A grand jury indicted an Atlanta-area cop Thursday on felony criminal charges after he beat a homeless woman inside of a convenience store.
DeKalb County police officer 29-year-old Phillip Larsheid was indicted on charges of violation of his oath of office and aggravated assault, district attorney Sherry Boston told WMTW.
Initially, Larscheid was cleared after arresting Katie McCrary on June 4, 2017 after someone called 911 to report she was begging for change outside of the store, Boston said.
But when the video from a bystander who recorded it surfaced online, the department re-opened the investigation, she explained.
McCrary was near the front door inside of the store when Larsheid arrived on the scene.
She attempted to move him out of the way and walk out of the door, according to Larsheid’s police report.
Larsheid ordered her to stay where she was, and McCrary responded by saying she was a federal agent and giving Larsheid a fake badge number.
Officer Larsheid then told McCrary she could be arrested and charged for impersonating a police officer.
She responded by saying that he was impersonating a police officer and grabbed for his badge, the report says.
When Larsheid pushed her back, the report says, she grabbed for his vest and radio.
That’s when he gets out his baton and tells her to lie on the ground and then begins beating her leg with the baton after she refuses to lie on the ground, according to the police report.
Larsheid claims that’s when the woman began kicking him, though the video doesn’t show that, and he continued beating her with his baton.
On the video, Larsheid can be seen repeatedly striking McCrary with his baton as she struggles on the floor of the convenience store.
McCrary tries to put her arm over the baton, but the officer presses her body to the floor with his knee in her back.
“Let it go or I’m going to shoot you,” he tells the unarmed woman.
McCrary was finally cuffed, arrested and charged with obstructing a police officer and given a criminal trespass warning, according to the police report.
Boston said the district attorney’s office will not pursue charges against McCrary stemming from the arrest.
Lance LoRusso, Larsheid’s attorney, says his client is considering his options.
“We’ll take appropriate action in the next days and weeks,” he said .
“Obviously, it’s devastating.”
Boston said she has been in touch with LoRusso and he has agreed to turn himself in by Saturday at 5 p.m.