Man punches officer in the face for asking him to leave the park

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A violent suspect punched a DC police officer in the face and attempted to attack a second officer after they asked him to leave a basketball court on Sunday.

Although local basketball courts and playgrounds are closed due to the District of Columbia’s pandemic restrictions, a group of approximately 50 people were gathered at the recreation area, WTOP reported.

When officers arrived to disperse the crowd, one bystander yelled at them about “not bothering the white people,” while another man got within inches of an officer’s face, cell phone footage showed.

The suspect, identified as 30-year-old Clay Wendell, then suddenly lashed out and punched the officer in his face.

The officer managed to dodge the suspect’s second blow but tumbled to the ground as he attempted to grab a hold of his attacker.

Wendell unsuccessfully threw a punch at a second officer when he tried to intervene, but immediately attempted to get away from the first officer’s grasp when the second officer held up a can of pepper spray, the video showed.

The suspect took off from the officers on foot as the crowd of bystanders heckled police and cheered Wendell’s escape. He was caught, arrested, charged for the assault among other charges, and will appear for a hearing on August 24th.

The officer who was punched was treated at a hospital for minor injuries. None of the gathered were cited.

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