PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. - Peachtree City police said officers have charged an East Point motorist with trying to disarm an officer in what turned out to be a violent traffic stop for driving under the influence. The incident was caught by the officer’s body cameras.
Harvey Johnson, 52, was charged with simple battery against a law enforcement officer, removal of a weapon of an officer, and two counts of obstruction. He was booked into the Fayetteville County jail.
The arrest stems from a traffic stop on July 16. Police said officers spotted Johnson weaving in and out of his lane as he drove along Crosstown Road, at one point taking a wide turn and leaving the roadway. The officers made the stop around 11:30 p.m.
The officer’s body cam video shows Johnson immediately out of the car as the patrolman pulls up. The audio is laced with numerous obscenities on the part of Johnson. But from what can be heard, it appears that Johnson was angry about being stopped, and in his words "followed" by the officer.
The officer instructs him a number of times to get back in his vehicle, at one point, the video shows Johnson try to push past the officer and he gets upset by the officer touching him. When the officer tries to detain Johnson, the video shows an apparent struggle. The officer’s body camera is knocked off.
Police then track the confrontation from a nearby motel security camera. That video shows an intense struggle between Johnson and the officer. At one point, the two men fall to the ground, with Johnson on top of the officer. The video then shows Johnson trying to get into the hotel lobby and lock the door on the officer.
With Johnson in the lobby of the hotel, the video shows other officers arrive. It’s during that time where Johnson is accused of trying to take one of the officer’s Tasers away from him.
"One of the officers has his Taser out trying to cover him. The offender reaches back and grabs hold of the officer’s Taser and attempts to remove it from his possession. The officer was able to maintain control of that Taser and remove his hand from it," said Lt. Chris Hyatt, Peachtree City Police Department.
Eventually, with the use of a Taser and the struggle of three officers, Johnson is taken into custody.
Police said there was also a 10-year-old girl in the car with Johnson, as well as a woman identified as her mother. That young girl is accused of cursing at the officers, spitting on them, throwing rocks, and even knocking a body camera off one of the officers, picking it up and smashing it to the ground.
Police said they are not charging the girl, however, they have taken out arrest warrants for her mother, charging her with being a party to the child’s crimes. That woman is also facing a charge of giving police a false identity.
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