'Hero' cop implicated in alleged threat

Former police Sgt. Richard DeCoatsworth.
Former police Sgt. Richard DeCoatsworth.
Posted: February 09, 2012

Richard DeCoatsworth, hailed by some as a "hero" cop for surviving a shotgun blast to the mouth in 2007, has been slapped with a private criminal complaint for allegedly threatening a man on his Port Richmond block.

DeCoatsworth, 25, is due in court Feb. 27 to face harassment and simple assault charges stemming from the complaint, said Tasha Jamerson, spokeswoman for the District Attorney's Office.

DeCoatsworth has not been arrested or charged by the District Attorney's office for the incident, but he remains under criminal investigation for a second complaint filed by a woman, said Officer Tanya Little, a Police Department spokeswoman.

The Daily News reported last week that DeCoatsworth was being investigated for allegedly threatening a man and a woman on Salmon Street near Lehigh Avenue.

The alleged threat was made on Jan. 25, said Little, who would not release the names of the man and woman.

A call for comment to attorney Jimmy Binns was not returned Thursday. DeCoatsworth last week asked the Daily News to direct questions to Binns.

DeCoatsworth joined the police force in 2007, the same year he was injured by a shotgun blast to the face during a traffic stop.

During a five-year career, DeCoatsworth amassed nine complaints that were investigated by Internal Affairs, most alleging abusive behavior or language. All but one - from when he was a cadet - were decided in his favor.

He also shot two men under disputed circumstances. The April 2009 shooting of Anthony Temple resulted in the city paying the Olney man's mother $90,000 in an out-of-court settlement. Temple was fatally shot by another officer after he fled from DeCoatsworth.

DeCoatsworth resigned from the force in December.

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