Two former Arkansas sheriff’s deputies are being charged with federal civil rights offenses for allegedly using excessive force during the police arrest of a man at a gas station in Mulberry, Arkansas, the Justice Department announced Wednesday.
A grand jury returned a two-count indictment against Crawford County, Arkansas Deputy Sheriffs Levi White and Zackary King, alleging that White repeatedly struck Randal Worcester, 27, of Goose Creek, South Carolina, during the August 21, 2022 incident and King struck Worcester multiple times as he lay on the ground.
Video of the arrest shows three officers repeatedly punching Worcester, who is white, and hitting his head on the pavement. One officer repeatedly punches Worcester with a clenched fist while another knees him multiple times in the lower body. A passerby filmed the police during the attack.
Officers were responding to a report of a male.a Kountry Xpress gas station in the small town of Mulberry, about 140 miles northwest of Little Rock near the Oklahoma border, authorities said. In a federal civil rights lawsuit filed in August, Worcester said he was cycling back to his home in Goose Greek, South Carolina, according to court documents, more than 900 miles away. He stopped and asked the gas station attendant for water, and the attendant became angry and called police, according to court documents.
Worcester had allegedly made “terrorist threats” against a gas station attendant, police said, threatening to slash his face. He then left and rode his bike about seven miles before police caught him, police said.
Worcester handed over a knife and then “attacked with a football” one of the officers and punched him in the back of the head, police said. None of the officers were wearing body cameras, police said.
Mulberry Police Officer Thell Riddle, who was also on the scene, hasyes he has not been indicted on federal civil rights charges. He is still listed on the Mulberry Police website as a full-time police officer. CBS News reached out to the Mulberry Police Department for clarification, but there was no response prior to publication.
If convicted on the excessive force charges, White and King face up to 10 years in prison.