Cops and security guards only speak one language, brute force, so when a North Carolina mother asked a hospital security guard for help with her 16-year-old son, that’s exactly what she got.
And now her son is facing felony assault on an officer charges but surveillance video shows he was the one who was repeatedly attacked by two security officers and a sheriff’s deputy.
On December 8, 2019, Jessica Long drove her son to the emergency room at Atrium Health – Lincolnton because he was having a mental health emergency, according to WBTV. But after arriving at the hospital, her son was angry and refusing step inside, so she enlisted the help of a burly security guard who began grabbing and shoving him to the ground before pulling out his taser.
Long intervened before the guard could shoot the taser but then a second security guard walked up and wanted a piece of the action, so when Long turned her back, he grabbed her scrawny son in a chokehold and slammed him down to the ground for an apparent reason, busting his lip.
The guards also tasered him, then laid on top of the boy for five minutes until four Lincoln County sheriff’s deputies arrived who told them to get off the boy.
The boy’s mouth was bloody from the body slam so as they were lifting him up, he spit out some blood which is when one of the deputies punched him twice in the face. The boy was handcuffed.
Lincoln sheriff’s deputy Justin Polson was so enraged, he then got into Long’s face in an intimidating manner, the video shows, and another deputy had to pull him away, taking him to the ground.
The boy spent the next eight days in juvenile detention center on a felony charge of assault on a law enforcement officer as well as several misdemeanors. He never did receive his mental health treatment.
In his report, the burly security guard who first attacked the teen whose name is apparently Harczuk claimed the boy punched him but the video shows that was a lie.
Nevertheless, a hospital executive named Maureen Swick stuck to that version of the truth during an interview with WBTV investigative reporter Nick Ochsner who did a great job of sticking her feet to the fire.
“The actions that the officers took to keep others safe and to keep him safe were appropriate,” Swick said.
Swick’s claim that the boy struck the security guard is based on a claim made in the hospital security write-up of the incident.
“Officer Harczuk advised that before I arrived on scene the male visor had punched him in the face,” the report said.
But the video doesn’t show him strike the officer’s face, a point Swick reluctantly acknowledged later in the interview.
“So you stand by the fact that the young man actually hit the officer in the head?” a WBTV reporter asked.
“You could see him swing,” Swick responded.
“That’s not what I asked. Do you stand by the fact that the young man hit the officer in the head?”
“Yes, that’s what the officer stated,” she responded.
“I understand that, but you’ve seen the video, do you think the young man hit the officer in the head?” the reporter asked.
“From the angle I was watching the video, it would – I could not see that but that’s what the officer stated,” she responded.
Lincoln County Sheriff Bill Beam also believed his deputy’s report over what can be seen in the video, claiming his deputy never did punch the boy.
“Deputy Polson had a reaction to a felonious assault,” Beam said. “Spitting in a law enforcement officer’s face—spitting blood in a law enforcement officer’s face—is a felonious assault and he had a right to stop that assault from occurring.”
In fact, Beam denied Polson punched the boy in the face at all.
“Your deputy punched a 16-year-old with his hands handcuffed behind his back, twice. Is that an appropriate use of force?” a WBTV reporter asked Beam.
“All I saw was once and he was pushing him back away,” Beam responded.
Charges against the boy are still pending. The video can only be seen in the WBTV new report at this time. Watch how they are circling the wagons to protect themselves.