Former council member arrested for dragging officer with car - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Former council member arrested for dragging officer with car

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By Janice Broach - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

WEST MEMPHIS, AR (WMC-TV) - A former member of the West Memphis City Council was arrested after allegedly dragging a police officer as he held on to her car.

Helen Harris, a respected former West Memphis City Council member, is charged with misdemeanors and felonies after police say she drove off with officer D.J. O'Clare holding on to her arm.

"I'm holding on to her left arm, and she drove me probably ten feed," O'Clare said. "My right side hit the door of the vehicle and I spun off."

It started, according to police, when O'Clare and another officer saw two men talking in the middle of a West Memphis street. One of the officers thought it might be a drug deal going down in a residential neighborhood.

Then, one of the men, Marlone Malone, threw something into the grass.

"As soon as I bent down to pick it up, he took off running," O'Clare said.

The officer finally caught up with Malone several houses away, while he was trying to jump over a fence.

"I tazed him," O'Clare said. "At that point, we put him in the back of a patrol car."

That's when Harris showed up, saying the man was her 43-year-old son.

According to investigators, Harris began yelling at the officers, calling them racist, cursing at them, and telling them she used to be on the West Memphis City Council.

When O'Clare started running the tags on her car, Harris started yelling more, got into her car, and drove off, as O'Clare held on.  Police say reached speeds of 60 to 70 miles per hour, driving down residential streets and two stop signs.

Harris stopped in front of her business, where police caught up and arrested her.

"It was scary," O'Clare said of the incident.

The officer hurt his back and lost a shoe, but he's okay.

West Memphis City Council members plan to hold a press conference about the incident on Wednesday.

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