Columbus, OH – The Columbus police chief is standing behind the actions of an officer who was featured in a now-viral video fighting with a suspect in a convenience store on Friday night (video below).
The incident occurred on July 23 at the Speedway located in the 1100-block of High Street, WCMH reported.
The video filmed by a bystander and originally posted to Instagram showed a Columbus police officer and a man later identified as the store clerk trying to detain a suspect who was actively resisting them.
Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant said the officer was working a special-duty assignment at the store and was attempting to escort a disruptive man out of the store when the physical altercation occurred, WCMH reported.
The video showed the officer and the clerk struggled with the suspect – later identified as 30-year-old Shawn Anthony Hanna – who violently resisted arrest.
The officer tried to put handcuffs on Hanna at one point during the brouhaha but the suspect fought back aggressively.
Then the door of the convenience store opened suddenly and a woman in a bike helmet began yelling at the officers, the video showed.
“Get off of him! Get off of him!” she yelled and then tried to intervene.
She leaned into the store and began kicking at the officer trying to break his hold on Hanna, the video showed.
The woman grabbed onto the suspect and pulled him out the door with the clerk and police officer holding onto the other side of him.
The video showed the woman reached in through the door and assaulted the clerk who was helping the officer, and then a second later she started hitting and slapping the police officer.
In the video, the woman punched the officer in the head with a closed fist at least once.
The officer and the woman engaged in yet another tug-of-war for Hanna and the officer won, the video showed.
The video ended as the fight between the officer and Hanna continued inside the convenience store.
Hanna was ultimately arrested and charged with assault, criminal trespass, assault on a police officer, operating a motor vehicle without a valid license, and fail to register, WCMH reported.
“I stand behind my officers when they do the right thing, and this officer absolutely did what he was supposed to do,” Chief Bryant told reporters at a press conference on Saturday afternoon.
“That minute and a half video does not depict an entire incident, and we caution people, you know, when you’re watching videos like that not to jump to conclusions,” the police chief said.
She credited the officer with using minimal force during the incident, WCMH reported.
“There’s a particular reason why there’s a special duty assignment at that gas station,” Chief Bryant said. “There were 95 calls for service since January. Out of those 95, police responded to 75 calls for service for disturbance, shoplifting, trespassing, etc.”
She said the officer wasn’t wearing a bodycam because he was on special assignment, WCMH reported.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Content and Obscene Language: