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Sheriff's office, family differ strongly on circumstances after video shows deputy stomp 12-year-old

Attorney Ryan Thompson says the Algiers boy suffered a broken leg and a concussion.

NEW ORLEANS — An attorney for a 12-year-old boy arrested after riding a dirt bike in Plaquemines Parish has released a disturbing dash cam video from a parish patrol car that he says shows the youth being roughly pulled off of the bike by a Plaquemines deputy, then stomped by another uniformed deputy. 

The sheriff's office, in a post on its Facebook Page, says the video shows only a small clip of what occurred on Feb. 19, 2022 when it says deputies pursued 4 ATVs and a dirt bike that were flaunting traffic laws and creating dangerous situations.

"During the course of the incident, all the four-wheelers and the dirt bike created a public safety hazard by blatantly disregarding numerous traffic laws designed for commuters to travel without fear of their safety. The actions committed by the operators of these vehicles include, but are not limited to - disregarding functioning traffic signals (red lights), crossing lanes into oncoming traffic, traveling after dusk without headlights, failure to yield to oncoming traffic, leaving the roadway onto the sidewalk and entering private property and disregarding speed laws," said part of the lengthy statement, which can be seen in full at the bottom of this story.

The eight-second clip provided to WWL-TV by attorney Ryan Thompson appears to show someone, mostly out of camera range when a deputy rushing toward the person, pulls him off the vehicle and throws him to the ground beside a paved road. The sheriff's office said the incident occurred on Woodland Highway, the same roadway that saw a highly-publicized chase involving two ATVs in May and that resulted in severe injuries to both a deputy and one of the ATV riders

In the brief video, as the deputy goes to the ground, the ATV flips on its side and a second deputy runs toward the boy from about 15 yards away, then stomps him forcefully at least twice, Thompson said.

In an exclusive interview with WWL-TV, Thompson said his client, who lives in Algiers, suffered a broken leg and concussion. He said the 12-year-old was booked with aggravated flight from an officer, resisting arrest, and obstruction of a roadway.

Thompson rejects the charges as false, saying the video shows no crimes by his client, but does show the deputies flagrantly violating his client’s civil rights.

The sheriff's contends the clip is cut to only show a fraction of the encounter and doesn't show what happened prior to the deputy grabbing the dirt bike nor what happened afterward. They also say that the youth did not exhibit any signs of injury after the incident.

"He refused reasonable demands to get off of the dirt bike which led to him physically struggling with deputies while avoiding attempts to be handcuffed. Deputies proceeded to use necessary force to effect the arrest," said the sheriff's office.  

Thompson also included a video of the boy, with his face blurred, recounting his version of what happened. In the video, the boy says two police units drove up to him, one of them racing ahead and cutting him off, causing him to stop the bike along the side of a road.

At that point, a deputy from the car behind him “jumped out of the car and ran up to me and pulled me off of the bike,” the boy says.

In an emailed statement accompanying the video, Thompson wrote, “While (the first deputy) is lying on top of my 5'4” 135-lb. 12-year-old client, (the second deputy) runs over and violently kicks and stomps on my client.”

“My client never resisted these large adult deputies! NEVER!!!!” Thompson wrote.

Thompson goes on to demand that the “deputies be fired immediately and arrested.”

The sheriff's office says it was handling a dangerous and volatile situation in a manner that it needed to in order to protect the public.

"The Plaquemines Parish Sheriff's Office will continue to enforce the laws for any individuals that blatantly disregard the laws of Plaquemines Parish and the State of Louisiana while placing our constituents in harm's way. We will not allow lawlessness to spread throughout our community," said part of the statement on Facebook.  

Second Woodland Highway incident involving ATVs previously drew attention

Less than four months after that violent arrest, another ATV chase by Plaquemines deputies that crossed the parish line into New Orleans ended with a violent collision between the 18-year-old driver and a Plaquemines deputy, severely injuring both.

The May 31 crash left the deputy in the hospital for more than two months, and his injuries led to the amputation of his right leg. The ATV driver, 18-year-old  Reginald Hamilton, suffered a concussion that left him in a coma for several days.

In that case, Hamilton was booked with attempted murder of a police officer. At a press conference the next day, Sheriff Jerry Turlich said, the deputy was trying to flag the ATV down when Hamilton intentionally struck Fisher..

“The bike would have missed him,” Turlich said. “At the last second it veered right at the officer.”

But Thompson,  who also represents Hamilton, says Hamilton and a friend were riding slowly on Woodland Highway when deputies surrounded them, then bumped the back of ATVs as the chase picked up speed. Thompson released dash cam video and audio showing the chase, which was reviewed by District Attorney Charles Ballay. A grand jury reduced the charge against Hamilton from attempted murder to second-degree aggravated battery.

At one point, a deputy can be heard as he pulls directly behind the two teens on the ATVS and says, “I'll f***ing bump you, brah.” A short time later, as the chase picks up urgency, a deputy is heard saying, “Smoke em. Smoke em.”

The next thing we see on the video is Hamilton’s ATV hitting Lt. Edmund Fisher in the middle of the Woodland Bridge, which crosses over the Intercoastal Canal into the Cut-Off neighborhood of Algiers where Hamilton lives.

Here is the full Plaquemines Parish Sheriff's Office response from its Facebook Page.

𝐀𝐬 𝐫𝐞𝐪𝐮𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐛𝐲 𝐦𝐞𝐝𝐢𝐚 𝐨𝐮𝐭𝐥𝐞𝐭𝐬, 𝐏𝐏𝐒𝐎 𝐈𝐬𝐬𝐮𝐞𝐬 𝐒𝐭𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐑𝐞𝐠𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐀𝐓𝐕 𝐈𝐧𝐜𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐬 𝐨𝐧 𝐅𝐞𝐛𝐫𝐮𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝟏𝟗, 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟐, 𝐑𝐞𝐬𝐮𝐥𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐧 𝐓𝐰𝐨 𝐀𝐫𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐬.

On February 19, 2022, during a high traffic period, PPSO responded to calls of multiple ATVs, four 4-wheelers and an off-road dirt bike without functioning headlights, operating in a reckless manner endangering motorists on Woodland Highway (LA 406). As deputies attempted to stop the ATVs using visual and audible signals on Woodland Highway, the ATVs refused to stop, proceeding northbound onto Highway 23. During the course of the incident, all the four-wheelers and the dirt bike created a public safety hazard by blatantly disregarding numerous traffic laws designed for commuters to travel without fear of their safety. The actions committed by the operators of these vehicles include, but are not limited to - disregarding functioning traffic signals (red lights), crossing lanes into oncoming traffic, traveling after dusk without headlights, failure to yield to oncoming traffic, leaving the roadway onto the sidewalk and entering private property and disregarding speed laws. The actions by these individuals were compounded as they refused to comply to all reasonable demands to cease their actions by multiple deputies. Of the five ATVs involved in this incident, two apprehensions were made while the other three evaded deputies and exited the parish. On the day of the incident, this investigation was immediately posted on our social media platforms and was not reported by local media (see attached screenshot of PPSO post).

Because of the reckless nature displayed by Jaiques Wilson, 20, of New Orleans, deputies discontinued their attempts to stop his four-wheeler as he proceeded to travel into oncoming traffic endangering motorists. As a result of the lawlessness displayed by Wilson, he was involved in a vehicular crash after entering the Belle Chasse Tunnel in the wrong direction and striking a vehicle head-on. Wilson then fled the scene on foot, but thanks to the quick thinking of witnesses of the incident who contacted PPSO via 911. Wilson was apprehended soon thereafter. Wilson has since pleaded guilty and was sentenced to probation on three felony charges; Aggravated Obstruction of a Highway, Aggravated Criminal Damage and Aggravated Flight from an Officer. As a part of a plea agreement, several traffic offenses and a Contributing to the Delinquency of a Juvenile charge were dismissed.

The second apprehension was the co-defendant of Jaiques Wilson in this incident and at the time of apprehension was learned to be a juvenile male. The case is still currently in the adjudication process. Therefore, we are limited on the information that can be released. The juvenile male, who was taller than most deputies that were on the scene and wearing a full-face helmet, was apprehended after his dirt bike became disabled despite his attempts to continue to flee from deputies. He refused reasonable demands to get off of the dirt bike which led to him physically struggling with deputies while avoiding attempts to be handcuffed. Deputies proceeded to use necessary force to effect the arrest. The juvenile was charged with two felonies, two misdemeanors including resisting arrest and traffic violations.

Both Wilson and the juvenile male were transported to the Belle Chasse lockup to be booked. An Emergency Medical Services unit arrived at the lockup after being requested by deputies. Wilson was transported to a local hospital for minor injuries. The juvenile male, who was released to a parent, did not complain of any injuries and therefore was not transported to the hospital. It should be noted that the juvenile male was not observed to have any apparent injuries while displaying normal actions without any complaints or discomfort which was evident in case video.

PPSO has reviewed all the actions of the deputies that responded to the February 19th incident and determined all deputies performed their duties within the guidelines of the PPSO policy, using only the force necessary to subdue the suspects.

Since the date of the incident on February 19, 2022, neither the juvenile male nor his parents made any complaints to the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff's Office regarding any injuries sustained during this incident. After recently retaining the services of the same legal counsel as Reginald Hamilton, it is clear these allegations are an attempt to present edited, contextualized content to inflame the public's perception of the facts of these incidents. All the facts of these cases will be presented in a court of law and we are confident the truth will be presented and justice will be served in both cases.

How do you stop the blatant disregard of the law and criminal actions that endanger the community? What will happen if PPSO does not pursue or attempt to stop this lawlessness in our safe community? Will this make our community safer?

The Plaquemines Parish Sheriff's Office will continue to enforce the laws for any individuals that blatantly disregard the laws of Plaquemines Parish and the State of Louisiana while placing our constituents in harm's way. We will not allow lawlessness to spread throughout our community. We've all seen the recent stories of homicides, armed robberies and carjackings that are plaguing the surrounding area. An elderly female dying after getting mutilated during a carjacking. An elderly female dying after being shot in the head while celebrating at a high school graduation. Intersections being closed by individuals with firearms to perform unsanctioned vehicular stunts. Three homicides were reported just today in the City of New Orleans. Where does it end? PPSO has sworn an oath to protect all residents and visitors in Plaquemines Parish and to provide everyone with a safe environment and the quality of life that they deserve. We will not be intimidated by false narratives and five-second edited videos that fail to present the entire story. We will continue to educate, train and provide the tools necessary for our deputies to effectively and professionally fulfill our oath and protect our community from those who wish to victimize the innocent by intentionally and blatantly disregarding the law. We understand we are not perfect and we will continue to make strides to improve as a department, but we will not allow lawlessness as we continue to stand behind and protect our community as well as our deputies when they are performing 100% within the law and our policy.

RELATED: ATV driver accused of injuring deputy released from jail on bail

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