Man Accused Of Looting In Moore Fights The Charge
MOORE, Oklahoma - A man arrested for looting in a Moore tornado zone last month says he's innocent and he has the letter to prove it.
One week after a deadly tornado hit Moore, Dean McDonald says he spoke with Moore's Community Development Office to see if it was OK for him to pick up scrap metal from destroyed homes.
"At the city hall, they could not authorize me permission to get stuff off people's property, but as long as I got permission, verbal permission from somebody, it would be OK," McDonald said.
So McDonald says he got verbal permission from three homeowners on SW 8th St. and S. Broadway St. to take metal. But things quickly changed when he came back later that night with his father to get a dolly he left.
"The police showed up, then they were going to throw us in jail," McDonald said. "And I had permission. I got a statement here saying that I had permission from the lady here and talked to the other people."
McDonald faces a misdemeanor charge for Disturbing a Disaster Area, but he says he later got a letter from one of the homeowners to prove he had permission.
Sgt. Jeremy Lewis of the Moore Police Department says, "I'm not sure of McDonald's exact case, but believe the officers did what was right at the time if he did not have legitimate proof to be on someone else's property."
Lewis says McDonald will have to present his permission letter to the District Attorney's office. McDonald hopes to make contact with two other homeowners on 8th St. so that they can write him a letter to help prove his innocence.
"There was a mistake, and I don't think it should be me at fault," McDonald said. "I worked all day long, and the $300 that I made didn't even cover the bond."