Editor’s note: Video may contain graphic language.
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Nacogdoches Police Department confirmed a use-of-force investigation is underway involving an officer who arrested a woman during a dispute at an apartment complex.
Sgt. Brett Ayers said the officer was off-duty at the time. He’s serves as courtesy security at the Overlook at Nacogdoches apartment complex where he lives.
Ayers said the officer was investigating a large group of people who gathered at the apartments Wednesday night. Witnesses said the group was about 9 to 10 women.
Witnesses, including one woman who was arrested, say the officer was not in uniform and was wearing a t-shirt and shorts.
“The officer was belligerent. He was violent. He was disrespectful. He dehumanized my friend,” said Kayla Jackson. Jackson was arrested and charged with criminal trespassing. She says she will claim her innocence.
Tanjuniqua Brown described what she saw. "He tackled her. He used unnecessary force and then turned on another girl. We just want justice for those two girls,” said Brown
During the investigation, Ayers said two women resisted arrest; one fled the scene, the other was arrested. Police identified that woman as Lindsey Ogbonna, 19, of Nacogdoches. Ogbonna was charged with resisting arrest search or transport.
The officer said he was assaulted, and was taken the hospital and treated for minor injuries. He was released and returned to duty on Thursday.
Ayers said any time use of force is used by an officer, an investigation is launched to make sure no federal or state laws were violated. Ayers added that the department is working toward releasing video of the incident.
Added story from KTRE East Texas News
A group of women gather for a conversation this afternoon in the parking lot of The Overlook of Nacogdoches apartment complex. Tanjuniqua Brown and DreAuna Williams say in a manner much like they did the night before in a group of abut ten women.
“We weren't loud. We were just standing there talking. Laughing and having a good time,” said Brown of the evening.
Until they say a man approached them.
“He walked up to us in regular clothes and said, 'Who lives here?' He was hostile from the beginning," Brown expressed.
The man, the group quickly learned was an off-duty police officer who lives at the complex. After two women requested to see his badge, the group began to disperse according to several women.
“So as we're walking away he gets into his police car. And basically runs us over right here. Right here on this corner," said Brown.
Dash cam video obtained from NPD shows what happened as he pulled up. The officer is heard saying, “Don't you leave. I'll charge you with evading." The officer, wearing an orange t-shirt and plaid shorts, is seen getting out of the car. Kayla Jackson described it this way.
"(He)Came charging at my friend and tackled her,” said Jackson.
Video taken by Brown shows a second girl reportedly coming to the first woman's aid.
"And that's when they started going at it," said Williams.
Brown is heard on the video saying, "We don't know what to do. We don't know what to do."
What the women say they're doing now is fighting for the justice of 19-year old Lindsey Ogbonna of Nacogdoches. She's charged with criminal trespass and could be facing assault of a public servant. Twitter video posts of the confrontations have been picked up by thousands of viewers.
“The only reason I'm doing this is I want justice for them. Williams added, "We're college girls. It wasn't right."
"He was disrespectful. And demeaning. He dehumanized my friend," said Jackson.
She’s planning to contest her arrest for criminal trespassing.
Police are not giving any interviews on the incident they call an active investigation.
The Nacogdoches Police Department did issue a statement just a couple of hours ago. It stated that transparency is of utmost importance. And the department is committed to continuing conversations with all involved. The complex issued a warning to residents that rules will be strictly enforced. each resident is allowed two guests at a time.
The Nacogdoches Department issued the following statement about the incident Thursday afternoon.
On April 10th an off-duty Nacogdoches Police Department Officer working security contacted a large group of individuals in an apartment complex parking lot in the 1600 block of Cardinal St during a Criminal Trespass Investigation.
The officer is a courtesy officer who resides at the complex. This officer is frequently relied upon to assist the complex with routine security matters. Contact was made due to ongoing issues with trespassing, burglaries, and other criminal issues at the facility.
During the incident the off-duty officer requested back up from on duty officers. Multiple individuals refused orders to stay while the officer attempted to complete the investigation to determine if the group was trespassing. During the incident the officer had two suspects resist arrest at different times. One of the suspects fled the scene on foot. The officer was also assaulted during the incident causing minor injuries. The officer was taken to an area hospital for treatment and later released. Lindsey Ogbonna, 19, years of age from Nacogdoches, TX was arrested during the investigation and charged with Resisting Arrest. The criminal investigation into the assault on the officer is ongoing and further charges may come at a later time.
"Transparency is of utmost importance to the Nacogdoches Police Department," Sgt Brett Ayres, Public Information Officer with the Nacogdoches Police Department said. "Several concerns have been expressed by the community members affected and we are committed to continuing conversations with all involved."
The Nacogdoches Police Department has also released the dash cam video from the officers vehicle to further the goal of transparency.