A video posted online today shows a bloodied and unconscious grandfather shortly after bystanders said police threw him to the ground inside a Buckeye, Ariz., Walmart.
Witnesses told The Associated Press that Jerald Allen Newman, 54, had put a video game in the waistband of his pants quickly Thursday evening, as he bent over to pick up his young grandson, who had fallen down in the midst of Black Friday chaos and had cut his lip.
At that moment, witnesses said police pounced on Newman and slammed him to the ground, thinking he was shoplifting.
Video captured by shoppers shows police turning Newman over and sopping up the blood from his face and unconscious body with paper towels.
Bystanders yelled, “That’s police brutality! He wasn’t doing anything!” the AP reported.
“You would have thought there was a cure for cancer in this box,” shopper Skyler Stone told Fox affiliate KSAZ. “I mean people were literally going insane.”
Stone said the little boy began bawling his eyes out and yelling for his grandfather.
Buckeye police told ABCNews.com there is more to the story that the video doesn’t show.
“There are four minutes before the video was taken that were not captured,” said Larry Hall, assistant police chief. “A specific video game was being released at that time. Everyone was grabbing at the boxes. One of the Walmart employees saw the suspect take a video, stick it into his waistband and conceal it. ”
Hall said a Walmart employee took Newman by the arm and escorted him to two off-duty police officers who were working as Black Friday security.
“The officer got one cuff on him and the gentleman was like, ‘I’m not going to jail!’” Hall said.
After the officer placed one cuff on Newman, Hall said a struggle ensued.
“He went 30 feet across the Walmart to the front doors. It appeared as if he was trying to escape,” he said.
At that point, Hall said the officer did a leg sweep, knocking Newman to the ground.
He was treated at a nearby hospital, where he received four staples in his head and was then taken into custody on charges of shoplifting and resisting arrest.
“There are a lot of different ways the suspect could have handled this,” Hall said. “He could have tried to explain himself first, but instead he chose to resist arrest.”
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