Georgia officer charged with beating woman with his baton

Georgia officer charged with beating woman with his baton

News Staff

A Georgia police officer was indicted on felony charges after a video posted on social media showed him repeatedly hitting a woman with a baton at a convenience store in 2017.

In the footage, the woman, identified as Katie McCrary, is seen on the ground as DeKalb County Officer Phillip Larscheid viciously strikes her with his baton. The Associated Press reported that McCrary is homeless.

Larscheid was indicted Thursday by a grand jury on one count of aggravated assault and one count of violation of his oath of office after he was initially cleared in a police department investigation.

Lance LoRusso, an attorney for the officer, told NBC News in a statement on Friday that Larscheid is “considering his options going forward.”

“He was Officer of the Year for 2014 for the entire Dekalb County Police Department and has received more than nineteen commendations during his eight years with the department,” LoRusso said. “He certified with an ASP baton in the Dekalb Police Academy and seven times after that during annual training. He is understandably deeply concerned and taking these charges very seriously.”

Larscheid, 29, was called to a gas station in DeCatur, Georgia, in June 2017 for a call about McCrary shoplifting and loitering at a convenience store, District Attorney Sherry Boston said at a news conference on Thursday.

When Larscheid arrived, McCrary was trying to leave the store but Larscheid told her to stay so he could talk to her, Boston said.

“McCrary attempted once more to leave, pushing into and past the officer in an effort to go around him and exit the store,” she said.

Larscheid then pulled out his baton and “repeatedly struck Ms. McCrary across her legs, her arms, her back and once in the head,” according to Boston.

McCrary was handcuffed and arrested on felony obstruction of a police officer. She was taken to the county jail, but they refused her because of her injuries, Boston said. McCrary was taken to the hospital for an evaluation, where doctors said she had a laceration on her leg and multiple contusions on her arms and legs “consistent with those baton strikes,” the district attorney said.

She was later booked and released on bond. Boston said her office will not pursue charges against McCrary stemming from that arrest.

According to the district attorney, her office decided charges against Larscheid were warranted after cell phone video taken by a witness in the store surfaced online.

Boston said Larscheid has to turn himself in at the jail by Saturday evening. The DeKalb County Police Department did not immediately return NBC News’ requests for comment.