North Versailles, PA – The woman who recorded a now-viral video of her arrest by a smoking bearded cop is being charged for additional crimes after her video helped police identify her as a previously-unidentified suspect.
Melanie Carter, 35, shot the cellphone video of her arrest on Feb. 24, and posted the footage to her Facebook page on Thursday.
Her newfound fame allowed police to identify her as the suspect in the assault of a bus driver the week before, according to KDKA.
According to police, on Feb. 13 Carter was on a bus using obscene language, which caused annoyance and alarm. The driver asked her to stop, and she refused.
The driver stopped and ordered her off of the bus, and that’s when she allegedly assaulted the driver and threw an alcoholic drink in his face. She then allegedly started throwing snow at the bus.
The police were called, but were unable to locate or identify a suspect.
After video of her arrest went viral a week later, police were able to recognize her by her facial piercings and tattoo.
Now, in addition to charges from her initial arrest, she will be charged for the bus incident, according to KDKA. Her new charges include disorderly conduct, harassment, public drunkenness, and interference with transportation facilities.
The video of her Feb. 24 arrest at a movie theater went viral on Thursday.
The video struck people as bizarre, because the bearded officer is smoking and wearing a patch that says “stupid allergy,” leaving some people to speculate if he is a real police officer; he is.
The incident unfolded outside Phoenix Theaters, after a manager authorized the removal of several patrons who were causing a disturbance, WTAE reported.
Police said that the girls had already been told to leave once, but that they had returned, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
North Versailles Police Department Officer Christopher Kelly, who was working a security detail at the theater, proceeded to escort the girls out of the business.
“When I pulled up an officer was pushing a young black girl out the door aggressively,” Carter, who was not related to any of the girls, wrote in her post. “I asked the girl what happened and she said she was playing with her friends in the game room when officer Chris Kelly grabbed her from behind escorted her to the door and pushed her outside.”
“The officer then went back inside and made several other black girls leave,” Carter said.
According to Officer Kelly’s report, Carter told him that she was “looking out for” the girls, and he told her not to interfere, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
Carter, who had not witnessed the girls inside the theater and did not see their disruptive behavior, told Officer Kelly that they had done nothing wrong, and that he was being racist.
The video showed three girls as they argued with the theater manager.
“Listen, there’s cameras. We watched you guys,” Officer Kelly said as he walked over to the gathering. “You guys have been problems since you got in here.”
He then told everyone to leave.
“See how they treat our kids?” Carter said in the video.
She noted that the manager had called the girls “animals.”
“Yeah, because you’re behaving like an animal,” he responded.
“It’s raining out here, it’s cold out here,” Carter said. “These kids have paid their own money…to come in here, too, and they’re being persecuted.”
Officer Kelly then interrupted, and told Carter that management wanted her off of the premises, and that she needed to leave.
“I paid my money. I’m not going anywhere,” Carter retorted.
Officer Kelly gave her a final warning, then reached for his handcuffs as Carter continued to tell him that she wasn’t going to leave.
“You better not touch me,” she said. “I’m watching this guy.”
Officer Kelly approached Carter to take her into custody, as she began yelling at him to “get off” of her.
In his report, Officer Kelly said that Carter “violently pulled away” from him, and swatted at his hands as he moved towards her with his handcuffs, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
An apparent brief scuffle ensued, and Carter fell onto the ground, screaming that she had done nothing wrong.
She was charged with resisting arrest, failure to disperse, disorderly conduct, and defiant trespass, KDKA reported.
The manager who authorized the girls’ removal from the theater was fired, Phoenix Theaters Entertainment told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
You can watch Carter’s footage of her arrest in the video below: