Woman's speed trap warning lands her in jail

Natalie Plummer holds up a sign she says is like the one she held to warn drivers the day she was arrested near downtown Houston
June 26, 2012 3:49:27 PM PDT
A woman tried to save drivers from getting ticketed by police and instead ended up in jail herself. Now she claims she was wrongfully arrested.

It all happened as officers were clocking speeders and pulling them over last week near downtown. Natalie Plummer now fears police retribution. She says she was just trying to get people to stop driving so fast, and that instead of being seen as helpful, she was arrested for it.

Plummer admits she probably will never hold up a similar sign again out near any road.

"I was completely abiding by the law," she said. "I was simply warning citizens of a situation ahead."

Last Thursday on West Dallas, Plummer was on her bike headed home from the grocery store when she saw Houston police pulling over alleged speeders. She took some video while riding by.

She said, "I felt like he was just pulling random cars over."

So Plummer went up the street a few blocks, made an impromptu sign on a grocery bag reading 'Speed Trap!' and stood, she says, on the sidewalk.

"I for sure did not step into the street," Plummer said. "(I stayed) on the sidewalk the entire time."

After a few minutes, Plummer claims one of the officers drove up, jumped from his car and started pulling at her backpack. She says he searched it without consent, and then arrested her.

"He was telling me he was taking me to jail for obstructing justice, that was an automatic three to five years," Plummer recalled.

She was instead only cited with a misdemeanor. Court documents show her accused of "...walking in the roadway where there is a sidewalk present."

Plummer says, though, that she spent 12 hours in jail before bonding out.

The Houston Police Department refused our request to talk about this incident on camera. A spokesperson says Plummer was "in the roadway" and "was a danger to herself and others and "...the sum total of which was is an arrestable offense."

Plummer said, "He couldn't take me to jail for holding up this sign or he would have. So all he could do was make up something fake about it."

Police say Plummer was combative and resisted arrest. But our KTRK legal analyst says Plummer should not have been arrested.


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