VIDEO: Officer Charged With Felony After Man Flees, Resists Arrest

A former Asheville police officer was arrested on multiple charges on Thursday.

Asheville, NC – A former Asheville Police Department (APD) Officer was arrested for assault on Thursday, after he engaged in a physical altercation with a suspect who was resisting arrest (video below).

APD has released dashcam and bodycam footage of the incident, which occurred in 2017.

Former Officer Chris Hickman, 31, has been charged with felony assault by strangulation, misdemeanor assault inflicting serious injury, and communicating threats, District Attorney Todd Williams said, according to the Citizen Times.

The altercation took place around midnight on Aug. 25, 2017, while Officer Hickman and an unnamed trainee were out on patrol.

The video showed the officers as they made contact with 33-year-old Johnnie Rush, who had just walked into the street in front of cars – twice – while officers were present, Hickman later told a supervisor.

“I was polite with you and asked you to use a crosswalk,” the trainee told Rush. “You didn’t use a crosswalk four times in a row, and you cut through [another property] after I asked you, two seconds ago, not to.”

Rush continued to argue that he had done nothing wrong, and that the officers were “harassing” him.

“Just because you don’t agree with the crime doesn’t mean it’s not a crime,” the trainee said. “You just committed four crimes in a row.”

“Pedestrians get hit in the street every day,” he explained.

“Y’all ain’t got s**t better to do besides harass somebody about f*****g walking,” Rush said, as one of the trainee prepared to issue him a citation.

Officer Hickman then walked around the front of the police cruiser to intervene.

“Put your hands behind your back,” Officer Hickman told Rush, as he moved towards him. Rush began to step backwards, and Officer Hickman seemed to intuitively recognize that the man was going to flee.

“Don’t. Do not,” Officer Hickman commanded, before Rush wriggled away from him, and began running down the street.

Officer Hickman gave chase, and broadcasted Rush’s description over the radio.

Once Rush fled, he committed a crime and the officers could legally use any reasonable force to stop him.

“Black male, white tank top, thinks it’s funny,” he said.

“You know what’s funny, is you’re gonna get f****d up, hardcore,” Officer Hickman then told Rush as he ran after him.

The officers quickly tackled Rush and took him to the ground, where he continued to resist arrest.

“Put your hands behind your back,” they both told him repeatedly.

“I can’t breathe!” Rush began to yell, even after his head was freed from being restrained.

The officers continued to struggle on the ground with the combative man, and Officer Hickman was seen delivering several blows to Rush’s head to subdue him.

Rush was ultimately tased, then began repeatedly yelling for help.

“Stop kicking me,” one of the officers told him, as they finally placed Rush into handcuffs.

As he worked to catch his breath, Officer Hickman called for EMS to respond to assist Rush, who was bleeding from his head and face.

In the video, he explained to a supervisor that the altercation escalated when Rush tried to strip his Taser from his hand.

Officers are trained to use violence to get control of a suspect attempting to disarm them.

“I beat the s**t out of his head, I’m not gonna lie about that,” Officer Hickman said.

Rush was charged with second-degree trespass and resisting a public officer, CNN reported. He filed an excessive force complaint against Officer Hickman later on the date of his arrest.

The charges against Rush were dismissed by the district attorney in September.

Officer Hickman was suspended following the incident, and resigned from his position in January.

He was arrested and released on $10,000 bond at 8:45 p.m. on Thursday.

Hickman, Rush, and APD did not respond to requests for comment, according to CNN.

You can watch the video of the fight below:

Comments (18)
No. 1-18
Condor3631
Condor3631

I do not understand why the officer is in so much trouble? All they were trying to do was keep the guy from getting hit by cars and then he wanted to run and fight! And i’m sorry if u say u can’t breath u wouldn’t b saying full sentences!! All the guy had to do was use the crosswalk and none of this would of happened!!!

Righton17
Righton17

Typical of today's "trouble makers" and we allow it by not putting our boots straight up their idiot asses. This officer should never have been in trouble, but the punk sure should have been.

