El Paso, TX – A viral cell phone video that showed an El Paso police officer drawing his duty weapon, when surrounded by a confrontational crowd of foul-mouthed children, has led to the arrest of many of the children seen in the video, police announced on Tuesday.
According to El Paso County Sheriff Richard Wiles, the break-in was caught on caught by security cameras.
The investigating deputies recognized that many of the suspects in the surveillance footage were also seen in the viral cell phone video, the El Paso Times reported.
The burglary occurred at approximately 10: 50 p.m. on July 2, when the suspects shattered the toll booth window with a rock, Sheriff Wiles explained, according to KFOX.
Surveillance footage showed them rifling through the booth and stealing a set of keys, the sheriff said.
Deputies ultimately arrested five boys, ages 12, 12, 13, 14, and 15, and two girls, ages 12 and 16, the El Paso Times reported.
Authorities were still investigating vandalism and a break-in on July 6 at the park’s softball storage shed and at the pool, and believed the same group of juveniles may have been involved, Sheriff Wiles said.
The El Paso officer’s viral encounter with the crew took place on July 5, just one day prior to the incidents at the pool and storage shed.
El Paso police responded to the 6700-block of Sambrano Avenue just before 6 p.m., El Paso Police Department Sergeant Enrique Carrillo said during a press conference.
“The initial call went out as a criminal trespassing in progress,” Sgt. Carrillo explained. “The officers arrived and were handling that when they encountered the suspect involved in the criminal trespass and from there the events you witnessed in this video unfolded.”
The department did not release further details regarding the events that led up to the start of the video, which had more than seven million views on Wednesday.
The footage showed the lone officer as he was surrounded by a hoard of children yelling profanities. He grasped his holstered duty weapon with his right hand, as he held his left hand on the head of a child he had sitting on the ground at his feet.
“F–k you, p—y!” one child yelled at him.
The officer then drew his weapon, the video showed.
“Back up, motherf–ker!” the officer commanded before he re-holstered his weapon.
The officer braced the child on the ground against a cement pillar with his leg as he tried to keep his eyes on the individuals surrounding him from all sides.
“F–k you!” the kids behind him yelled repeatedly. “You can’t do that to him! P—y -ss motherf–ker!”
“Yeah, that’s why I f–king hate cops,” one child said in a high-pitched voice. “For pointing a gun at us and s–t!”
A second officer suddenly rushed into the fray, and the officers pulled the seated boy off of the curb and onto his stomach, the video showed.
“Hey b—h!” one child screamed. “Get the f–k off of him, b—h!”
While the second officer placed the boy into handcuffs, the initial officer attempted to disperse the unruly crowd.
“Step back,” he ordered as he deployed his expandable baton. “I’m telling you to move.”
The individual behind the camera reassured the child on the ground that he planned to “put a report on these two fools.”
The teen then passed his phone off to someone else as the initial officer grabbed him and placed him into handcuffs.
The new cameraperson continued to heckle the officer, calling him a “wanna-be f–king cop and s–t,” and suggesting that he “do your job right,” the video showed.
“F–k ya’lls p—y -ss n—-rs!” a child off-camera screamed as the officers placed the two individuals into the back of a patrol vehicle.
The woman behind the camera continued to yell at the officers, then ran away when one of them began to approach her, the video showed.
“I know where you live,” the officer told her.
“I don’t give a s–t, I’ll move, n—-r,” she retorted.
The woman quickly returned to the scene to record the officers as they argued with the children and took another kid into custody, the video showed.
It was unclear whether the third individual was actually arrested.
“A f–king cop without a badge and a gun, they ain’t s–t,” one child proclaimed. “White cop had to come back up this n—-r!”
“As soon as you don’t got uniforms I’m gonna pull a gun on you, b—h. See how you like it!” the child yelled, while the woman behind the camera voiced her agreement with his threat.
“Yeah, let’s see how that feels,” she chimed in. “These are little kids, but wait ‘til they grow up and give you a hard -ss time.”
As more officers arrived at the scene, the children announced that the initial officer had “offended us with a gun.”
Sgt. Carrillo and El Paso Deputy City Manager Dionne Mack said that an adult and a juvenile were arrested for interfering with the duties of a police officer as a result of the incident, the El Paso Times reported.
The department has launched an internal investigation to determine whether officers followed department policies during their interactions with the unruly crew.
“The whole investigation process with IA [Internal Affairs] will determine whether the officer followed protocol, look at all of the related incidents that surrounded that, take an opportunity to [do] interviews,” Mack said, according to the El Paso Times. “And go through that entire process, so all the facts and data are gathered before any conclusions are drawn.”