The Ohio Highway Patrol has released dash-cam footage of Rep. Sedrick Denson’s (D-Bond Hill) arrest. The first-term Democratic lawmaker was charged early Friday morning for driving under the influence, driving with a suspended license, and felony drug possession.
In the video, Denson repeatedly tells the trooper that he’s a state representative.
“Where you heading in a hurry?” the trooper asked Denson towards the beginning of the incident.
“Not in a hurry. I’m a state representative here,” Denson replied.
In another exchange, after Denson was asked to step out of his vehicle, the officer inquired about whether or not Denson had a “pocket knife or a gun” on him.
“I’m an Ohio state representative,” Denson can be heard responding, though his full response is inaudible with the noise of traffic passing by.
“OK. What does that have to do with you having a weapon?” the trooper responds.
The Ohio Highway Patrol discovered a single prescription Adderall pill inside a plastic bag in Denson’s vehicle, which he said he’s “not prescribed” and does “not use.”
In a statement released Monday, Denson apologized to his constituents, but denied that he was actually impaired.
“I was pulled over by a State Highway Patrolman for either speeding or for a lane change violation. I performed several tests during the traffic stop at the trooper’s direction. Although I felt I was not impaired, I was arrested for driving my car while under the influence. I regret refusing further testing that would have established that I was not impaired,” he said.
In regards to the Adderall pill, Denson seemed to deny that it was his, saying “the fact that it was in my vehicle is concerning and very serious.”
He did, however, state that he “decided to drive at night after drinking earlier in the evening.”
“Though I believe I wasn’t impaired, I regret not using greater caution under the circumstances,” he continued. “I am confident that the court process will result in a conclusion that supports these facts.”
Denson’s first court hearing is scheduled for Thursday morning.
“More than anything, I want to apologize and express my regret to people who feel disappointed by my actions,” his statement concluded. “I share their disappointment. This error in judgment will offer me an opportunity to learn and grow. I want to thank everyone who has supported me or expressed their concern throughout this experience.”
According to the Statehouse News Bureau, Denson will not be asked to step down from his position, and House Democrats referred to Denson’s statement when asked for comment.
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Dash Cam Footage” by Colombus Dispatch.