FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Police arrested a driver in Downtown Fort Lauderdale over the weekend after, they said, he hit an off-duty officer with his pickup truck, then refused to get out of the vehicle, leading to a confrontation that went viral on social media.
The cellphone video shows a police officer using pepper spray on the driver, as other officers attempted to force him out of the vehicle, early Sunday morning.
The clip was posted to Facebook and shows officers busting one of the black truck’s windows.
According to Fort Lauderdale Police, 23-year-old Shamarley Henry of North Dakota struck the off-duty officer, who was still in uniform, near the 100 block of Southwest Third Avenue, at around 1:30 a.m.
The arrest form states the officer was “knocked over several feet and landed on his knees, on the ground, and braced himself against a vehicle.”
The arrest report goes on to say, when the officer ordered Henry to stop, the suspect “told the officer to get the [expletive] out of the way and accelerated away.”
The witness’ cellphone video showed officers attempting to pull Henry out of the truck. However, he refused to let go of the steering wheel.
Officers eventually tackled Henry down to the ground and placed him in handcuffs.
At his bond hearing Monday afternoon, an agitated Henry corrected the judge’s pronunciation of his first name, asking her to refer to him by his middle name, Emmanuel. He added that police had misspelled it as “Shanarley.”
“All right, sir, you are charged with count one aggravated battery on an officer,” said the judge as she read his charges.
Henry’s bond was set at $21,000.
Speaking with 7News outside the courtroom, Henry’s loved ones attempted to stay positive, despite the high bond and the court order stating he remain in South Florida.
“Shamarley has no criminal records whatsoever, nothing. He’s a good man, a good father and a good fiancé to me,” said his fiancée.
Henry’s attorney, Abe Bailey, said he is also optimistic that everything will work out. “There’s a sort of misunderstanding, I believe, and it will be resolved,” he said.
“All we can say is that God is good, and we’re very happy that he’ll come home to us,” said a family member.
By Monday evening, the cellphone video of the confrontation had more than 50,000 views.
Fort Lauderdale Police’s internal affairs division is looking into whether officers used excessive force during Henry’s arrest. If you have any information about the confrontation or recorded it on video, call 954-828-6956.
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