Doctor Arrested On Assault Complaints

Wednesday, April 30th 2008, 7:31 am
By: News On 6

A Tulsa doctor is arrested on assault allegations.  Dr. Richard Cooper was arrested after taking a bat to several car windows with people inside.  News On 6 anchor Craig Day reports the doctor's attorney says there is much more to the story.

His attorney says Cooper called 911 four times to report suspicious people in his driveway and was told officers didn't have the manpower to respond right away.  So, he followed the strangers, and that's when things escalated.  His attorney gave The News On 6 his side of the story.

Dr. Richard Cooper was arrested Saturday night at about 10:30.  A police report says he admits to breaking out several windows of a car with a baseball bat.  It all started when several cars kept pulling in and out of the driveway at his south Tulsa home.  Then, someone rang the doorbell and rattled the knob.

"It wasn't something that they rang the doorbell and then ran away.  They stayed there and he feared for the safety of himself and his family," said Cooper's attorney, Rob Nigh.

His attorney says, one car then pulled out of the drive and another pulled in.  Two additional suspicious cars were parked across the street.

"The doctor was upstairs with one of his small children.  But, came downstairs and was fearful that somebody was trying to break into his home," said Cooper's attorney, Rob Nigh.

His lawyer says Dr. Cooper followed the vehicles a few blocks through the neighborhood to try to identify them.  And, he grabbed a baseball bat when one car lurched forward toward him.

"His four-year-old son's T-ball bat happened to be in the car Dr. Cooper was driving.  And, he took that with him to confront these unknown individuals," said Cooper's attorney, Rob Nigh.

The police report says the juveniles in the car feared for their lives.

Attorney Rob Nigh says since it was late at night, Dr. Cooper didn't know the people inside the car were teens.

"The male occupant in the front seat dove for the back seat and Dr. Cooper thought he was going for a weapon," said Cooper's attorney, Rob Nigh.

Dr. Cooper was arrested on seven counts of assault with a dangerous weapon.

"He was legitimately in fear for his family and he literally believed that his home was going to be invaded," said Cooper's attorney, Rob Nigh.

The News On 6 was unable to track down the juveniles involved in the case.  Several of the teenagers in the car reportedly have minor injuries from broken glass.

Dr. Cooper's next court date is May 16th.