ID check outside Georgia beach bar leads to violent arrests
TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (AP) — An ID check on a young woman outside a Georgia beach bar escalated into police using Tasers to shock three people they said were resisting arrest as angry bystanders cursed at officers, according to police reports and video.
Tybee Island’s mayor and police chief defended the use of force and released police body camera footage after a bystander’s cellphone video of the chaotic scene Saturday night got thousands of views online.
“The police chief has reviewed everything and has determined that the officers acted in a way that is consistent with our policy and with their training,” Mayor Jason Buelterman said Monday.
The police video shows an officer being flagged down outside a bar on Tybee Island, east of Savannah. A bar employee hands the officer what appears to be a driver’s license. Then a young woman snatches the ID from the officer’s hand and takes off running.
“She’s going to get tased,” Sgt. T. Leguin says in the video as he chases the woman on foot. She then trips and falls, and the officer tries to restrain her.
A man walks up, shouting at Leguin to get off the woman. A police report says the man grabbed Leguin’s vest. The video shows the woman’s hand reach toward the officer’s face. He wrote in his report that she tried to claw him.
The Taser’s clicking buzz can be heard in the video, along with the woman screaming. Olivia Jane Simons, 21, was charged with felony obstruction of a police officer, public drunkenness and other misdemeanors.
“They were really brutal to her,” the woman’s mother, Annie Simons, told WSAV-TV .
The man accused of trying to interfere in Simons’ arrest, Richard Harper Stutts, was shocked with a Taser and arrested by Officer Bryant Sims, whose report says Stutts punched him in the head. Stutts, 25, was charged with felony obstruction, simple battery and other misdemeanors.
Bystander Alecia Nicholle Adams, 41, was also arrested after yelling “extremely vulgar language” at the officers, according to a police report. It said Adams was shocked with a Taser after she resisted getting into a patrol car and bit Sgt. K. Saddath. She was charged with felony obstruction, disorderly conduct and other misdemeanors.
It wasn’t immediately known if Simons, Stutts or Adams had attorneys representing them.