A 17-year-old student from Weaver High School in Hartford, Connecticut, is facing assault charges after he got into a fight with a police officer at a Burger King while onlookers cheered.
In a video of the fight (below), the student, who has not been named, caught the officer in a headlock for more than 18 seconds. After the officer freed himself, the teen ran away but the officer caught him using pepper spray and hitting him in the leg with a baton.
“That’s assault on a police officer,” one man who watched a video of the fight told WTNH reporters. Another woman agreed. “That is crazy," she said. “That is assault on a police officer.”
Deputy Chief Brian Foley said the situation was volatile and dangerous for the police officer involved. “He was beginning to lose consciousness according to his report, so it’s not pretty to see on TV, but this is what occurs out there and this is the new face of what is going on in the country in 2015,” he told WTNH.
Foley said the fight began when the teen was asked to leave the Burger King because he was loitering in the restaurant, which is a popular place for high school students to hang out and fight. The incident escalated when the student reportedly refused to leave.
“You want the verbal commands first, then the physical restraint,” Foley said. “If that is not effective the next step would be your pepper spray. From there it would be whatever devices you have on you.”
The officer is now out on medical leave.
“The new face of what is going on in the country in 2015, these police videos are coming out more and more and more and we embrace it in the city of Hartford,” Foley said. "We wish there was more video of this incident.”
Some people who commented on the video of the fight on YouTube claimed it didn’t reveal what actually happened during the altercation. Joeliz Morales wrote, “They arent showing the full clip right (and) keep showing the cop while in a headlock to victimize him…”
Image via YouTube