DeKalb DA: Officer indicted on assault charge over arrest caught on camera

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A grand jury has handed down indictments for a DeKalb County police officer who was captured on video beating a homeless woman inside a convenience store back in 2017.

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DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston announced Thursday Officer Phillip Larscheid has been charged with aggravated assault and violation of his oath of office.  Boston said they presented the evidence to a grand jury Thursday morning which returned a “true bill of indictment” against Officer Larscheid

During an afternoon press conference, Boston said Officer Larscheid was initially cleared of any wrong-doing, but a case was reopened about a month later after a bystander’s video recording of the incident went viral on social media. The DeKalb County Police Department asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to look into the case.

The incident occurred on June 4, 2017, after officers were called to a convenience store in the 3300 block of Glenwood Road, on a complaint that a homeless woman was soliciting customers inside the location. 

Initial information from DeKalb County police stated Katie McCrary was aggressively resisting the officer’s command, resulting in the officer using a baton in an attempt to restrain and arrest her.  However, the cell phone video, which surfaced after the incident, shows officer repeatedly hitting McCrary with a baton as McCrary lies on the floor kicking and seemingly blocking the blows.

Boston said McCray was taken into custody and was transported to the DeKalb County Jail, but was rejected due to her injuries. She was sent to Grady Memorial Hospital. Police eventually charged McCrary with obstructing or hindering law enforcement officers, and also served her with a criminal trespass warning.

DA Boston said her office does not plan to pursue those charges against McCrary in light of the investigation into the officer's actions.

"I ran for District Attorney because I wanted to let the community know that we are going to increase the trust within our community between law enforcement and people on the streets," said Boston. 

According to DeKalb County, Larscheid is still an employee of the DeKalb County Police Department, though he has been on clerical duty since July 2017.  Larscheid was initially hired in December 2010. 

A lawyer for Larscheid could not immediately be reached for comment. 

RELATED: Calls for justice for homeless woman seen being hit by DeKalb County officer