A former Philadelphia police officer once hailed as a hero and given a seat next to the first lady at a speech by President Obama has been arrested and charged with rape and other crimes.
Authorities allege that former officer Richard DeCoatsworth left a party with two women early Thursday and took them to another location, where they claim that he produced a handgun and ‘forced the two females to engage in the use of narcotics and sexual acts.’
A police spokeswoman said the two called police after he left, and 27-year-old DeCoatsworth was charged with rape, sexual assault, terroristic threats and related offenses.
DeCoatsworth was hailed as a hero after he was shot in the face during a traffic stop in September 2007 but still managed to chase after his attacker, who was later sentenced to 36 to 72 years in prison.
DeCoatsworth was invited by Vice President Joe Biden to attend the president’s televised February 2009 address to Congress and sat with first lady Michelle Obama.
He said he didn’t know why he had been singled out, but being in the presence of the nation’s leaders was an honor ‘that I will keep with me for the rest of my life.’
WCAU-TV, which first reported his arrest, said DeCoatsworth retired from the department on disability in December 2011.
Police were tight-lipped Saturday about the details of the incident, declining to give even general locations for the party.