New Castle, PA – A New Castle police officer has been placed on administrative leave after outrage stemming from video showing him slamming a suspect’s head on the ground (video below.)
New Castle police were called to a residence just before 5:30 p.m. Monday, after they received a report of a domestic disturbance where the suspect allegedly choked a juvenile.
They arrived at the home and encountered Perry Lowry, 49, who “attempted to run towards a knife lying on the kitchen counter, causing the first officer on scene to begin struggling with the male,” the department said in a press release on Wednesday.
Officer Ronald Williams then arrived at the scene, and found his fellow officer fighting with Lowry on the floor, the New Castle News reported.
Officer Williams deployed his Taser three times in an attempt to subdue the combative man, WTAE reported.
Despite the repeated shocks, Lowry continued to fight with the officers on the floor of the residence, and attempted to crawl towards the counter where the knife was still located, the New Castle News reported.
Cell phone footage captured the altercation from that moment forward.
According to the criminal complaint, Officer Williams grabbed Lowry by his shoulder, then slammed the man’s chest and head to the floor until he stopped resisting arrest, WTAE reported.
“Don’t kill him,” a male voice said nonchalantly in the video. “I think he’s dead.”
Officers then handcuffed Lowry, who sustained a cut to the forehead during the altercation, police said.
He was transported to a local hospital for treatment.
After his cut had been sutured, Lawry became agitated, and attempted to grab several cutting instruments from the doctor’s cart, the New Castle News reported.
Lowry, who had a blood-alcohol content of 0.326 percent, also had an unopened beer stuffed in his pocket, and began drinking it while at the hospital, police said.
The video footage from the altercation was shared widely on social media, causing many people to question the officer’s use of force.
One woman, who refused to be identified, told WPXI that she shared the footage because she “didn’t want it to be swept under the rug.”
“He was scared,” the woman said. “You could hear it in his voice that he was scared.”
“He didn’t deserve to have his head, you know, slammed on the ground,” she added.
The New Castle Police Department said they were aware of the video, and that they were investigating the incident.
“The New Castle City Police Department takes every allegation of the use force very seriously,” the department said. “Please allow us time to conduct a full, fair and impartial investigation.”
Officer Williams was placed on administrative leave, pending the internal investigation.
Lowry, 49, was charged with simple assault, resisting arrest, and harassment, WTAE reported.
Lowry appeared in court on Tuesday, and was being held on $5,000 bond, the New Castle News reported.
You can see video from the incident below: