Ailing former police chief roughed up in bar - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Ailing former police chief roughed up in bar

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

In his 30 years with the Germantown Police Department, Brian Roper was popular with a lot of people.

But, he never really has gotten the chance to enjoy his retirement since a stroke left him debilitated and led to years of therapy.

Yet, it's never stopped him from trying to find a degree of normalcy in a life that is anything but that.

Nearly seven years ago, the former Germantown police captain and assistant chief was about to retire the way most people would like - by going out on top. Under his watch a three-year investigation to nab the elusive Hacks Cross Creeper had triumphantly ended with the arrest of Willie Prince. Intensive detective work had turned DNA from a bite mark into the key that unlocked the secrets of a high-profile case.
 
But, for a man who'd spent 30 years catching perpetrators and bringing closure to their victims what happened last week at Jack McGoo's Bar on Broad Street has left his friends and family enraged.

After his retirement in 2005, the 59-year-old roper would suffer a debilitating stroke. It's required years of extensive and painful rehabilitation. Even though he's made remarkable progress over the years, Roper walks with a cane and suffers from Aphasia, which causes difficulty with speech or language by blocking the ability to put thoughts into words.

"He can communicate through language," said Judy Dorsey, Roper's friend of 25 years. "He has a limited vocabulary and he also uses notepads. He can write and he can also draw some pretty and cute little pictures. And also we communicate with him with pantomime. But, he does use a notepad."

On March 14 Roper, an avid Memphis Tiger basketball fan, came into Jack McGoo's Bar to watch a game. According to the police report, Roper was told by a bartender he was allegedly causing a disturbance and was asked to leave.

The report says security guards told them she couldn't understand his drink order and the female bartender believed  he was intoxicated. The bar's security said Roper refused to respond to the bartender and was physically removed from bar and pushed down outside.

Through gestures and a notepad, Roper showed police the card he presents to explain his Aphasia condition. The report does not indicate whether Roper presented the card to anyone inside the bar at the time of the incident.
Roper suffered a cut to his elbow and a cut to the back of his head.

Although he refused to be transported to a hospital, hours later he was admitted to Methodist ICU. After treatment he returned home on Friday to his midtown assisted living facility.

FOX13 News attempted to get comment on the incident from management at Jack McGoo's, but the bar has not responded.

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