Doty trash service owner arrested in altercation with Aurora PD

Steve Chapman

James Doty, owner of Doty Trash Service in Aurora, was arrested following an altercation between himself and Aurora police officers on the night of Saturday, June 22. He is currently charged with two counts of second-degree assault for allegedly striking one officer and attempting to strike another.
According to a probable cause statement filed in the case, Cpl. Daniel Gonzalez, of the Aurora Police Department, stated he was dispatched to the area of Doty’s office that Saturday night around 6:45 p.m. for a noise complaint. Gonzalez stated he heard “what sounded like a tornado siren going off from the intersection of Church and Jefferson,” and dispatch had received five complaints about the noise.
Gonzalez stated he discovered the noise was coming from unattended trash trucks owned by Doty Trash Service, and that he spoke to Doty and asked him to turn off the airhorn, but Doty refused because he was “having a dispute with the city and other local businesses.”
Gonzalez told Doty the noise was disturbing people in the area and again asked him to turn it off. Doty refused and was arrested on a peace disturbance charge. When he was released, Doty told Gonzalez he was going back to his office and turning the airhorn back on.
Gonzalez then reported in the probable cause statement that at about 10 p.m. that same night, he was sent back to Doty’s office with another noise complaint; he stated several of Doty’s trash trucks were parked in front of the office with their airhorns sounding, adding that dispatch received 15 complaints about the noise. He spoke to Doty again and asked him to turn off the airhorns, but Doty refused and said he “was nice the first time,” but “would not be nice the second time,” and that he wouldn’t let Gonzalez take him to jail.
According to the probable cause statement, two other officers who were on the scene jumped over the counter, and a struggle ensued.
 Gonzalez stated that Doty swung a stick he was holding at one of the officers as they approached him and hit another in the eye with his fist. During the struggle, Gonzalez deployed his OC spray to Doty’s forehead.
Gonzalez also reported that the officers attempted to put Doty in handcuffs, but he resisted, and a uniform shirt one of the officers was wearing was ripped and rendered unusable while they were trying to handcuff Doty. Gonzalez stated he lifted up Doty’s legs off the ground, putting Doty’s weight on a desk, and he then stopped resisting.
Doty was taken into custody and later released on a $10,000 bond. According to online records, he is currently scheduled to be arraigned on Monday, July 22.
The Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office has requested a special prosecutor for the case. A representative of the office said the request was made due to a conflict of interest the office would have in prosecuting Doty.
The probable cause statement doesn’t specify what the dispute was that Doty stated he was having with the city and other businesses, but in an interview with KY3 prior to his arrest, Doty said that the trouble began when the general manager of Suddenlink, whose office neighbors Doty Trash Service, came into Doty’s office angry about where one of Doty’s trash trucks was parked.
“My driver came in here to drop off some paperwork and some checks … (and he) wasn’t in there maybe two to three minutes. (Then) this guy comes out of Suddenlink, raising all kinds of hell with my driver, saying, ‘The tow truck’s on the way; cops are on the way, (and) we’re going to tow that truck,’” Doty said in the interview. He told his driver to get in the truck and drive off; Doty then spoke to the chief of police.
“(The police chief) said, ‘Well, next time it happens, give us a call, and we’ll take care of it,” Doty said to KY3.
Doty, however, was unsatisfied, as he claimed that Suddenlink and another neighboring business park their trucks outside his office and block the driveway. During the interview, he said he has mentioned this several times at Aurora City Council meetings, but nothing was ever done.
“If they can block the alleyway all day long, anytime they want to, whenever they want to, then, hell, why can’t I block it?” Doty said.
An employee at Doty’s Trash Service who answered the phone said there would be no comment from the business on Doty’s arrest. Brad Simonsen, manager of retail operations at the Aurora Suddenlink office, also said he had no comment, except to say he was not the person involved in the matter with Doty.”
A statement read by Doyle Ferguson, mayor of Aurora, at Aurora City Council’s meeting on Tuesday, June 25, stated the city would also not comment on the matter.
“This incident has become a pending legal issue and the city will not provide comment on this issue at this time,” Doyle read aloud during the meeting. “Additionally, the city of Aurora’s ‘Public Comment’ policy that is included on every City Council Agenda and read aloud at City Council meetings before public comment commences states that ‘public comment is not permitted in regard to personnel matters or on pending legal matters.’ Furthermore, this case is now being handled by the Lawrence County Prosecutor; at this time the Lawrence County Prosecutor has sealed all the records relating to this incident while he reviews the reports and considers charges. It would be improper for the city to comment or allow public comment on this incident while it is under investigation and review.”
Doyle also suggested anyone with questions about the incident should contact the Lawrence County Prosecutor’s office.
Doty has used forceful, and in some cases inventive, means to demonstrate his displeasure with Aurora city leadership in the past. In November of 2016, he loudly protested at a city council meeting over a difference of opinion as to whether the city would permit fire shields he made for the fire department to be displayed outside of the fire stations. At the time, he said he was going to cancel his Aurora contracts and move out of the city. He also created a metal sign with a donkey on it that read, “City Hall Can Kiss My Ass,” which he hung outside of his office building across the street from city hall, mounted a metal statue of a donkey on top of his truck, and set the truck’s horn to sound like a donkey’s braying.


Lawrence County Record

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