published Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Collegedale police officer under investigation after possible sex allegation

A Collegedale Police Department corporal remains on the job after an internal affairs investigation was opened Monday regarding a possible sex allegation, officials said.

Collegedale Chief Brian Hickman said he became aware of allegations involving Cpl. Matt Spears after reporters asked questions Monday.

"We received a tip this morning. Like anything else, we're going to go through internal affairs," said Hickman, declining to comment further about the alleged incident.

The allegation stems from an encounter early Sunday morning after two Chattanooga police officers responded to another call where a woman was intoxicated in a vehicle with three small children in tow in the 9300 block of Lee Highway, according to authorities.

In the process of making the arrest, the officers called for a drug recognition expert, a certification some members of law enforcement obtain that qualifies them to observe drug use rather than alcohol impairment in people.

Chattanooga Police Officer Randall Bissell and his partner waited for a Collegedale officer to respond because the 20-member department has an expert.

While waiting they noticed a marked Collegedale Police Department patrol car parked near an SUV. Bissell walked over to the patrol car and noticed it was empty. He began to walk toward the SUV and noticed a woman, who appeared to be topless, straddling a man in the passenger seat.

No report was ever made about the incident by Chattanooga police. However, officers will be turning in statements to administrators about what they saw to pass on to investigators, said Chattanooga Police Chief Bobby Dodd.

"They didn't feel it was their place to do anything. He wasn't a Chattanooga officer and it was not in their jurisdiction," Dodd said. "They were kind of shocked it was going on."

Spears would have most likely been off duty at the time. His shift finished about 11 p.m.

Contact staff writer Beth Burger at or 423-757-6406.

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lonerstoner said...

Amazing talk about protecting justice .. At least they didnt throw him under the bus .. Who do you trust now a days , only getting worse . Worst damn sivel service ever . Watch . nothing will come of it .

November 22, 2011 at 8:14 a.m.
esaletnik said...

That van was rockin', you shouldn't have gone knockin'

But seriously, if it were two gay guys caught naked in a car they would have been arrested and registered as sex offenders for the rest of their lives.

November 22, 2011 at 10:38 a.m.
skyboxer said...

Good for him ... an underpaid and unappreciated civil servant enjoying some well deserved "fringe benefits." He just should have been a little more discreet.

November 22, 2011 at 10:43 a.m.
XGSBoss said...

Uhh, how do we know she was a willing participant and not coerced into it by a gun and a badge? But you keep playing the Sgt Shultz role and don't break that thin blue line fellas.

November 22, 2011 at 11:21 a.m.
acerigger said...

What do you suppose would have been the outcome had it been two "civilians" making out ?

November 22, 2011 at 11:57 a.m.
elkhart007 said...

Big deal. If he's not married then it was probably just another badge bunny. I think next time I just wouldn't drive my work vehicle.

November 22, 2011 at 12:43 p.m.
RetiredMarshal said...

If this law enforecement officer broke any rules then he need to be relieved of his dutys.Once IA conducts there investigation then we'll see if or not this is swept under the carpet.

November 22, 2011 at 12:45 p.m.

That close to Ooltewah and people act surprised! Besides it what i call the lethal weapon syndrome. The car, the badge and the gun. It's the perfect recipe for being propositioned. Everyone gets so involved at the slightest hint of moral wrongdoing in this ridiculous bible belt state. The only people that you will see raising a fuss over this are the one's that are secretly frustrated because their exploits fall short of satisfaction. Keep thumping those good books folks!!!

November 22, 2011 at 1:23 p.m.
brokentoe said...

@"They didn't feel it was their place to do anything. He wasn't a Chattanooga officer and it was not in their jurisdiction," Dodd said. "They were kind of shocked it was going on."

Or they saw nothing wrong with it because it's common practice in the profession?

@"Spears would have most likely been off duty at the time. His shift finished about 11 p.m"

He may have been off duty but he was still using his patrol car. Plus, aren't cops the ones who say they're never off duty?

November 22, 2011 at 2:03 p.m.
RetiredMarshal said...

Whether on duty or off duty that vehicle is Collegedale property.that vehicle has to be parked when off duty unless given permission to be use for what ever reason.Im curiuos how this place out.

November 22, 2011 at 2:37 p.m.
Joebland said...

Umm it was in Chattanoogas jurisdiction Chief Dodd... You officers again failed to act in their job yet again. If it wasn't in their jurisdiction I guess the county should have arrested the woman. Its also sad that chattanooga is now trying to distance themselves from the Agency that they asked to help them. Once again glad I live in the county.

November 22, 2011 at 3:01 p.m.
WHS1970 said...

I'm glad it was a female he was with. He looks a little light in the loafers to me.

November 22, 2011 at 3:52 p.m.
macropetala8 said...

darnIT, WHS1970, I thinking the very same thing!! LOL

Then again, the female could still not have been a female? LMAO!

November 22, 2011 at 3:55 p.m.
fedup350 said...

I think the topless woman was just having a wardrobe malfunction and the nice officer was just helping her fix it and he was so nice that he let her in the car so she would be more comfortable. Sheesh, get your mind out of the gutter people! It was really all very innocnet, just a misunderstanding really....

