A Temple man involved in a police use-of-force incident after a January traffic accident was indicted Wednesday on two felony charges, records show.
Walter Beasley Jr. — who a family member said has post-traumatic stress disorder and depression — was arrested Jan. 11 because officers believed he was driving while impaired, police said.
Grand juror indicted Beasley on two third-degree felony charges: assault of a public servant and harassment of a public servant.
The 30-year-old is also charged with assault causing bodily injury and resisting arrest, both misdemeanors. He remained in the Bell County Jail Thursday in lieu of bonds that totaled $48,500.
Beasley lost control of his vehicle after hitting a patch of ice at Central Avenue and South General Bruce Drive near Interstate 35, his sister, Jaquita Beasley previously told the Telegram.
Bystanders — including Beasley’s family members — recorded the incident on their phones, Jaquita Beasley said. The videos — which, from afar show an officer striking Beasley while he is strapped to a gurney — were posted to social media.
City spokesman Cody Weems said Beasley resisted while an officer tried to detain him.
“The officer attempted to detain the subject, but he began to resist. During the altercation, an officer was bit and another was spit on,” Weems previously told the Telegram. “As the subject continued to resist, officers used force in order to gain compliance. It is believed an officer struck the subject on the common peroneal (calf) on the side of his leg in order to get him onto the gurney as he continued to resist.”
Beasley also banged his head on a patrol vehicle and was pepper sprayed by officers, according to an arrest affidavit.
Police Chief Shawn Reynolds said the department is conducting a complete and thorough review of the incident.
Five officers are under investigation for their possible use of force in the incident, Reynolds told the Telegram Wednesday.
Beasley was transported to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Temple, where he continued to resist.
Jaquita Beasley told the Telegram that her brother was driving to McDonald’s for an iced coffee — a day after 4 inches of snow fell — when he hit ice on the road and damaged a tire. Beasley texted his sister about the accident so she could help get him a new tire so he can finish his errands, she said.
Between the time of her leaving her home, getting a tire and getting to the accident, Jaquita Beasley said the accident turned into an arrest.
Beasley often gets nervous around police officers, she said. Her brother was in a traffic accident in 2019 when a man speeding in a stolen car struck Beasley’s vehicle, she said.
Because of that and mental health issues stemming from the death of his parents, Jaquita Beasley said her brother may have mumbled while trying to explain the situation to Temple police officers.
Video footage shows Jaquita Beasley and other family members telling officers Beasley has mental health issues and that they tried to help calm him down.
Three maskless Temple officers ignored their pleas, according to the video.
“Every use of force by Temple Police officers is proactively and thoroughly reviewed to determine whether officers violated any of the department’s policies or procedures,” Weems previously said. “These reviews are conduced to ensure residents are kept safe and officers are doing their jobs properly.”