Louisville Police Officer Suspended After Giving Seven-Year-Old Boy Ticket For Hitting His Personal Car With a Ball

Louisville Police Officer Cody Chapelle has been suspended for 13 days after he gave a ticket to a seven-year-old boy who accidentally threw a ball that hit his personal vehicle. He charged the child with criminal mischief in the third degree.

The boy was playing ball when he turned criminal with an overthrow.

To complete this bizarre scene, Chapelle reported yelled at the boy’s mother about being a bad parent. Police Chief Robert White, however, felt it was more a matter of being a bad cop than a bad kid.

Here is the Kentucky criminal code provision:

512.040 Criminal mischief in the third degree.
A person is guilty of criminal mischief in the third degree when:
(a) Having no right to do so or any reasonable ground to believe that he has such right, he intentionally or wantonly defaces, destroys or damages any property; or
(b) He tampers with property so as knowingly to endanger the person or property of another.
Criminal mischief in the third degree is a Class B misdemeanor.

Source: WHAS

Jonathan Turley

47 thoughts on “Louisville Police Officer Suspended After Giving Seven-Year-Old Boy Ticket For Hitting His Personal Car With a Ball

  1. The people of Louisville need to drive this cop off the police force. Clearly he doesn’t have a clue. It reminds of how serial murderers often tortured animals. These little events could very well indicate a monster cop in the making.

    I mean, give a kid with a ball a criminal record? Please. That is nuts.

    There needs to be an online clearing house that lists all these outrages by cops. Then citizens can keep an eye on these jerks and make sure their departments don’t get another city’s rejects if these bozo’s move around.

    I’m thinking the name of the clearing house could be: Stupid Things Cops Do, or Fuzz Watch. Maybe: Smoke That Bear Watch.

    Listed would be the cop’s name, the offense, what department, city, precinct, what became of him (suspended, got away with murder, rape, assault, brutality, etc), got fired, and where he or she now works if they remained in law enforcement.

    A lot of creepy cops think its funny to abuse people. It’s time to hold their feet to the fire.

    Not literally! (sheesh)

  2. “The people of Louisville need to drive this cop off the police force. Clearly he doesn’t have a clue. It reminds of how serial murderers often tortured animals. These little events could very well indicate a monster cop in the making.”


    Nothing like a little hyperbole there, Tootie. Do you actually read the foolishness you write. Cop gets mad and charges a 7 year old in a misguided effort to get a parent to reprimand the kid and you compare this bad judgment with being a serial killer. By the way, the cop has been commended for his service in the past and this appears to be an aberrational act that just cost him 3 weeks pay.

    This example of zealotry is why you cannot be taken seriously.

  3. C’mon now, mespo, you know Tootie does not let facts get in the way of a good rant. We need to keep her around for entertainment value. Unfortunately, she represents a substantial percentage of the population; the non-thinking but reactive part. I read the comments about this incident in the referenced article. All too many do the exact same thing that caused them to upset about with Officer Chapelle. Run mouth without engaging brain.

  4. OS:

    Like football betting lines: “Tootie — For Entertainment Purposes Only.”

    I like that! Good thought.

  5. I have been convinced for some time that “Tootie” is actually a software program that generates random sentences based on words input into it. The program is very clever and does produce sentences that appear coherent but make no sense when strung together. It wouldn’t pass the Turing test but it is an excellent example of programing skill.

  6. OS/mepso,

    There should be another warning as well.

    “Do not use if you are or plan to get pregnant. Do not use if you are breastfeeding.”

  7. BIL,mespo & frank:
    I wonder if there is any way Professor Turley’s blog host could automatically append a “Black Label” warning on Tootie’s rants?

  8. More from Chief White (USA Today):

    “One of our greatest attributes we have as police officers is common sense,” White tells the newspaper. Chapelle “showed absolutely no common sense.”

    He calls the ticket-writing incident “absolutely absurd.”

    Chapelle’s attorney says he will appeal the suspension.


  9. I thought it weird thag the reprimand letter included mention of a lack of damage to the officers car. Say there had been damage…that still doesn’t fit the

    “…he intentionally or wantonly defaces…” part of the code.

    I’d like to hear what the cop thought he was doing at the time.

  10. Chief Robert White has been active lately in suspending Louisville Police Officers. We elected a new mayor in November, 2010 who was recently sworn in as Mayor in early January, 2011. The local press has been covering the Chief’s actions recently against Cody, another officer for sending nude photos of himself and a female for arresting people falsely. Several black eyes for Louisville’s finest.

