After video of violent arrest in Arkansas goes viral, several victims come forward to allege similar abuse from sheriff’s deputies

Two more people have come forward to accuse a representative of the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department of using excessive force against them, involved in the violent arrest of a man in Mulberry, Arkansas, last month.

Polly Reisenhower, 67, and Sarah Trammell, 44, each said they were forcibly handled during encounters with Deputy Zack King, one of three Arkansas law enforcement officers whose conduct led to the arrest of Randall Worcester in August in the state and prompted a federal investigation. Last month, a woman and a man said Levi White, another deputy involved in the arrest, had also used excessive force against them on separate occasions.

Trammell said he feared for his life during his encounter with King, while Risenhower said his conversations with the deputy left him so battered that he required a prolonged hospital stay.

“I don’t think I’ve done anything that would have caused this kind of pain for me,” Risenhower said. “It’s been a tough year.”

Polly Riisenhower.Trent Bozeman for NBC News

King, White and Mulberry police officer Thale Riddle drew condemnation on behalf of Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson was seen violently arresting Worcester last month when she was shot in a video that went viral. A spokesman for the Arkansas State Police has said officers were responding to a disturbance call when they arrived at Worcester.

In the video, one of the officers is caught repeatedly punching Worcester in the head and clutching his hair and slamming it against the sidewalk. Another officer kneels the man repeatedly, while a third holds him down.

Worcester’s lawyers previously told NBC News that his right ear was swollen and purple after the incident, and he had bruises on his knees and a headache.

None of the three officers was wearing a body camera. The video of the dashboard of the Mulberry police vehicle has not been publicly released.

Reisenhower, Trammell and their lawyers say they hope that, speaking out, they will encourage the sheriff’s office to invest in body-worn cameras to promote accountability within the department and prevent others from experiencing abuse. Will move forward

Lawyers, Carrie Jernigan and David Powell, said that since the arrest of Worcester, whom they are also representing, they have heard from several people in the community who have alleged abuse at the hands of deputies in Crawford County.

“What he did is essentially a battery,” Powell said, referring to King’s encounter with Risenhower. “It is evidence of excessive force by that officer. And it has been allowed by that department.”

Crawford County Sheriff Jimmy Damante has not responded to multiple requests for comment.

King & White’s attorney, Russell Wood, did not respond to a request for an interview about the allegations. The public representatives have not spoken publicly about the incidents. King, White and Riddle were suspended while separate state and federal investigations were being conducted into Worcester’s arrest, according to their respective agencies and Hutchinson, who announced the investigation.

Reisenhower said the deputy was at his home in response to a report of a man with a gun on May 20, 2021. A neighbor mistook his son’s BB gun as genuine, he said.

According to an incident report, Reisenhower and her husband were “screaming and screaming outside” and did not obey orders to come down from their porch and show their hands. King told the deputy who completed the incident report that Risenhower had slapped him in the face. In an interview with NBC News, Riesenhower said that he does not remember doing so.

“My husband and I were standing on the porch,” she said. “And my husband was very blunt and I think it drove him crazy.”

While two other deputies handcuffed her husband, Reisenhower said that King grabbed him by the face, pushed him down on his deck and stabbed him in the ribs.

According to the incident report, after complaining of injuries, he was taken to the hospital but was not arrested.

Reisenhower said that his life had changed dramatically since his meeting with King.

“Ultimately the reason why I’m coming forward is because I know how bad it has hurt me,” she said. “I feel like it has taken time out of my life. They say your golden years are supposed to be great but mine are not. I don’t want anyone to go through this.”

Powell said accountability is needed and body-mounted cameras and dashcams on the deputy’s vehicles will make it easier to achieve.

“We want some justice for those who came forward,” Powell said. “Maybe this department needs to apply for state or federal funding and put these things in place if their officers are being bullied like this.”

Trammell said she had bipolar disorder and was in psychosis when King was arrested on June 19. Her older sister, Crystal McCabe, said they were on the phone when Trammell ran out of gas and was in a manic state.

