Greensboro, NC – A father and son have been charged in connection with an attack on two police officers on Sunday that was featured in a now-viral video (video below).
The altercation occurred at about 4 p.m. on Feb. 3, after a business owner called the police about an intoxicated person, the Greensboro News & Record reported.
When the officers arrived at Sabor Latino’s Rotisserie Chicken on Farmington Drive, they were asked to remove two inebriated men from the restaurant.
The officers asked 49-year-old Jamie Donaldo Reyes and his son, 22-year-old Ronald Esau Reyes, to leave and they complied.
But then police saw them head to their vehicle and decided the men were in no condition to drive.
“They [father and son] attempted to get into a car,” Greensboro Police Chief Wayne Scott said. “The officers realized that they were, at a minimum, drinking, likely intoxicated, and that’s really where the confrontation began.”
Chief Scott said the officers told the men not to drive, and the son became agitated, according to the Greensboro News & Record.
The officers attempted to arrest the son, and that’s when things turned chaotic.
“As the video depicts, the second individual attacked first one officer, and then the other and then it became a pretty violent attack against both the officers,” the chief said.
The father attacked the officers, and one of the officers deployed a stun gun to subdue him.
The video, which was shared to social media by Ronald Reyes, started as officers were using a Taser on Jamie Reyes.
The zapping sound is heard as the older man was tackling a police officer to sidewalk.
A split second later, the son tackled the other officer to the ground, slamming his head into the building, the video showed.
Then the son began pummeling the officer with his fists.
The officers struggled with both men, rolling and fighting on the sidewalk and pavement.
The video showed Ronald Reyes had one of the officers in a choke-hold when bystanders intervened and pulled him off the officer.
For a few seconds, things calmed down. The officers got up and assisted Jamie Reyes up.
But when they went to put handcuffs on the men, the older man started acting up again, the video showed.
The bystanders, some of whom appeared to know the Reyes men, intervened and briefly calmed the father down.
But the video showed that when officers successfully handcuffed his son and sat him on the curb, Jamie Reyes flipped out again.
Officers had to take the father to the ground to get him under control and try to apply handcuffs, the video showed.
While he was fighting them, one of the officers pulled out his Taser and held it to the older man’s back.
His son started shrieking at officers not to tase his father again because he’d had three prior heart attacks, the video showed.
As officers put handcuffs on his father, Ronald Reyes screamed at bystanders to get pictures of their badges.
It took four minutes for backup officers to arrive to assist, the Greensboro News & Record reported.
Police arrested both men and they were each charged with felony assault on a law enforcement officer, trespassing, and intoxicated and disruptive behavior.
Ronald Reyes was also charged with open container, according to the Greensboro News & Record.
Both men and both officers suffered minor injuries.
There is a mandatory internal investigation into the officers’ use of force, The Greensboro News & Record reported.
“It’s unfortunate that police work at times requires officers to become physical,” Chief Scott said. “It is concerning to me that we see this happen.”
"It appears it was an unwarranted attack, they were trying to exercise their lawful duties," he said.
He defended his officers’ actions and pointed out there were 123 assaults on Greensboro officers in 2018.
“Quite frankly when you look around the country at some of the serious assault against law enforcement officers,” Chief Scott said, “It’s a time when our good community needs to pull together and understand that this kind of conduct cannot be considered."
You can see the attack in the video below: