Grove City, Ohio (NBC)(02/14/20)— Video appears to show an Eastern Kentucky University football player pick up and slam an Ohio police officer to the ground.
Michael Harris, age 19, is facing multiple charges, including disorderly conduct and felony assault of a police officer, after the incident in Grove City, Ohio, according to a police report.
An engineering and logistics business called police about an aggressive man who didn’t work there but was entering the building, reporting that he wouldn’t leave and that he wasn’t “all there,” the report said. Officers who responded to the call confronted Harris in the parking lot and described him as agitated and unable to stand still.
Harris was talking excessively and gave the officers multiple stories as to what he was doing, among them that he was waiting to talk to someone and that he needed gas money, according to the police report.
Harris’ behavior led an officer to believe he was under the influence of some sort of drug, although Harris denied it.
One of the officers decided to try to handcuff Harris, as he was “continuing to behave in an erratic and increasingly aggressive, possibly assaultive manner,” the police report said.
The Eastern Kentucky linebacker is 6 feet, 3 inches tall, and weighs 240 pounds, according to his university profile. Harris announced that he was transferring from Auburn University in December.
Harris is alleged to have resisted arrest, stated that he wasn’t going to jail, and grabbed Officer Brent Hall by the waist. He is alleged to have lifted Hall up above his shoulder. Then he “fell” to the ground but wouldn’t let the officer go, according to the police report.
Two other officers were eventually able to help get Harris in handcuffs, and searched him before placing him in a police car.
“Once in the backseat of the cruiser, Harris continued to fight with officers, kicking Ptl. Hall several times,” the police report said.
Harris had “several unlabeled pills” and a digital scale, according to the police report.
Officers took Harris to a hospital, where he was sedated and later released. They were unable to interview Harris, and it was unclear why he was in the Grove City area, about 200 miles north of Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond.
Court records show that Harris entered a plea of not guilty to charges of resisting arrest, obstruction, and disorderly conduct.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 20 on a felony assault charge. A public defender didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
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