Stories posted are written by National news Journalists, not by this blog.
Our Blog Tips

Father holds kin for day, kills self

Euless: Wife escaped, but kids trapped when ex-officer found dead
9-1-2006 Texas:

EULESS – A former Trophy Club police officer and registered sex offender terrorized his family for 24 hours before killing himself Thursday, police said.

Jeffrey Andrew Dickson, 33, was found dead Thursday in a bedroom closet at his Euless home. His three young children were found in the kitchen when tactical officers entered the home about 9 a.m.

Mr. Dickson's 8-year-old daughter and two sons, ages 7 and 5, were rescued early Thursday after a harrowing night of threats, violence and negotiations with officers outside their Laurel Lane home. Police said that Mr. Dickson and his wife, Tracey Dickson, had argued earlier Wednesday, but police said that they did not know the reason for the argument. Mr. Dickson began holding his wife at gunpoint around 8 a.m. Wednesday, police said.

The children were gone most of the day but returned home around 5 p.m. They, too, became hostages, police said. Mrs. Dickson escaped late Wednesday.

"The children told investigators that the father was killing himself," said Sgt. Ron Williamson, a spokesman for Euless police.

The children remained trapped after their father went to the master bedroom because they could not unlock the door to the outside.

"We sincerely believe they did not witness him taking his life," Sgt. Williamson said. "Obviously, they were upset, somewhat terrified."

The only weapon found in the home was the .22-caliber pistol found beside Mr. Dickson, Sgt. Williamson said.

"We kept contact with him throughout the night," Sgt. Williamson said. "We didn't feel like he'd harm the children. The negotiations were cordial. He did not become agitated or threatening."

Mr. Dickson made no demands but would not give himself up, police said.

Early in his adult life, Mr. Dickson was on the other side of the law. He wore a badge and had undergone training similar to that of the negotiators trying to coax him into surrendering.

Mr. Dickson became a licensed peace officer Jan. 18, 1996, according to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.

He worked as a peace officer in Roanoke for more than a year before joining the Trophy Club force in February 1997.

Trophy Club fired him eight months later after he was accused of sexually assaulting a woman he had pulled over during a traffic stop.

According to court records, Mr. Dickson ordered the woman out of her car and escorted her without handcuffs to the back of his patrol car.

He told the woman he would arrest for driving while intoxicated if she did not cooperate.

Mr. Dickson then drove the woman to a remote location where the sexual encounter took place, records show.

A Denton County jury deadlocked on the sexual assault charge but found Mr. Dickson guilty of violating the woman's civil rights.

He received a one-year sentence and reported to prison Feb. 4, 2005. He was released on probation July 22, 2005, said Michelle Lyons, a spokeswoman for Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Mr. Dickson's probation for the civil rights violation expired in January.

He pleaded guilty to sexual assault and was still serving his 10 years' probation, officials said. He also was a registered sex offender.

Marcia Constantine, who lives across the street from the Dickson family, said she knew Mr. Dickson was a registered sex offender.

"I didn't know much about it except that it happened a long time ago and that it didn't involve children," Ms. Constantine said.

She described him as friendly and nice.

She was more alarmed by the dozens of police officers who swarmed the tree-lined neighborhood and used her back yard as a command post.

"This is a quiet neighborhood, a safe neighborhood. We never thought we'd see police officers all over the place," said Ms. Constantine, who has lived here for 22 years. "They did a great job, but it was pretty frightening," Ms. Constantine said. "They told us as much as they could tell us. We were very concerned about the children. All night, I prayed for the children."

Mr. Dickson apparently did not make his sex offender status known to all of his associates including those involving children.

This year, he assisted with a T-ball team that is part of the Tri-Cities Baseball Association.

When he asked to be named an assistant coach, questions about his criminal background arose.

John Kidwell, whose son played on the team, said he had no reservations about Mr. Dickson interacting with the young players because the parents kept a watchful eye over their children.

Mr. Dickson, he said, loved baseball and loved being with his children.

"He was a good guy," Mr. Kidwell said. "I had no problems with him being around the kids. He was not a coach, but he was always out there helping out."

Mr. Kidwell said that he is not sure how or when he learned about Mr. Dickson's sex offender status but that word spread pretty quickly among the parents.

"Once we found out, we looked it up on the Internet, and it was there," Mr. Kidwell said. "But we had known him throughout the years with our kids playing baseball so we didn't think too much about it. He was good with the kids." ..more.. by DEBRA DENNIS

No comments: