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DA's Office Won't File Charges Against Sperry Man Involved In Alleged Police Altercation

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Charles Griffith and his wife were on their way home from church one Wednesday night when Downing pulled him over for driving on the wrong side of the street. Griffith said he got out of the car to wait. Charles Griffith and his wife were on their way home from church one Wednesday night when Downing pulled him over for driving on the wrong side of the street. Griffith said he got out of the car to wait.
SPERRY, Oklahoma -

The Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office has declined to file charges against a 78-year-old man involved in an alleged scuffle with police last month.

Sperry Police Officer Eric Downing requested charges be filed for obstructing an officer and resisting arrest, but Tulsa County First Assistant District Attorney Doug Drummond said, the state will not pursue prosecution.

“We reviewed the affidavit and the other evidence and have decided that no charges will be filed against the citizen,” Drummond said.

Charles Griffith and his wife were on their way home from church one Wednesday night when Downing pulled him over for driving on the wrong side of the street. Griffith said he got out of the car to wait.

6/25/2014 Related Story: Sperry Officer Accused Of Excessive Force Remains On Leave

Holding back tears at a public meeting over the incident, Griffith explained how he said he ended up being pepper sprayed, bloodied and humiliated. He and his wife Joy were among dozens who packed into Sperry's city hall to tell town leaders what happened.

"I never been in trouble before or nothing," Griffith said.

“He come up there and said, ‘get back in the car,' and I did. He wanted to see my driver's license and he just started saying he was going to take me to jail and this kind of stuff. I hadn't did anything wrong," said Griffith.

He said since he has health issues with his legs, he tried to extend them out of the car to stand up.

"Then he told me sit back down, and then he tried to get me up, twisted my arm," Griffith said.

He said that's when the officer put his wife in danger.

"She was sitting in the car when they pepper sprayed me, and I was afraid they were going to get her," he said.

Joy said, "Yeah, they sprayed me in the face when I was still sitting in the car."

Griffith said the officer yanked him up by the shirt and he ended up bruised and bloody. Griffith said he was then taken to a hospital.

Downing was placed on paid administrative leave during an investigation. He has been with the department only a few months.

There is a separate criminal investigation into the officer's actions being conducted by the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office. The Sperry Police Chief says his department is cooperating fully with that investigation.

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