KPD officer suffers head injury while trying to break up fight

Knoxville Police Department Officer Robert Capouellez

Photo by J. Miles Cary

Knoxville Police Department Officer Robert Capouellez

CORRECTION: KPD officer Robert Capouellez remains in serious condition this afternoon at the University of Tennessee Medical Center. The hospital erroneously told some Knoxville media that he'd been released.

An off-duty Knoxville Police Department officer who was injured while trying to break up a Cumberland Avenue brawl involving a number of University of Tennessee football players had been working as an officer for less than two years, his supervisors said Friday.

Robert Capouellez, 24, sustained a head injury. He remains in serious condition this afternoon at the University of Tennessee Medical Center.

"He's an all-around great person," said friend Adam Hopper, a former KPD officer who worked with Capouellez before retiring to start his own business.

Capouellez, who is unmarried, is a former U.S. Marine Corps combat engineer and a hockey fan, Hopper said.

Capt. Don Jones said that Capouellez began working for KPD in August 2008 and normally patrols the Fort Sanders area during the 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. shift.

"He's a good officer," Jones said. "He's been an asset to the department. He works hard for us."

While Capouellez hasn't worked long enough to have earned any major awards or commendations, he has made his fair share of DUI and drug arrests, Jones said.

"He's a really good street officer," Jones said. "He's got a nose for criminal activity, and he tends to find it. He makes good traffic stops, and he's inclusive when he's talking to folks."

Another officer who was assaulted during the Friday morning melee was UT Police Department Cpl. Brian Greenlee, who has been with the agency since 2006, said UT spokeswoman Rebekah Winkler. Greenlee was allegedly punched by 19-year-old Darren Myles Jr., a sophomore safety who authorities said ran from the scene and was captured after a foot pursuit. Unlike Capouellez, Greenlee wasn't seriously hurt in the fracas.

"He's gotten a lot of written compliments and verbal commendations from the community," Winkler said of the officer.

"(He) is an asset to our department, and we appreciate his diligent work ethic," UTPD Lt. Emily Simerly said.

J.J. Stambaugh may be reached at 865-342-6307.

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Comments » 28

Jay07jay writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

TheOpinion writes:

I agree. He had no business jumping into a brawl full of football players. That's like trying to break up a pitbull fight. I know what I would have done. I like myself too much to put myself at risk. To quote T.O. "I love me some me."

stude54 writes:

"OFF DUTY" does not mean not a cop. He is a sworn officer of the court and is required to uphold the law wherever and whenever. He did his duty and I am glad he is on the force. To bad he was the one that was injured.

PepperGrinder (Inactive) writes:

In previous articles I have read that he was a customer at the bar. In order to be a customer you have to purchase something. I wonder if he was a little drunk himself.

TheOpinion writes:

in response to PepperGrinder:

In previous articles I have read that he was a customer at the bar. In order to be a customer you have to purchase something. I wonder if he was a little drunk himself.

Here is what I've heard. I heard he was with the guy who initially got into it with Montori. They had a group as well. And they were jawing back in forth with the football players after the 1st fight was broken up(the guy got knocked out and left inside Bar Knoxville). Outside this so called "hero" cop was still jawing with the players and put his hands on Darick Rogers. Then him and Darick got into it and the other players jumped in. I've heard that this cop is the type of guy who goes out has a few drinks starts stuff up with someone and hides behind the badge. Idk if any of that is true but that's just what I've heard from people who were there. I'm just shocked neither the cop or the guy who started the fight have been arrested or anything like that.

OrangePsyched writes:

What I don't understand is if this guy has been discharged from the hospital he is obviously ok. The point is after this long can he not identify the players involved. Why all the speculation when we have a cop as a witness. If the Opinions rumors are true that changes things a bit. Still don't get the six on one thing though. Grow a pair and fight one on one.

SouthCarolinaVOL writes:

The KPD allows their Officers to drink in bars within their jurisdiction? That is grounds for termination where I am from. Situations like this could possibly occur. If TheOpinion is at least somewhat correct concerning the chain of events, then I think the biggest problem has to do with the KPD.

