‘Out of control’
Educator pleaded for investigation of Jefferson Co. Constable Joe Stevenson
Joe “Quarterback” Stevenson has been Jefferson County Constable in Precinct 6 for the past 15 years and has been dogged by reports of thuggish behavior, domestic violence and official harassment during that regime. Now he’s asking voters in Jefferson County to promote him to the office of sheriff.
Evidence uncovered by The Examiner this week has added yet another charge of brutality to Stevenson’s tenure as constable, this allegation coming from a 76-year-old educator made to the Texas attorney general.
A letter penned to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott from then 70-year-old Beaumont Independent School District administrator Dr. E. Jean Pierre-Pipkin claims Stevenson not only “accosted” the elderly woman, but also harassed her and ultimately had her falsely arrested in 2005. She wrote to Abbott shortly after the incident occurred, but since only “administrative errors” could be noted, the complaint was forwarded to the Jefferson County Precinct 6 constable —Joe Stevenson, the subject of the complaint.
In seeking an interview with the victim for this article, a petite African American woman who said she was indeed Dr. Pierre-Pipkin preferred not to be interviewed as she was “already stressed and didn’t want to bring anymore heartache” but referred the reporter to her letter. She did say “every word in that letter is true, though, and I stand by that,” but she didn’t want to draw the ire of the man she called her “harasser.”
Upon assurance that fear shouldn’t keep her from speaking out, the 5-foot-nothing, 100-pound Pierre-Pipkin quickly sounded off, “I’m not afraid of that thug.”
Dr. Pierre-Pipkin’s background showcases an educator with 45 years of experience in the field, including a concentration in urban education at the doctoral level. She served as a classroom teacher in parochial and public schools, as a special assistant to the superintendent and is the author of Learning Packets for Parents teaching aids and multiple textbooks still in use today.
She was employed as director of the Adult Education GED program at BISD when she her encounter with the constable ultimately led to her arrest on charges levied by Stevenson, an “embarrassing and costly” attack from a man Pierre-Pipkin said at one time made her afraid for her safety. Now retired from BISD, Dr. Pierre-Pipkin spends her days writing educational literature and taking care of her 107-year-old mother.
Exhaustive attempts to reach Stevenson for comment were unsuccessful.
Below is Pierre-Pipkin’s letter written to then-Attorney General Greg Abbott in its entirety:
July 2, 2005
Attorney General Abbott:
This letter is written to render a complaint against a Jefferson County Constable – Joe Stevens(on) – who perhaps is stationed in Beaumont. This complaint was set aside, from an incident that occurred a month and one-half ago in Beaumont involving Constable Stevens(on). Setting the complaint aside was an effort to avoid my having to be involved in any further incidents with this constable.
On May 16th, Constable Stevens(on) accosted me in a threatening, intimidating and abusive manner; detained me by blocking me from entering my car for about 10 minutes as he waved handcuffs at me; yelled at me before a crowd of people, and was completely “out of control.” I spoke to the officer in an effort to calm him down, but in vain. I repeatedly said to the officer, “You need to calm down; you need to calm down.…” At that point, I was actually in fear of my safety from this man.
His hostile manner, loud yells and animations were that of a person completely without dignity, courtesy, or even sound sanity – especially as a peace officer. His emotional state was so irate and animated that I’m pleading to you – the Attorney General – to consider if a person who exhibits such violent behavior to a citizen over a minor incident should be in any type of authoritative position that deals with citizens, representing our legal system, or being in a position to carry a gun or a badge.
The incident I’m describing happened in the parking lot of Ozen High School on Fannett Road in Beaumont on May 16, 2005 around 5:00 P.M., and is as follows:
I am a school administrator and Director of an Adult Education GED Program for the local school district. On May 16th I had spent the entire day setting up the logistics for a GED graduation ceremony that was to be presented in the Ozen High School Gymnasium at 7:30 PM on the night of this incident.
During the earlier parts of the day on May 16th the only gate opened to access the parking lot to get to the gymnasium was the “exit gate” – because the two back gates were locked. On many trips to and from the gym that day, I’d entered and exited the “exit” gate since it was the only access to the parking lot.
About 4:00 PM, I left the parking lot – by the “exit gate” – the back gates were still locked. I returned again – an hour later – about 5:00 PM. As I entered the “exit gate,” Constable Stevens(on) approached my car, and began making motions that I interpreted to be for me to go back out of the “exit” gate. I tried to tell him why I had entered that gate, and where I was going (as described in the above explanation), but he was insistent that I not enter the parking lot through the “exit gate” to go to the gymnasium.
I backed my car up, but did not go out of the “exit gate” but, instead, went across the back of the parking lot where there were no persons or cars, to get to the gym because the GED graduates were waiting in the gymnasium for me to begin the rehearsals for the ceremony; as well as the teaching staff, and musicians who were also waiting for directions from me.
When I got out of my car at the gymnasium, Stevens(on) had come up to the gym with his siren on,, jumped out of his car swinging around a pair of handcuffs. Before I could say anything to him, he began all kinds of animations, threatening to handcuff me and take me to jail. I tried once again to explain my situation to him, I told him who I was, and why I needed to go to the gym (that I had a gym full of graduates and about 200- 300 people filling into the gymnasium to see their children receive their diplomas). He said, “I don’t’ care who you are, etc…” as he began threatening to arrest me, creating a situation that would close down the whole ceremony.
The man continued yelling abusively as I tried, in vain, to explain the situation. I could see that he was out of control, so I ceased trying to calm him down. It was only after I stopped trying to reason with him that he walked away.
I was so “physically ill and shaking” when I finally did get into the gym, that my cohorts had to assist me in getting control of my emotions. Several of them said – I quote: “Oh, that’s Joe, he does that to everyone – especially the students and women! Also, “Oh, he’s crazy, don’t let him get to you, he’s just crazy.”
Several days after this incident, a red Constable’s car was driving beside me on a street in Beaumont. As I pulled up to the stop sign, the driver in the Constable’s car pulled over behind me. I could not see who was in the car, and I felt that if the person was Constable Stevens(on) behind me in that car that such a situation would have been harassment. I pulled off and saw the Constable’s car turn off onto another street, so I simply thought this to be a “coincidence.”
Thinking that I had put this terrible experience behind me (that occurred more than a month ago), I reconsidered my intentions to write this letter. However, to my surprise, I received a letter in the mail on July 1, 2005, from the Sheriff’s office (copy enclosed) informing me that there is a warrant out for my arrest!
The situation is now what I interpret as “harassment” because I did not receive a ticket, a letter, or a notification of any sort from a local legal system in Beaumont prior to this letter that I consider harassment possibly on the part of Constable Stevens(on). Therefore, I am requesting your office to investigate this situation and particularly Constable Joe Stevens(on) who precipitated this unnecessary situation which is likely to cost me financially, as well as in time and embarrassment to me.
Dr. E. Jean Pierre-Pipkin