Sarah Trammel.
Sarah Trammel.Courtesy Sarah Trammel

“She didn’t know where,” McCabe said. “She was scared. And she thought she was in heaven.” McCabe said his sister was inconsolable.

A call was sent to King about a white woman jumping into traffic and opening a mailbox. According to a probable cause affidavit written by King, when he arrived at the scene, a neighbor alleged that Trammell got into a stranger’s car and then into a van and said it was his. King alleged in the probable cause affidavit that when he asked Trammell her name, he said “Sarah” and when he asked her his last name, he looked at her name tag and said “King.” When asked about her date of birth, King also alleged in the affidavit that Trammell replied “Today”, at which point he said he told her to put his hand behind his back because she was under arrest and that he He told her “no” and he would have to drag her out of the van.

Trammell said in an interview that he believed King could be her husband because she was in a manic state. She denies any wrongdoing. He said that he remembered that the king was teasing him several times. “He threw me on my stomach,” she said. “And I just remember he was on top of me, and I just felt a lot of pressure and then tasing.”

In the affidavit, King said that Tramell kicked and slapped her while they were on the ground and that he “dried” her several times. She also alleged that Trammell grabbed her teaser with both hands, which she disputes.

King said he was able to handcuff Tramell with the help of a witness at the scene.

“I thought he was going to kill me,” she said. “I felt my life was in danger.”

Trammell was arrested on several charges, including battery in the second degree, breaking or entering, unauthorized use of a vehicle, and resisting arrest. She was released on bond last week. Powell said Trammell has yet to be formally charged.

Trammell’s family and Powell said that King should have known she was not in the right state of mind and had shown her compassion.

“I feel like if he had talked to me like I was a human being, and treated me as one and not an animal or whatever, I guess, things would have been different,” he said. “I don’t think he gave me a chance to talk to him. I was scared.”

Trammell said he was disappointed by the various allegations of misconduct publicly leveled against the deputy since Worcester’s arrest.

Reisenhower and Trammel’s charges follow charges by another woman and a man who said last month that they were also attacked by a sheriff’s deputy during separate arrests.

Tammy Nelson said that when he was arrested by White on August 14, he had bruises all over his body, including his knees, elbows, shoulders and arms. White acted aggressively and knelt next to his “private area,” he previously told NBC News. His arrest stemmed from a civil case relating to an easement. She and her lawyers said they were charged with obstructing government operations and harassment. He has pleaded not guilty.

Bruce Tammy Nelson said she persisted on August 14 when she was arrested by Crawford County Sheriff's Deputy Levi White.
Bruce Tammy Nelson said she persisted on August 14 when she was arrested by Crawford County Sheriff’s Deputy Levi White.Courtesy Attorney David Powell
Tammy Nelson.
Tammy Nelson.Trent Bozeman for NBC News

She said she did not comply with the sheriff’s office on an oral complaint she filed with the office the day after she was released from prison.

Teddy Wallace said that White used a stun gun on him several times and beat him with sticks.

“I had a bunch of bruises on my elbows, my knees. My feet hurt,” Wallace told a news conference last month. “I have a big wound on my right hand. I’ve just recovered from it all. My head was cut open.”

Teddy Wallace says with injuries he sustained when he was arrested in July by Crawford County Sheriff's Deputy Levi White.
Teddy Wallace says with injuries he sustained when he was arrested in July by Crawford County Sheriff’s Deputy Levi White.Courtesy Attorney David Powell

Wood, an attorney for King and Crawford, had previously declined to comment on Nelson and Wallace’s allegations and forwarded NBC News to his law firm’s Facebook page.

A statement posted on that page refers to a news conference where Nelson and Wallace spoke.

“It never fails that high profile cases bring forth all kinds of people and their lawyers,” the statement said. “I didn’t watch the show and didn’t comment on any allegations that were made.”


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