Local News

Drunk driving arrest in Nash County attracts celeb attention

Posted January 26, 2021 4:07 p.m. EST
Updated January 27, 2021 4:58 p.m. EST

A routine arrest in Nash County Sunday night took a violent turn, and the video is attracting viral attention on the internet. Hollywood actors like Alyssa Milano and Mark Ruffalo even weighed in.

For Tyneishawa Howington, it was a firsthand experience. She was checking into a hotel across the street when she noticed the commotion.

At first she saw a chase.

"I stopped my car and I seen him, because the police started flying up fast on him," she said.

Both vehicles came to a stop at a gas station, where Howington saw Christopher Lynch handcuffed, face down on the ground, with a state trooper on his back.

"He was telling them it hurt him," Howington said.

Then another man got involved.

"Some guy just comes out of nowhere and gets down there with him, puts his knee in his back," Howington said.

Family and friends said Lynch, who had been stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence, was scared to get in the trooper's patrol car.

"He was like, I don't trust you. I don't want to get in the car with you," Howington said.

The video shows when Lynch refused to turn his legs to get in the patrol car, the trooper beat him with a flashlight.

"He was beating him on the knees with it," Howington said. "But before he did that, the thing that the camera didn't catch was he punched him in his face. His hands was behind his back."

Lynch was charged with drunk driving, resisting arrest and driving without a license among other charges.

Family members who talked to WRAL News agreed Lynch should have followed the officer's commands, but they don't see the need to beat him after he was cuffed and didn't pose a threat.

Sgt. Christopher Knox, spokesman for the state Highway Patrol, said the agency is aware of the videos of the arrest and looking into the actions of the trooper. "Pursuant to our normal protocol, any use of force incident goes through a methodical review process," he said.

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