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A Rowland, N.C., police officer was airlifted to a medical facility on Saturday after being badly beaten by a suspect as another individual recorded the incident and refused the officer’s request for assistance.
Officer Michael Sale, 27, was taken by helicopter to the University of North Carolina Medical Center just after 1 a.m., local reports said, after attempting to arrest a suspect, according to Rowland Police Chief Hubert B. Graham.
ABC 15 reported that a bloodied Sale was suspected by EMS personnel to have had a broken eye socket, among other injuries. Graham said the suspected severity of the eye injury is what led EMS personnel to airlift Sale.
The suspect, Jamel Alphonso Rogers, was eventually apprehended. He appeared in court on Monday, where a judge set his bail at $500,000. Charges include assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill while inflicting serious injuries, as well as kidnapping and two counts of resisting a police officer.
**Language Warning: Disturbing Content**
Reports said that Sale, who was the only officer on duty at the time, was called to a disturbance. It’s not clear how Rogers became a suspect.
A nearly 11-minute video of the fight was live-streamed on Facebook, ABC15 reported. At one point, Sale asks bystanders to assist him, but the man videoing the confrontation refuses.
“Well, you’re the police. Why Imma help you for?” he responds.
At one point, someone does attempt to help Sale by pulling Rogers off of him, but the man videoing says, “Let him whoop his s**, go***mn.”
Later, the man videoing says mockingly, “Police scared as hell. “He said, ‘Help me, y’all!’ That man asked me to help him, and he’s the go***ned police.”
During the alleged assault, Sale’s equipment belt including his firearm was lost but those items were later recovered, Graham said.
“That man looking for his go***mn gun,” one bystander can be heard saying. “Where your gun at? You ain’t got your gun! I’m gonna find that motherf**ker…you can’t do nothin’ without your gun!”
For his part, Graham wasn’t surprised by the attack.
“Today’s society, that’s just how they think and operate. This is something that we, as law enforcement, have been telling the public for years. It’s not shocking to us because we been doing this for years,” he said.
But he was grateful for the video.
“I’m thankful for the video because it pretty much proves my case for my officer,” he told ABC15.
Sale was released from the hospital and is currently recovering, the outlet said in a separate report.
In response to why Sale was the only officer on duty, Graham said that issue will be addressed.
“He was working by himself that night. That is being worked on,” he said.
Eventually, deputies from Robeson and Dillon County arrived on the scene and assisted Sale.
Saturday’s attack was not the first for Sale. While with the Maxton Police Department in December, he was surrounded and beaten — on video — by a man outside a local convenience store.
In that incident, Sale was ordering a crowd gathered outside of the business to disperse when someone in the crowd attacked him, leaving him bruised and bloodied as well.
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