LMPD investigators reviewing video of social-distancing dispute at Norton Commons

LMPD investigators reviewing video of social-distancing dispute at Norton Commons

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - LMPD detectives are reviewing video of a confrontation that took place at Norton Commons over the weekend.

Officers were called out to Norton Commons on Friday night on a report that a man had shoved several young females and tried to strangle another. Video of the incident surfaced on Reddit over the weekend. The short clip shows the man shoving several young females, then going to the ground and strangling one of their friends.

The video was posted under the headline “Man strangles teenage girl for failing to social distance.”

No arrests have been made, but a redacted LMPD incident report includes the strangulation allegation. The short narrative in the report read: “Without consent, suspect applied pressure to victims throat and impeded her breathing.”

That suspect has not been identified.

That report also indicated the alleged victim suffered an "apparent minor injury."

Over the weekend, LMPD released the following statement about both the incident and social distancing in general:

We are aware of this video and officers from the 8th Division responded to a call to this incident (Friday) and took a report.

Obviously, we do not advise individuals concerned about social distancing to take matters into their own hands and confront people about it, especially in any physical way. We ask people who are concerned about large gatherings to call 311 or 911 to report their concerns.

Baptist Health on Monday confirmed the man is an independent contractor who works as a physician on one of its health campuses. While the hospital did not identify the man, a spokesperson said he is on administrative leave pending an internal investigation.

Monday afternoon, WAVE 3 News reached out to both sides and have not gotten a response from the physician. Meanwhile, the teens said their families are talking with investigators and seeking the advice of attorneys.

As for the neighbors? Some said they are glad the police are investigating.

“For someone to lay their hands on a child, I don’t care who you are or what they did,” Norton Commons resident Chris Shinn said, adding that the video made him speechless. “We don’t need this here and it’s ridiculous.”

LMPD spokeswoman Jessie Halladay told WAVE 3 News that anyone can report social distancing issues peacefully by calling 311. She said 911 can also be called if there’s an emergency like a fight.

“We know people are out there saying, ‘Hey guys, you should probably social distance,’” Halladay said. “That’s one thing, if you’re being polite and it’s your neighbors, we don’t want you to take it into your own hands, and you certainly should never get physical.”

Louisville Urban League President and CEO Sadiqa Reynolds said she was upset after seeing the video.

“These are grown people who assaulted young people,” she said. “They’re kids, and we need to deal with it like that has to be stopped, and he and his wife have to be held accountable.”

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