ORLANDO, Fla. — The City of Orlando has released cell phone video showing an alleged assault that led to the arrest and suspension of the city’s fire chief.
Orlando Fire Chief Benjamin Barksdale was involved in an incident at a restaurant in North Carolina last month. He was arrested on a warrant for assault and turned himself in and was later released on bond.
According to a newly released statement from one of the victims in the case, Barksdale entered the restaurant after they’d closed on July 28th and demanded to use their restroom.
When the workers declined to allow Barksdale to use the restroom, they said he repeatedly attempted to force his way inside, charging at the workers as they tried to block him from entering.
In a statement, one victim noted Barksdale appeared to be intoxicated and even fell to the ground at one point during the altercation.
The victim told police when she and her father attempted to force Barksdale from the restaurant, he became violent, striking them both in the head.
According to the report, the restaurant owner’s son told authorities “The male then ran to the nearby 7-11 and I followed him to show the police where he was. The African American male left the store and saw me and tried fighting me and my cousin.”
Barksdale was initially suspended with pay after the warrant was issued in North Carolina, but has since been suspended without pay, a city spokesperson said.
Cox Media Group