prevent (Sergei Hall, 30) from being injured by passing traffic.”

Mr. Hall was close enough to an oncoming vehicle that as it passed him, he pushed off of the vehicle with his right hand. This increased Officer Perkins’ concerns that either he or Mr. Hall could be struck by a vehicle if they remained in the roadway,” Weems said.

“Officer Perkins used a controlled takedown to gain control of Mr. Hall in a grassy area and placed him under arrest for the offense of evading arrest/detention,” Weems said.

Hall was arrested and charged with evading arrest.

“The Bell County Attorney’s Office accepted the criminal charge and the Temple Police Department is continuing to work with them on this case to provide assistance to Mr. Hall in hopes of preventing future incidents,” Weems said.

Perkins responded to a report of a man who was walking in and out of traffic, acting erratically, flailing his arms and yelling at around 7:30 p.m. Jan. 14 near the intersection of South 31st Street and Southwest HK Dodgen Loop.

The woman who reported the incident said Hall “walked in front of her car and stopped, causing her to brake abruptly to avoid hitting him,” Weems said earlier.

Perkins found Hall at the intersection of South 31st and a private driveway in front of the Temple Mall, but Hall walked away from him and back into the roadway.

Perkins, Weems said at the time, pulled Hall out of the road, took him to the ground and then arrested him for evading.