When a security officer at a Baltimore public library asked a 17-year-old girl to put back the piece of furniture she had moved, he certainly had no idea how quickly the situation would escalate.
Video recorded by the teen’s friend shows an Enoch Pratt Free Library security officer punching the girl several times before he tackled her and put her in handcuffs. However, police say the video doesn’t show what happened just before the girl’s friend started recording.
A Baltimore police officer reportedly reviewed the library’s surveillance footage, which is said to show the 17-year-old tossing the piece of furniture, getting in the officer’s face and even spraying him with pepper spray.
It seems it wasn’t until that point that the security officer, identified as 49-year-old Julius Williams, took a couple of swings at the girl and detained her. The teen was arrested and charged with aggravated assault.
Library spokesman Roswell Encina told WBAL-TV that the situation had escalated to a point where the officer was “both trying to defend himself and trying to subdue her” and “get her out of the building without anyone getting hurt.”
But a teenager claiming to be the girl’s brother argues there’s no excuse to hit a woman. He identified himself only as “Tay.”
“You hitting my sister? You can’t do that,” he said. “I understand she smacked you. You could have at least grabbed her, put her hands behind her back. You got the handcuffs. You can’t just smack her up a couple times and then put the handcuffs on, you feel me?”
Williams has reportedly been reassigned to desk duty while the library investigates his actions in the incident.