A Longview man charged with assaulting police, but who says police actually assaulted him, pleaded not guilty to his charges at Cowlitz County District Court on Tuesday, and said cellphone video he took of the event will exonerate him.
While he previously threatened to file a civil suit against the Longview Police Department, the City of Longview and the Cowlitz County Jail, Scott Goodner said he’s currently backed off from doing that. He said he just wants the matter resolved and his phone back.
“I’m disappointed that we’re even here,” Goodner said after court Tuesday. “That we’re wasting taxpayer dollars here.”
Goodner is charged with fourth-degree assault, first- degree criminal trespass and resisting arrest. He is currently scheduled for trial in August.
The charges stem from an incident that happened minutes after midnight on March 10 when he visited the Longview Police Department to file a complaint about a negative experience he had with officers the day before.
An argument ensued wherein Goodner said officers acted rudely and threatening toward him. Officers wrote in a police report that Goodner was acting belligerently. When officers asked Goodner to leave, he refused, and they grabbed his arms to forcibly remove him from the lobby.
Police station surveillance footage of the encounter shows Goodner fall, get up, and fall again with the three officers in the middle of a doorway, but it doesn’t clearly show why. The police report said Goodner kicked his leg up and struck an officer, but Goodner said he assaulted no one and that officers jerked his leg up and attacked him while he was on the ground. Either way, the video shows the four men briefly wrestle before officers placed Goodner in handcuffs.
Goodner has said that the incident left him with a concussion, severe rib and neck pain and aggravated a previous back injury, and that he spent 30-plus hours at the Cowlitz County Jail, where he said he complained of not receiving water or pain medicine.
“Was I a dick? Yes I was,” Goodner said Tuesday. “Did I deserve to get beaten to death? No.”
Those claims could not be immediately addressed by the jail, although jail director Marin Fox said Tuesday afternoon that when she reached out to him to address his complaints, Goodner cursed at her and hung up.
Goodner has said he recorded the incident with officers on his phone, which has been held at the Longview Police Department since his arrest. Police say that they will return it once it is no longer needed for evidence in the case, and that it is department policy to hold on to original sources of evidence such as the phone.