Doorbell prank spirals into vicious assault involving state trooper: video

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Delaware officers have launched bodycam footage exhibiting the moments a doorbell prank on a state trooper’s residence final month escalated right into a bodily altercation that left one boy with a damaged orbital bone and an uninvolved teen additionally injured.

Delaware State Trooper Dempsey R. Walters, 29, was charged with felony assault, two counts of misdemeanor assault and two counts of official misconduct following an incident on Aug. 21, when he’s alleged to have brutally assaulted an adolescent who kicked on his door as the teenager and his buddies performed a prank generally known as “ding-dong ditch,” the place an individual rings the doorbell or hits the door of a house and runs away.  

The launched physique digicam footage reveals each alleged assaults.

“As a mom and grandmother, the footage on this case is tough to observe,” Democratic Lawyer Basic Kathy Jennings stated in a ready assertion. “As a prosecutor, the constitutional violations are gorgeous.”


Officers in front of a police vehicel

The brand new bodycam footage reveals a sequence of occasions on Aug. 21 that reportedly stemmed from an altercation with a unique teenager the earlier week.

In response to authorities, Walters clashed with a 17-year-old boy on Aug. 17, when he was off obligation. As he was on his method to his residence in Elsmere, the 2 bought into an argument, and Walters known as the Elsmere police earlier than leaving the scene.

Responding officers took the boy to his residence on Taft Avenue and turned him over to his mom. 

The following day, Walters was accused of trying up the juvenile on the state regulation enforcement database, the Delaware Legal Justice Data System (DELJIS).

Two police officers

Days later, on Aug. 21, 4 teenagers had been strolling by Walters’ residence once they determined to prank his residence.

A residence safety digicam captured one of many boys, a 15-year-old, operating as much as Walters’ home, overlaying his face, and kicking the door earlier than fleeing.

Walters’ girlfriend then known as him and gave him an outline of the boy, in keeping with police.


Walters, who was on obligation on the time, reportedly responded to the scene, drove to his neighborhood and known as different troopers and police departments for assist monitoring the culprits.

As soon as in his neighborhood, a witness advised Walters that a number of teenagers had run down Taft Avenue, apparently prompting Walters to consider the 17-year-old he had beforehand clashed with.

Walters once more used DELJIS to search for the 17-year-old’s tackle on Taft Avenue.

An officer walking

When he and two Newport officers arrived on the boy’s home, the teenager and a good friend answered the entrance door.

The launched physique cam footage seems to point out Walters grabbing the boy from the doorway and forcing him to the bottom. The boy was injured on account of the interplay, police stated, including that the teenager was handcuffed and detained however by no means formally arrested.

The incident was captured on Newport police physique cameras and Walters’ personal physique digicam.

His alleged legal conduct didn’t cease there, as Walters was then notified the group concerned within the doorbell incident had been discovered and detained at a separate location.

Several officers pinning a boy to the ground

He then reportedly drove there, and when he arrived at their location, the 15-year-old chargeable for kicking the officer’s door was face-down on the bottom with a trooper already handcuffing him.

In response to investigators, Walters exited his car and nearly instantly dropped his knee onto the again of the boy’s head and neck space.

The maneuver was captured on the police car digicam and Walters’ physique digicam.

The 15-year-old was then put in a police car, the place Walters allegedly assaulted him once more.

An officer with a flashlight

After confirming with one other trooper that the boy contained in the car was the identical juvenile who had kicked his door, Walters turned off his body-worn digicam and walked over to the boy.

Whereas the boy was handcuffed within the again seat, Walters allegedly punched him within the face, fracturing his proper eye socket.

The trooper then exited the car and turned his physique digicam again on.

An officer running

Delaware State Police Col. Melissa Zebley stated that guaranteeing public security and persevering with to rebuild public belief are high priorities for her company.

Walters, who has been a trooper for greater than six years, was suspended with out pay. He turned himself over to authorities Tuesday afternoon and was launched after posting a $29,000 bail. He subsequently pleaded not responsible to the costs. 

Neither the Delaware State Police nor a spokesperson for Walters responded to requests for remark. 

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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