On Sunday, two officers from the Crawford County Sheriff's Department and one from the Mulberry Police Department arrested a suspect identified as Randall Worcester, who was accused of various crimes, Arkansas State Police said in a social media statement.
The arrest took place outside a convenience store in Mulberry, Arkansas where police were captured on camera using seemingly excessive force against the suspect.
In the video from the arrest, Worcester, 27, is seen laying on the ground as the officers repeatedly strike him with their fists, forcefully pushing his face into the concrete and holding him down near his waist.
A woman can be heard screaming at the officers to stop near the end of the video before the group points toward the camera. One of the officers tells the woman to, "Back the f*ck up," and ordered her to return to her vehicle.
Crawford County Sheriff Jimmy Damante told CNN affiliate KHBS that Worcester was wanted for allegedly threatening a gas station clerk in a nearby town. After he was located in Mulberry, Damante said he was initially cooperative but then attempted to attack one of the officers which led to the confrontation seen in the video. The sheriff also noted that the suspect was “examined at a hospital and booked into jail, while a deputy received minor head injuries during the altercation.”
The officers involved in the incident have been identified as as sheriff's deputies Zack King and Levi White and officer Thell Riddle of the Mulberry Police Department.
Damante also said that two officers have been suspended until the conclusion of the state investigation.
The Mulberry police department also issued a statement noting that Officer Riddle has been placed on administrative leave and an investigation is underway.
“The City of Mulberry Police Department is aware of the video circulating on social media involving one of our officers,” the statement read. “The Arkansas State Police have been asked to investigate the incident. The officer is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. The City of Mulberry and the Mulberry Police Department takes these investigations very seriously and holds all their officers accountable for their actions. We will take the appropriate actions at the conclusion of the investigation.”
In a post on Twitter, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson confirmed that state police would be also investigating the incident.
“I have spoken with Col. Bill Bryant of the Arkansas State Police and the local arrest incident in Crawford County will be investigated pursuant to the video evidence and the request of the prosecuting attorney,” Hutchinson said.
Worcester is currently being held on a $15,000 bond in Crawford County jail.