PHILADELPHIA — Two Temple police officers were beaten when a group turned on them as they tried to make an arrest Wednesday.
Video of the brawl was posted online and has already accumulated more than 100,000 views, according to MyFox Philly. Highlighting the dangers officers face every day, the out-of-control encounter began when an officer bumped into a man near the Temple University campus, sources said.
Ray Betzner of Temple University said Rodney Ganbrell, 19, struggled when an officer tried to question him, and then as officers tried to make the arrest, according to reports, "all hell broke loose."
"While the officer was talking with one of the young men, the other one came over and punched him in the face," Betzner said. Both officers ended up in the street and then on the ground.
Concerned for his life and his partner's, one officer drew his service weapon. No shots were fired — and no officers injured — but Fraternal Order of Police President John McNesby said things could have turned out differently — or deadly.
"Luckily there was not a shooting there," McNesby said. "Somebody would have gotten killed, and it wouldn't have been the cop."
Sources within the department told WPVI a "bug-plagued" police radio system that hampers efforts to secure backup and makes officers feel unsafe prevented a better police response. When asked if lives were endangered because of the new technology, Betzner said he "could not make that evalution," but pointed out that in the video, backup arrives after two minutes. The video below highlights when officers appear to be talking on their radios:
An investigation is underway, and authorities hope to identify the second male in the attack. Ganbrell was charged with aggravated assault.