Citizen Photographer ‘Pulls Over’ Texas State Trooper for Allegedly Speeding, Gets Apology

ABC News(BELTON, Texas) -- A correspondent for a website that photographs police activity recently taped himself "pulling over" a Texas Highway Patrol trooper who, the civilian said, was speeding.

The incident happened this past Monday evening on Interstate 35 between the cities of Jarrell and Belton in central Texas, according to 26-year-old Phillip Turner from Austin.

"I was driving along when this state trooper just flew right by me," Turner told ABC News today. "He was fast enough that he caused my car to shake a little bit when he passed me."

Turner said he wasn't sure if the trooper was responding to an emergency, so he decided to observe the trooper's car for a bit. He added that he "had a little trouble keeping up" since Turner claims the trooper seemed to be going nearly 90 mph.

"I thought he might've been trying to pull over the car in front of him, but he didn't have his emergency lights or siren on," Turner said. "Then, he just kept speeding and even went around the guy in front of him. I followed and eventually caught up after there were three cars in front of each lane, and he had nowhere to go."

Once Turner was behind the trooper's car and close enough, Turner said he flashed his lights and honked his horn at the trooper.

Video from Turner's dashboard camera, which he uploaded to YouTube and which also appears on the Photography Is Not A Crime website seems to show the trooper turning on the lights on top of his car before pulling over to the side of the highway. Turner then appears to pull over and park his car behind the trooper's.

Turner told ABC News that's when he got out his cell phone to start recording his exchange with the officer.

"What happened? Why'd you flash me?" the trooper can be heard asking on the video Turner shared with ABC News.

"The reason I was trying to pull you over is you flew right by me," Turner tells the trooper in the video. "You were going pretty fast back there."

A few seconds later, Turner asks Trooper Granado, "Are you in an emergency or something?"

The trooper replies, "I apologize, sir. I didn't mean to."

Turner then tells the trooper, "I feel like people get tickets for that [speeding] all the time," before asking the trooper again if he was "in an emergency or something."

The trooper says, "I apologize, sir," again, and Turner proceeds to ask the trooper for his name and badge number.

"I don't have it on me," the trooper replies.

After asking again, the trooper tells Turner what is apparently his badge number.

Turner then asks the trooper for his last name, and the trooper says it's Granado.

A few seconds later, Turner asks Granado if he can take a picture of his license plate. The video then appears to show the side of Granado's car, which appears to have a Texas Highway Patrol logo.

Granado can then be heard saying, "I apologize, I know I was speeding," before telling Turner, "Alright, we got to get going."

Turner then asks if the trooper has a business card, and the trooper replies, "I don’t have a business card on me, sir. I don’t have one on me. If I had one on me I’d give it to you."

Before leaving, Turner asks Granado if he's "a sergeant, corporal, deputy," and Granado tells Turner he's a trooper. He also spells his last name out for Turner.

Turner then says, "Mind slowing down for me?" before the two appear to part ways, and the video ends.

Turner told ABC News that he has no intention of filing a complaint over the incident and that he was "happily surprised that the officer was very polite, professional and honest about his mistake."

A spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, of which the Highway Patrol is a part, told ABC News in a statement that the trooper in the video is David Granado. Spokesman Tom Vinger said Granado "notified his chain of command of the incident, and it is currently under review."

Texas' administrative code says the state's public safety department "complies with Texas Transportation Code." The state's codes list rules for the public safety department's law enforcement officers.

According to the state's transportation code, law enforcement officers may only exceed the maximum speed limit when responding to an emergency call, pursuing on actual or suspected violator of the law, responding to but not returning from a fire alarm, directing or diverting traffic for public safety purposes or conducting a police escort.

The Texas administrative code adds that "in deciding not to operate the emergency lights or siren in compliance with the provisions of Texas Transportation Code, §546.004, the driver of the emergency vehicle should give consideration to the safety of others."

Granado did not appear to have his emergency lights or siren on at the time Turner said he was speeding, according to Turner's video. It was also not immediately clear if Granado was doing any of the actions listed above that permit Texas law enforcement officers to exceed the maximum speed limit.

Vinger, the public safety department spokesman, did not immediately return ABC News' requests for additional comment and information, including if Granado was doing any of the above-listed actions that permit law enforcement officers to speed.

ABC News was not immediately successful in reaching Granado for comment.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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