  11. mespo: Making a 7 year old out to be a criminal is evil.

    Lot’s of SS jackboots got commendations.

    Call me unimpressed with evil doers giving evil doers awards.

  12. Frank

    Folks have to keep up with these creeps. But the problem is the creeps take retribution if you try to stop their abuse.

  13. Ram,

    Wow, what an interesting site. Scary indeed. It needs to be more user friendly. I mean, lists of cops names. Lists of cities. Stuff like that.

    Still, the site is very good.

    I went to another site link from there, and from there, to this site:


    The website is called I Can Stalk You. It teaches people about how to disable a “geotag” (never heard of it before) from your IPhone or digital camera BEFORE you uphold photos from it to the internet.

    Apparently, the geotags tell where you are located when you shoot a photo by leaving latitude and longitude information that then appears on the internet (but you cannot see it on your IPhone. So if you have shot a photo of your house and uploaded it to Twitter, the exact location of your house is revealed online!


    Anyway, there is a treasure-trove of info (albeit scary) there.


  14. In my opinion this LEO should be fired. My reason is that he showed such an extraordinary lack of judgment, that having him on the force represents a danger to the community. That he was having a bad day is no excuse. That he had recently received a commendation is no defense for his abysmally stupid actions. This type of officer is an example of how Amadou Diallo was shot 42 times for reaching for his wallet. The fact that this case didn’t entail a really tragic outcome, is overridden by the fact that it exposed a total lack of judgment on the LEO’s part.

  15. I am always interested in how individuals with power over others use or misuse that power, especially when anger is involved.

    The act of issuing a ticket to a child takes a few minutes … time enough for reflection on one’s chosen course of action.

    Yelling at the child’s mother and expressing the opinion that her parenting skills are in question while giving said ticket indicates a further lack of emotional control on the officer’s part.

    One wonders if this particular off-duty cop would have acted in the same manner had the offending party been a man rather than a woman and a child.

    From the cited source: “The little boy’s family had no comment about this case, neither did their attorney.” The power has shifted.

  16. I thought police SOP with unruly children under ten was a good old fashioned tasering. I am pretty upset that this cop let this kid off with a just a ticket. Nothing like a reoccurring muscle spasm to remind him he needs to work on his pitching mechanics more often!

  17. I wait for the day when a police officer sees a three year old girl throwing a Nerf ball toward the officer, the officer thinks the ball is grenade with the pin pulled, shoots at the ball to deflect it from its path, misses the ball, and accidentally shoots the girl dead.

    I hope to wait longer than forever for that day.

    I need not wait for similar days, they have already happened.

    Imagine, as though in the manner of a 78 RPM shellac phonograph record, cracked, cactus needle stylus, playing in the manner of “ta-da ta-da-ta-da-click ta… (repeated endlessly):

    Its situational click Its situational click Its situational click Its situational click Its situational click Its situational click Its situational click Its situational click Its situational click (until the “cactus needle stylus” wears down and can no longer “play the record.”)

    What then?

  18. I know this hard to believe. But we have many Maphia folks here. Officer only trying to say boy from die if his ball ever hit Maphia man car. It sad my officer buddy got a screw by the department. Thank you. Youra country much nice.

  19. Frank

    I have been convinced for some time that “Tootie” is actually a software program that generates random sentences based on words input into it. The program is very clever and does produce sentences that appear coherent but make no sense when strung together.


    I thought something seemed familiar about it. You mean like an Artificial Intelligence experiment gone terribly, terribly wrong? Who would do such a thing – another blawg?

  20. Tootie, it’s time to come home. You have been found out. Your participation hereafter will be reduced to binary script. Does this compute with you. Phone Home!

  21. Off topic:

    Far be it for me to stick up for Tootie but…

    Commenting about her specific posts is one thing, and JT is pretty lenient in enforcing his civility rules (See: Buddha) as long as the lack of civility is related to the discussion at hand.

    The only times I’ve seen JT step in is when a discussion deteriorates into pointless name calling.

    I think that the increase in blatantly off topic mockery may be is walking a little close to that line these days. Lord knows I take the occasional shot at her, but I try and keep them limited to something she’s just said (See my Goodwin comment).

    As much as we disagree with her, this is still the JT’s Blog, and he’s asked us all to play nice.

    All that said, we all make our own choices, and on issues like this one, I don’t judge people for making ones I disagree with. I’m just putting that thought out there for everyone to consider.

