TUCKER, Ga. -- A video showing an officer repeatedly hitting a woman with a baton has prompted DeKalb County Police to open an investigation into the incident.
According to the DeKalb County Police Department, the incident happened June 4 at a Chevron gas station on Glenwood Road. That officer, P.J. Larscheid has since been placed on restricted administrative duty, pending an investigation. The GBI is also investigating the incident.
The officer was responding to a complaint of a woman soliciting inside the store. The officer said that when he walked in the store, he saw the woman, later identified as 38-year-old Katie McCrary, standing by the front door.
The officer said that when he tired to walk in the store, the woman tried to push him out of the way and said, "the girl you looking for is over there."
As the officer talked to a store employee, he said the woman continued to try to walk past him. He said he told her to stay where she was, to which she replied she was a federal agent.
The officer said he told the woman that she could be arrested for impersonating a police officer and she replied by telling the officer that he was impersonating an officer. He said she then reached out and grabbed his badge. He said he pushed her back and then she grabbed his radio and vest. He said he tried to call for another unit on his radio, but wasn't able to get the message out because another officer was speaking over the air. He said the woman continued to try to grab his vest, at which point he took out his baton.
Warning: Video contains graphic footage
The video, which was posted on YouTube on June 16, appears to begin in the middle of the arrest. It shows the officer striking the woman in the leg with his police baton several times as people off-camera urge the woman to "stop resisting." The officer is heard repeatedly asking the woman to "put your hands behind your back". At one point the woman rolls on her back and begins kicking towards the officer. At that point, he again begins to swing his baton, and appears to strike the woman on the upper part of her body and her head. He then pushes the baton against her neck as bystanders continue to tell the woman to "stop resisting."
The woman then grabs the baton, to which the officer replies, "Let it go or I'm going to shoot you."
The officer gets control of his baton and, with his knee on the woman's back, continues to tell her to put her hands behind her back.
The woman is heard asking, "What did I do? What did I do wrong?" as the officer cuffs her and leads her out of the store into his patrol car.
According to DeKalb County Police, the officer filed "Use of Force" report after the incident.
In his report, the officer reports that he struck the woman a number of times in her left leg, and that she then began to kick him. He said he then struck her in her forearm and legs, and that, "One strike inadvertently struck the side of her head as she was moving around."
The officer said that he saw a 1/2-inch laceration on the woman's left shin and a welt on her forearm.
DeKalb County Police said that the officer was cleared after a review by his supervisor and Internal Affairs, stating, "The narrative in the officer's report appears to be consistent with the video."
With the release of the video, police said that they have reopened the investigation and will "determine whether the incident is consistent with policy and the law." Authorities said they were "not aware of the cell phone video and did not have possession of the video" prior to its posting on social media.
McCrary was taken to DeKalb County Jail and then to Grady Memorial Hospital. She was later charged with obstructing or hindering law enforcement officers, and served with a criminal trespass warning at the request of the store manager.
According to DeKalb County Records, McCrary was arrested again on July 9 on prostitution charges. She had also been arrested back in February on drug-related charges.