The man who was arrested in the viral video of an officer pushing in the door to his home claims that his arrest wasn’t justified even though authorities are saying that he was arrested for resisting arrest.
According to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, 26-year-old Donrell Breaux was arrested after he failed to produce identification to an officer then tried to go inside his home.
However Breaux feels that the arrest wasn’t justified and focused on the relationship between the arresting officer and his neighbor, with whom Breaux had a verbal dispute with prior to the police showing up.
Breaux told The Times-Pacayune that “I knew he (the deputy) was a personal friend (of the neighbor) and I thought it was an unlawful arrest.
“I don’t have to submit to an unlawful arrest,” he said.
The incident occurred on Marmandie Avenue and just before 3 p.m. on the day it happened a resident called the police to tell them that someone from the house next-door was cursing at him. When officers arrived the resident said that he and his wife and children were sitting outside and overheard his neighbors using profanity.
According to the neighbor, Breaux was directing “profanity laced sentences” at him and his wife after he had asked Breaux to stop several times.
The neighbor also claimed that he smelled marijuana coming from the residence.
According to the Sheriffs, their deputy had originally went to Breaux’s residence to issue a misdemeanor citation and he too allegedly smelled marijuana coming from the home.
The deputy said that when he asked Breaux for ID that he said he may have some in the home, then turned to go inside.
“After he refuses to present I.D. and tries to go into the house, now (the deputy’s) going to do a physical arrest as opposed to a misdemeanor summons,” Col John Fortunato said.
After Breaux tried to shut the door, he and the deputy briefly struggled prior to Breaux being arrested and taken into custody.
The other version of this story is that Breaux said he and his friend Eric Banegas, who recorded the video, were just cracking jokes amongst themselves when the neighbor came outside and asked them to watch their language. He said it resulted in a brief verbal confrontation.
He said that it’s a regular occurrence for the neighbor to call the police for things like too many cars in the driveway and other minor issues.
Breaux maintains that the officer immediately tried to arrest him and had the handcuffs ready, which is why Banegas started filming to begin with.
“Then, he’s grabbing my hoodie with handcuffs out. He said, ‘Let me see some I.D.,’ and grabs my wrist and says, ‘You’re under arrest,’ at the same time,” Breaux said. “I thought it was unlawful.”
What was caught on film shows a deputy pushing his way into them home and refusing to answer any questions from Breaux, who was arrested and taken to Jefferson Parish Correctional Center. He was charged with battery of an officer, resisting arrest with violence, and disturbing the peace by using offensive, derisive, or annoying words.
Breaux, who has lived in his home since December, said that he has seen the responding deputy at his neighbor’s house on several occasions.
“These are personal friends,” Breaux said. “I wish I had friends that I could call and have them handle personal vendettas that I have with my neighbors.”
Banagas said that nobody was smoking marijuana inside his home and deputies weren’t able to find any evidence to support their claims that someone was.
The video of the incident was originally posted to Facebook, then later to YouTube, and has had over 37,000 shares since.