CRAWFORD COUNTY, ARKANSAS, Ark. — Crawford County deputies who were seen on video hitting a man outside a Mulberry gas station in August 2022 have been arrested by the FBI.
According to the FBI spokesperson, US Marshals took Levi White and Zachary King into custody Tuesday morning and went to their first appearance at the federal courthouse in Fort Smith.
White and King were fired from the Crawford County Sheriff's Office back in October after several investigations were opened after the violent arrest was filmed on video, seen by thousands across the nation.
Furthermore, an FBI search warrant affidavit alleges that just a few hours before officials claimed White's department-issued iPhone that he "performed a factory reset that erased all data."
The affidavit reads that FBI analysts were "not able to retrieve any data from the phone, including call records, text messages, pictures, or any other information that may have been relevant."
The affidavit also states that White "reset the phone to remove his personal information."
In the video, King and White along with Mulberry Police Officer Thell Riddle are seen on top of Randal Worcester at a convenience store on Sunday, Aug. 21, and the two deputies seem to be hitting and kicking Worcester while he is on the ground.
Officer Riddle is still on administrative leave from the Mulberry Police Department. In the video, he is only seen holding Worcester down.
The incident led to investigations and a civil lawsuit into the deputies' use of excessive force.
The charges stem from the two deputies infringing on Worcester's civil rights, according to the US Department of Justice. A federal grand jury indicted White and King, charging them with hitting Worcester "multiple times" while he was lying on the ground.
The indictment goes on to say that Worcester "suffered bodily injury" as a result of the two deputies' actions.
If convicted, White and King face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, along with three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.
The former deputies are officially charged with deprivation of rights under color of law for infringing on Worcester's constitutional right to be "free from the use of unreasonable force by a law enforcement officer," court documents say.
Both deputies were released on $5,000 bonds. The trial is set for April 3, 2023 in Fort Smith Federal Court.
Their attorney, Russel wood says, "The allegations claimed in the indictment are not true. I look forward to our opportunity to tell what happened. We will have an opportunity to do this at the jury trial."
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