TAMPA, Fla. — A man arrested and charged with resisting and obstructing an officer put officers' safety at risk by videotaping a police investigation, a judge in Tampa ruled Thursday.
In the video shot in a public parking lot, officers are heard telling Jeff Patch to step back. Patch testified he recorded the officers in order to protect everyone involved and claimed he wasn't in the way, according to My Fox Tampa Bay. Police said he "added more chaos to a chaotic situation," putting officers in danger even if he wasn't outwardly violent or making threats.
"I asked the defendant to step back and move away from me due to his proximity being a distraction and being a officer safety issue," Tampa Police Chief Harris said.
The court found Patch guilty of obstructing an officer and gave him 30 days to appeal the decision.
"It's Mr. Patch's legal right to record. I'm not disputing that whatsoever," the judge said, adding that Patch did not need to inject himself into the situation as he did.