ENGLAND, Ark. – A video of an arrest is raising eyebrows in England, Arkansas on Tuesday after a man in handcuffs was drug down the street by an officer.
According to the family, the man arrested has been identified as Elijah Thomas. Trenena Thomas, Elijah’s niece, said she was frustrated with what happened during the arrest.
“He is a human being, and he is being drug like a dog, like a dead dog,” she said. “His hands behind his back, he’s not moving, he’s not resisting, he’s not speaking.”
Little details are known about what led up to the arrest, but the family said that Elijah Thomas had a warrant out for his arrest in Pulaski County.
An officer found Thomas outside a laundromat in England. Family who witnessed the event said that after a short conversation with the officer, Elijah ran. Shortly after, Trenena started recording a video.
The video posted on Facebook starts with Elijah Thomas in handcuffs on the ground.
“Elijah, you can either walk or I’m going to drag you to my car, bud,” the officer said in the video.
When Elijah doesn’t get up, the officer grabs Elijah under the arms and drags him across the street.
Robin Stepps, a family friend, said he blamed a lack of training for what happened.
“If the training would have been given, he would have been able to recognize by his actions that he needed special attention,” Stepps said.
The family said they tried to help the officer.
“Let us help you, we can help you talk him through this to try to get him up,” Elijah’s nephew said.
At the end of the video, a second officer shows up and helps place Elijah in the police car.
England Police released this statement following the arrest:
On 12/5/2022 the England Police Department was called by a patron of a local laundromat located on South Main Street in England to investigate a lone male standing outside. Upon arrival, the officer recognized the male and began to have a conversation with him. It was discovered that the make had an active warrant for his arrest out of Pulaski County. The officer notified the male of the warrant and was awaiting an extradition decision. While continuing to talk with the officer, the male fled on foot in which the officer gave a chase. After a short foot chase, the male was taken into custody without further incident. At this time, many family members began to show up and a verbal altercation began. The officer was the only police officer on duty at the time and had no immediate back up available. The incident is currently under investigation and the officer involved is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. The Lonoke County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has been requested to assign an outside agency to investigate any criminal violations that occurred by all participating in the incident. The England Police Department is conducting all policy and procedural investigations.England Police Chief Bill Duerson