clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Dave Herman on controversial arrest: 'There's no reason I should be treated like a dog'

New, comments
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Dave Herman has been released from jail, but the events of the last few days still have him emotional.

The former UFC and Bellator MMA fighter was hit with a taser and arrested following a dispute with police outside his car at an Indiana gas station early Tuesday morning. Herman was arraigned Wednesday and released on $7,500 bail later that night. His pre-trial hearing will be in March.

The heavyweight competitor, who last fought for Titan FC, is facing three felony charges and a misdemeanor. Herman is being charged with resisting law enforcement with a vehicle, battery against law enforcement, neglect of a dependent and resisting law enforcement. The latter is the misdemeanor.

Herman's wife Madeleine captured video of the arrest and posted it online. It seemed to contradict some of what was in the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department incident report. The document said Herman was "aggressive" toward police. But in the video, Herman got out of the vehicle with his hands up, asking the officers for identification. Madeleine told MMAFighting.com she started recording with her iPad when cops pulled guns on Herman.

When Herman didn't comply with the officers' demands to get on his knees and put his hands on his head, they threatened him with a taser. Herman still failed to comply and he was tasered and then arrested.

"I was trying to communicate with the officers," Herman told MMAFighting.com on Thursday. "They were screaming and threatening my life. There's no reason I should be treated like a dog. I'm a human being. I'm a person. I have feelings, too. I have a right to know who these people are."

Herman was in the car with Madeleine and their 2-1/2 month old son Leo. They were heading home to Fort Wayne, Ind., from their friends house after 1 a.m. on I-69. Their vehicle experienced some issues, a recurring problem with the alternator, and Herman put the hazards on while they attempted to find a safe, well-lit area to pull into.

The police report said that the Hermans' car was going at a high rate of speed without the headlights and taillights on. The police cruiser began following them. Herman admittedly did not pull over right away, preferring to find that well-lit area. About two or three miles later, Herman pulled the vehicle into a gas station.

Herman said he learned in driver's ed that the correct procedure when being pulled over by cops was to find a safe, well-lit area and that's all he was trying to do.

"I literally did it by the book," Herman said. "Like, that's what you're supposed to do and I'm being charged."

Herman said he got out of his car to address the officers thinking they would be able to assist him with his car trouble.

"I did not feel like I was aggressive at all," Herman said. "I was pleading. I said please identify yourself to me. Who are you? I stepped out of my vehicle literally thinking these people are going to help me and this is what I got."

The 30-year-old said he never assumes that anyone pulling him over is an actual police officer, despite the apparent police cruiser and badge. Herman said that he just read about a man impersonating a police officer in Atlantic City, N.J., last week.

"If you assume, then you make an ass out of you and me," Herman said. "You can assume a lot of things, but you can't know for sure. Anyone can buy a car. Anyone can buy an outfit. Anyone can buy a nametag. Anyone can buy a toy fake badge. I dressed up as a cop for Halloween one time, it was awesome."

Herman said he was also fearing for the safety of his infant son and wife. He said that everything the officers did is what he is being charged for.

"They verbally assaulted me, they physically assaulted me and they endangered the life of my wife and child," Herman said. "Those are the charges they're saying I did. All those things they did to me and then they charged me with them. I want them dropped and I don't even think these people should be police officers. It's ridiculous. You should automatically be fired for something like that. But I'm sure they'll just get a slap on the wrist and maybe a week or two paid vacation."

Herman is due back in court in March. He doesn't have a lawyer yet, but said the response online has been "overwhelming" in a positive way since Madeline posted the video and they have set up a gofundme page for legal fees. Herman believes part of the incident has to do with him being a 6-foot-5 man. But he doesn't excuse the officers for their actions.

"I've never been involved with police where it's been a calm environment," Herman said. "There's flashlights in your face -- 'Who are you? What are you doing?' It's not a calm environment. It's a very threatening, interrogational environment. Is it protect and serve or harass and assault?"