HOUMA, La. (WVUE) - Houma police are investigating a video that surfaced on social media showing people throwing water on an officer, and according to officials, they could be facing serious charges.
However, a man who was there and witnessed the incident said it shouldn’t be that big of a deal.
The video of a Houma Police officer responding to a noise complaint seems to begin like any other. But Houma Police Department spokesman Sgt. Travis Theriot said, in 20 years, he’s never seen one happen the way this one did.
“They threw what appears to be a five gallon bucket of water, which is extremely heavy,” Theriot said. “It’s really a shame that things have resorted to this type of behavior. It’s really disheartening to believe people could be that disrespectful to someone that’s just out there trying to do their job.”
Theriot said the video was on Norman Street Sunday night (July 7), after a call came in for a noise complaint.
“When the officer arrived, they started shouting he was there to break up the party, and that’s really not the case. We were trying to find out if there was an end in sight,” Theriot explained.
Theriot said things escalated from there.
“People started shouting profanities and throwing water at him,” Theriot said. “Eventually, throwing a whole bucket of water on him.”
The video ends there but Theriot said, the story does not.
“He backed up, but he didn’t leave. He backed out and called for back up. More units arrived and they were able to disperse the crowd and the party ended at that point in time because it was obvious it was getting out of hand,” he explained.
Theriot said the department is now looking for help in identifying the people in the video, who could possibly face felony charges.
"There were people there that were very, very apologetic but, as far as the people that did this, we hope to identify them and bring them to justice," Theriot said.
Houma resident Quincy Callaway was at the “splash party” with hundreds of other people and said the situation is bring blown out of proportion.
“When you were out here enjoying yourself in the first couple minutes, it was all good, until you call back up. You call back up and it was a different ball game but it was nothing but kids so, how are you going to arrest a kid? I don’t get it,” Callaway said.
According to Callaway, everyone was just having a good time -- including the officer.
“He was just laughing,” Callaway said.
However, Theriot said even if the officer was laughing, that does not mean the behavior was acceptable.
“I guess everyone relieves stress in different ways,” Theriot said. “It was definitely an act of disrespect and aggression.”
Theriot said the investigation is still in its infant stages and officers won’t know the individuals’ true intent until they’re are able to talk to them.
For now, however, Theriot said the plan is to charge them with battery on a police officer, a felony, and possibly disturbing the peace.
Theriot said the Houma Police Department is proud of the way the officer handled the situation.
“He showed tremendous restraint and patience,” Theriot said.