Griffin, GA – Police have released bodycam footage of an officer telling a citizen to “suck my d--k" while responding to a call about a custodial dispute (video below).
Griffin Police Officer Travis Wick responded to a call from Andrew Orahoske, alleging that his daughter’s mother – the non-custodial parent – had failed to return the little girl from a visit on Aug. 26, WXIA reported.
Griffin Police Master Patrol Officer Brian Earls also responded to the scene.
The officers explained that it was a civil matter and they could not go take the man’s daughter from her mother without an order signed by a judge, the bodycam video showed.
“When we can enforce civil law is when a judge’s signature is on it. That is the only time,” Officer Earls explained to Orahoske and his female companion who was growing rapidly hysterical, the video showed.
Up until that point, the exchange between the officers and Orahoske was fairly calm and rational, but then the he refused to provide Officer Wick with his first name.
“I’m not gonna give you none of my information now, because I don’t want to get in trouble tonight,” he told Officer Wick.
“Alright,” the officer responded.
Officer Wick took a couple steps away toward the porch steps and waved his arm in dismissal.
“No, I mean I do,” Orahoske countered as his female friend began screaming at the officer.
“No, you can suck my d--k,” Officer Wick replied and kept walking.
Orahoske jumped up and followed him to the edge of the porch, the video showed.
Officer Wick told him to back up and told his screaming companion to settle down.
“You had me come out here to help you,” the officer said as he returned to the porch to talk to the now-irate father.
At first, Officer Earls seemed to try to back up his fellow officer, but as the woman’s screaming quickly escalated, Officer Wick volunteered to call a supervisor.
As he turned to leave, the video showed the female friend screamed at him.
“We’re trying to get a child back, and you told us to suck your d--k!” she shrieked.
“No, I didn't ask you. I asked him,” Officer Wick replied, and continued on his way, the video showed.
WXIA reported that the original version of the police report made no reference to what sparked the altercation between the citizens and the officers, and said only that they “seemed to become irritated that the police couldn't help them, and became uncooperative at which point they requested a supervisor to the scene.”
When Officer Wick returned to his patrol car, he called his lieutenant and told him exactly what he had said to the citizens, the video showed.
“I f--ked up,” the officer said in the video, and then he lit a cigarette and drove back to police headquarters.
Officer Wick faced a disciplinary panel hearing for the incident on Aug. 29, WXIA reported.
“You made a pretty darn stupid remark,” Griffin Police Chief Mike Yates told Officer Wick at the hearing.
“I just said it. I don’t know why. I don’t. I mean that’s it, chief. It was f--king stupid, man,” Officer Wick agreed.
The police chief expressed concern that going forward, the incident would hurt the officer’s credibility too much for him to do his job.
“If you got involved in a... use of deadly force, and then somebody got that video and played it, how do you think that would play out? If were sitting in federal court or before some grand jury or something like that?” Chief Yates asked, according to WXIA.
“I apologize chief. I don’t know why that happened. I don’t know what set me off,” Officer Wick replied.
“Is that what we’re gonna tell the grand jury?” the chief asked.
“Or [news channels] 2, 5, or 11,” Griffin Police Captain Michael Natale threw in.
Officer Wick begged the chief for his job. But the chief brought up the officer’s previously employer and said it wasn’t an isolated incident.
“If that was just a one-time thing, and it just popped out of nowhere because you were having a bad day and your dog just died, that would be one thing,” Chief Yates said. “But on the tail end of you being hired after you got fired from Locust Grove…”
WXIA reported that although personnel records showed Officer Wick resigned voluntarily from the Locust Grove Police Department in 2008, he left after an internal affairs investigation into an on-duty, alcohol-related incident.
Internal memos revealed that Officer Wick tried to call in sick the day after vacation.
His request was denied, and tests revealed a blood-alcohol level of 0.036 at the time he was supposed to be testifying in court, according to WXIA.
After Orahoske filed his formal complaint with the Griffin Police Department, he said he received a call from Roberta Police Officer Chad Moxon, who had previously worked as an officer for Griffin.
Officer Moxon left Griffon PD in 2015 after he was charged with a DUI, and went to work at another nearby police department.
Orahoske told WXIA that Officer Moxon had offered him a steak dinner to drop his complaint against Officer Wick.
He reported the attempted bribe to the Griffin police officials.
“Chad called me last night and offered me a steak dinner to drop the charges,” Orahoske told a Griffin police commander, according WXIA.
When he was contacted by WXIA, Officer Moxon tried to play ignorant initially, and then spun his offer as a good deed.
“As far as the steak dinner, all I told him was he would like Travis if he got to know him. I said the IA doesn’t involve me, but is [sic] he wanted to talk to Wick [he indicated that he did] I’d buy them both dinner,” he texted to WXIA.
You can see the exchange that got Officer Wick fired in the video below: