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'Rowdy party' leads to enforcement

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FERRIS- Due to raising concerns and public outcry over a recent incident involving an officer using mace to break up a "rowdy party" the council placed request for comments on their agenda Monday, Oct.4.

Ferris Police Officer Larell Tolbert used mace to break up a party on the 500 block of W. Front Street Saturday, Sept. 4 after more than 20 attempts to tell the crowd to leave failed.

According to video obtained from Tolbert’s dash board camera, there appeared to be four objects thrown in the direction of Tolbert and Officer Chris Ellis.

"These officers showed as much restr-aint as possible but when their lives are in jeopardy, not knowing who has what on them in a crowd, they need to use force," said City Manager Eric Strong.

Police Chief Sam Love and Strong agree they didn’t like the vulgar language used by the officer (Tolbert said the F-word twice) and will be having a conversation with him about it.

"Sometimes, in training, they teach you to use brutal language to get your point across to crowds," said Love.

According to police records, there were two complainants made to the address and two calls out.

The first time the officer responded, the FPD gave everyone at the party on W. Front Street a warning to calm the party down.

A few hours later, after five minutes of negotiations, the mace was used on the crowd.

"I am letting you know, we will take this as far as we can, "stated Brenda Ellison in an email to the city.

"We know there are some good cops and there are some bad ones and he [Tolbert] is bad."

Before backup from the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office and other agencies could respond, FPD ended up arresting Ferris resident James Rigby Jr.

Rigby,55, was arrested on public intoxication charges with pending fines.

According to Rigby’s history, he has been arrested 17 times, not including involvement offenses.

Rigby is now released from jail.

No action was taken on the officers involved.


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