COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) – A Columbia Police Officer is back on the job after what CPD is calling a random attack while off-duty.
The incident happened Thursday morning around 11 A.M. on the 4600 block of Devine street near Garner’s Ferry Road. The altercation started shortly after the officer pulled up next to the suspect at a red light.
In a viral video obtained by WIS, the suspect appears to be punching the officer. The video also shows the officer trying to stop Stanley J. Howell by pushing him up against his police cruiser before pulling out his taser. All of this took place in the middle of the road with cars still driving by.
“Just disgraceful, what happened to respect for the cops,” said Red Brown, a Columbia resident.
RELATED STORY: VIDEO: Officer recovering after Thanksgiving traffic assault, bond set for suspect
After the 27-year-old was hit with the taser, he can be seen dropping to the ground.
Kristen, a Columbia resident says, “Punching him in the face. I mean what are you supposed to do in that reaction? Just stand there and take it? I wouldn’t.”
WIS showed the video to people in the area on Friday morning. Many of them agree with the officer’s actions.
“I mean he did put his hands up but still I can see why he tased him,” said Nitesha Welton another Columbia resident.
CPD says Howell allegedly threw a plastic water bottle at the officer when he pulled up beside him at a traffic light. The officer then got out of his cruiser because he believed something was wrong with Howell.
When interviewed by police about the altercation, Howell did admit to attacking the officer before stating, “It’s Thanksgiving, I didn’t have anyone to spend it with, I might as well take it out on y’all.”
Brown says, “That sounds like a made-up excuse to me. I mean there’s no reason for that to happen on Thanksgiving. This society is just in a scary place right now,” Brown added.
Howell was treated by EMS following the attack and then arrested and taken to the Alvin S. Detention Center on Thanksgiving Day.
He was arrested and charged with assaulting an officer while resisting arrest and public disorderly conduct and then released on a 50 thousand dollar bond earlier today.
According to officials with CPD, anytime an officer uses any type of force an internal investigation follows. Officials told WIS the officer did suffer minor injuries after being punched multiple times in the stomach and face.
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