Houston police arrested a 17-year-old suspect at a gas station this week, and it was all caught on tape. Footage also caught a woman in uniform recording the incident. The arresting office snaps at her.
“Stop fucking filming, and help me!” he yells. A second, unidentified man is helping during the arrest.
The teen was arrested by the HPD and charged with felony disarming a police officer. As seen on footage, the suspect complains about an officer hitting him, and he asks for help. He voices concern that he is going to be killed. At one point, he reaches his hand up the cop’s waist. The officer accuses him of trying to take the gun from the holster, which the suspect denies.
Law&Crime is not naming the suspect because he is 17. We confirmed with the Houston Police Department that the woman in uniform is a private security guard, but a spokesman declined to comment further because she had no ties to the cops.
Joe Gamaldi, president of the Houston Police Officers’ Union, told Click 2 Houston he thinks the guard should get fired.
“You know, a so-called security guard, a complete joke,” he said. “She should be ashamed of herself.”
A gas station clerk told the outlet that they employed no security guards.
Gamaldi said the suspect was a threat.
“He had a pistol in his car that his girlfriend actually wrapped in a towel and threw it in the bushes while our officer [was] fighting with him,” he told the outlet.
The suspect had reportedly been pulled over in the first place because he was driving a car connected to an aggravated robbery and shooting, police said.
We reached out to Law&Crime Network host Vincent Hill, a former Nashville police officer, for his analysis on whether an officer would typically request help from a security guard in this situation.
“An officer can request help from a private citizen in order to subdue an subject who is resisting arrest, especially if the situation would lead to officer to believe if the subject is not apprehended that they would be a harm to the officer or the public,” he said in an email. “This was a robbery suspect, so a reasonable person can assume, he would indeed be a threat to the officer or the public, as evident by the subject attempting to retrieve the officer’s firearm. The video shows a citizen assisting the officer, which could have been at the request of the officer or just a citizen wanting to help.”
He added that cops and security guards usually work together because it is police who must help guards in things outside the typical legal duties of being a private guard. This could include investigations, affidavits, and arrests.
“I believe this security guard was filming this simply because she had the interest of the suspect at heart and not the police officer,” Hill wrote.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office is also going after the suspect for aggravated assault. It is unclear if he has an attorney in this matter.
Note: We added an analysis by Hill, and for clarity, added a line about why police reportedly pulled over the suspect.
[Screengrab via ReLEntless Defender Apparel]