Bealer press conference
From left to right, Athens mayor Steve Patterson, Police Chief Tom Pyle, and Service Safety Director Andy Stone appear at a Monday press conference. The press conference was called to address concerns over use of force used in a weekend arrest. (WOUB Public Media)

APD: Use of Force In Court Street Arrest ‘Reasonable and Restrained’

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ATHENS (WOUB) — The chief of police in Athens says the use of force in a weekend arrest on Court Street was “reasonable and restrained,” despite public criticism that officers actions were excessive.

Chief Tom Pyle held a press conference along with Mayor Steve Patterson and Service Safety Director Andy Stone on Monday to address questions about the arrest of Ty Patrick Bealer, 21, of Columbus, which occurred early Sunday morning on Court Street. Bealer has been charged with obstructing official business, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

A screenshot of a video posted on social media by @amourkaja appears to show the arrest of Ty Patrick Bealer early Sunday on Court Street. Athens Police Chief Tom Pyle called the officers actions "reasonable and restrained."
A screenshot of a video posted on social media by @amourkaja appears to show the arrest of Ty Patrick Bealer early Sunday on Court Street.

Pyle said Bealer was identified in an incident at J Bar, where police say he allegedly fought with bar staff, and had been “ejected at least once.” After leaving the bar, Pyle said Bealer changed his shirt, but officers were able to identify him as the same person from the J Bar report.

During the interaction with police on Court Street, Bealer tried to resist and flee from officers, according to Pyle.

A video of a man being arrested on Court Street began circulating on social media, showing what appears to be three Athens police officers holding down a black male in the street. One officer is holding the man’s head down, another officer is at his torso, and a third officer can be seen toward the feet of the man. You can see that video here.

A crowd around the officers is heard yelling “he better stay alive,” and “you didn’t see what happened” as officers put handcuffs on the man.

Pyle confirmed that a TASER was deployed in the arrest, and Bealer received medical treatment for a TASER barb wound and another “small abrasion” to the hand. A report of the incident said Bealer was unarmed.

The police chief said multiple videos are being reviewed during the ongoing investigation of the arrest, and he has seen “social media commentary” on the incident.

“I can say…the commentary is without context and the allegations are completely baseless,” Pyle said during the press conference, though he did not elaborate on specific allegations.

He denied any focus on race in the arrest.

“I don’t see racism in this incident,” Pyle said.

Athens officers are not yet outfitted with body cameras, according to Pyle, due to a manufacturer delay.

Patterson said he and Stone felt the need to be present with Pyle “largely because of the misinformation that is swirling out there.”

Bealer is not a student at Ohio University, and OUPD officers were not involved in the arrest of Bealer, according to Pyle and OUPD Chief Andrew Powers.


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