Woman's Complaints Against Rogers County Deputies Cause Facebook Furor

Tuesday, July 24th 2012, 4:59 pm
By: News On 6

A Green Country woman has made claims of harassment and bullying against the Rogers County Sheriff's Department.

The Tulsa woman said deputies left her and two young girls stranded in the dark.

Deputies said they bent over backwards to help, but she refused.

Tera Mattingly didn't file a complaint against the deputies, but she did post about the incident on Facebook and it got a lot of response.

Read Tera Mattingly's Facebook post.

But, witnesses, sheriff's deputies, the tow truck driver, and the park ranger all said Tera was the one being belligerent and uncooperative.

One of the deputies was wearing a camera, and says it proves they did nothing wrong.

Mattingly took her five-year-old daughter and a 15-year-old friend swimming by Clermont Park on Oologah Lake Saturday afternoon, where a sign says the gate will be locked at sundown.

She said when they left, it was already locked and they had no way out.

Witnesses say she came up to the gate and it was locked, she went to the caregiver's house and when no one answered, she broke his window, and then tried ramming her car into the gate. And when that didn't work, she drove around the gate and got stuck on some cables.

Mattingly denied breaking the window, but agreed to everything else.

Volunteers with a key said they wanted to unlock the gate, but it was too damaged from the ramming.

Mattingly called 911 and said she waited more than an hour for help. Call logs show deputies arrived within 28 minutes.

She said deputies refused to push out her car. They tell us they can't do something like that for liability reasons, and it was really stuck.

Captain Adam Hull of the Rogers Co Sheriff's Department said, "Ten deputies couldn't have got that car out, it was hung up on cables she drove over."

So, she requested a AAA wrecker.

The wrecker pulled out her car, but the driver said Tera couldn't show a AAA card or pay in cash, so he impounded the vehicle, which is their policy.

Her big complaint is deputies left her and the two girls out there, stranded, late at night.

The deputies say they offered over and over to give them a ride and the video verifies that.

Deputy: "Tera, one more chance, do you want a ride somewhere?
Tera: "A ride to where?"
Deputy: "Anywhere you want."
Tera: "Tulsa."
Deputy: "I can't take you to Tulsa."
Deputy: "You guys don't want to wait at the sheriff's office?"
Tera: "No."
Deputy: "Wow."
Tera: "I really don't see what good it would do."
Deputies: "You're out in the middle of nowhere in the dark with a 5-year-old kid, who may be thirsty and hungry."
Tera: "There's a park out in the middle of nowhere where we live, so what's the difference?"
Deputy: "Unbelievable, unbelievable."

Deputies gave her a series of field sobriety tests, because they said they smelled alcohol on her breath, and she admitted taking a prescription painkiller earlier in the day.

She passed the tests.

Lori Fullbright, News on 6: "Why do you think the witnesses, the deputies, the tow truck guy - all their stories – match, and don't match yours?"
Tera Mattingly: "They're all from the same county."

A park ranger issued Tera tickets for destruction of property and driving around a barricade

The Corps says it has had this system in place for seven or eight years, and no one has ever gotten locked in before.

Mattingly and the girls did eventually accept a ride from a deputy who took them closer to Claremore, where the 15-year-old girl's father picked them up.

You can see the deputy's video above, unedited.