Paralyzed Man Arrested for Traveling like a Pedestrian

| by Michael Allen

Larry Dodson, 52, was paralyzed eight years ago after a van accidentally fell on him in a car repair shop.

Dodson, who prides himself on being self-sufficient, travels around Roanoke, Va., on his motorized scooter.

However, on April 25, police handcuffed and placed him in an ambulance, and had a tow truck impound his electric scooter, notes the Roanoke Times.

Dodson allegedly violated the law when he drove his motorized scooter on the shoulder of the road, going the opposite direction of traffic as a pedestrian would.

He was pulled over by Roanoke County Police Officer C.A. Jacobs.

“She said, ‘You’re supposed to go with the flow of traffic,’” Dodson recalled.

Unfortunately for Dodson, Virginia state law considers an electric scooter a vehicle and must drive on the right side of the highway "unless it is impracticable to travel on such side of the highway and except when overtaking and passing another vehicle."

Dodson said a male police officer arrived and told him to stand up, notes

“I said, ‘I can’t stand up. That’s why I’m in this wheelchair,’” stated Dodson.

Dodson admits he may have called the police officers some swear words, after which the male officer grabbed and threw him on the ground.

The police officers called for an ambulance to take Dodson to jail and a tow truck to impound his scooter. A third police officer was summoned for back up to make sure the paraplegic man didn't cause any trouble.

The paralyzed man was charged for driving the wrong way, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

“All the [jail guards] were just as nice as they could be,” Dodson recalled about his brief stay in jail. “They had locked up a paralyzed man for no reason. The big dogs came by, the captains at the jail. They were real nice. They said, ‘How can we assist you to get back home? You’ve been released on your own recognizance.’”

The jail captain called a handicapped ride service that took Dodson home and told the towing company to return Dodson’s electric scooter.

Amy Whittaker, Roanoke County’s spokeswoman, claims that Officer Jacobs offer Dodson a ride, which he denies.

Officer Jacobs also claims Dodson was stopping traffic, which he also denies, along with resisting arrest.

Dodson claims the truth is on the dash cam video that the Roanoke Police Department says it won't release “because this is an active case.”

Sources: Roanoke Times and