GBI opens investigation into officer's use of force during woman's violent arrest

New details

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- The Georgia Bureau of Investigation confirms they have opened an investigation into a DeKalb County officer's use of force that was caught on video.

The DeKalb County Police Department was already investigating the incident, in which the officer was seen repeatedly hitting a woman with his baton while trying to arrest her. That officer, P.J. Larscheid was placed on restricted administrative duty, pending an investigation. 

The GBI agreed to open the investigation after a meeting between DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond and the police department, according to a statement from Police Chief James Conroy. Use of force investigations usually take 60 to 90 days according to GBI spokesperson Nelly Miles.

PREVIOUS | Video shows officer repeatedly strike woman with baton

It all stems from a June 4 incident at a Glenwood Road Chevron gas station in which Larschied was responding to a complaint of a woman, 38-year-old Katie McCrary, soliciting inside the store.

When Larschied tried to walk in the store, McCrary allegedly tried to push him out of the way and said, "The girl you looking for is over there." As Larscheid tried to talk to store employees, he said the woman continued to try to walk past him. When he told her to stay where she was, she then replied that she was a federal agent.

The officer said he told the woman she could be arrested for impersonating a police officer, to which McCrary replied by telling Larscheid he was impersonating an officer. 

At that point, the interaction turned physical and eventually, Larscheid pulled out his baton and began striking McCrary. Witnesses inside the store began recording the confrontation and uploaded it to YouTube. (Read more on the interaction between McCrary and Larscheid here.)

Warning: Video contains graphic footage

With the release of the video, police reopened the investigation to "determine whether the incident is consistent with policy and the law." 

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. 

© 2017 WXIA-TV


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