Apparently, there was drama at Pinehurst on Sunday (as a non-golfer any drama would be welcomed in my view). It came in the form of an arrest on the green after North Carolina Highway trooper Ryan Ashley Goodin said that a golf cart run over his foot (witnesses said it was more like an unintentional brush). Goodin ran after golf reporter Roger Maltbie’s cart driver, Thomas Howerton Lineberry, 59. Lineberry is a volunteer. Goodin reportedly jumped on the cart and put Lineberry into a headlock and then arrested him. He then hit Lineberry with a dubious array of charges, including assaulting a police officer.
The incident occurred at the tee area when Lineberry was driving to the next stop. Goodin started to scream “Stop! Stop!” and “Come back here.” It was not clear to witnesses whether Lineberry even heard Goodin or realized that he had brushed him or ran over his foot. Goodin reportedly said “When a state trooper tells you to stop, THAT’S what you’re supposed to do.” Another officer, Trooper C.A. Smith, arrested Lineberry. Photographs from the incident can be seen here.
Lineberry was then hit with charges for felony assault on a law-enforcement officer; felony hit and run; driving while impaired; and resist, and obstruct and delay. That seems like a classic case of over-charging. Pam Walker, a spokeswoman for the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, said “They did take a test, and there was suspicion of an impairment, potentially drugs.” However, they did not say whether it was conclusive.
The felony assault charge concerns me the most since it allows for the most significant amount of jail time. Since there is no report of any disagreement or even exchange between Goodin and Lineberry, it sounds like this was just a simple case of a golf cart bumping or running over the foot of someone in the crowded area of the tournament. That is not the type of thing that most of us think of in terms of an assault on a police officer. However, starting with that alleged felony, the failure to stop is then converted into felony hit and run and obstruction in a proliferation of charges.
Source: Fox Sports