Muncie Police chief defends use-of-force in video going viral of arrest

MUNCIE, Ind. – The chief of the Muncie Police Department has provided WXIN – a Tribune Media sister station of WQAD in Indianapolis – some context regarding a viral video of officers using force during an arrest Sunday.

The video, which garnered thousands of shares within a few hours on Facebook, shows an officer punching a man who Chief Joe Winkle says had ran from police and refused to show his hands.

The video was also being shared on Quad Cities area social media this week, with people reporting it happened in Moline rather than Muncie.

Chief Winkle says the suspect, 36-year-old Joshua Douglas, threw a bag containing 65 grams of crystal meth during a foot pursuit. Someone reportedly called 911 on Douglas because they were afraid he was going to drunkenly drive his car from a Taco Bell.

Although some are questioning the officers’ use of force during the apprehension, Chief Winkle says he believes they followed protocol for a person resisting arrest. The chief says the officers didn’t know whether the man had a weapon on him.

Officers did manage to place Douglas into custody. He’s now facing charges of resisting law enforcement, dealing methamphetamine, and possession of a narcotic.

The chief told the Muncie Star Press that he doesn’t believe Douglas was injured during the apprehension. He also said he urges citizens to “just comply” if they’re being arrested.