Ex-Philadelphia police officer once hailed as hero faces charges

Published May 19, 2013

PHILADELPHIA — A former Philadelphia police officer once hailed as a hero has been arrested and charged with rape and more.

Authorities say Richard DeCoatsworth left a party with two females early Thursday and took them to another location, where they allege that he produced 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 DeCoatsworth, 27, was charged with rape, sexual assault, terroristic threats and related offenses.

He was hailed as a hero after he was shot in the face during a traffic stop in 2007 but still managed to chase after his attacker, who was later sentenced to prison. WCAU-TV, which first reported his arrest, said DeCoatsworth retired on disability in December 2011.

He was invited by the vice president to attend President Barack Obama's 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.