Tybee Island, GA – The City of Tybee Island is backing up a controversial arrest made by its police department and released bodycam footage that showed what actually happened to cause the incident on Tybrisa Street.
The incident occurred on Aug. 3 when Olivia Simons, 19, tried to use a fake ID at The Rock House Bar, the Savannah Morning News reported.
The police report said that the bar’s bouncer, Shawn McBride, “recognized that the female presenting the identification was not 30 years old, and refused to let her enter.”
McBride called police when the girl and her friend argued with him, the Savannah Morning News reported.
The girls were demanding that the bouncer give them back the fake ID, and he refused.
The bodycam video released by the Tybee Island Police Department showed McBride handed the fake ID to a police officer, and Simons ripped the license out of the officer’s hand and took off running.
The officer chased after Simons, and bodycam video captured the moment that she tripped and fell to the pavement.
The officer caught up with the girl and tried to take her into custody, but she resisted arrest and fought him, punching and kicking until she knocked his bodycam to the pavement, the video showed.
She continued fighting until the officer warned her she was “about to get Tased,” the video showed.
That’s when a bystander – later identified as Richard Stutts - decided to intervene, according to the Savannah Morning News.
Stutts approached from the rear and grabbed the officer by his outer vest carrier, the video showed.
“You need to get the f--k off her,” he said and tried to pull the officer off Simons.
“Back away man,” the officer told him.
“No man, you get the f--k off her,” Stutts replied.
“Back away from her,” the officer ordered him again.
Stutts attempted to grab the officer again and the officer ordered him to get away from him.
The police report said that’s when Simons “reached to the left side of my face, with an open hand and attempted to claw” the officer’s face and eyes, the Savannah Morning News reported.
Once again the officer warned Simons he was going to deploy his Taser and she continued to resist arrest, the video showed.
“Taking into account the position we were in, the concrete surface we were on, the people observing, Stutts to my back, and Simons resistance, I felt that the lowest amount of force to gain compliance from Simons would be my Taser. I felt this to be the sensible choice, given our size difference,” the officer wrote in the police report.
But when he deployed his Taser, one of the prongs struck Simons and the other hit the officer in his knee, the Savannah Morning News reported.
The video showed a second officer arrived and helped handcuff Simons.
A crowd gathered around the officers and Simons, and people who had no idea what was going on yelled at the officers.
The second officer went to arrest Stutts but the man resisted and they grappled briefly on the ground before the officer pulled out his Taser and deployed it against the man’s back, the video showed.
Only then was the officer able to gain compliance and handcuff Stutts.
As the officers sat on their handcuffed prisoners on the sidewalk waiting for backup to arrive, a woman who had been standing nearby watching started screaming at them.
A man who was with her tried to back her away and quiet her, and turned to reassure officers that he would get her under control, the video showed.
The woman, who police later identified as Alecia Adams, did not appear to have any connection to either of the people who were being arrested.
But she continued screaming after backup officers arrived so one of them took her into custody, too.
In the background of the video, the man she was there with was yelling “I told you to shut the f--k up. You never listen to me.”
As officers were searching Simons on the sidewalk, Adams was shrieking in the background the entire time.
Officers Tased Adams after she refused to get in the police car and bit an officer, the Savannah Morning News reported.
She was charged with resisting arrest and public drunkenness.
Simons, who instigated the entire mess, was charged with public drunkenness, disorderly conduct, and both misdemeanor and felony counts of obstruction of a law enforcement officer in connection with the fake ID she used at the bar, the Savannah Morning News reported.
Her would-be rescuer, Stutts, was charged with assault on a law enforcement officers.
Bystander Lance Bazemore posted his cell phone video to Facebook early the next morning and set off a firestorm of criticism about the way the officers had handled the arrest, with absolutely no context.
The City of Tybee Island pushed back on its own official Facebook page soon after and released the bodycam video of the incident, along with the police report narrative, the Savannah Morning News reported.
“We are aware of a viral video circulating on social media regarding the arrest of a man and two women over this past weekend,” the city’s statement read. “We understand that the contents of that video are disturbing to some viewers. What’s important to remember, is that the video we’ve seen starts well after the initial incident has begun and lacks context.”
“The Chief of Police has reviewed body camera footage from the officers on scene that night and has determined that the actions taken were acceptable under the circumstances,” the statement continued. “That footage as well as a copy of the incident report is being provided to our local media outlets. This is an ongoing investigation and additional arrest(s) are likely to follow.”
Watch both the bodycam and cell phone videos below (multiple videos, scroll down for more).: