ABC’s Tom Johnson from New York:
Are there times in life when you’re excused from normal traffic rules? Is it ever OK to speed? To run a red light?
In Dallas, NFL player Ryan Moats, a Texans running back, may have found himself in one of those situations. Only a Dallas police officer didn’t see it that way.
Moats was racing his wife to a hospital in Plano, Texas, after receiving a call from doctors saying that her mother was dying. The hospital said there was little time to spare.
In the early morning hours, Moats reportedly was speeding, came up to a red light and drove through it. A Dallas police officer spotted the violation and pulled him over in the hospital parking lot. The heated exchange that ensued was caught on the officer’s dashboard camera. Our Dallas affiliate WFAA obtained the footage.
Moats’ wife got out the car and began to head into the hospital.
"Get in there," the officer yelled to Tanisha Moats, directing her back to the car. "Let me see your hands."
"Excuse me, my mom is dying," she said, "do you understand?"
The officer asked Ryan Moats for insurance, which Moats couldn’t produce.
"Listen, if I can’t verify you have insurance…" the officer began. "My mother-in-law is dying," Moats exclaimed.
The officer: "Shut your mouth." "You can either settle down and cooperate or I can just take you to jail for running a red light."
Moats’ wife made it in time to see her mother just before she passed away. Moats and his wife’s father did not.
Their interaction with the officer cost them 20 minutes. 20 critical minutes. The officer has been placed on desk duty and Dallas police have apologized to the family.