The attorney representing a man accused of aggravated battery on a Gainesville Police officer said he is concerned about the officer’s use of force seen in the body camera footage. (Scroll down to watch)
Eric Dante Pitt, 37, was charged in a Tuesday, Feb. 26 Hall County grand jury indictment with aggravated assault and aggravated battery on a peace officer as well as attempted removal of a public official’s weapon.
Gainesville Police previously said Pitt was not allowed on the HomeTowne Studios property on Jesse Jewell Parkway. After Officer Stephen Lucius encountered Pitt multiple times Saturday, Feb. 16, on the property, Lucius tried to arrest him.
“Pitt struck our officer in the head multiple times with handcuffs, causing a laceration to the officer’s head that required medical attention,” Cpl. Jessica Van wrote in an email.
Van said Lucius is recovering after receiving stitches.
“We are very deeply concerned about the officer’s use of force in the video,” attorney Matt Cavedon said.
Cavedon said he felt an earlier version released to the media was “abridged” and the body camera footage shows a more complex situation “where the officer escalates force quite a bit and very quickly.”
“We are looking forward to doing everything we can to make sure that Mr. Pitt is fully protected, his rights are protected and that he gets his day in court,” the attorney said.
Pitt was also charged with terroristic threats, obstruction of an officer and criminal trespass.
"He violently resisted and attacked our officer. I believe the officer showed great restraint and control by preventing further injury to Mr. Pitt, bystanders and himself," Gainesville Police Chief Jay Parrish said.