RICHARD DeCoatsworth, a Philadelphia police highway-patrol officer, is once again being investigated by Internal Affairs after getting into a scuffle with another officer Wednesday night, police said.
Deputy Commissioner Stephen Johnson would not say whether DeCoatsworth, 25, was the target of the probe. But police in the public-affairs department confirmed that an incident involving DeCoatsworth and another officer was under investigation.
DeCoatsworth, reached by phone last night, said he could not comment because of the investigation.
The officer's five-year career with the department has been marked by both triumph and controversy.
In 2007, DeCoatsworth caught a shotgun blast to his face in Southwest Philadelphia and managed to chase down and arrest the shooter.
He was called a "hero cop," and was invited to sit next to first lady Michelle Obama during President Obama's first speech on the economy in February 2009.
Two months later, DeCoatsworth grappled with a man who reportedly had tried to grab his gun. A backup officer fatally shot the man.
Six months after that, DeCoatsworth shot a man in his leg who had ridden a motorbike past him on a sidewalk in Kensington.
The man reportedly jumped on the bike and tried mowing police down after a man who was armed with a gun and running from the cops jumped off the bike and left it running.
During a 2010 traffic stop, DeCoatsworth allegedly ordered Daily News columnist Marc Lamont Hill out of his BMW and searched it without probable cause.
Hill sued, and the case was settled for $15,000.
Copyright 2011 Philadelphia Newspapers, LLCAll Rights Reserved