Media Golf Cart Driver Arrested For Felony Assault On A Police Officer After Allegedly Running Over Officer’s Foot

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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

35 thoughts on “Media Golf Cart Driver Arrested For Felony Assault On A Police Officer After Allegedly Running Over Officer’s Foot”

  1. If only there were North Carolina Highway Patrolmen on the House Select Committee on Benghazi and prosecuting Lois Lerner of the IRS.

    They would have told us exactly what Hilary and Obama knew and when they knew it after Hilary and Obama monitored, in real time, the stolen State Department cell phones used by the terrorists after killing the Ambassador and sacking the embassy in Benghazi.

    Those North Carolina Highway Patrolmen would soon be in possession of every last e-mail of Lois Lerner, et. al., retrieved from the archives on the servers at the IRS, and every functionary involved in the wilful and deliberate destruction of evidence would have already been indicted.

  2. It is a great case. Sue the igPay in federal court under Title 42 Section 1983 for assault, false arrest, defamation, and being dumber than dirt at a golf course. There are witnesses for Christ sake. Boy if I was a human again and not a dog I would offer to represent golf guy and rely on the proceeds from the attorney fee award. The Superior officers are in on it. So is sidekick who made the formal arrest. You can not sue the state itself because they have sovereign immunity, but if it was a muni cop you could sue the municipality. Big money here. I hope that igPay does not have a police dog.

  3. Dredd:”Touchy cop with a bad attitude concerning reporters.”

    Add ‘North Carolina’ to the mix and you have a real potboiler. 🙂

  4. “Sounds like another case of Cartman syndrome. Respect Mah Authoritah!?”

    Exactly. I hope NBC fights for their employee and embarrasses the state police.

    1. Nick – don’t hold out too much hope of ever seeing it. I never saw one of mine yesterday.

  5. Paul, This was back in the 80’s and guns were the often used, in the Midwest anyway. The issue in this case was who supplied the gun, and was it maintained properly. I worked for the attorney defending the golf course. The victim was part of the organization who sponsored the tournament. Someone from the organization supplied the gun. The specific issue for us was did we have a duty to inspect the gun. Like the vast majority of cases, it settled. Our side kicked in some, I believe the homeowners insurance for the gun owner was on the hook for most of the damages. They probably have always known better than to allow you cowboys to have guns @ a golf course.

  6. Paul, This was back in the 80’s and guns were the often used, in the Midwest anyway. The issue in this case was who supplied the gun, and was it maintained properly. I worked for the attorney defending the golf course. The victim was part of the organization who sponsored the tournament. Someone from the organization supplied the gun. The specific issue for us was did we have a duty to inspect the gun. Like the vast majority of cases, it settled. Our side kicked in some, I believe the homeowners insurance for the gun owner was on the hook for most of the damages.

  7. Nick – most courses have an emergency air horn that I thought they just for shotgun starts. I never thought any one would be stupid enough to actually use a shotgun. Another reason not to take up golf.

  8. I did work for an insurance company that covered country clubs and golf courses. Most of the lawsuits involve golf carts. I surmise this will be a civil lawsuit w/ the cop being permanently and totally disabled. One of the more serious lawsuits involved a shotgun start. That is where foursomes take their position @ all 18 holes and tee off when they hear the gunshot. Well, the guy who fired the gun was blinded when the gun exploded in his hand!

  9. Maybe Trooper Dumbass should have gotten out of the way of the vehicle.

  10. I hate to see this abuse of power for what was essentially a simple accident. It erodes the public trust.

    The biggest problem I have is that the watch commander allowed this to proceed. Within 24 hours someone should have had a talk with Goodin. This over-charging of citizens has to stop.

    We need our police, but we also need to have a good, trusting relationship with them. Power can corrupt.

  11. From the Daily Mail article, it seems the original “offense” was not following the Trooper’s command to “Stop!”

    Of course, that’s simply not a crime in this situation, so something had to be, um, invented. “Assaulting a peace officer” is a reliable and well worn charge for contempt of cop.

    Really hope some video on this pops up.

  12. No wonder so many people regard cops as horses’ a–es.

    If a cop cannot serve the public with courtesy and professionalism, he ought to consider another career – the fast food industry comes to mind.

  13. Lessee now. Officer is on the golf course and is too clumsy or oblivious to get his foot out of the way of a passing golf cart. Then it is the fault of the golf cart driver who is probably looking ahead, not behind him to see if some idiot didn’t get their feet out of the way.

    Mens Rea is going to be tough to prove on this one. I would like to see a re-evaluation on this officer’s psychological profile. The cop should be glad it was not a greenskeeper driving a rotary blade mower.

  14. Sounds like another case of Cartman syndrome. Respect Mah Authoritah!

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