A Louisiana woman was run over by a police officer while sunbathing Thursday, suffering multiple severe injuries, WVUE (New Orleans) is reporting.
Lindsey Gordon, 24, was sunbathing on Thursday on the beach at Grand Isle, a popular tourist spot in the Gulf of Mexico at about 3:15 p.M. At the time, Grand Isle Police Officer Norris Esponge was patrolling the beach in a Ford F-250 pickup truck.
For reasons that aren’t clear, as of this writing, Esponge’s truck went straight for where Gordon and a friend were sunbathing. A friend who was with Gordon was able to get out of the way in time. According to an unidentified friend of Gordon’s companion, Lindsay was not able to get out of the way in time. Both women screamed at the officer to stop.
“When she realized something was going on is when she heard Lindsey screaming and she rolled out of the way and saw the truck. Lindsey was being rolled under the truck, and flipping under the truck and she screamed to get him to stop.”
Gordon’s mother, Suzanne Baggett, says Esponge should have seen her daughter.
“I just don’t see how he could not see them laying there.”
Gordon suffered a shattered pelvis and internal bleeding, and has undergone multiple surgeries, according to the Birmingham News. She is currently in stable condition.
— CTS Louisiana (@cts_louisiana) April 8, 2016
Norris Esponge, the cop who ran over the sunbathing woman, has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation, per department policy.
Sgt. Nick Manale with Louisiana State Police said that the Grand Isle Police Department is looking into whether or not Esponge was impaired at the time of the accident.
“The toxicology is something the police department was requiring for their driver and they’re handling that.”
Meanwhile, Louisiana State Police said they did not believe Esponge was impaired at the time of the accident. The Grand Isle Police Department has asked the Louisiana State Police to investigate the accident because it involved one of their own officers.
Officer Esponge is said to be cooperating with the investigation.
Prior to joining the Grand Isle Police Department, Esponge had been employed by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office from 1989 to 2007. He was not the subject of any complaints, internally or externally, and left the department in good standing.
The Grand Isle Police Department is itself under an investigation by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office (JPSO), according to the Times-Picayune, for an unrelated matter.
In March, the JPSO served search warrants on the Grand Isle Police Department, seizing guns, cash, and drugs as part of an investigation into sloppy record keeping and evidence mishandling within the department.
Investigators found bags of marijuana — seized by Grand Isle police who broke up a drug-dealing ring on the island — that had been torn open and had marijuana missing from them.
Investigators also found a gun on the desk of Grand Isle Police Chief Euris Dubois — a gun that did not belong to him, and whose owner he could not identify. Further, $4,000 was missing from a safe — a safe whose key was kept in a barbecue pit at the police station. The money in that safe had been meant to enable undercover drug and gun buys.
According to Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand, the missing drugs and money, and unidentified guns turning up around the police station, do not necessarily indicate criminal behavior, but do raise “unanswered questions” about what’s going on at the Grand Isle Police Department.
“I’m not suggesting that the chief did anything criminal. I don’t know. What we have is a bunch of unanswered questions relative to missing evidence, missing money and we don’t know who the owner of these guns are.”
According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, no criminal charges are expected in the case of the cop who ran over a sunbather.
[Image via Shutterstock/spatuletail]