Driver recounts confrontation with Newport News police officer


by David Ham, 13News

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 5:31 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 26 at 6:21 PM

NEWPORT NEWS-- "He said if I get out of the car, he's got the gun pointing the gun directly at him (Powell), he said 'I'm gonna pop a cap in ya,'" Michael White said as he recalled being confronted by an angry police officer in what investigators say was a case of road rage. 

While on duty, 58-year-old Michael D. Poole allegedly honked his horn, made hand gestures, and followed White and his passenger, James Powell, about 2 miles up Jefferson Avenue the afternoon of September 6.  White told police he was trying to change lanes when Poole got angry. Once they got into a parking lot, Poole reportedly argued with White then showed him a gun. 

"[I have] no criminal record, you know. Anything that has happened I've always been one to call the police and now since I found out he is the police, I'm traumatized, but now I have no faith in calling law enforcement," White added.

Poole got back in his truck and drove off but was pulled over in the area of Fort Eustis Boulevard and Jefferson Avenue after the two men followed him and called 911, authorities added. 

"I'm always disappointed when we don't do things one hundred percent correctly," said Chief James Fox, who decided to put Poole on administrative suspension with pay pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings and an internal investigation by the Department’s Professional Standards Division.

Mike Jenkins, the attorney for White and Powell, criticized that decision.

"Short of pulling the trigger itself, this is probably the most egregious action the officer could take," said Jenkins.

White and Powell obtained criminal summonses for two counts of misdemeanor brandishing a firearm.

Poole was arrested Monday and has been released on a summons.  He's due in Newport News General District Court for arraignment and bond hearing on October 1.

Poole has been with the department for 27 years and is assigned to the Intelligence Unit.