Mulberry, AR – Two Crawford County Sheriff’s deputies and a Mulberry police officer have been suspended after a video spread on social media showing the violent arrest of a suspect on Sunday.
The incident started at around 10:30 a.m. Sunday when police responded to a call about somebody making threats to an employee of the Kountry Xpress convenience store at 1107 Georgia Ridge Drive, according to Fort Smith Times Record.
Three law enforcement officers arrived and contacted the suspect, later identified as 27-year-old Randall Worcester of Goose Creek, South Carolina.
Worcester pushed one of the deputies to the ground and punched him in the back of his head.
Video of the incident was captured by a bystander. The video starts as the law enforcement officers were striking the suspect. The video did not capture the initial assault on the deputy.
One of the officers repeatedly delivered closed-fist strikes to Worcester’s head and slams his head into the pavement, the video showed.
A second officer could be seen trying to gain control of Worcester’s right arm as a third officer used his knee to strike the suspect’s leg.
After Worcester was taken into custody, he was transported to the hospital.
Worcester faces charges of second-degree burglary, resisting arrest, refusal to submit, possessing an instrument of crime, criminal trespass, criminal mischief, terroristic threatening, and second-degree assault, according to Fort Smith Times Record.
After the video was posted to social media, Crawford County Sheriff Jimmy Damante issued a statement saying that his deputies would be suspended pending an investigation by Arkansas State Police (ASP), according to ABC News.
ASP released a statement Sunday night which said:
“The Arkansas State Police has opened an investigation into the use of force by two Crawford County sheriff’s deputies and a Mulberry police officer in the arrest of a South Carolina man. The incident occurred about 10:40 a.m. today (Sunday) outside a Crawford County convenience store in Mulberry. The investigation was initiated at the request of the 21st Judicial District prosecuting attorney.”
I have spoken with Col. Bill Bryant of the Arkansas State Police and the local arrest incident in Crawford County will be investigated pursuant to the video evidence and the request of the prosecuting attorney.— Gov. Asa Hutchinson (@AsaHutchinson) August 22, 2022
The identities of the officers have not been released.
You can see the arrest in the video below. Warning – Graphic Content:
They are not all good. This happened this morning in Mulberry Arkansas. Police acted fast. 2 of the 3 officers have already been suspended. Both Sheriffs deputies. No word on Mulberry Police officer. pic.twitter.com/RvNEpZ4WYm— Steve Oatley (@steveoatley) August 21, 2022