KSP: trooper in controversial video still at work


4/22/17 UPDATE:

ROCKCASTLE, Ky. (WTVQ)- Troopers have sent ABC 36 more information from their perspective about the events preceding what is caught on the video.

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A KSP spokesman says troopers were at the Auto Repair Shop to investigate a stolen property complaint.

According to the spokesman, when troopers arrived, three men ran away. Troopers caught two of those men.

One was Joshua Vanwinkle. As Trooper Pennington attempted to arrest him, he reportedly resisted arrest.


Rockcastle, Ky. (WTVQ)-New details are emerging from Kentucky State Police about a controversial video showing a trooper beating up a man in Rockcastle County.

KSP says the trooper in the video is Scotty Pennington. KSP says it is aware of the video recorded on a surveillance camera. The trooper ABC 36 spoke to could not tell us much more than that. He says that is because State Police are investigating. To the family of the other man in that video, though, that answer is incredibly frustrating.

“This is hard for me to watch. I’m not gonna lie,” Kristina Rigsby said while about to press play.

It is hard just for Kristina Rigsby to be at the auto repair shop where the video she is watching takes place. The shows a state trooper beating up the father of her unborn son.

“Josh isn’t an angel. I won’t claim that he is, but in this particular situation, he didn’t do anything wrong,” Rigsby said.

Rigsby says her boyfriend, Joshua Vanwinkle,  was just here to find a part for his car when troopers tried to arrest him. When he asked why, and tried to call his girlfriend, Rigsby says Trooper Scotty Pennington started beating him up.

“This is about public safety to me. He’s supposed to be the public safety officer. He’s supposed to be the one making sure of our safety, not whopping up on us,” Rigsby said.

That is also how Larry Coontz feels. He says he saw the beating happen. You can even see him enter the frame in the video.

“I don’t ever want to see one person get a punishment they don’t deserve and at the point in time I didn’t think he deserved it,” Coontz said.

He says through the whole interaction, Vanwinkle was only doing as the trooper told him to. Whether KSP feels the same way, we do not know. Troopers say they cannot tell us much since they are still investigating.

“I feel like they are kind of just, for lack of a better term, poo-pooing this off, like it’s not a big deal,” Rigsby said.

Only adding to her frustration, KSP says the trooper in the video is still at work. He has not been suspended.

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Veronica Jean Seltzer joins ABC 36 as Anchor/Reporter. On most weekdays, you will see her reporting the news. VJ hails from a small horse farm outside New York City and most recently comes from South Bend, Indiana where she reported for the CBS and Fox affiliates. VJ holds a Master of Science in Journalism degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University. Her passion for journalism runs deep. It began as she studied graffiti as an ancient form of communication in Athens, Greece. While a student journalist in Morocco, she learned her most important journalistic lesson: good stories are about people. VJ loves life in and around Lexington. She feels most at home among horses and a diverse community of fascinating people. She enjoys reporting during the week and on the weekend she strives to bring her neighbors the news that matters most to them. VJ enjoys going to neighborhood events, exploring, horseback riding, skiing, sailing, and good movies. Look for her out and about in the community! VJ invites you to reach out to her with story ideas or just to say hello! Find her on Facebook at Veronica Jean Seltzer ABC 36, tweet her @VJS_ABC36, or email her at VSeltzer@wtvq.com. She looks forward to hearing from you!