A 2015 video has resurfaced highlighting exactly why it is always better to comply when confronted by law enforcement. Otherwise, you just might have to tap out.
Normally, beach parties during spring break are notoriously raucous. Naturally, rowdy partygoers hate it when someone calls the cops and law enforcement arrives to spoil all the fun.
But this 2015 video flips that script on its head. It shows one Florida officer loudly cheered on as he took down two beach-going brawlers…hard.
Pinellas County’s Finest
The video, released in March of 2015, shows Sgt. Bryan Bingham trying to break up an altercation. Bingham, a Deputy with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office responded after being flagged down. According to those other visitors to St. Pete Beach, two large groups were brawling.
When Deputy Bingham arrived, he said around 15 or 20 people were fighting. He quickly and calmly assessed the situation, and identified the main aggressor. He approached that man first.
“All I wanted to do was try to deescalate the situation and keep it calm,” Bingham said.
Attacking the WRONG Deputy
“The subject did not want me there,” Deputy Bingham explained. “When I turned him around, he took a swing at me.”
The video shows why this was a terribly-poor decision on that person’s part.
The Deputy used a pressure point technique along the suspect’s jawline to gain control and quickly end the attacks. Bingham said later that the video did not show that the suspect also spit in his face.
He explained, “That’s when I took him down to the ground and affected the arrest, at that point.”
While still maintaining control of the first suspect, Bingham then engaged another. This struggle went to the ground. The Deputy originally just wanted to stop the suspect from moving until backup arrived, but the man continued to fight. Bingham tried to restrain the suspect’s hands, but then the man went for Bingham’s service weapon.
Bingham hooked his arm around the suspect’s neck, and the man rapidly tapped Binham’s arm. A “tap out” is how mixed martial artists surrender in a bout. A witness in the crowd shouted, “He’s tapping, he’s tapping!”
Tap Out on the Beach: The Aftermath
Both suspects, Josh McMaham and Justin Lewis were subsequently found to have prior criminal records.
Bob Gualtieri, the Pinellas County Sheriff, made it clear that Deputy Bingham performed his duty within the department’s policy guidelines. Therefore, no investigation was needed.
Sheriff Gualtieri told The Tampa Bay Times, “When you got a big crowd and you got somebody who is fighting, you’ve got to take action, and that’s what Sgt. Bingham did.”
Reporter Brian Kilmeade of Fox & Friends asked Bingham how he was able to safely take down and effectively control both subjects at once. “What kind of technique is that? They teach that at the academy?”
“That’s a survival technique,” Sgt. Bingham replied. “That’s called doing whatever you have to do to make sure that we go home at the end of the day.”
Uploaded to Facebook and YouTube, the video has millions of views.