  22. Gyges:

    Of you are correct and every person here is worthy of respect but a what point does respect for the person give way to contempt for the inane thoughts and childish reactions. Reasonable people can certainly differ, but must they always hold their tongues and suffer fools gladly?

  23. mespo said, “Reasonable people can certainly differ, but must they always hold their tongues and suffer fools gladly?”

    I think it’s pretty obvious where I stand on that issue.

  24. RE: Gyges, January 21, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    “…As much as we disagree with her…”


    Using words which are about me, and no one else, I commonly find someone using the notion of “the editorial we” which notion never includes me.

    Of course, I disagree with some of Tootie’s expressed views as I can understand her views. I cannot imagine anyone with whom I would totally agree to the minutest detail and beyond.

    Nevertheless, I do find much of what Tootie posts to be within what I find to be valid science. And I question, relentlessly and with unabated skepticism, every scientific view I hold. There are many views that I have with which I disagree; I have those views because I have been unable to find a less problematic view to use as an improved replacement.

    My personal experience, whether of understanding or misunderstanding, is that ad-hominem argument is a diversion tactic of those who have no valid argument and need to deflect attention from the inadequacies of their own model espoused.

    I welcome challenges to my understanding as I can communicate it. Perhaps there is a terrible flaw of understanding to which I am as blind yet someone else can clearly see. Perhaps words work for other people in ways which elude my awareness.

    When people criticize my use of words or their understanding of my words, I am only glad, for that is what helps me more than anything else I have experienced to relate to other people with improved decency and shared understanding.

    Were I asked, please do not ask, and I were silly enough to say what I understand, I would make the mistake of saying something like, “My guess, and I think it is probably wrong, is that people who use ad-hominem arguments have no valid argument to offer. I sometimes wonder whether that may sometimes be an indication of some sort of personality disorder, such as may signal some shortage of self-respect.”

    If ever my struggle, and it often is a very intense struggle, to get words to convey to someone else my intended meaning, results in someone believing that I am mocking someone, I profoundly apologize.

    Because I do not “fight back,” and because I find my inner life is perfectly satisfactory, I have no need or way to build myself up by putting someone else down.

    When I was young, in grade school, some others who were inclined to bully people would pick me as though I was “an easy target,” because, I surmise, they thought of me as a very weak person.

    What “bullies” tend to miss is that I do not fight back because I am weak; I do not fight back because I am way too strong to need, or be willing, to fight back.

    It saddens me when my not needing to fight back because I am too strong for such a need is as though it frustrates “the living daylights” out of a “bully” or causes a “bully” to “blow fuses” mentally.

    When I remember to do so, I put “bully” and “bullies” in quotes because there really is no such thing as a “bully.” Yet there are people who have been bullied and whose available response is to replicate their experience, thereby bullying others, as their only actually available method of dealing with having been bullied.

    It is my personal observation that Tootie models a form of honest truthfulness regarding her beliefs and understandings which any and everyone may usefully learn.

    To ridicule or mock her is a sad way of mocking oneself. Show me otherwise and I will learn otherwise.

  25. Of course, I hold my tongue and suffer fools gladly, else I needs be must already have committed suicide to avoid living in a world of fools; which invariably I refuse gladly to do, and, were I suffering, would do gladly as a suffering fool.

  26. Mespo,

    To be clear: I was speaking less to you (and Mike S, and Slart, etc.) demolishing the arguments and historical inaccuracies and more to the “huh huh Tootie’s crazy” style of comments.

  27. Gyges

    This thread has become too harsh on Tootie and I regret, somewhat, my participation in it.

    Blame it on having turned the other cheek one too many times in reading her insults about leftists and liberals other peoples’ viewpoints. Civility encourages civility. Non-civility also encourges non-civilty. We should try to rise above it.

    I guess the best thing would be to simply ignore what we cannot possibly understand.

  28. I guess we should be happy that this police officer didn’t taze the child or shoot him. Kudos to the Louisville PD for actually taking some action to discipline cops who get out of control. Maybe this short suspension will get this officer back into the correct state of mind to do his job correctly and to remember who pays his salary.

  29. The worst thing I can imagine ever myself doing is ignoring what I cannot yet possibly understand.

    My parents were both “history buffs,” who voraciously devoured history by reading many contrasting books about history. There is the mainstream history, the supposed “history of the victors,” and there is also the history of the vanquished. What is “true believer victor history” commonly differs stunningly from the non-self-serving history of the vanquished.

