- Associated Press - Monday, March 3, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - An Oklahoma City police officer has been charged with misdemeanor assault for allegedly chasing down a motorist who heckled him and knocking him to the ground while handcuffing him, police said Monday.

Sgt. Matthew Downing was charged in Oklahoma County District Court following an internal investigation by the department into a Jan. 26 traffic stop, Oklahoma City police spokesman Capt. Dexter Nelson said.

Downing had initiated the stop on the city’s northwest side when a passing motorist shouted at him: “Road rage sucks,” Nelson said.

“He basically then disengaged from that stop to go after this other person who yelled at him,” Nelson said.

A telephone message left Monday with the Fraternal Order of Police and its attorney were not immediately returned.

Nelson said Downing followed the man who yelled at him to a nearby convenience store and attempted to arrest him, which resulted in a “minor use of force.” A supervisor who arrived at the scene ordered the man released and notified commanders of the incident, Nelson said.

Downing will remain on administrative leave until the case is resolved, Nelson said.

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