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Richard DeCoatsworth, former Phila. cop once hailed as hero, charged with raping two women, police say

In this Monday, Dec. 10, 2007 file photo, Philadelphia police officer Richard DeCoatsworth, who was shot in the face on duty while making a traffic stop, listens to Gov. Ed Rendell during a rally to push for new state gun laws at the Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. AP Photo/Jason Minick

Former Philadelphia police officer Richard DeCoatsworth, who was hailed as a hero after sustaining a shotgun blast to the face and chasing down attackers, has been charged with rape, police say.
AP Photo/Jason Minick

(CBS/AP) PHILADELPHIA - A former Philadelphia police officer once hailed as a hero and given a seat next to the first lady at a speech by President Obama has been arrested and charged after police say he raped two women at gunpoint.

PICTURES: Former cops gone bad

Authorities allege that former officer Richard DeCoatsworth left a party with two women early Thursday and took them to another location, where they allege that he pulled out a handgun and "forced the two females to engage in the use of narcotics and sexual acts."

A police spokeswoman said the two called police after he left, and the 27-year-old DeCoatsworth was later arrested. According to court records, DeCoatsworth was arraigned Saturday night on charges including rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, trafficking of persons, false imprisonment and aggravated assault.

His bail was set at $60 million.

DeCoatsworth was hailed as a hero in 2007 after he was shot in the face with a shotgun during a traffic stop but still was able to chase down the suspects as they fled, CBS Philly reports.

DeCoatsworth was invited by Vice President Joe Biden to attend the president's televised February 2009 address to Congress and sat with First Lady Michelle Obama. He said he didn't know why he had been singled out, but being in the presence of the nation's leaders was an honor "that I will keep with me for the rest of my life."

WCAU-TV, which first reported his arrest, said DeCoatsworth retired from the department on disability in December 2011.

Police said no other information on the alleged attack would be released Saturday to protect the victims and the integrity of the ongoing investigation. Authorities declined to give even general locations for the party and alleged crime scene and also wouldn't say when DeCoatsworth was arrested.

A listed number for DeCoatsworth has been disconnected and it was unclear whether he had an attorney.

DeCoatsworth was accused in 2011 of using excessive force for shooting a motorcyclist in the leg after the man allegedly drove his motorcycle towards DeCoatsworth, CBS Phillyreports.

In 2012, DeCoatsworth was taken to court by a neighbor who said the former police officer threatened him, CBS Philly reports. The man, Steven Kocher, 26, told reporters DeCoatsworth "chased me down recently, put me in his truck, and took me for a ride. He tried to scare me."

Kocher reportedly said the incident happened after he couldn't pay a $2,000 loan back to DeCoatsworth.

DeCoatsworth is set for a preliminary hearing next month, according to the station.

  • Crimesider Staff

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