    There is a curious feature of early, non-established history of The Way. Victory was found in being vanquished for the sake of truthfulness as the vanquished understood it.

    As for historical inaccuracies, no accurate history can be written or told, because the errorless observations needed to write or tell history are impossible to make.

    While a consensus may develop among historians and students of history, consensus as a diviner of truth is catastrophically perilous, as many horribly learned in the German death camps.

    I have little trouble perusing my personal-research library and finding proper historians who largely agree with Tootie’s historical interpretation and others who disagree with it.

    To live in a decent world, one must be decent; else one’s own indecency rules out living in a decent world, even if nothing else does. Or, am I wrong?

    I readily fantasize that I am one among many of the worlds greatest idiots when it comes to the social status game of twenty questions.

    If I were someone with social status, I might lose my social status. Having no social status, I have no social status to lose.

    Having nothing to lose, I can only win; I can only win accepting and affirming my life as I accept and affirm the lives of others.

  30. There have been attempts to discuss topics here with tootie in the past that have gotten nowhere. Since tootie’s starting point is always OBAMA EVIL, DEMOCRATS CAUSE ALL PROBLEMS EVER IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND, ALL POLICE MUST BE DESTROYED, THE WHOLE WORLD IS PERSECUTING CHRISTIANS” with little variation and no sense of proportion or connection to the real world. And, since there has been no indication of any sort of reality entering tootie comments, I had been trying to just ignoring them.

    I actually feel sorry for tootie. Obviously they are extremely angry at a fantasy world that does not exist outside the closed loop of their own making. Seriously though most tootie comment could be put together with those word magnets.

    There are is a lot of smart, interesting and informative discussion at this site. Sadly, tootie has never been a part of that from what I have seem. I hope this does not come off as harsh, it was intended to be an explanation for my comment earlier. To the best of my ability (I’ll admit I am imperfect and might backslide but will redouble my efforts in the future – in this case I’ll admit I was egged on by other comments) I will go back to ignoring tootie comments.

  31. frank,

    You wrote:


    You got one thing correct, Obama is evil.

    If I had been here at Mr. Turley’s blog during the Bush regime, you would most likely have been pleased that I thought Bush was evil and I doubt you never would have complained about it.

    You wrote:

    “There are is a lot of smart, interesting and informative discussion at this site. Sadly, tootie has never been a part of that from what I have seem. I hope this does not come off as harsh…”

    Oh no, that would be impossible.

  32. Frank,

    And this certainly isn’t one of the more informative conversations. I actually didn’t expect that anyone would pay attention to my comment. I just felt that if I was going to call Chan out for following Buddha around insulting him, to be consistent I should call other people out for doing a similar thing to Tootie.

    For what it’s worth, here’s my suggestion: Whenever anyone says something that you just know is wrong, ask yourself “well how do I know this is wrong?” If you can’t give a good specific answer, if you’ve got the time, do some research into the topic. You’ll be amazed at how much you can learn doing that. Of course, I’ve got a lot more down time in my schedule than most people.

    You’ll find yourself a lot more patient with people’s mistakes when you learn from them yourself.


    I hope I didn’t offend you by talking about you “behind your back.” I’m pretty sure I haven’t said anything that I wouldn’t say directly to you.

  33. To everyone who has defended me, or offered a full or even half-hearted call for civility, I thank you.

    I’m not against rough and tumble debate. I’m still a street kid. But I am against uneven scolding or bullying that verges on genuine harassment.

    May I suggest that if you see my name “Tootie” with a date and time stamp listed below it, and I’ve posted something underneath that: please don’t read it if I annoy you that much.

    This is not that difficult.

    If I don’t respond to you it may mean one or more of these or similar things:

    I’ve gone out.
    The dog is throwing up.
    I’ve fallen asleep with my fingers still on the keyboard.
    Someone came to the door and I stopped to see who it is.
    People in the house got hungry and brought pots and pans to me.
    People in the house need clean clothing.
    People in the house need someone to lean on.
    Mother called.
    My boss expects me at work on time.
    I ran out of time to post.
    I ran out of patience and developed a headache from posting.
    I wanted to comment on other things.
    It’s hard to find all the posts and counter-posts (because of the organization of this blog).
    I get to do what I want though I try to get back to everyone.

  34. Tootie, I did not start here until after 08. If your rants about W were as fact free and incoherent as the ones on Obama I would have been ignoring you for longer. While I have no love for him I do have a love of rationality.

