Bleacher Brawl Investigated - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Cape Girardeau, MO

Bleacher Brawl Investigated

Bleacher Brawl Investigated
By: CJ Cassidy

Cape Girardeau, MO -Prosecutors wish every case were as easy to prove as the one involving an alleged assault by a Cape Girardeau Police Officer.

A bystander at last year's Cape-Jackson football game filed a report, claiming an officer punched her in the face.

But the tables were turned on the alleged victim, when the ruckus was caught on tape.

"The defendant Lasha Townsend was at the Cape-Jackson football game with her friend Diane Ray. They were sitting in a section of the stands nicknamed the jungle," Cape GIrardeau County Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle says.

"We get dressed up in orange, we get really rowdy, chant and cheer, it's kind of like our little cheering section," Kayla Auer says.

The Cape Central High School Student never imagined the video she ended up getting that night her "little cheering section" would prove to be so crucial.

"I'd just gotten a video camera for my birthday. It's my senior year, so it was the last Cape-Jackson game, and I was just videotaping the crowd," Auer says.

That's how she happened to catch the brawl on tape.

"One of the juveniles in the group with Townsend and Ray, a teenager, attacked one of the Cape High School students from behind and was in the process of punching her, when David Valentine, a Cape Police Officer standing where the cheerleaders were, reached over the rail and grabbed the girl doing the assault," Swingle says.

It didn't end there. Swingle says the defendants then claimed Officer Valentine punched Lasha Townsend.

"She was asked if it was with an open hand or closed fist and she said he punched her three times in the face," Swingle recalls.

Swingle says that's where the video really made a difference.

"You can clearly see her mouth as the purse heads to her face then whack, the purse hits her in the face. Not David Valentine," Swingle explains.

"For a law enforcement officer a complaint like this is very detrimental to their livelihood they could lose their job or get sued," Captain Roger Fields with the Cape Girardeau Police Department, who investigated the complaint, tells Heartland News.

But thanks to Kayla Auer it didn't come to that.

"I take the camera to basketball games now, and it's like a running joke. I get out my camera, and something's going to happen," Auer laughs.

Lasha Townsend and Diane Ray pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of filing a false report against a police officer.

Swingle is pushing for the pair to spend seven days in the county jail.

It's now up to a judge to decide what happens next.

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