SEPTA cop to be tried for false arrest and witness intimidation

Posted: July 18, 2014

DOUGLAS Ioven, the SEPTA police officer arrested last month for allegedly arresting a woman on Christmas morning after she attempted to file a complaint against him, yesterday was ordered to stand trial for witness intimidation, retaliation against a witness, false imprisonment and related counts.

Common Pleas Judge Teresa Carr Deni made the ruling after Muibat Williamson testified during a preliminary hearing about the encounter with Ioven at Suburban Station last Christmas.

Williamson, a registered nurse, had just left work and stopped at a Dunkin' Donuts in the station about 8 a.m. when Ioven, 42, who was in uniform, cut to the front of the line and stepped on her foot, she said.

An argument ensued, but was broken up by another customer. Minutes later, Williamson walked to the SEPTA police office inside the station with the intention of filing a complaint against Ioven.

Instead, she said, Ioven spotted her near the front door and ordered her to "get the f--- away from there or I'm going to handcuff you.' "

She said she was going to report him, he cursed at her again then started running toward her, she said.

Frightened, Williamson said she began to run in the opposite direction.

"He looked at me so mean," she said during questioning by defense attorney Joseph Silvestro.

When Ioven caught her, he banged her head against an ATM before another officer handcuffed her, she said.

"The public has to have trust in the people who are hired to serve and protect. That clearly didn't happen in this situation," Assistant District Attorney Sybil Murphy said. "She became frightened of the very person whose supposed to be serving and protecting her in Suburban Station."

Silvestro, however, said that at trial, video will be presented to prove that Ioven never made contact with Williamson. Ioven was trying to arrest Williamson because she was being loud and disorderly, he said.

Other SEPTA officers will testify to that, Silvestro said, and to how another officer had to use a compliance hold and two pairs of handcuffs to restrain Williamson, whom he said has "an agenda" supported by the fact that she's hired a lawyer to file a civil suit.

Neither Silvestro nor Murphy knew if Ioven, an 11-year veteran, was still employed by SEPTA.


On Twitter: @MensahDean

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