A Black man was tasered and arrested by Pennsylvania police after buying a bike in Walmart. In video footage, he can be heard screaming: ‘I have a receipt.’
Stanley Gracius was confronted by two Wyomissing officers after receiving reports he was ‘riding a bicycle through the store, playing loud music and yelling profanities at other shoppers’.
Police arrived as the 37-year-old was paying for the bike, and reportedly ‘grabbed his hand and twisted it’ as they tried to arrest him, all while Gracius asked why he was being arrested, to no avail.
You can watch the incident unfold in the video below. Warning, contains footage some may find upsetting:
In the video, filmed by Twitter user @labousaab44, Gracius can be heard pleading amid the struggle: ‘I didn’t do nothing wrong. Why are you arresting me? I paid. Everybody saw that, right? I had a receipt. So why are the cops doing this to me? What did I do wrong? Somebody, please tell me what I did wrong.’
According to the same user, he was ‘test riding a bike through the store while playing some music and telling random strangers he hopes they have a great day and complimenting them… he was absolutely no bother to anyone’.
Gracius was reportedly ‘tasered continuously’ in the store, shortly before the above video begins. The user added that ‘there was no use for the tazing as he was calmly trying to reason with the officers’.
‘After a few minutes he was taken outside and was forced into a cop car where he started to resist because he still had no idea what was going on’, the user added, at which point Gracius reportedly tried to take the taser away from the police.
The Berks County District Attorney’s Office has defended the police officers, writing in a Facebook post that they ‘showed restraint, acted professionally, and did a good job deescalating the situation with the defendant’.
According to the officers, Gracius was asked to leave by a male shop assistant after ‘weaving back and forth in the aisles, hitting some shopping carts and almost hitting other shoppers’, at which point he said: ‘You’re not going to tell me what to do.’
The post added:
Mr. Gracius did not in any manner abide by the requests of not only the store manager of Walmart, but also the requests of the officers themselves. Based on our review of this incident, the officers of the Wyomissing Police Department acted appropriately when they arrested this individual who was causing a disturbance in the Walmart store.
Gracius was charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, disarming law enforcement officer, resisting arrest, defiant trespass and disorderly conduct. Meanwhile, public outcry has seen the creation of a GoFundMe page to help with Gracius’ legal fees, which has already raised more than $2,000.
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