Two former Crawford County Sheriff's deputies were arrested by federal agents on excessive use of force charges in connection with the August beating during an arrest of a man that was caught on a bystander's video.
The U.S. Department of Justice announced Levi White, 32, and Zack King, 27, were arrested after a federal grand jury charged them with excessive force in the beating that happened during an arrest of Randal Worcester II, 27, in Mulberry.
King and White were arrested by FBI agents, U.S. Marshal's office deputies and agents from the U.S. Department of Justice Tuesday morning, said Connor Hagan, FBI spokesman in Little Rock.
King and White were arraigned Tuesday afternoon at the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas in Fort Smith, Hagan said.
The men are accused of using excessive force during the Aug. 21 arrest of Randal Worcester. Worcester was accused of making a threat against an Alma store clerk before he rode a bicycle to Mulberry and was confronted by law officers. A video showed officers kneeing him and punching him while he was lying on pavement outside a convenience store.
Rachel Bussett-Simco, an attorney representing Worcester's family, reacted to the arrests Tuesday afternoon.
"Randal Worcester and his family are gratified to learn that Zack King and Levi White have been taken into custody and charged by the Department of Justice for a federal civil rights violation," Bussett-Simco said. "These matters are now subject to resolution through the court process."
A Mulberry police officer, Thell Riddle, was also involved in the arrest but was not charged in federal court. Riddle has been placed on leave. King and White were fired in Crawford County.
Worcester was later charged in Crawford County with a felony in connection with making a terroristic threat against a store clerk.
A news release from the Department of Justice states that count one of the indictment alleges that while Worcester was lying on the ground, White struck him multiple times. Count two of the indictment alleges that King struck the Worcester multiple times, also while Worcester was lying on the ground. The indictment further alleges that Worcester suffered bodily injury as a result of White and King’s actions.
If convicted, White and King face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Both defendants also face up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.
United States Attorney David Clay Fowlkes for the Western District of Arkansas, Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, and special agent in charge James A. Dawson of the FBI Little Rock Field Office made the announcement Tuesday.
The FBI Little Rock Field Office investigated the case, the department reported.Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dustin Roberts and Devon Still for the Western District of Arkansas andTrial Attorneys Anna Gotfryd and Michael J. Songer of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Sectionare prosecutors in the case.
This article originally appeared on Fort Smith Times Record: Federal agents arrested two Arkansas sheriff's deputies Tuesday.