Local News

Harnett deputy suspended after teen assaulted while recording arrest

Posted December 11, 2018 2:42 p.m. EST
Updated December 11, 2018 7:54 p.m. EST

— A Harnett County deputy was placed on administrative leave on Tuesday, a day after a video was posted to Facebook showing him roughing up two girls who were recording an arrest on their cellphones.

The sheriff's office said the deputy, whose name hasn't been released, and a second deputy were responding to a complaint about illegal drug activity on Winding Ridge, near the Spout Springs community. The first deputy on the scene saw a vehicle and a man matching the descriptions provided by a caller and smelled marijuana coming from inside the car as he approached, authorities said.

Four people in the car were detained, and the 17-year-old in the driver's seat, identified as Tyrese Namirr Gary, was charged with carrying a concealed gun and possession of a handgun by a minor, both misdemeanors.

A handgun was found under the driver's seat, and a small amount of marijuana was found on a girl inside the car, authorities said.

Brie Urban, 17, and her 14-year-old sister, Jewelianna Urban, started recording the arrest on their phones when one of the deputies grabs the phone from Jewelianna Urban and wrestles her to the ground when she resists.

"What are you doing right now? She didn’t do anything. Why are you doing that? What did she do?" Brie Urban yells at the deputy while continuing to record the incident. "You snatched her phone from her. That’s her personal property."

On Tuesday, Brie Urban recounted how she felt. "Seeing my little sister, she's 14, being tackled like that by a grown man, it was hard for me," she said.

A second deputy helps restrain the younger girl and handcuff her, and as they lift her to her feet and pick up a small vial nearby, she kicks her cellphone on the ground over to her sister.

"This is my sister’s personal property," Brie Urban says as the first deputy rushes over to her after she picks up the phone.

"This is evidence," the deputy responds.

The video shows the two scuffling and the 17-year-old being wrestled to the ground.

"I didn’t do anything, sir. I did absolutely, I did nothing, sir," she says before the video ends.

The deputies eventually gave the girls their phones back, and neither was charged.

"The officer told me not to post it anywhere, not to let it get out," Brie Urban said, but she said sh needed to take a stand and put it on Facebook.

"For them to tackle me for recording is absolutely wrong," she said. "I feel like I was harassed. I feel like that was assault. I don't feel like I deserved that at all."

The State Bureau of Investigation has been called in to review the incident, authorities said.