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CRAWFORD COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — There is more information August 22 about a now-viral video that appears to show local law enforcement using excessive force during an arrest.
The deputies have been identified as Zack King and Levi White. The officer involved is Thell Riddle. All three have been suspended with pay.
According to the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department, on August 21, 27-year-old Randal Worcester was making terroristic threats to a gas station clerk in Alma and spat at them.
A “be on the lookout” was issued in the area. The three law enforcement officials on leave found Worcester later at the Kountry Xpress in Mulberry, where the video was taken.
Sheriff Jimmy Damante was asked if either deputy had been involved in similar incidents. He said he wasn’t sure and would have to check. But, the lawyers for Worcester said they have another client claiming Deputy White used excessive force on them in an incident that happened in July.
The lawyers put in a Freedom of Information request a little more than a month ago and said they still haven’t heard back.
“The description of what happened to my client in July, versus that video seemed almost identical. And so, we’re just at the position it didn’t have to even take place yesterday,” lawyer Carrie Jernigan said.
A statement was issued by Russell A. Wood, the attorney representing White and King, saying Worcester grabbed White by his legs lifting him up and body slamming him head first on the concrete parking lot. Wood says White was incapacitated momentarily.
The full statement can be seen below.
“I give my word that I hold all my employees accountable for their actions. And I will take appropriate action whatever that action is when these investigations are complete,” Sheriff Damante said.
Worcester bailed out on a $15,000 bond. His lawyers say he sustained multiple injuries to his face and he complains of head pain preventing him from sleeping.
Arkansas State Police are investigating the potential use of excessive force in this incident. KNWA/FOX24 reached out for an update but was denied an interview request.