A police officer will be reprimanded for not giving a speeding ticket to former child television star Emmanuel Lewis after he was clocked driving 25 mph over the posted speed limit while towing a trailer loaded with a sport utility vehicle.
Lewis, the former star of the ’80s television series “Webster,” got off with only a verbal warning when he gave his autograph and posed for a photo with the police officer and the police chief in this southwest Georgia town. Lewis, who now lives in the Atlanta area, was clocked driving through town at 70 mph in a 45 mph zone.
Although police officers can use discretion in issuing tickets, the Warwick City Council concluded Tuesday that Officer Ron Kirk’s actions were improper. The council ordered that the officer receive a written reprimand and that the police chief review his department’s policies on giving verbal warnings.
“The council wants the public to know they acknowledge and agree that mistakes were made,” said Tommy Coleman, the town’s attorney. “Anyone who has been in government and anyone who is a driver knows that 70 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone is too fast, especially when one vehicle is towing another.”
Kirk, the officer, said he immediately recognized Lewis, who was towing a trailer loaded with an SUV he had purchased in nearby Albany.
“Well, I grew up watching him and he was very nice and professional, so I just gave him a courtesy warning,” Kirk told Albany television station WALB-TV.
Coleman said he conducted an investigation and concluded that the incident was “simply a mistake.” Lewis did not attempt to get out of the ticket, and Kirk did not ask for anything before issuing the warning, the lawyer said.