Authorities did nothing wrong when they detained a man for disorderly conduct while investigating a report of a loud party on Saturday, a spokesman for the North Augusta Department of Public Safety said. Social media postings by the man indicate he has a different story.
Tyner Jerome Holmes, 21, of Central Avenue in Augusta, was charged with disorderly conduct and released on bond.
According to Public Safety’s Lt. Tim Thornton, officers were dispatched to a loud party at a home on the corner of East Summit Avenue and East Avenue around 1 a.m. Saturday. One officer went to the front door while Officer Larry Turner entered a chain-link fence into the back yard “where he heard the most noise.”
Thornton said Turner identified himself as law enforcement and that they were investigating a noise complaint when he was approached by Holmes.
Thornton said Holmes got in the officer’s way “and said he’s trespassing. He’s not allowed to be there, and he needs to leave.”
Turner was within his rights to investigate criminal activity and told Holmes he needed to speak with the homeowner, Thornton said.
“(Holmes) is standing up in front of his friends, being disruptive and obstructing what the officer is trying to do,” Thornton said. “He was never loud, never used profanity but was persistently in the immediate space of the officer trying to investigate the situation and continued to repeat, ‘You don’t have any right to be here. You’re trespassing.’”
According to the report, Holmes told Turner that “he knew the law because he was a criminal justice major.”
Thornton said Turner asked Holmes several more times to be quiet and step aside, and that as the officer approached the back door, Holmes again got in front of him.
“At that point, the officer said, ‘OK, come with me. You’re being detained while I figure out what’s going on here,’” Thornton said, adding that Holmes then turned on a “personal recording system” and recorded an exchange between Turner and him.
Holmes posted the 90-second YouTube clip, titled “Arrested.” on his Facebook page, along with the caption, “Don’t question authority in North Augusta, S.C., because they’ll break your arm.”
Thornton said the recording is authentic.
During the clip, Turner is heard saying to Holmes, “Put your hand behind your back or I’m going to break this one.” According to Thornton, Turner was trying to put the handcuffs on Holmes, who was resisting.
“Officer Turner is trying to explain to him; if you resist, you’re going to break your arm. I’ve got a hold of you, and if you continue to move, you’re going to break your arm,” Thornton said. “He’s making a point that if (Holmes) chooses to continue to resist, the restraint Officer Turner has on Mr. Holmes could injure Mr. Holmes. It’s a restraint move to help us to secure unwilling and resistant individuals.”
Thornton said Turner never entered the home.
According to the report, while en route to Public Safety headquarters, Holmes “stated numerous times that he was wrong for his actions.” Thornton said that, during the incident, several of Holmes’ friends advised him to be quiet.
Thornton said Holmes has not filed a complaint against the department.
A message left for Holmes by the Aiken Standard requesting comment was not returned. Several people commented on the video on Facebook and asked Holmes what happened.
“I was at a party, and the cop invited himself into the back yard without any consent and then entered the house without consent. I was the only one who piped up,” Holmes wrote. “i was asked to get the owner, which was an order i was trying to comply with, but first i wanted the officer to step out of the back yard [sic].”
“Because of the attention that this has drawn, we have looked into the conduct of Officer Turner, and we have found that Officer Turner did nothing wrong,” Thornton said. “He’s been a good officer, doing a good job for the city.”
Thornton said the department gets noise complaint calls often.
“Virtually every time, we ask the source to turn the music down. They comply, we wish them a good night, thanks a lot and drive away, no problems,” he said. “That’s exactly the way this was going to be handled, but this guy persistently kept getting in the face of the officer and obstructing what he was trying to do.”
Teddy Kulmala covers the crime beat for the Aiken Standard. He is a graduate of Clemson University and hails from Williston.