LAMPASAS, TEXAS – The Lampasas Police Department is investigating a video posted on Twitter that appears to show a Lampasas County Sheriff’s Deputy punching a teenager in the face at least four times.
The Lampasas County Sheriff’s Office said law enforcement was first dispatched to a report of an “erratic driver” on U.S. Highway 281 at roughly 3:15 a.m. Thursday.
Lampasas County Shierff’s Deputy Logan Jones stopped the vehicle, which was being driven by 18-year-old Quinton Cruce of Lampasas. Cruce was arrested for interference with public duties, resisting arrest, assault of a public servant and driving while intoxicated. He has since bonded out of jail.
There were two passengers in the vehicle, according to deputies. One of them was Gage Blackwell, also 18, who was arrested for assault of a public servant, resisting arrest, interference with public duties and being a minor consuming alcohol, deputies said.
The third passenger in the vehicle was a 17-year-old named Sydney, who posted the video to Twitter. She said the situation turned violent quickly and claimed law enforcement used excessive force on her friend Cruce, who was supposed to graduate high school Thursday. Reached by phone Thursday, Sydney told KCEN-TV authorities threatened to arrest her, too, for “interfering.” She claims the arresting officials went so far as to call her a ‘dumb b—-‘ and even threatened to arrest her father, who was not there.
“The Lampasas County Sheriff’s Office is aware of a video that has been circulated on social media,” Sheriff Jesus “Jess” G. Ramos said in a press release. “The sheriff’s office has contacted the prosecutor’s office and has requested the assistance of an outside law enforcement agency to review and thoroughly conduct the use of force in making these arrests.”
The Lampasas County Sheriff’s Office said Deputy Jones was placed on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation — which is standard practice during investigations into accusations of excessive force.
Lampasas Police Chief Sammy Bailey said because her officers were also present during the traffic stop, police investigators were reviewing dash cam footage and gathering reports to determine how the situation escalated into violence.
“As is standard, we review all use of force incidents where a Lampasas Police Department officer is present,” Bailey said. “This review was in process prior to the release of a video.”
Sydney told KCEN-TV that Lampasas Police investigatiors had asked to meet with her to discuss the situation.
The original video can be viewed on Sydney’s Twitter account by clicking here.