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Charges pending on man who allegedly wrestled with sheriff’s deputy

Jesse Wright

The Picayune Item

 

Picayune County Sheriff David Allison said a local man will face multiple charges after he gets out of the hospital because he allegedly refused to comply routine requests from sheriff’s deputies Friday afternoon.

As of Sunday afternoon, Brent Culpepper was still at the Jackson Burn Center getting treatment for second-degree facial burns but Allison said as soon as he returns to Pearl River County, he will be arrested and charged with failure to comply, resisting arrest and possession of beer in a dry county. Allison explained that Culpepper was injured from hot asphalt after he refused to exit a vehicle and comply with a deputy’s multiple requests. Allison said one of his deputies had to grab Culpepper to pull him out of the truck, but Culpepper continued to resist and Culpepper and the deputy both fell to the ground and wrestled on the freshly laid asphalt.

Allison said Culpepper did not have to suffer injuries or even face charges, had he complied with the deputy’s requests.

“None of this would have ever happened had Culpepper cooperated with the officer and let them do his job,” said Allison. “This elevated to this … because of his actions.”

Allison said a deputy initially approached the truck after construction workers called to complain that the driver was allegedly spinning the truck’s tires in the new asphalt, destroying the roadwork. The driver was James Frieson, and Allison said when the deputy, who was a narcotics deputy, approached the truck, he noticed an open beer in the console. Frieson, 25, 405 West Lamar Ave of Poplarville, was asked to step out of the vehicle, which he did, and was later charged with possession of an open beer in a dry county and a DUI.

The sheriff said the deputy only wanted to know who Culpepper was, and he said requests for identification are common. However, from the outset, Allison said Culpepper didn’t want to comply with any requests. Allison said Culpepper was asked three different times for his identification.

“He said, ‘No, I am not involved with this you don’t need my ID, I am not giving you my ID,’” said Allison. The sheriff said Culpepper was asked to get out of the truck, but he didn’t do that, either. Then the deputy reached for Culpepper and Allison said he slapped the deputy, and at that point, the deputy grabbed the man with both hands and tried to pull him out of the truck.

“He didn’t want to get out,” said Allison. “He was trying to get to the divers side and reaching down between the seat and the console.”

Allison said the deputy and Culpepper “wrestled” on the ground, until state law enforcement officers who arrived with the deputy, stepped in to aid the deputy and subdue Culpepper.

Allison said deputies have not arrested Culpepper yet because all the charges are misdemeanors and it didn’t make sense to send deputies to another county to keep watch over Culpepper in the hospital for the weekend.

However, Culpepper’s mother, Marissa Foxworth Amann, has countered much of this account on Facebook where, on Saturday, she alleged that sheriff’s deputies tortured and brutalized her son.

“An undercover narcotics deputy responded to the passenger side and asked Brent for his ID,” she wrote, in part. “Brent respectfully asked him why. Brent, having family who are former law enforcement, and being in the military plus doing four years as a local sheriff’s explorer, knows his rights. As Brent was asking again why the deputy needed it, the Deputy opened the door, and at the same time grabbed him saying “Step out of the vehicle”…he slammed Brent’s face into the asphalt. Brent tried telling him repeatedly that his face was burning (and screaming in agony), he tried to lift his face up but the deputy shoved his face back onto the burning hot asphalt (paramedics determined the asphalt was about 300 degrees). He told him if he didn’t stop moving / fighting them he would be charged with resisting arrest. The deputy told him to shut up but he was screaming because he was in agony. He continued to tell him to shut up and stop moving. Even through the torture Brent told them he wasn’t resisting arrest but that his face was being burned off. Two more deputy’s jumped on Brent, all three on top of him, they held him down with their knees digging in to his back and their hands pressed on his face- they handcuffed him.”

Her post has been shared over two thousand times and Amann is asking the public to share the post widely so that the deputies would be “held accountable.”

No law enforcement officers were injured in in the altercation.