Grandpa Released from Jail After Black Friday Brawl - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Grandpa Released from Jail After Black Friday Brawl

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Police swarmed a Buckeye Walmart Thursday night after a man inside was tackled to the ground during a rush to grab video games -- and there are differing stories about what led up to his arrest.

Some witnesses told Fox 10 that the actions taken by a police officer during a fight at that Walmart were wrong, but Buckeye police have a different story.

Witnesses told Fox 10 Friday morning that a grandfather was with his grandson and wife looking at video games. They said that people were tearing the box of games apart, trying to get to the videos, and a woman ended up getting punched.

"You literally would have thought there was a cure for cancer in this box, people were going insane," said witness Skylar Stone, who saw the whole thing and called it 'uncalled for.'

The grandson was trampled on in all the mayhem -- even cutting his lip. His grandpa put the game in his waistband so that he could lift the boy out of the crowd, according to some witnesses.

Witnesses said that's when a police officer grabbed the man and slammed him to the ground – possibly thinking he was stealing the game.

On a cell phone video taken at the Walmart, blood can be seen streaming from the grandfather's face. But witnesses said police didn't believe anything was wrong until they turned the man over.

“They grabbed the guy, body planted him into the ground -- face shatters on concrete. That's a hard concrete floor inside Walmart.

“All of a sudden, you see this little boy run up and wailing and yelling, ‘Grandpa, Grandpa,’ and crying his eyes out,” Stone said.

Witnesses said the man had about $600 worth of electronics that he was purchasing and wasn't trying to steal anything. They said he was just trying to get his grandson out of harm's way.

But on Friday afternoon, Buckeye police told Fox 10 a vastly different story.

The Buckeye police chief said the officer’s actions were justified and that the cell phone video of the fight showed only the very end of it. They said the Walmart's surveillance cameras did not capture the beginning of the fight.

Police said when the officer asked Jerald Newman about the video game he put in his waistband, he began flailing his arms.

"As the officer put handcuffs on the suspect, he resisted arrest, flailing his arms and pulling away from the officer backing up," said Buckeye Police Asst. Chief Larry Hall.

A leg sweep was used on Newman, who hit his head when he fell and began bleeding, police said.

"There's nothing on the surface to indicate our officer did anything inappropriate. It's difficult to arrest an individual because you don't know how that individual is going to react."

Because force was used in the arrest, the incident is under investigation. The officer involved is still on the job.

54-year-old Jerald Newman, of Fontana, Calif., was arrested after he was treated at a local hospital. He faces charges of resisting arrest and shoplifting.

UPDATE:  Newman was released from jail at 4:15 a.m. Saturday.

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