November 22, 2011 at 5:53 p.m.
chioK_V said...

For the misunderstood officer's sake, I just hope he isn't married. He's in for a serious arse-whooping if he is. But then again, he could explain it away and suggest he was just serving and protecting the public by letting the female sit naked on top of him.

November 22, 2011 at 6:01 p.m.
copfriend said...

As someone who knows this officer I can tell you that he is an upstanding citizen with a good heart. This whole incident is totally out of character for him. However, understanding human nature a bit, I think it is possible for the best of us to make this kind of mistake. I would suggest that those of you who are making fun of him take a close look at yourself. I bet you have your own skeletons you wouldn't want broadcast all over creation. As we used to say when I was a kid, "When you point your finger at someone, three fingers point back at you."

November 22, 2011 at 7:06 p.m.
PinkSalmon said...

copfriend or the cop caught? Or maybe the one caught naked sitting on the cop's lap. Whichever, it doesn't really matter. These cops are just getting back what they've dished out and said about the average citizen they encounter and seem to feel is beneath them.

You should advise your copfriend to at least be willing to pay for a hotel roomm next time. Hopefully, this wasn't some underage teen he was caught with. Cops getting it on with underage teens seems to be happened a lot lately.

November 22, 2011 at 7:25 p.m.
lookinfour said...

This is the funniest story I've read in awhile. I can only imagine how all this panned out that night. To be a fly on a patrol car.

Zoom in on his picture and you'll see an 'FTO' pin. That stands for Field Training Officer. He's supposed to be the one who trains other officers. Nice...real nice.

copfriend...upstanding police officers don't have sex in the front seat of a car in a public place. This is called a crime and an otherwise "upstanding citizen" would have been placed in handcuffs and arrested in Collegedale for same thing. This is typical above the law mentality...along with complete stupidity.

November 22, 2011 at 7:29 p.m.
EBW said...

It is too bad this officer is already guilty in the eyes of so many. It will be interesting when GPS and other factors clear Officer Spears. But, then again, you all will just say it has been covered up and never believe the truth. Tried and found guilty by the press, and we all know how honest, thorough, and un-biased the press is!

November 22, 2011 at 8:58 p.m.
01centare said...

EBW said... It is too bad this officer is already guilty in the eyes of so many. It will be interesting when GPS and other factors clear Officer Spears

Aren't cops guilty of doing the same to citizen? They immediately make swift judgments of everyone who is not a cop must be guilty. We already know spears will be cleared. It's just the way the profession rolls nowadays. To SERVE and PROTECT Our OWN!

November 22, 2011 at 9:12 p.m.
bigguy said...

Cumon man, I bet he wuz jusa checking her earl.

November 22, 2011 at 10:17 p.m.
EBW said...

@No report was ever made about the incident by Chattanooga police.

Can someone explain how the news had this story if no report was filed? Sounds like smear to me?

November 22, 2011 at 11:20 p.m.
amnestiUSAF84 said...

@EBW, they probably got it from the lady they arrested. The city cops likely were joking about it in her presence. Of course, she was royally pissed at them for arresting her, yet not doing anything about spears doing the nasty with some broad with his Collegedale patrol car near by. So she did what any miffed* female would have done. PAYBACK!

The question you should be asking is why did Chattanooga police have jurisdiction to arrest the lady, but they claim they couldn't do anything about the collegedale cop, likely still in uniform since his patrol car was nearby, although they had to call someone from Collegedale to determine if the lady was drunk or stoned? If they're going to fib about it the least they could do is make the fib sound plausible.

November 23, 2011 at 12:31 a.m.
lookinfour said...

Come on @EBW. I understand the theory of innocent until proven guilty but that refers to a court of law. We all know that an innocent verdict doesn't mean they didn't do the act. How about Casey Anthony, OJ, and others. I wish you would chime in on what the defense is of an officer with a naked or near naked girl straddling him in the passenger seat of her car? What other "factors" as you say can come forward? Give me a break, the IA investigation should take a day at most for this one.

November 23, 2011 at 7:09 a.m.
Haiku said...

If these two were the average joe and josephine citizen they'd have been arrested on the spot for public indency, and since there were children nearby, there's a charge for that too. Exposing the children to porn?

Average citizens get arrested in Chattanooga for walking and having an empty beer can they just picked up collecting cans to sell for recycling. But these two get to have sex in public, with children nearby, and the cops who caught them consider it NO BIG DEAL? Then they wonder why the public no longer has any respect for the profession.

November 23, 2011 at 9:30 a.m.
rons_mkay said...

Yeah, he is married, with kids.

November 23, 2011 at 9:13 p.m.
SavartiTN said...

In one report he claims it was his wife. And he would like to spare her any further embarassment.

I don't think that it matters who he was with. The Samaritan Center is a very public place even at 1 am.

I didn't know that it wasn't against the law to have sex in your car in a public parking lot. I suppose all of the teenagers in Ooltewah will be glad to hear that!

November 27, 2011 at 6:43 p.m.
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