RED BANK, Tennessee (WDEF) - The Red Bank Police Department finds itself in the midst of a controversy following a DUI arrest this past Sunday.
The controversy started the moment Red Bank police officer Mark Kaylor slapped the handcuffs on Thomas Matt McQuiddi,21, of Red Bank and got into a verbal argument with his McQuiddy's girlfriend Mary McHone.
The argument was over police protocol when making a traffic stop.
The couple say around 1am, they had just turned onto Signal Mountain Rd from Dayton Blvd when officer Kaylor pulled them over for speeding and crossing back and forth between lanes.
"What really happened. I split lanes for a second then corrected myself and that's why he pulled me over," McQuiddy said.
McQuiddy said he was ordered out of the car and then asked if he had been drinking or smoking marijuana. His reply was no.
"And then he raised his eyebrows at me and said come on, like he didn't believe me," McQuiddy said.
Mcquiddy maintains he had no alcohol in his system and had not been smoking marijuana prior to driving. He completed a field sobriety test then said the next thing he knew, officer Kaylor was cuffing him.
"I didn't know how I failed or why I was being arrested," he said.
After Mcquiddy was taken into custody, his girlfriend said officer Kaylor asked her if she could take the car because her boyfriend was going to jail for DUI.
McHone is the daughter of a former police officer who knew to ask officer Kaylor to request another officer be present during the arrest and that's when things became confrontational.
"Instead of calling one, instead of doing anything like that, he made me and our friend get out of the vehicle. He then proceeded to search the vehicle and I told him you can't do that It's illegal. I need another officer here," McHone said.
WDEF did some legal fact checking and by law, she did have the right to ask that another officer be present.
An Officer can not search some ones vehicle if they don't have permission or strong probable cause. In this case, the couple believed the officer had neither. Meanwhile, nothing illegal turned up in the officers search of the vehicle.
McHone said another officer finally arrived much later but was not called to the scene by Kaylor. That officer was shift commander Mickey Robinson.
"I talked to his supervisor, officer Robinson that night and I told him everything and he said I didn't know it was done like that. He then said and I can't really give you advice and I can't pick sides but if you're telling me the truth then your rights were violated," McHone said.
McHone said she's just glad she comes from a law enforcement family who taught her what to request when pulled over by and questioned by an officer. She also said also knowing your rights can have limits.
"Knowing you're rights is very good but when you're alone in a situation with a police officer; if it's the wrong police officer then your rights don't matter," she said.
Police chief Tim Christol would not comment on the matter. WDEF attempted to get dash-cam video of the stop but was told it won't be released until the department is finished with an administrative review of the incident.
McQuiddy said he did take a blood alcohol test and is confident it will come back negative.
Meanwhile, WDEF has learned that officer Kaylor was involved in another controversial DUI stop two years ago involving a 911 dispatcher. In that case Kaylor was cleared of accusations concerning preferential treatment.