Arkansas Police Video: 2 deputies suspended and 1 officer on administrative leave after video of violent encounter with man outside store released


Three Arkansas law enforcement officers have been removed from duty and are being investigated, their departments have confirmed, after bystander video captured them appearing to punch and knee to a suspect during an arrest on Sunday.

Two of the officers in the video are deputies with the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office and the third is an officer with the Mulberry Police Department, the agencies confirmed in statements Sunday.

The video, which was posted on social media, shows officers holding down an individual near a sidewalk, appearing to punch the person in the face and kneeling them to the side and back.

A woman not seen in the video can be heard saying, “Don’t beat him! He needs his medicine! An officer replies, “Back off the f**k!” while another orders him to get into his car.

The person who posted the video online said his sister witnessed the altercation outside the Kountry Xpress in Mulberry.

Crawford County Sheriff Jimmy Damante said CNN affiliate KHBS that the suspect was wanted for allegedly threatening a gas station employee in a nearby town. When spotted at Mulberry, Damante said the man was initially cooperative but then tried to attack the officers, leading to the confrontation seen in the video. The sheriff told KHBS the suspect was checked into a hospital and jailed, while a deputy suffered minor head injuries during the altercation.

Arkansas State Police identified the suspect as 27-year-old Randal Worcester of Goose Creek, South Carolina. Worcester is charged with battery in the second degree, resisting arrest, possession of an instrument of crime, criminal trespassing, criminal mischief, threatening terrorism as well as assault charges in the first and second degree, according to state police and prison records.

Crawford County Jail records show Worcester is being held on $15,000 bond. It was unclear Sunday night if Worcester had a lawyer.

“In reference to video circulating on social media involving two Crawford County deputies, we have asked the Arkansas State Police to conduct the investigation and the deputies have been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation. ‘investigation,’ the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Sunday. published on facebook.

The Mulberry police officer is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, the Mulberry Police Department said in a statement to CNN.

“The City of Mulberry and the Mulberry Police Department take these investigations very seriously and hold all of their officers accountable for their actions,” Mulberry Police said.

CNN is not aware of any additional footage from the incident at this time.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson confirmed that state police would investigate.

“I have spoken with Colonel Bill Bryant of the Arkansas State Police and the local arrest incident in Crawford County will be investigated pursuant to video evidence and request of the prosecutor,” Hutchinson said in a statement. post on Twitter.

CNN contacted Arkansas State Police to comment on the investigation and did not immediately respond.

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