Accused police officer speaks out

FAYETTEVILLE Darian Burden tells ABC11 Eyewitness News that what started as an action packed evening watching a heavyweight fight at a sports bar, now has him in the fight of his life to get his reputation back.

Burden says he met the complainant and her friend at the bar and that's when they found out he was a police officer.

"Cause when I pulled my wallet out to pay for the drink, my money was in beside my credentials," Burden said. "That's where they saw I was a police officer, because I was paying for my drink."

The 41-year-old says he spent time talking during the evening with the complainant's friend. They left the club separately, but saw her car driving erratically on Bragg Boulevard.

"She swerved into my lane and almost hit me," Burden said. "She pulled back in her lane and I pulled beside her and the woman -- the complainant was in the passenger seat. She was yelling out the window I said look you need to pull over, because she's intoxicated. She's going to hurt somebody."

At some point the officer pulled into a gas station off Bragg Boulevard and Shaw Road. Not long after that the two women pulled in behind him. And the officer says it wasn't long before the complainant asked him for a ride home.

Burden agreed and said during the ride to the complainant's house they had a casual conversation.

But court documents accuse the officer of engaging in sexual contact by touching the complainant's breast and leg. Burden says he never made any sexual advances.

"No, I never made any statements towards her," he said. "What we were talking about … that never came up."

The eight year officer has been forced to turn in his police credentials at the VA Hospital and has been placed on administrative duty.

Burden is due to appear in court to face the sexual battery charge on June 28.

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