What happens when a little league coach calls a heckler at a girl’s basketball game a “dick”? Well, when that heckler is an off-duty cop, she ends up arrested and facing three years in prison!
Jessica Curs, the 31-year-old mother and veteran youth league coach, is crying foul, and the local police department is firing back.
Now, Curs is taking to the media to tell her story.
She first discussed the incident Monday on KTXA TV in Dallas.
The very next day, the Alvarado police chief Brad Anderson posted a victim-blaming 1,100-word Facebook post which he has since deleted (see full text below) which criticized KTXA for telling the victim’s side of things.
What everyone knows for sure is that when the incident happened, Curs was coaching a 4th grade girls’ basketball game.
Her team was the Burleson Youth Association and they were playing against Alvarado.
These two cities of Burleson and Alvarado, are about 10 miles apart with a classic rivalry.
Alvarado police captain Gary Melson was there keeping score. He was sitting right behind Curs, on the side that had been reserved just for coaches.
Melson was in street clothes, off duty. He sat there the whole time heckling Curs.
Curs said Melson offered a snide comment to a call.
“That’s when I turned around. What I wanted to say was ‘quit being a dipsh-t,’ but all I said was quit being a dip …” she recalled. “No one heard it except for him and me.”
Chief Anderson claimed on Facebook that “Curs screamed out a profanity, namely using the word ‘dick’ in front of bleachers full of parents and kids. This action caused numerous parents to rise to their feet and began confronting Curs, complaining and demanding action from APD Capt. Melson.”
Curs says that is “extremely inaccurate.”
The referee, Andy Love, recalled: “I turn to report my foul and I’ve got some guy standing on the edge of the gym floor grabbing a coach by the arm, trying to pull her off the court.”
Chief Anderson said that Curs “has a history of questionable behavior.” But this was disputed by the associations involved with the teams.
Melson flashed his badge to Curs and ordered her to leave with him to the parking lot.
There were only two minutes left in the game and her team had to forfeit because she had to go with the officer because she was accused of “a breach of the peace.”
Two weeks later, Curs got a warrant for her arrest in the mail, saying that she was being charged with evading arrest.
Attorney Jonathan Michell told her that the district attorney was moving forward with the case, a Class A Misdemeanor charge that could make her face up to a year behind bars.
“Everyone has told me ‘you need to do something about this, you can’t let this guy get away with this,” she stated. “Finally I agreed. I’m not going to sit and let them do this to me.”
Press Release Regarding Jessica Curs Arrest:
First, I would like to address CBS 11’s reporting on this, and other incidents.
I was first introduced to unethical reporting many months ago when CBS 11 lied about wanting an interview and then took that information and twisted it for another purpose. During this time, prior to CBS 11 airing another unrelated story, I met with CBS 11′s Senior Investigative Producer in my office and discussed Jessica Curs. At this time I provided CBS with a copy of the affidavit used to obtain the warrant for Curs as well as her book-in photo. The situation was completely explained to him then and he and I corresponded many times through email, in which he described Curs actions as a “tirade”. It was only after CBS aired an unrelated/twisted story, and then pulled said story for obvious inaccuracies, that an in-person interview request was later denied regarding Curs. CBS was instructed to address any questions they would like answered to our department and they would be answered. This never happened.
The incident regarding Curs should and could have been resolved that day. Curs pressed the issue and her actions dictated the response from a police officer. Curs screamed out a profanity, namely using the word “dick”, in front of bleachers full of parents and kids. This action caused numerous parents to rise to their feet and began confronting Curs, complaining, and demanding action from APD Capt. Melson. Capt. Melson approached Curs and instructed her to step outside the area of play to deescalate the situation. This is where the matter could have been resolved with Curs being told to refrain from using profane language in public. Capt. Melson asked Curs three times, showed her his badge/department identification card, told her he was a police officer, and that she needed to step aside and speak with him.