    Gyges, I don’t think things posted on a blog could be behind someones back. They are right out there for everyone to see.

  35. Tootie, one of your least endearing qualities is your pity-party posts when you are called out on a rant. Last time was “I work for a living and am so tired”. This time is a Chinese menu, chose one from column A & two from Column B.

    I work for a living too. I get paid by the hour with no holiday, vacation or sick days – whaaaa.

  36. frank:

    Actually, I was responding to various complaints that I don’t have what it takes to take on all comers. And then there are comments that I’m a robot. I guess I’m a cowardly robot.

    My comments were in RESPONSE to those comments about me. Since no one seemed to be able to figure out why I might not be able to respond (and they brought this up first, not me), I felt compelled to tell the kiddies why Mommy is so busy.


    Do I have to draw you a diagram as well?

    Do you think you can get along without me while I go clean the kitchen? Do I have your permission? Can I go now?

  37. With unbridled respect to all who comment here, I observe a common attribution error across the whole spectrum of people who here comment, it has been named “the fundamental attribution error,” and is well described in every recent social psychology book I have read.

    The fundamental attribution error assigns to a person responsibility for situational factors and effects actually outside a person’s locus of control.

    In December of 1995, my wife’s and my adopted son, Michael, said to me, and this is as close to verbatim as my memory permits, “If anything happens to me and Shelly, I want you to do everything in your power to keep my son, Shawn, out of the hands of Shelly’s mother, the fucking damn bitch, she’s evil.”

    Please note that what Michael said to me is in the public record, when my wife and I were being financially destroyed by Shelly’s mother, Laurie Dukes, and by Laurie’s attorneys, I never retaliated against Laurie, I never counter-sued, and I never thought she ought to do other than as she did–because I fully understood that neither Laurie Dukes nor her attorneys (one of whom was James Ebbeson) had any way to understand or do better than they understood or were doing. I find no fault with people who find fault with me.

    To Michael, I said, “I don’t think she’s evil, I don’t think anyone is, yet I think there are people to whose hurts we are all blind.

    Given my understanding of what Jared Loughner put on YouTube, which I experience as the essentially most intensely passionate poetry I have ever read, poetry of a person undergoing catastrophic failure of the defense mechanism of focal catatonic stupor, I find no one can ever be evil.

    What can be evil is beliefs in the form of deceptive constructs which deceive people into believing that said deceptive constructs are not deceptive. That is evil, as I encounter it.

    In that sense, the adversarial system of law and justice is as evil as anything I have ever experienced, yet the people who believe in the adversarial system are inescapably as innocent as an unborn fetus.

    Those persons who seek to not be deemed evil wisely deem no other person to be evil. Constructs cannot think. People can and do. Constructs do not think because they cannot think, so evil construct cannot think their way out of being evil. People can think their way out of thinking that any person can ever be evil.

    There is a tradition in which the great deceiver is evil and in which evil is the great deceiver.

    Is greater deception possible than believing that a hurt person is evil instead of hurting?

    There are no evil people. To believe otherwise is evil itself. To believe that a person is evil may be the greatest of all possible forms of evil.

    I have never met an evil person. I have met many people who have been terribly hurt and remain dreadfully hurting. I have met people who could find no words to convey their hurts or their needs, and who, in the total failure of words spoken being accepted by others, finally acted out their no-longer-bearable pain.

    Jimmy Durante, in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, on June 29, 1953, finally became broken by society beyond his power to withstand, Grace and Sumner Harris died horrid deaths.

    No greater evil have I ever known than to label someone as evil. For not being willing to hurt anyone, I have been labeled evil, a label I reject as I forgive those who so labeled me.

    Yet I find no fault with those who label others evil, for such is also totally situational and never the labeling person’s fault.

  38. In medical circles it’s considered unethical for a doctor to treat himself, or his family members. The close personal relationship means that the doctor’s professional objectivity is potentially compromised.

    I think cops should be adopting this standard too. If it was a random person who had a ball thrown at his car, then they’d call the cops. He should call the cops too, and let them decide if there has been a crime.

  39. It’s scary to think there are police officers out there like this. Clearly he didn’t understand the statute he was applying. The 7 year old action was accidental and not intentional. It’s the kind of officer I fear running into. Because every year, thousands of Americans are killed by police officers, at dozens possibly hundreds were not justified killings and when this happens their com-padres on the force most of the time turn into a Mafia and protect them with falsifications.

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