Tuesday, September 19, 2006


eric dickerson, the former auto dealer who is running against julia carson for indiana's 7th district, was on the radio this morning. dickerson went on abdul in the morniing in an attempt to get out in front of allegations that he's a wifebeater. but it seems to be backfiring. the allegations were completely unknown to the public before dickerson went on the radio to defend himself, and they might never have come to light if he hadn't gone on the air. but now that he has, the story is out and further details immediately came out that contradict dickerson's version of events.

advance indiana describes the radio segment:

Dickerson tells Abdul's radio audience that he was contacted recently by a Star reporter about an accusation his Democratic opponent, Rep. Julia Carson, had leveled during an interview with the Star's editorial board. At the conclusion of that editorial board interview, Dickerson tells us that the reporter says Carson volunteered the statement that Dickerson was a wife beater.

As Dickerson explains to the radio audience, the reference made by Carson was to a 1991 domestic violence arrest. Dickerson explained that he had just returned from an out-of-town business trip when he learned upon arriving at his home that his teen-aged son had taken his corvette on a joy ride and totalled it, nearly killing himself. Dickerson admits that he became extremely upset and did a lot of yelling. He assures his listeners that he did not strike any family member. During the heated moment, however, his then 12-year old daugther became frightened and called police. When police arrive, they told Dickerson he would have to go down town with them, and they booked him on a domestic violence charge. A subsequent investigation of the incident resulted in the charges being dropped, something that is not unusual in domestic disputes of this nature.

of course, this is total hearsay: dickerson says that some reporter told him that julia said something mean in a closed-door meeting. there's no way to know whether this meeting took place at all, or if it did, if the actual events in any way resembled dickerson's description of them. but it's a good story if you can believe it: "my opponent is flinging dirt at me but i did nothing wrong!"

unfortunately, within a few hours, TDW published a copy of the police report, which, to put it mildly, contradicts dickerson's version of events:

[Aisha Dickerson] stated her father, an Eric Dickerson, had bitten her and was currently attacking her mother, Paula Dickerson. As we walked toward the house we heard yelling and saw Eric Dickerson and his wife arguing in the living room. The articles in the room were thrown about and it was obvious that a fight had and was taking place. We knocked on the front door. Eric Dickerson looked out the front window and promptly ran up the stairs in an attempt to avoid these officers. Paula Dickerson opened the door and then ran past us crying and bleeding with her baby in her hands. She stated he was trying to kill her and she was terrified. She also later said that he had tried to poke her eyes out and strangle her and that we have been there before on the same incident. After entering the house, we could hear Eric throwing things around upstairs and for officer's safety we stayed downstairs and tried to talk eric into coming downstairs. After several tense minutes of persuasion he came downstairs and was handcuffed without further incidents.

At that time we spoke at length with Paula and could see bruises, cuts, scrapes and contusions on her arms, elbows and legs. All those came during the fight and where Eric Dickerson attacked her and tried to strangle her and poke her eyes out and punched her several times. During the struggle with his wife, Aisha, the daughter had tried to stop her father from beating up her mother and was subsequently bitten by her father on the right forearm, causing a set of teeth marks on the skin. Paula and her daughter were going to go transport themselves to the hospital. There was an E.T. on the scene for pictures of the house and its victims... Eric Dickerson was arrested for battery with injury on two counts and disorderly conduct for his causing of a fight and also his refusal to cooperate with officers' wishes to come downstairs.

obviously someone is lying, either dickerson or the cops. as TDW pointed out in an earlier post, prosecutors have a hell of a time getting victims of domestic abuse to testify against their abusers, so the fact that files were never charged hardly exonerates him.

an interesting question (in a zen way) is: would this story have come out if dickerson hadn't gone on the radio trying to defuse it? perhaps it would have, but maybe not. dickerson must have thought he was doing smart PR, coming out with the story first in the hopes of squashing it. but a cardinal rule of PR is to be truthful, and dickerson's radio interview shows what gary calls "a complete lack of candor", which only serves to fan the flames of bad news.

dickerson was already behind in the polls by 20 points. this story is virtually assured to kill what is left of his campaign.

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