Curs committed the offense of disorderly conduct:
TEXAS PENAL CODE TITLE 9. OFFENSES AGAINST PUBLIC ORDER AND DECENCY
CHAPTER 42. DISORDERLY CONDUCT AND RELATED OFFENSES
Sec. 42.01. DISORDERLY CONDUCT.
(a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly:
(1) uses abusive, indecent, profane, or vulgar language in a public place, and the language by its very utterance tends to incite an immediate breach of the peace;
And in regards to Capt. Melson being outside the city of Alvarado:
CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE TITLE 1. CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
CHAPTER 14. ARREST WITHOUT WARRANT
Art. 14.03. AUTHORITY OF PEACE OFFICERS.
(d) A peace officer who is outside his jurisdiction may arrest, without warrant, a person who commits an offense within the officer’s presence or view, if the offense is a felony, a violation of Chapter 42 or 49, Penal Code, or a breach of the peace.
Ideally an off-duty officer does not want to get involved in situations like this one. But when being an officer is known by the majority of the people present, and the officer is asked to act, it is hard not to.
Curs refused this lawful order from Capt. Melson and pulled away. Curs was assisted by her husband and others in putting distance between herself and Capt. Melson for the obvious reason she knew she was in the wrong. Capt. Melson’s response was also fueled by many complaints by parents that wanted something done in regards to Curs’ comment. These complainants were documented and supplied to the Johnson County Attorney’s office, not the “Burleson prosecutors” as the CBS story notes. After the incident was looked at from all angles, the decision was made to issue a warrant for Curs for evading arrest.
Curs committed the offense of evading arrest or detention:
TEXAS PENAL CODE TITLE 8. OFFENSES AGAINST PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
CHAPTER 38. OBSTRUCTING GOVERNMENTAL OPERATION
Sec. 38.04: Texas Statutes: EVADING ARREST OR DETENTION
(a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally flees from a person he knows is a peace officer or federal special investigator attempting lawfully to arrest or detain him.
CBS also falsely reported “Both the Alvarado school district and a private youth association that was using the gym told the I-Team they did not ask police to issue the warning” in regards to the issuing of a criminal trespass warning against Curs. The warning was issued by Kevin Bjork, a representative of AYSA, the governing youth sports body of Alvarado (Alvarado Youth Sports Association), as requested by the AYSA basketball director. The criminal trespass warning was then voided by the AYSA by allowing Curs to stay and watch her daughter play in a game. A copy of this warning with all above noted person’s signatures was provided to the Johnson County Attorney’s Office.
APD Investigators tried to obtain the video from BISD officials within the retention time period. BISD turned over a video for this case but had copied the wrong time period. This was discovered after hours on a Friday and the district then went on spring break. This time frame made it impossible to obtain the correct video in light of the district only retaining their video for 14 days.
Youth sports are very important and an involved activity and happens everywhere year round. Unfortunately some adults see this as a stage they can act out on and the rules and laws do not apply to them. To these parents this incident should be a sobering reminder that they are wrong. The example and message that you should and can yell profanities in public places and think this behavior is acceptable is sickening. Furthermore, the current message is the empty can rattles the most, and hope you don’t have to be held accountable for your actions.
Another element left out of this story was that Curs has a history of questionable behavior that has led to her to being removed from games/events, etc. This incident seems to be on par with Curs’ past and the environment she thrives in. Chants of “fuck you Alvarado” could be heard from the facility as the teams left.
As with most cases, the person at fault here is Curs and Curs directed her own path which resulted in her subsequent arrest and pending court case. Curs found a voice with CBS and together they constructed a story based on unethical reporting. This story, in addition to others, cements our decision to carefully guard any information supplied to CBS. The Alvarado Police Department has always interacted and cooperated well with all news outlets and will continue to do so.
Since we published this story, Jessica’s charges have been dropped. Her attorney Jonathan Michell commented: “We believe Captain Melson’s actions were an abuse of his authority as a law enforcement officer. At this time we are considering all of our client’s options to protect her rights and make sure that something like this never happens again.”
(Article by Jackson Marciana and Reagan Ali)