After being treated like a child molester by a cop in a shopping mall, award-winning videographer Scott Rensberger reached up to snap a picture of the offending officer.
The officer did what many officers would do in that situation; he lifted his hand in front of the camera to block the photo. Contact was made.
Rensberger was then arrested for battery on a police officer.
Now he is demanding his charges be dropped as well as an apology. He plans to file a complaint. He should be talking to a lawyer.
The incident occurred Tuesday night when Rensberger was doing some Christmas shopping at the Town Center Mall in Charleston City, West Virginia.
He snapped a photo of a Santa Claus and a singing choir to email to his family. A man approached him and told him he was the father of the girl sitting on Santa’s lap.
The man obviously did not have a problem with his daughter sitting on the lap of a stranger in disguise, but took great issue with a stranger taking a photo of this interaction.
Nevertheless, Rensberger deleted the photo and hoped to be on his way.
But minutes later, Charleston City Police Cpl. R.C. Basford approached him and treated him like a pedophile.
Rensberger says the first thing the officer said was “Why are you taking pictures of kids?” He says he didn’t appreciate the accusation.
“Right off the top I felt like you are asking me right in the middle of the mall why am I a pedophile, that’s how I took it,” Rensberger said.
Rensberger asked if he could take Basford’s picture. The officer then lifted his hand and grabbed Rensberger’s hand.
“He made original contact, he grabbed my right hand and my camera. I took my left hand to grab my camera from falling. His hand may have been on my camera where I touched his hand, but I would certainly never slap an officer,” Rensberger said.
The cop then grabbed Rensberger’s wrist and twisted his arm behind him, aggravating a previous shoulder injury.
He says he eventually sunk to his knees. “Every time I begged, I was practically crying, there’s got to be 30 witnesses to this and he said, this is a quote, ‘If I dislocate your arm I’ll call a paramedic,” Rensberger said.