Citico writes:

in response to TheOpinion:

Here is what I've heard. I heard he was with the guy who initially got into it with Montori. They had a group as well. And they were jawing back in forth with the football players after the 1st fight was broken up(the guy got knocked out and left inside Bar Knoxville). Outside this so called "hero" cop was still jawing with the players and put his hands on Darick Rogers. Then him and Darick got into it and the other players jumped in. I've heard that this cop is the type of guy who goes out has a few drinks starts stuff up with someone and hides behind the badge. Idk if any of that is true but that's just what I've heard from people who were there. I'm just shocked neither the cop or the guy who started the fight have been arrested or anything like that.

Now that fills in some blanks! The TBI needs to be involed. The truth needs to come out Don't think KPD or UT Police should handle this, to easy for them to over look things!!

Krystiana writes:

in response to TheOpinion:

Here is what I've heard. I heard he was with the guy who initially got into it with Montori. They had a group as well. And they were jawing back in forth with the football players after the 1st fight was broken up(the guy got knocked out and left inside Bar Knoxville). Outside this so called "hero" cop was still jawing with the players and put his hands on Darick Rogers. Then him and Darick got into it and the other players jumped in. I've heard that this cop is the type of guy who goes out has a few drinks starts stuff up with someone and hides behind the badge. Idk if any of that is true but that's just what I've heard from people who were there. I'm just shocked neither the cop or the guy who started the fight have been arrested or anything like that.

Where was his "group" when he was getting beat down by a bunch of football players?

rab writes:

I have always enjoyed college football but I am pretty disgusted with the constant trash from today's college football campus. That being said I can't buy all the accolades being heaped on this police officer by his peers. From my own stupid lack of maturity as a young adult I can tell you that if you hang around a bar long enough you will be in the middle of a tussle. The key word here being "stupid", applying to every customer at the bar. While I have no sympathy for either group, I can understand better how a group of teenage football players put themselves in this situation than a former marine serving the citizens of Knoxville as a police officer.

bugman (Inactive) writes:

ok KNOXNEWS. Find something else to headline. This is OLD

collegegrad writes:

Can't trust athletes (college or professional) to serve as a positive role model to children anymore. These guys committed a felony by assaulting these police officers and thus should not only be thrown off the team and expelled, but should also do a long time behind prison bars. Then, Bar Knoxville should lose their license to sell liquor and be closed.

d_ray writes:

in response to OrangePsyched:

What I don't understand is if this guy has been discharged from the hospital he is obviously ok. The point is after this long can he not identify the players involved. Why all the speculation when we have a cop as a witness. If the Opinions rumors are true that changes things a bit. Still don't get the six on one thing though. Grow a pair and fight one on one.

The officer is not out of the hospital. He remains in serious condition according to TV reports this morning. Eye witnesses have been interviewed by the police and they firmly stated that the officer was trying to break up the fight, as is his duty. He was so seriously kicked and punched that he was put in ICU for most of the day. Only cowards kick and punch a man once he is down and unconscious. All you folks that are trashing law enforcement officers must have broken the law multiple times and feel the need to get even. As for the people spreading rumors from what they heard from a friend who heard from a friend .... if you know something is true, call the police and give a statement.

d_ray writes:

in response to TheOpinion:

Here is what I've heard. I heard he was with the guy who initially got into it with Montori. They had a group as well. And they were jawing back in forth with the football players after the 1st fight was broken up(the guy got knocked out and left inside Bar Knoxville). Outside this so called "hero" cop was still jawing with the players and put his hands on Darick Rogers. Then him and Darick got into it and the other players jumped in. I've heard that this cop is the type of guy who goes out has a few drinks starts stuff up with someone and hides behind the badge. Idk if any of that is true but that's just what I've heard from people who were there. I'm just shocked neither the cop or the guy who started the fight have been arrested or anything like that.

Stop spreading rumors that you cannot back up. If the people who told you this actually saw what happened, they should call KPD and fill out a witness statement. I feel certain that they are just trying to protect the players and make the officer look bad.

jejjen writes:

in response to OrangePsyched:

What I don't understand is if this guy has been discharged from the hospital he is obviously ok. The point is after this long can he not identify the players involved. Why all the speculation when we have a cop as a witness. If the Opinions rumors are true that changes things a bit. Still don't get the six on one thing though. Grow a pair and fight one on one.

