Victim of police officer road rage: “Now who can I trust?”

Posted at 9:23 PM, Sep 26, 2012
and last updated 2012-09-26 21:23:40-04

“He should be held to a higher standard, he is here to protect and serve.”

Still, 27-year-old Michael White says a Newport News Police Detective violated the trust that comes with the badge after pointing a gun at him during a road rage incident.

Detective Michael Poole, a 27-year veteran of the department, is now charged with two counts of brandishing a firearm.

White says it all started along Jefferson Avenue in Newport News, near the TGI Friday’s with a simple lane change.


Newport News detective charged in road rage incident

“I proceeded to get over, and halfway through my merge, he had sped up and just laid on the horn.”

White says the black Dodge Ram stayed behind him all the way until he turned into an Olive Garden parking lot where he and his passenger were planning on having lunch.

“Officer Poole pulls up, and says if I get out of the car, ‘I’m going to bust a cap in you, you can fill out the rest.’ He points the gun, and I’m shook,” said White.

Detective Poole drove off, and the victims called police.

Since he was on duty undercover, dispatchers immediately recognized the Ram's tags and called Poole's sergeant as well as internal investigations out to the scene.

When White found out it was a police officer…

“I was already traumatized that this occurred, and then come to find out he was an officer? Now who can I trust?”

Word of the incident went straight up the chain of command, to Police Chief James Fox.

“It shocked me. What do you say?” said Chief Fox. “When something like this occurs, it hurts. It hurts the organization, and we take it seriously.”

He says his criminal investigators helped the victims press charges and get a summons against Detective Poole in court, all while an internal investigation goes on to see if the 27-year veteran will keep his job.

“I know the public should hold us to a higher standard,” said Chief Fox.

Chief Fox says he put Detective Poole on paid administrative leave Monday, after the summons was issued.

The original date of the incident was back on September 6th.

Attorneys for the victims wanted to know why it took three weeks for Newport News police to take him off patrol duty.

Chief Fox says cases against police officers are investigated differently than a case against a normal citizen, and he wanted to have all the facts before making a decision.