Ryan Moats, an NFL running back for the Houston Texans, was trying to get family members to Baylor Regional Medical Center in Plano, Texas early March 17, where his mother-in-law was moments away from death from breast cancer.
Dallas police officer Robert Powell, 25, approached Moats’ SUV outside the hospital emergency room with his gun drawn and pointed at distraught family members. He ordered Ryan’s wife, Tamishia Moats, to get back into the vehicle but she ignored him and ran into the building to be with her mother. Even after learning the dire nature of their situation, the officer continued to detain the NFL player for running a red light.
Family members, a hospital nurse and a Plano police officer all made a plea for Moats to be allowed to enter the hospital. Unphased, the Dallas officer made Moats remain at the scene while he lectured him and wrote out a ticket. By the time he entered the hospital, his mother-in-law Jonetta Collingsworth had died.
Moats did an on-air radio interview with 105.3 The Fan and said, “We were at an emergency room entrance, we were at a hospital, we had our hazard lights on, but we were not reckless at all. All I know is what he did was wrong. He stole a moment away from me I can never get back.”
An apologetic Dallas police chief David Kunkle spoke to the media today. He acknowledged that the incident had caused a firestorm and admitted that he was embarrassed by a number of things that Officer Powell, a 3 year member of the force, had done. Powell has been put on administrative leave and will face charges that could cost him his job.
The ticket that was issued to Ryan Moats has been dismissed.
See police video below.