WalterL48
WalterL48

NOOOO - You do NOT discipline officers for 'language'. You do NOT pull this "Politically Correct" crap on our officers!!!

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@WalterL48
That's not being politically correct. That's being professional.

Oldbarnowl
Oldbarnowl

I do not understand why any young person would have a desire to make law enforcement their career nowadays. They stand to be punished if they do or do not perform their duties...plus the risk of being ambushed at any time.

BlueLifeParent
BlueLifeParent

TOTAL BULLSHIT. What the hell. Let the cops do their damn jobs.

Kungfupanda
Kungfupanda

Seems a bit OTT for jaywalking?!

M4D
M4D

If you watch ABC news, they make it sound like there was a beating. That is obviously not the case. But to report it as so makes for a "Big News Story". As I did with the phrasing using capital letters, and quotation marks. The media is slanting stories like this for a reason. RATINGS. They don't care if they are inciting people to hate the police. People need to start understanding that. When I was a kid there was one Tabloid news publication. "The Enquirer". Today, they are all Tabloid. Don't fall for it. Get your FACTS from doing the research. Should the police officer be disciplined for the overuse of force? Maybe, maybe not. I wasn't there, and I did not witness all that was happening. Neither did anyone else who watched this video. Clearly the man was given a verbal warning before, and didn't accept it. Clearly he evaded arrest. And clearly he was resisting arrest. I say internal affairs should be allowed to do their job without prejudiced, or political influence.

M4D
M4D

The guy was asked to stay out of the street and use the cross walks prior to this incident. It is part of the officer's duties to ensure the safety of all. Maybe this guy was looking to make some insurance money by getting hit? Maybe if the police had already warned him to stay out of the street and knowing allowed him to continue to be a hazard to himself or others, he would be able to also sue the police and the city because they did not take stronger measures to keep him safe. Scams happen every day, and get more elaborate. Try to look beyond the obvious.

b1rd
b1rd

Come on bubble boy, this is being politically correct. The guy was a dumbass. Multiple times the cops told him why they were talking to him and he goes into a rant about how they are picking on him. Then cries like a baby when he gets arrested. GOTTA GET THAT CRUTCH OUT. Just like disciplining a kid. The response escalates with the tantrum. If he had just listened the first time none of this would have happened. Instead he continues to do just as he pleases provoking the response he received.
I hope he sues the city and wins a lot of money. Not to worry. The lawyers will take the majority and he will be broke again within a few months.
The AG is probably a democrat.

BDDD
BDDD

Dindu nuffins!!! Ah cain't breeve!! Rayciss!!

Too bad the officer is being railroaded. If the subject was actually grabbing at the taser, punching his head to subdue him is justified.

dvaughn1155
dvaughn1155

I'm a Retired Police Sergeant and I for one am tired of any Command Staff not backing their Officers or Sergeants because of Political Correctness.

LEO0301
LEO0301

I worked for a chief who insisted his officers avoid using profane language. That wasn't a problem with me because I rarely used it anyway - at least in public. But the truth is that officers, who are human after all, will resort to profanity when under stress. It happens and certainly isn't the end of the world. In this case, any officer who has worked the streets for any length of time can recognize when someone is about to flee. Their body language gives it away every time. After watching the video I have zero problem with the officer punching the subject in the head if the guy was trying to take his tazer. It's amusing in some sense that the police provide their officers with batons (asps), pepper spray, and tazers but God forbid the officer actually use one of these weapons in a struggle like this one. There was no brutality. A police officer can't use the same amount of force that is being used against him. It must be more or the fight will go on indefinitely. Truthfully, it doesn't pay for officers to be proactive in todays political climate. Give the public what they want; they will get what they deserve.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@LEO0301
Again, I dont know why you replied to me to say most of this. I didn't mention anything about the arrest procedure.

b1rd
b1rd

Again, being politically correct. Don't want to hurt ignorant peoples feelings.