Columbus Chief: Officer did ‘the right thing’ in viral video fight with suspect


COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A suspect is charged with assault after an altercation with a police officer at a downtown Columbus gas station Friday night.

According to Columbus Chief of Police Elaine Bryant, the incident happened Friday night at a Speedway on the 1100 block of High Street.

Video of the incident was posted to Instagram.

“I stand behind my officers when they do the right thing, and this officer absolutely did what he was supposed to do,” Bryant said during a press conference addressing the incident Saturday afternoon.

Shawn Anthony Hanna, 30, has been charged with assault, criminal trespass, assault on a police officer, operating a motor vehicle without a valid license, and fail to register.

Shawn Anthony Hanna

Bryant said that due to Hanna’s disruptive behavior, he was asked to leave the store.

The video shows Hanna, a uniformed Columbus Police officer, and a man identified as the store clerk involved in a physical altercation near the entrance of the store.

The officer, who was on special duty at the time, was inside the store at that time and attempted to escort Hanna out, at which point, a physical altercation occurred, Bryant said.

At one point, the officer attempts to put handcuffs on Hanna when he pulls his hand away from the officer, causing the three men to stumble.

A few seconds later, the door to the shop opens and a woman begins hitting and kicking both the officer and the unidentified man, saying, “Get off him.”

The woman then appears to take a swing at the officer’s head, at which point, the officer appears to swing as well, hitting Hanna. Hanna then takes a swing at the officer, which is when the video moves off the altercation.

She added that she stands behind her officer’s actions and held Saturday’s press conference to address what wasn’t shown in the viral video.

“That minute and a half video does not depict an entire incident, and we caution people, you know, when you’re watching videos like that not to jump to conclusions,” Bryant said.

Bryant said the officer used minimal force, which she credited with all of the individuals involved suffering only minor injuries.

“There’s a particular reason why there’s a special duty assignment at that gas station,” Bryant said. “There were 95 calls for service since January. Out of those 95, police responded to 75 calls for service for disturbance, shoplifting, trespassing, etc.”

Since the officer was on special assignment, there is no police body camera footage of the incident, Bryant said.

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