RIVERDALE -- A routine kids-smoking-pot call jumped to felony status, police say, when a suspect offered a bribe to his arresting officer -- twice.
Bryant Wright, 20, was arrested after an officer responded to a call about youths smoking marijuana behind a restaurant on Riverdale Road.
The officer while speaking with Wright at the scene noticed a marijuana pipe visible in the pocket of his hoodie, according to charging documents on the April 14 incident.
During a search pursuant to arrest, the documents state, marijuana was found in his pants pocket.
"While enroute to the jail, Bryant asked me if I wanted to take a bribe," Officer Brandon Peterson wrote in a probable cause affidavit.
"He offered to give me one thousand dollars. When I refused, he then offered to give me twelve hundred dollars. The bribe was refused."
The whole thing was recorded on film, with audio, by the patrol car's in-car camera system, court records say.
"I would say most police departments have them now," Lt. Jim Ebert, Riverdale's public information officer, said of the video system for the back seat of a patrol car.
"It's to make sure prisoners don't hurt themselves and to record all our contacts for liability and evidentiary reasons."
The possession and paraphernalia charges filed against Wright are both misdemeanors, while the "attempted bribery to influence official or political actions" is a second-degree felony, carrying a one-to-15-year prison term.
"He was a little stoned," Ebert said. "He's had a couple of arrests with us. He's one of these guys who tries to stay stoned pretty much all the time."
Ebert himself arrested Wright about a week ago for marijuana possession. Upon his release from jail for that arrest, Wright and his friend came to the Riverdale police station to pick up his personal property held there from his arrest.
He was dressed as Superman, accompanied by a friend dressed as Batman, Ebert said.
At his Monday arraignment in 2nd District Court on his new charges, Wright was unable to post his $11,053 bail.
Wright was found not to be indigent, court records said, meaning he was financially secure enough that he did not qualify for a public defender.
A status conference was set for today before Judge W. Brent West to determine Wright's progress in hiring a private attorney.