Thursday, June 28, 2007

Skateboarder Choked by Officer or Apprehension of Dangerous Criminal?

The A.P. has reported that they have video of a Hot Springs Arkansas police officer who appears to choke a skateboarder. Apparently, the video was posted on line. One needs to be cautious about the video since it may be edited and probably does not show the complete story. The video also shows the officer put two others in a headlock. Hot Springs Mayor Mike Bush said investigators have talked with witnesses who saw the officer, Joey Williams, stop the skateboarders on a downtown city sidewalk where skateboarding is banned.

Williams apparently choked one of the skateboarders after forcing him to the ground. Later he is seen chasing and wrestling two others while holding them in a headlock. The YouTube video was reportedly taken by Matthew Jon McCormack and another skater.
Two arrested were McCormack, 21, and Skylar Nalls, 19. McCormack faces a misdemeanor battery charge after allegedly pushing or striking a 67-year-old city employee during the altercation. Nalls was cited for skateboarding in a prohibited area and misdemeanor charges of fleeing and obstructing governmental operations. Four juveniles also face skateboarding citations and resisting arrest charges.
Update 7-3-07: An internal review board has cleared the officer who appeared to choke a skateboarder in a video posted online.
Update 3-6-10: Due to excessive spamming, any further comment on this thread must be emailed to legalpub@legalpub.net.

18 comments:

Ms. Calabaza said...

LP,

you're right that videos can be tampered with but I don't think I feel comfortable with kids being choked for skateboarding?!

Legal Pub said...

I agree. It looks bad. But I want to encourage folks to reserve judgment until we find out more from the witnesses and the defendant.

Anonymous said...

Unnecessary force is ridiculous. Remember the cop who broke into the wrong house and kicked a guy in the groin. This is on similar par.

Johny M.

Anonymous said...

Cops have roid rage? If an athlete did this, that is what they would say. Steroids are the root of all evil, just ask the media.


Muscle Man

Anonymous said...

California surfer dude said...

So that is why urban boarding is an "extreme sport."

Surfer dude

Anonymous said...

I think dealing with police should be classified as an extreme sport.

Anonymous said...

Once again, an example of an officer that is "over the top."

Anonymous said...

Stop the madness. Attention police: Only use force commenserate with the alleged crime!

Anonymous said...

Maybe the police officer was just auditioning for a place in the world wrestling federation. I hear their is an opening since Benoit's contract was terminated.


Muscle Man

Legal Pub said...

As we always say here on legal pub, let's reserve the final conclusion of guilt or innocence until after all the evidence is known. In the mean time, opinions are welcome. Just make sure readers know they are opinions and not facts.

An internal review board has now cleared the officer. There may still be a civil suit. Stay tuned.

Anonymous said...

I smell civil suit...

Dollar Bill said...

Just lucky the boys were not TASERED!

Anonymous said...

Tasered,heck in some jurisdictions don't the cops shoot skate boarders?

Anonymous said...

ouch. crime should not equate to such harsh punishment.

Anonymous said...

skate boarders are a nuisance, but they should not be made into criminals.

california surfer dude said...

Maybe if we imported a few land sharks we could curb the street boarding problem... Or better yet, just flood the city streets and walks and let the skateboarders take off the wheels and learn how to really surf...

Surfer Dude

Anonymous said...

Skateboarding, an american epidemic.

Legal Pub said...

Any further comment on this thread needs to be emailed to

legalpub@legalpub.net due to excessive spamming.