What to Know
- Authorities have released bodycam footage related to an altercation in West Palm Beach.
- Police have been criticized for alleged excessive use of force.
Two Port St. Lucie woman face charges, including resisting an officer, after a large fight Sunday at a Mexican restaurant in downtown West Palm Beach.
Officers responded to Banko Cantina, located at 114 South Olive Ave., at 4:33 p.m. after bouncers reported a large fight on the stairwell.
Video of the melee was posted to Facebook by a user named Jeano Junior.
A police report says a bouncer was trying to tell a woman, later identified as Amandy Fountain, 31, of Port St. Lucie to leave the restaurant and wait outside.
West Palm Beach officer Travis Limauro said Fountain yelled an expletive at him and then punched him.
The officer then said he struck her in the jaw and shoved her because Fountain was still attempting to attack him. Police said she was also kicking up at Limauro, preventing him from placing her under arrest.
Finally, with the help of another officer, they were able to handcuff Fountain.
Limauro said he sustained a small cut to his chin and a few cuts to his left hand.
Fountain is listed as a teacher in the police report. State records also show that Fountain was certified to teach in Florida on July 1, 2016.
She is being held at the Palm Beach County Jail on charges of aggravated battery of an officer and resisting an officer with violence. The St. Lucie County School District says it has placed Fountain on temporary duty with responsibilities away from children pending the outcome of the investigation.
Police body camera video shows the officers knock Fountain to the floor after he says she punched him. Later in the video, a man is seen and heard asking Officer Limauro why he punched a woman.
"Oh, but she could punch me in the face?" Officer Limauro is heard in the video saying "you don't hit a cop."
A second Port St. Lucie woman, Shannon Chatman, 25, was arrested in the case after police said she pushed an officer in the face.
Officer Kevin Harrell said he then grabbed Chatman by the hair and put her on the ground, but she got up.
Harrell then grabbed Chatman by the hair again and said he had trouble arresting her because the woman's boyfriend was getting in between him and the woman.
Finally, Chatman was able to be taken into custody by police.
Chatman faces charges of battery of an officer and resisting an officer with violence.
A third body camera video shows a man being tased by police inside the restaurant and then dragged outside and arrested.
Neither of the women wanted to comment on the incident after being released on bond.
On Monday, West Palm Beach Sgt. David Lefont released the following statement regarding the fight and arrests:
"All use of force incidents are fully reviewed, which is why we are gathering information. We know the public wants to know more about what happened, so we are moving quickly to gather all of the facts. We will provide that information as soon as we obtain it."
This article comes courtesy of WPTV.