Authorities in Oklahoma are investigating an incident captured on surveillance video that appears to show police officers dragging a man face-down at Will Rogers World Airport.
The security footage from the Feb. 20 incident shows officers first using a Taser to subdue the man, then dragging him face-down by his feet across the floor.
The man, James Heidebrecht, allegedly tried to sneak into a secure area to meet GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and claimed he was with the CIA.
Oklahoma's KWTV-TV reported:
The man can be heard in the security footage claiming, "I'm with the CIA." In the police report, officers described Heidebrecht as combative. The security video shows one officer shoved Heidebrecht to get the man away. That was then an officer fired his taser, striking Heidebrecht. The audio from the recordings revealed that officers repeatedly commanded the suspect to "put your hands behind your back."
[Oklahoma City Police Captain Dexter] Nelson says officers fired the taser multiple times during the arrest, which is part of their standard training.
"He's a big man and they're trying to get him to put his hands behind his back," said Nelson. "What we're trained is, if you're dealing with somebody with a taser and their hands are still up underneath them, they're still considered a threat."
When the officers finally gained control of Heidebrecht, they each grabbed a leg and dragged him, face down, across the floor to a police area inside the airport.
Nelson told ABC News that whenever there is an arrest involving any force other than routine handcuffing, there is an administrative and criminal investigation of the situation. He acknowledged the incident was “more than routine handcuffing.”
“The gentleman had some mental discord," he said told “He was not in a normal state of mind. Communication with him was not going well.”
One of the officers in the video is currently on "restricted duty status," meaning he will not interact with the public.
Heidebrecht was originally charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Those charges have since been dismissed.