A cop in Allentown Pennsylvania was caught on video brutally body slamming a 61-year-old man to the ground – his crime? Singing a Beach Boys song.
Jim Ochse is known in the community for his quirky joyful singing, but when he decided to break into a rendition of the 1965 classic, Barbara Ann, private security guards and a police officer decided he was being a nuisance.
The security guards and the cop approached Ochse, despite not recieving any complaints. Ochse can be heard telling each of them “You get out of here,” urging that it is not illegal to sing in public.
As Ochse turned to walk away, the cop grabbed him and slammed him down to the concrete in front of bemused diners at Shula’s Steakhouse.
Ochse can be heard yelling out in pain and appealing for help, saying “I have done nothing wrong.”
A witness who posted video of the incident, said that the guards claimed Ochse had “touched the officer,” prompting the body slam.
That claim seems to have been dropped in wake of the footage going public.
The officer, Robert Busch, has told reporters with The Morning Call that he took Ochse to the ground because he “feared he may try to fight.”
Busch claims that Ochse “became very hostile and began yelling in my face.” The officer also claims that Ochse would not cooperate while on the ground and kept “his arms so tense that I could not move them or get the handcuffs on the defendant.”
William T. Gaut, a former Alabama police captain and criminal justice consultant told The Morning Call that singing in public is a First Amendment right.
“It’s questionable whether it’s even disorderly conduct,” said Gaut, adding that “In order for disorderly conduct, you would have to offend someone by language or by action. They have to be threatening in some way or be offensive in some way that is not covered by the First Amendment.”
Ochse, who has been charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, says he intends to sue the Allentown Police Department.
“These guys need to be prosecuted,” he said, adding “They have to be held accountable for the actions.”