March 27, 1998 in Idaho

Officer Cleared In Post-Arrest Death Punched Suspect In Confrontation; He Died In Car Crash Shortly Afterward

Associated Press
 

State investigators have cleared Boise police Officer John Terry of criminal wrongdoing after he punched a Pocatello man during a February arrest.

The state Department of Law Enforcement released a 137-page report Wednesday, detailing its investigation into whether Terry’s punches Feb. 7 had anything to do with Derreck Thomas Rudd’s death in a car crash later the same day in Arco.

A Pocatello doctor who examined Rudd’s body after the fatal accident told Special Agent John Ganske that “it is unlikely that the injuries sustained in Boise, Idaho, contributed to his death.”

The report said Rudd had no alcohol or illegal drugs in his system when he died.

Rudd was upright and driving a Subaru wagon at about 64 mph in a 25 mph zone when he crashed into a parked car.

The report ends the state’s involvement in the case, spokeswoman Ann Thompson said.

“There is nothing that can be charged from this report,” Thompson said.

Terry still faces a pending FBI investigation to determine whether he violated the 20-year-old Idaho State University sophomore’s civil rights during the arrest. And the Boise Police Department will conduct an internal investigation to see whether Terry followed all department policies and procedures.

The incident started just after 1 a.m. Feb. 7 when officer Stuart Kelsay spotted Rudd walking behind some businesses. Terry had arrived to help.

Kelsay searched Rudd and found a small amount of marijuana.

Rudd then took off running, with the officers giving chase.

Terry caught up with Rudd and grabbed him by the hood of his coat. Rudd then swung around with his hands raised and Terry punched him five times, fracturing his face and dislocating his jaw.

Terry later told a state investigator that he feared Rudd was going for his gun when he punched him after the chase.

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FBI INVESTIGATION

Boise police officer John Terry still faces a pending FBI investigation to determine whether he violated the 20-year-old Idaho State University sophomore’s civil rights during the arrest.

© Copyright 1998 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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