Spring break beach parties are notoriously rowdy and displeased when law enforcement attempts to break up their entertainment. However, a video shows one police officer cheered on as he took down brawling beachgoers.
The video, released in 2015, shows an officer responding to a fight that broke out among beachgoers, and handily taking control of the situation, including making the suspects “tap out” in the style of exasperated wrestlers.
Sgt. Bryan Bingham, a Pinellas County Sheriffs Office deputy, was flagged down by beachgoers at St. Pete Beach in Florida, who said a large fight was in progress, prompting him to respond.
Watch the wild video below:
He said two groups comprising 15-20 people were engaged in fights.
Bingham explained he assessed the situation and identified the primary aggressor, which he approached first. “All I wanted to do was try to deescalate the situation and keep it calm,” he explained to Fox & Friends’ Brian Kilmeade in March 2015.
“The subject did not want me there,” he explained of the aggressor. “When I turned him around, he took a swing at me.”
As the video shows, Bingham employed a pressure point technique near the suspect’s jawline in an attempt to gain control and stop the attacks. However, he said the video did not show that the suspect spit in Bingham’s face.
“That’s when I took him down to the ground and affected the arrest on that part,” he explained.
Bingham then engaged another suspect, taking him down to the ground all while maintaining control of the first suspect.
Bingham locked his arm around the suspect’s neck while also restraining his hands as the suspect continued to fight him.
In the style of wrestling, the suspect tapped the officer’s arm. “He’s tapping, he’s tapping!” one of the witnesses said in the crowd.
“What kind of technique is that, that they teach at the academy?” Kilmeade asked, referring to how Bingham was able to take down and control two suspects at once.
“That’s a survival technique,” Bingham said. “That’s called doing whatever you have to do to make sure that we go home at the end of the day.”
Bingham said just before the suspect attempted to reach for his service weapon before tapping out. He added that it was his goal to keep the suspect from moving until his backup arrived.
Both suspects were found to have criminal records.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said that Bingham performed his job within the department policy guidelines, and an investigation would not be taking place.
“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,” Gualtieri said, according to Tampa Bay Times.
The video has been uploaded repeatedly across YouTube and Facebook, and has amassed millions of views.