Forest City, NC – A Forest City police officer wrestled a combative shoplifting suspect to the ground outside a shoe store on Tuesday, after the man punched him in the face and attempted to flee the scene (video below).
The incident began at approximately 1:20 p.m. on Aug. 28, when officers were dispatched to the Shoe Show store on Plaza Drive for a report of two shoplifters, the Forest City Police Department said in a press release obtained by Blue Lives Matter.
Officers located the suspects, later identified as 36-year-old Laquita Shell and 24-year-old Dominque Hoey, inside a nearby Walmart store.
The officers told the duo they were being detained, and escorted them to an area outside of the Shoe Show, at which point Hoey began to walk toward the parking lot.
Forest City Police Sergeant Shawn Keeter again told Hoey that he was being detained and that he was not allowed to leave, but he turned and attempted to walk away yet again.
As the officers began to forcibly detain him, Hoey “spun away” from them and “struck Sgt. Keeter two times” in his face, according to the press release.
Sgt. Keeter immediately wrestled the violent man to the ground, where he continued to resist arrest.
Cell phone footage posted by Facebook user Lisha Logan showed Sgt. Keeter as he fought with Hoey on the parking lot pavement.
“Leave him alone!” Shell screamed, as she stood over the officer. “Don’t shoot him! You better not f–king shoot him! Let him go!”
Officer Ryan Davis then stepped into the camera’s view, and placed his hand on Hoey’s shoulder as Sgt. Keeter lay pinned beneath the combative man.
Officer Alexandra Bentley then raced across the parking lot, grabbed Hoey’s upper body, and pushed him backwards, the video showed.
The officers were able to reposition Hoey’s head, which allowed Sgt. Keeter to throw his left leg up around Hoey’s left shoulder, pinning his arm back.
“They’re going to kill him!” Shell repeatedly screamed, as a bystander directed her to “back away.”
Hoey attempted to clasp his hands together to prevent Officer Bentley from being able to handcuff him, the video showed.
“Let go of my goddamned hand!” Officer Bentley commanded, pushing Hoey’s head backwards yet again.
“I can’t breathe!” Hoey began proclaiming.
“He’s not resisting! They’re killing him!” Shell squealed.
“I didn’t do s–t!” Hoey yelled.
“Then comply with the officers,” the bystander told him.
The officers were ultimately able to wrestle Hoey into handcuffs, and raised him to his feet as he and Shell continued screaming at them.
“You ain’t s–t, man,” Hoey told Sgt. Keeter, advancing towards the sergeant yet again. Sgt. Keeter raised Hoey’s handcuffed hands above his head, spinning him away.
“Look how they doin’ him!” Shell wailed. “Y’all racist motherf–kers!”
As the officers led Hoey away, Shell stormed toward the front doors of the Shoe Show and banged her fist on the glass.
“I didn’t steal s–t outta here!” she yelled through the doors, which appeared to have been locked. “She said I stole! You racist b—h!”
The shoes that were reported stolen were later recovered from Shell’s Chevrolet Impala, and were returned to the store, according to the press release.
Hoey was charged with resisting arrest, two counts of assaulting a law enforcement officer, and shoplifting. He was being held on a $25,000 bond.
Shell was charged with disorderly conduct, shoplifting, and communicating threats, and was being held on a $5,500 bond.
Forest City police said that based on a review of bodycam videos and the officer’s reports, officials determined the officers’ actions were within departmental policy.
An off-duty federal air marshal assisted officers with the arrest, police said.
You can watch cell phone footage of the officers’ encounter with Hoey and Shell in the video below: