Social media users are debating whether the arrest of an Arizona man was rightful or was going too far.
The incident, captured on video and posted onto YouTube, shows a man lying on concrete pavement screaming in agony while an officer tries to handcuff him. Police charged the man for resisting arrest; the man says he was resisting burns from the searing asphalt.
Marc LeBeau, 34, was pulled over for driving 95 mph in a 65 mph zone on July 25, according to a press release from the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS).
When the vehicle stopped and LeBeau opened the car door, he was noted as suspiciously leaning out and reaching toward the ground.
The release goes on to say that LeBeau resisted arrest in several stages.
The DPS said that initially, LeBeau repeatedly pushed the officer while complaining that the pavement was too hot on his bare feet. The officer next tried to cuff him on the curb, but was still unable to get control of LeBeau.
The struggle then moved to the ground, where LeBeau “continued to resist arrest by turning and pulling away from the trooper and refusing to give him his hands.”
LeBeau was successfully handcuffed only when two passing motorists came by and lent a hand.
“Although the pavement was hot, it did not have to end up there,” said Lt. Colonel Daniel Lugo, Assistant Director of DPS. “We don’t get to pick the location a combative suspect wants to fight…they do. Thanks to two courageous citizens helping our trooper, we were able to gain control of Mr. LeBeau and get him in the back of a police car before he seriously hurt himself or our trooper.”
The DPS said LeBeau was medically treated on the scene and was taken to the hospital to be treated for minor scrapes and then released. They also say that impairment was a contributing factor to the arrest.
Alongside criminal speed and resisting arrest, LeBeau was booked for DUI-drugs.
Cruel and Unusual Treatment?
A YouTube video (note: video images may be graphic to some) posted by LeBeau shows a compilation of burn injuries he allegedly suffered in the incident.
He wrote in the video description that he takes exception to the DPS’s description of his injuries as “minor scrapes,” saying that he was medically treated for second degree burns.
LeBeau added a link to a research post showing how hot pavements can get. He said, per the site’s information, the pavement that he was arrested on could have been 172 degrees, considering it was 100 degrees outside at the time.
For illustrative purposes, he also linked a separate video of someone cooking steaks and baking cookies on a street in Arizona.
LeBeau also added an extended video comment detailing his account of the incident, which at many points differs with the DPS’s account.
Regarding the “suspicious action” noted in the DPS release, LeBeau said he was putting out his cigarette so as to not get smoke in the officer’s face.
Lebeau also said he was repeatedly denied requests for his sandals, and had to bounce up and down on his feet to minimize burning.
He said, similarly, his “resistance” on the ground was him moving his body to minimize the amount of skin in contact with the pavement, which he said was erroneously interpreted as resisting arrest.
LeBeau says that never at any point did he deny his speeding crime.
The video of the incident was captured by bystander Austin Maxwell. Maxwell told ABC15 that he isn’t taking sides and just wanted to get the footage out there.
“Just by me posting the video, people were going – ‘No, this is showing police in a bad light,’ and no – the video was never posted with that intention at all,” Maxwell said. “It’s my Facebook. I posted what I was doing throughout the day. It was a lot more eventful than posting a picture of my food.”