Couple Arrested After Attacking Cop, Stealing Bodycam, Then Posting Video Online
West Palm Beach, FL – A couple who stole a West Palm Beach police officer’s bodycam during an altercation at a Halloween party were apprehended after they uploaded footage from the camera and shared it on social media.
One of the suspects even sent the bodycam video to the officer they’d assaulted in a private Facebook message, The Palm Beach Post reported.
The incident occurred on Oct. 27, during West Palm Beach’s annual MoonFest street celebration.
The event attracts approximately 20,000 partygoers each year, according to the Visit West Palm Beach website.
According to police, 34-year-old Oliver Degirmen and 25-year-old Michelle Anderson became belligerent with MoonFest staff members after they were denied entrance to the event because they were not standing in the designated line, The Palm Beach Post reported.
The costumed partygoers argued with the staff members, and became verbally aggressive and disruptive, police said.
They eventually left the area, but returned a couple of hours later.
Anderson then charged at West Palm Beach Police Officer Sarah Burgoon, who attempted to subdue the irate woman.
During the scuffle that ensued, Degirmen shoved Officer Burgoon in the chest, knocking her bodycam to the ground, police said.
Despite having allegedly assaulted a police officer, the combative couple was escorted away from the scene and allowed to leave without being arrested.
Unbeknownst to Officer Burgoon, Degirmen had snatched up her bodycam during the fight, and Anderson later shared footage from the camera onto YouTube.
“Physically assaulted West Palm Beach Police-body cam Sarah Burgoon,” the video tagline read, according to The Palm Beach Post.
Anderson also allegedly sent a private message to Officer Burgoon on Facebook, along with a video that showed her and Degirmen holding a cell phone that was playing the bodycam footage of them fighting with the officer.
“I’m hiring a lawyer,” Anderson wrote in the private message, according to police.
Using bodycam obtained from a second officer at the scene during the altercation, investigators determined that Degirmen grabbed Officer Burgoon’s bodycam after it fell to the ground, then hid it behind his leg before he shoved it into his pocket.
The couple was subsequently arrested on charges of grand theft between $300 and $5,000, and battery on an officer, The Palm Beach reported.
They were released on bond on Saturday.