Tempe, AZ – Tempe police released bodycam footage of the arrest of the man at the center of a controversial shoplifting arrest in Phoenix that showed him assaulting police officers while under the influence of drugs (video below).
Dravon Ames and his family were stopped on May 27 by Phoenix police for shoplifting at a Family Dollar store.
Ames fled in a car with his family in tow.
It turned out he didn’t have a driver’s license because of a DUI he had gotten last Halloween.
A controversial cell phone video of his arrest went viral and Ames has since demanded that the city council fire the police officers who arrested him and filed a lawsuit against the city for $10 million.
It turned out that not only had Ames gotten a DUI on Oct. 31, 2019, but he had also been arrested on two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer, the Arizona Republic reported.
A spokesman for Ames called the release of his prior arrest video a “sick” smear tactic to distract the public from their outrage over his Phoenix arrest.
But the Tempe Police Department told the Arizona Republic that they released the bodycam videos in response to public records requests, "independent of any other activities occurring in the City of Phoenix."
At about 5 a.m. on Oct. 31, 2019, officers responded to a call for a two-vehicle crash and found Ames in the middle of the roadway behaving in an erratic manner.
Court records showed that one of the officers smelled “the distinct odor of marijuana” coming from Ames’ car and observed that Ames had bloodshot eyes and slurred speech, according to the Arizona Republic.
Bodycam video showed that Ames admitted that he’d been dabbing prior to the car crash.
“I was driving kinda crazy, I’m not gonna lie. But I always get where I have to go,” Ames told one of the officers.
But then he excused it by saying that police officers drive crazy, too.
“I’m a young dude. I just turned 22 man… I just turned 22 the 30th. I’m fine, I swear to you," Ames told the officer, trying to convince him to let him go.
When the officer asked him about his admission that he’d just been dabbing, Ames told the officer it wasn’t affecting him at that moment.
“But that was like two hours ago. I got off work early… I don’t smoke weed… I always get trippin out when I smoke because I don’t. I used to…” he explained to the officer.
The officer asked if he had a medical marijuana card and at first Ames said he did. But then he admitted that his friend he’d been smoking with had the card, the video showed.
Then he told the officers he wanted to leave.
“I would like to go,” Ames said.
When officers refused to let him leave, he argued with them. When they went to apply handcuffs, he started fighting them.
Ames tried to kick one of the officers in the groin but missed, the Arizona Republic reported.
He grabbed the other officer’s face and eye, and that officer responded by striking Ames several times in the face.
Court records said Ames then went for that same officer’s service weapon and tried to grab equipment off another’s chest, according to the Arizona Republic.
Officers deployed Tasers to get Ames to comply and the man dropped to the ground screaming.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” he yelled over and over, followed by the question: “What did I do? What did I do? What did I do?”
The entire time officers were trying to help him and remove the Taser prongs, Ames kept whining and wailing and claiming police had beaten him up.
At one point, he asked officers if they were filming the interaction.
Officers assured Ames that at least three of them were filming the incident, so he went back to wailing at the cars that were driving by the scene.
“Y’all beat me up. Please stop. Please. I’m only 22,” he hollered.
“They beat me up,” he told anybody in a passing car who looked at him.
“Well, you broke an officer’s arm, so…” an officer replied.
In the videos, Ames appeared to be somewhat out of it and yelled nonsensical information at the officers and passing cars as they arrested him.
“I work at Amazon and I just got a raise,” he yelled at one point.
After officers searched Ames and emptied his pockets, he began screaming a list of what they had taken away from him over and over again - $2, gum, and a chapstick, the video showed.
When the officers tried to remove the prongs from Ames’ skin, he flipped out and accused them of putting something new into him.
“I’m getting sleepy,” he told no one in particular. “They sticking shots in me. They sticking shots in me.”
“Stop tensing up buddy. No one’s trying to hurt you,” an officer told him as they removed Taser prongs from his shirt and clothing.
In the video, Ames appeared to be drifting off as officers held him upright and asked him questions.
They asked him what drugs he’d taken and one of the officers asked him what dabbing was.
Ames perked up enough to explain that it was THC and how it worked, the video showed.
He was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer and driving under the influence of drugs, the Arizona Republic reported.
Tempe police said in a press release that Ames pleaded guilty to the DUI on June 11.
He was indicted on the aggravated assault charges in November of 2018 and is scheduled to face trial for those on Oct. 10, KTAR reported.
Watch video of Ames’ Tempe arrest in the videos below. Multiple videos, keep scrolling for more: