HARVEY, La. — There are more questions than answers tonight after an altercation between police and a man standing on top of his SUV was streamed live on Facebook.
The video shows a confrontation between Jefferson parish deputies and a family at a Harvey gas station that ends with one deputy unconscious on the ground. Sheriff Joseph Lopinto says he stands by the deputy's actions. But the family makes it clear in the video, they don't think they committed any crime.
It happened Tuesday morning in the 800 block of Manhattan in Harvey at a Shell gas station. According to Sheriff Joe Lopinto, this is the second day in row that people called complaining of a dangerous situation involving children and traffic.
"They set up microphones. They are walking in and out of traffic and we have a third party calls and says, ‘We've got a 12-year-old kid walking through the street, up and down the lane, and I'm afraid they're going to get hit by a car,’" Lopinto said.
The sheriff says the scene involved three adults and three juveniles. Five are males and one is a female. He says it's not against the law to ask for money on the side of the road, but his deputies had questions.
"You have small kids. It's a Tuesday afternoon. It's middle of the day. Don't know if they have truancy. Don't know if they're home schooled. Our deputies are there to be able to investigate. It doesn't mean they were going to jail." he explained.
The video picks up in the middle of a heated argument between two JPSO deputies and an unidentified man standing on the roof of his SUV.
"What am I arrested for? What am I arrested for?" yells a man on top of his SUV to Jefferson Parish deputies.
In the video, a deputies ask the man to get down from the car. After he refuses, a deputy goes up to get him.
Warning: the following video contains foul language and some disturbing content, and may not be suitable for all viewers.
"Just because he doesn't want to get down from a car doesn't mean that we don't have the ability to detain him and figure out what's going on,” the sheriff said. “In this case once my deputy tried to go get him detained, he pushed him off the side of the car.”
That deputy hit his head on the ground and passed out for several minutes, according to police. He's currently recovering at University Medical Center. Last update we got, he has staples on his wound and was having a CT scan to see if there were internal injuries.
Eyewitnesses say children were crying, people were angry, but in their opinion the officer was not pushed.
"He jumped up on the car and they was tussling. He was moving because the man was kind of a little old, and he was moving like this and then he fell and bust his head," said a woman named Pam who was near the scene when it happened. "I hope he's alright. I hope he didn't break his head."
The video shows a chaotic seen as more and more officers arrive to help the injured deputy.
A woman on the video yells that they were just performing on the street.
They say some phone SIM cards were taken out of phones. The sheriff says gas station video will back up his version of the story.
"We've got an officer on the ground that's knocked out and they have the right to film us. They have the right to stand there, but they don't have the right to invade the crime scene that we're trying to protect at that point in time," explained the sheriff.
None of the six has been booked with a crime at this point, but Sheriff Lopinto says the man on top of the SUV is facing serious charges because of the altercation with deputies.