The lack of relevant information of this kind is not uncommon with the KNS. I don't know if they are just light on staff or just light on competent staff? If KNS is going to cover a story like this, they need to zero in more on the key elements of the story. I will say this though; the coverage on the sports page was much more informative in terms of the subject matter that was covered.

bristolvol writes:

According to your reporting this week there were 5 people under the age of 21 inside the bar. Are the cops going to charge Bar Knox. with violations?

d_ray writes:

Check this out....this is the guy who kicked the officer unconscious, along with three of his buddies to back him up.

http://deadspin.com/5583404/da-rick-r...

d_ray writes:

in response to steviejanowski:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Why would multiple eye witnesses lie to the police and reporters? If you saw the video, there were a lot of people there. I'm not saying the head injury came from a kick to the head. I am just stating what the police and newscasters have issued to the public. The off duty officer was knocked down (and could have hit his head) and then was repeatedly kicked and punched while he lay unconscious.

virginiavolfan writes:

I hope this guy learned his lesson. You know if he was out at 2am then he probably had a lady friend or at least some friends with him. He was trying to show off and show them had bad he was. I guess he wasn't as bad as he thought. The group of players involved are my new favorite players.

orangenwhitefan writes:

Bet he wont do that again.

katieeagle33#476264 writes:

in response to bristolvol:

According to your reporting this week there were 5 people under the age of 21 inside the bar. Are the cops going to charge Bar Knox. with violations?

The bar is 18 and up

Canpflier writes:

in response to TheOpinion:

Here is what I've heard. I heard he was with the guy who initially got into it with Montori. They had a group as well. And they were jawing back in forth with the football players after the 1st fight was broken up(the guy got knocked out and left inside Bar Knoxville). Outside this so called "hero" cop was still jawing with the players and put his hands on Darick Rogers. Then him and Darick got into it and the other players jumped in. I've heard that this cop is the type of guy who goes out has a few drinks starts stuff up with someone and hides behind the badge. Idk if any of that is true but that's just what I've heard from people who were there. I'm just shocked neither the cop or the guy who started the fight have been arrested or anything like that.

Here's what I've heard. TheOpinion is a mindless little twirp who has a major envy problem of men who have actually done something useful with their lives, while he is living with mom and anonymously slandering a police officer. I hear he will pull any story out of his a.. to pretend he has some kind of inside knowledge, because mom doesn't let him out after 10 pm. I hear he always wanted to be a Marine, but couldn't pass the intake physical. I do t know this for sure, it's just what I hear.

What a punk!

VolGrad writes:

in response to TheOpinion:

Here is what I've heard. I heard he was with the guy who initially got into it with Montori. They had a group as well. And they were jawing back in forth with the football players after the 1st fight was broken up(the guy got knocked out and left inside Bar Knoxville). Outside this so called "hero" cop was still jawing with the players and put his hands on Darick Rogers. Then him and Darick got into it and the other players jumped in. I've heard that this cop is the type of guy who goes out has a few drinks starts stuff up with someone and hides behind the badge. Idk if any of that is true but that's just what I've heard from people who were there. I'm just shocked neither the cop or the guy who started the fight have been arrested or anything like that.

"Here is what I heard...."

More mud in the water.

tn_rockytop writes:

he looks like {Steve O}

Ayres_Hall writes:

Myles has proven he is an idiot. Good bye Myles.

AppreciativeAlum writes:

Kicking someone while they are down is attempted murder. These guys should go to prison.

Gatorhater_64 writes:

in response to stude54:

"OFF DUTY" does not mean not a cop. He is a sworn officer of the court and is required to uphold the law wherever and whenever. He did his duty and I am glad he is on the force. To bad he was the one that was injured.

I am glad to see someone on here knows how to make an intellegent comment. There are so many police bashers on here that it makes me scared to return to Knoxville when I retire. God Speed to the injuried officer and I hope they throw the book at who ever did this.

Ralph_Crampton writes:

I read one comment that hit the nail on the head, a police officer doesn't drink in the vicinity of where he works. YOU DON"T DRINK Where you work. I recall vividly an officer saying he stopped into a bar for a quick beer where he assumed he was not known, when suddenly a guy on the other end of the bar yelled out " look we have the law with us tonight" all eyes turned his direction..a few patrons approached him telling how much they respected police officers. several more gathered around and all had tales of woe concerning other officers...this cop stopped me and gave me a ticket for driving 55 mph and I was really going 35...another complained he was arrested for DWI when had drank only two beers, plus other cop misdeeds. The officer agreed with them if that happened it wasn't right. " Now we don't mean You" its the other bad cops...however he felt about half the complaints were really meant for him. He immediately left and said goodbye cheerfully. He learned his lesson.." stay away from bars where you might be known" All cops can tell you simular stories.

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