The attorney representing the Crawford County deputies say his clients did not have tasers when they were seen in a viral video beating a man.
CRAWFORD COUNTY, ARKANSAS, Ark. — Surveillance video from an Alma gas station shows the scene where police say Randall Worcester threatened a worker with a knife, an event that led to an altercation between him and three Arkansas officers that turned violent.
That worker called 911 after Worcester left the Alma gas station on Sunday, Aug. 21. Later that morning, law enforcement caught up with Worcester at a different gas station in Mulberry, where a bystander captured two Crawford County sheriff’s deputies and a Mulberry police officer beating Worcester on the ground.
On Friday, Aug. 26, the attorney for those deputies say his clients were not equipped with tasers that Sunday morning. 5NEWS reached out to Crawford County Sheriff Jimmy Damante to see if that claim is true, and if so, why the deputies didn’t have tasers.
As of 6 p.m. Friday, we had not heard back.
Russell Wood, the attorney representing Crawford County Deputy Levi White and Corporal Zack King, posted to Facebook asking, “why didn’t deputies just tase Worcester?” The answer, according to Wood, is that they did not have tasers when the video was captured.
Adam Rose, one of the attorneys representing Worcester, says Wood’s claim leaves them with more questions.
“It’s another way of non-lethal force, so why is it that Crawford County’s option is to not use or have officers have non-lethal force options? Why don’t they have those options?” Rose asked. “I think that leads to a bigger question beyond just this case, and maybe that leads to a systemic issue within the department,” said Adam Rose.
As we’ve reported, Worcester was convicted of battery on a police officer in Oklahoma last year. In another Facebook post, Wood says he was prohibited from leaving Oklahoma under the terms of his conviction but left anyway.
Because of this and the arrest in Crawford County, Wood says Worcester’s bail should be revoked and that his Oklahoma probation should also be revoked. Worcester’s attorneys disagree.
RELATED: Arkansas deputy seen hitting man in video accused of excessive force by 2 others
“That was information that was presented to the judge at that time and the prosecuting attorney. The judge set the bond at what he thought was reasonable and fair, so the judge is not going to go back on his decision,” Rose said.
We have sent the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office a Freedom of Information request for the deputies’ personnel files but have not heard back. That comes as multiple other people have come forward with allegations of excessive force against these deputies.
“There is a history here of violent offenses and I think that history is going to come out and I think the public is going to be very interested to hear what the histories of these officers are,” he said.
The attorneys representing Worcester do plan to file a federal civil rights lawsuit against the sheriff’s office, deputies White and King, the Mulberry Police Department and Mulberry Officer Thell Riddle.
RELATED: Force used in Crawford County arrest labeled ‘excessive’ by experts
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