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Esther Crain
July 31, 2015

Indiana state trooper Darrick Scott allowed his temporary deputy, Ashley Ellrich, to decide her dad’s traffic-ticket destiny. (Photo: Dwayne Ellrich/Facebook)

As a trooper with the Indiana State Police who regularly patrols highways for speeding drivers, Darrick Scott has a lot of latitude in deciding when to give a ticket and when to issue a warning.

But last Saturday, when Scott pulled over Dwayne Ellrich on I-65 for going over the speed limit, he put the ticket vs. warning decision in the hands of someone else: Ellrich’s daughter, Ashley.

Ellrich and his daughter were heading to an event sponsored by the Special Olympics, which Ashley was participating in, Scott tells Yahoo Parenting.

“When I pulled them over, I could see that they were both uncomfortable and nervous,” says Scott, an eight-year veteran of the force. “I wanted to make them more relaxed, so I went over to Ashley’s window and gave her my hat and offered to make her a state trooper for five minutes.”

Scott’s gesture lightened the mood, and that’s when he told Ashley it was up to her if her dad should get a ticket. “She knew he was speeding, and she thought about it and then surprised me by saying yes.”

Still, Scott declined to ticket Ellrich. “The ultimate goal of the state police is to change driver behavior,” he says, “and I could tell that Ellrich understood that he was in the wrong and accepted that. I read him the warning and added that from here on out, Ashley would be monitoring his speed.”

For his part, Ellrich posted about the incident on Facebook, admitting he was at fault and crediting the police with reminding him to hit the brakes.

“Stupid father was pulled over for speeding today on I-65,” stated his post, which went up Saturday. “State trooper Darrick Scott made Ashley official State Trooper for 5 minutes and let her decide if her dad should get ticket or warning. She chose ticket … but Trooper gave dad warning instead … There are some great Cops out there.”

The Indiana State Police public information office replied with a Facebook post: “Thanks for posting this, Dwayne Ellrich … Trooper Scott is a fine example of what the ISP hopes to represent. And we are extra glad that Ashley is on our side!”
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