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Spence to defend Mark, Veronica Yates in case tied to bizarre arrest

Veronica Yates
Mark yates
High-profile attorney Robert Spence has been retained to represent Mark and Veronica Yates following an incident in which Veronica Yates was grabbed by the pants, yanked out of her car and arrested. by Tony Jones
Special to the Tri-State Defender

High-profile attorney Robert Spence has been retained to represent Mark and Veronica Yates following an incident in which Veronica Yates was grabbed by the pants, yanked out of her car and arrested by the Memphis Police Department 2010 Officer of the Year.


Veronica Yates after arrest


Mark Yates

The incident happened downtown Sunday afternoon. At the intersection of Beale Street and Front Street, Veronica Yates and Officer Brian Falatko, who was directing traffic, had a confrontation, part of which was captured on video and shown on a local television station.

Contacted by the Tri-State Defender on Wednesday, Spence promised “a vigorous defense,” and would not offer any other comments.

Mark Yates recently was named chairman of the Economic Development Growth Engine (Edge) for Memphis and Shelby County. Yates would not comment on the record, directing inquiries to Spence. He was charged with obstruction and disorderly conduct after getting a call and rushing to the scene from a nearby location. According to a police report, Yates tried to open the door of the police car where his wife was being held.

Veronica Yates has been ordered to appear in court on April 25. A May court hearing is pending for her husband.

Veronica Yates was represented by counsel and did not attend a preliminary court session on the charge of aggravated assault in connection with the incident. Yates, according to records, deliberately struck Falatko with her car. Falatko is said to have been hit in the right leg, falling to the hood of the Yate’s Mercedes and dropping to the ground.

None of that is on the video captured by an onlooker. That footage shows Falatko reaching into the car, pulling Veronica Yates out and carrying her by her pants. In the background, the driverless car is seen inching forward, door wide open, passenger seat vacated, as officer Falatko subdues Yates.

The video footage has been widely circulated via the Internet, sparking much conversation.

“What could she have done to make him act like that,” commented truck driver Murphy Alan after being shown the video at a burger shop. “I wonder was anyone taping before the madness started.”

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