19-year-old Va. man arrested, charged after encounter with officer goes viral
CHESTERFIELD Co., Va. (WSET) -- A 19-year-old Chesterfield County man's arrest went viral as it was recorded by his girlfriend Tuesday.
WTVR reports that the incident began when an officer attempted to stop Elkanah Odembo vehicle for an equipment violation.
"The vehicle pulled into a driveway. The officer approached the vehicle and the driver was uncooperative," a police spokesperson said.
Odembo stopped the car in the driveway of his father's home.
Odembo's girlfriend and passenger, Elizabeth Smith, recorded some of the interaction between him and the officer.
The video clip ended before showing what happened outside of the car.
A spokesperson with Chesterfield Police said the department is "continuing to review officer body-worn camera video of the incident."
They said Odembo was pulled over for a broken tail light and that he and his passenger had been gesturing and yelling this at a school bus.
"The driver did not have his ID, and the officer began to take his information (name, date of birth, etc.). The driver said he didn’t see a problem and attempted to exit the vehicle, and the officer told him to stay in the vehicle. The driver continued to not cooperate with the officer, so the officer told the driver he was being detained and asked him to step out of the vehicle," the spokesperson said.
They then went on to say that Odembo refused to exit the vehicle. The officer attempted to remove him, but he resisted.
"The driver then exited the vehicle as he was being pulled by the officer; he pushed past the officer and fled around and then into the residence. The officer pursued the driver. The officer caught up to the driver and the two engaged in a physical altercation as the driver resisted being taken into custody," they said.
Additional officers arrived on scene to help take Odembo into custody.
The encounter resulted in Odembo getting tased and arrested inside the home.
The Chesterfield County Police Chief Col. Jeffery Katz has welcomed Odembo's family to view the body camera footage of the incident.
He said he would also be open to speak with Odembo in person about the incident.
“I think everyone was damaged. I think the community was damaged, this young man was damaged and I think the officer was damaged. In fact, I know he was damaged because he was hospitalized because of this incident," Col. Katz said.
Chesterfield Police have not released the body camera video to the public.
Odembo was released on $5,000 bond Wednesday.
He is charged with assault on a law enforcement officer, three counts of obstruction of justice with force, and defective equipment, according to police.
He is due back in court in July.
The incident remains under investigation.