Federal agents today arrested two of the three officers who participated in the violent arrest of a man in Mulberry in Crawford County last summer.
A federal grand jury had earlier returned an indictment charging former Crawford County sheriff’s deputies Levi White, 32, and Zackary King, 27, with civil rights offenses for using excessive force during the arrest at a Mulberry gas station on Aug. 21.
FBI spokesman Connor Hagan said the U.S. Marshals Service also participated in the arrests. Mulberry Police Officer Thell Riddle, who was also involved in the violent arrest and subsequently placed on leave, has not been arrested and is not wanted for arrest at this time, Hagan said.
Hagan said White and King were appearing in U.S. District Court in Fort Smith this afternoon. Information on whether they were jailed or released was not immediately available.
The sheriff’s office fired the two deputies from their jobs during the investigation of the August arrest of Randal Worcester, 27, of Goose Creek, S.C. Worcester required medical treatment and was then jailed briefly on assault charges. Worcester has since filed a federal lawsuit over the arrest.
The police were trying to arrest Worcester after he allegedly threatened a store clerk in Mulberry and spat on her.
The Justice Department said in a statement this afternoon that a federal grand jury had returned an indictment charging White and King with civil rights offenses for using excessive force on Worcester during the arrest outside a Mulberry gas station.
Count One of the indictment alleges that, while Worcester was lying on the ground, White struck him multiple times. Count Two alleges that King struck Worcester multiple times, also while the arrestee 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 would face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for the excessive-force charge, the Justice Department said. Both defendants also would face up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000, the department added.
Emily White, a special state prosecutor, said today that her investigation of the three officers’ actions in the Mulberry incident “remains open and active.”
Participating in the federal announcement today were U.S. 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.