Remember the middle-aged Fox News anchor who was arrested while intoxicated at an airport bar in St. Paul, Minnesota? You may have even seen Gregg Jarrett’s mugshot floating around last month. Now you can watch the (bizarrely rough) jailhouse altercation that put him in county jail.
The video above was taken by the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport’s dedicated police department, which originally detained Jarrett on May 21 after he was reported for erratic behavior by an airport bartender. The department recently released the video to Gawker under Minnesota’s Freedom of Information Act.
The surveillance footage shows Jarrett getting into an argument with a helmet-wearing cop named Mark Dorsey. After Jarrett protests his detention and calls Dorsey a “fucking stupid ass,” Dorsey approaches Jarrett, who stand ups and gets in Dorsey’s face. Dorsey then grabs the anchor, presses him up against a nearby wall, and slams him into the holding cell’s bench. It’s pretty rough stuff.
According to an accompanying incident report, airport police discovered that Jarrett had just been released from “an alcohol/chemical dependency treatment facility” and had a quantity of the drug Gabapentin, which is used to treat several conditions, in his shirt pocket. After observing his behavior at the airport bar, cops suspected he had intentionally mixed the drug with alcohol.
The same report, which was written by the officer who wrestled Jarrett to the floor, also presents a slightly different version of events, at least compared to the video above.
While [medical personnel] began to evaluate Jarrett, he looked at me in the doorway and stated, “This is all of your fault.” I asked what was, and Jarrett responded, “This is your fault.” I told Jarrett that this was his fault he was where he was. Jarrett then became visibly agitated (angry, upset), his body became rigid and he leaned forward like he was going to jump up on his feet or launch himself off of the bench, and yelled “Fuck You” and stated “Fuck You” again. Jarrett stayed at an agitated level and in the posture like he was going to jump up at any moment.
The officer goes on to allege that Jarrett “grabbed my left arm and I broke his grip” before he slammed the anchor into the wall and threw him onto the floor. Due to the camera’s angle, it’s unclear whether Jarrett actually grabbed the officer’s arm. It’s certainly not true, in any case, that Jarrett twice yelled “fuck you.” (The rest of the hour-long video shows Jarrett sitting on the bench in handcuffs.)
Due to the altercation, the airport police transferred Jarrett to the Hennepin County Adult Detention Center in downtown Minneapolis, where he was released after posting a $300 bond on May 22.
This is not the first time a Fox News personality has been arrested—that honor goes to Shepard Smith, who was detained by Tallahassee cops during the 2000 presidential election for allegedly striking a competing reporter with his Mazda Millennia.
It is worth pointing out here, too, that Fox News programming tends to lean pro-police. Some headlines:
- Does Obama Have Something Against Cops?
- Where’s the Outrage Over Occupy Protesters’ High-Tech Intimidation of Police?
- White House Defends ‘Cop Killer’ Rapper
The network has also defended excessive police force. Last year, senior Fox correspondent Gerald Rivera strongly defended the New York City Police Department’s “stop-and-frisk” policy—which he described as “minority youngsters [being] rousted by cops”—as a crucial tool of policing urban crime.
Jarrett himself argued that Trayvon Martin, who was shot and killed by Florida “neighborhood watch captain” George Zimmerman in 2012, wasn’t actually a victim—he was, instead, an “alleged victim”—and suggested that marijuana might have turned the teenager into a violent criminal, thereby justifying his assailant’s deadly use of force.
Fox News declined to comment.
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[Video editing by Timothy Burke]