As we've been reporting here on WrestlingINC.com, former WWE star Shad Gaspard was arrested for resisting arrest and obstructing official business on Sunday while in Columbus, OH for the Arnold Fitness EXPO. Gaspard's wife originally claimed it was a jaywalking incident that turned into a case of racial profiling.
TMZ has posted video of Shad Gaspard's arrest. MMA fighter Josh Barnett shot the footage, which begins just after Gaspard was taken to the ground. Shad can be heard saying, "Why am I being arrested? Because I'm big and I'm black?" One of the officers claims that he was resisting arrest. Shad feels that he is the victim of racial profiling, and that he will fight this.
In an update on this, Sgt. Rich Weiner of the Columbus Police Department told TMZ that Gaspard was spotted by an officer standing in the road and in the way of oncoming traffic. He told TMZ that Gaspard was belligerent and ignored requests from the officer to move out of the street and also refused to show his ID when asked numerous times.
Sgt. Weiner says that when the officer tried to arrest Shad, he "broke free from the officers as they attempted to take him into custody." Wiener then says the video that is posted online doesn't show the events leading up to him being thrown to the ground and then placed in handcuffs. Several onlookers tried to tell police that he did nothing wrong but cops were not having any of it and continued on with the arrest.
Shad on the other hand feels differently. In an exclusive update, WrestlingInc.com spoke to them this morning and his version of the events is as follows. Gaspard claims one of his friends was nearly hit by a car. His friends started yelling at the driver while Shad stood on the sidewalk. He says that's when an officer approached and told his friends to quit the yelling. Shad came over and tried to explain to the responding officer that he had just witnessed a near hit-and-run. This is where things took a turn for the worse. Shad was already ticked off at what he had witnessed and was asked by the officer on-scene for his ID. Gaspard questioned why as he didn't do anything wrong and was just looking out for another person. When he refused to show ID, he was asked to put his hands behind his back. Shad claims he then squatted down as to not intimidate the cop due to his stature and the cop tackled him anyway. As noted above, Shad feels he was treated unfairly and claims he's not going to stand by while cops disrespect him. He says you can expect a lawsuit shortly and they have spoken to an attorney today.
Shad is also telling TMZ he feels he's the victim of racial profiling -- and claims during his ride to the police station, he heard the arresting officer saying, "He's just one more ..." Shad added, "I don't know exactly what to do yet, but I will fight this as much as possible. I'm not doing it for the money, I have the means, I'm doing this so cops don't think they can do this to someone else ... it's not right."
I am working on getting Shad live on WrestlingINC.com's WZR Radio in the near future. I tried for this week but due to the legal nature and sensitivity of this, we'll likely have to wait until next week. I also expect to hear more from Shad at some point tonight. Once I do, I'll post it here on WINC. Stay tuned for that.