Wilmington Police to Conduct Probe on Arrest at Harrington Casin - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Wilmington Police to Conduct Probe on Arrest at Harrington Casino

Posted: Feb 28, 2018 7:32 PM Updated:

HARRINGTON, Del.- The Harrington Police Department on Wednesday announced Wilmington police will conduct an internal affairs investigation in connection to an arrest at a casino on Sunday, in which Harrington police said officers arrested a Hurlock, Maryland man and issued him criminal summons for resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

Harrington Police Chief Norman Barlow said in a statement that the department was still conducting its own fact-finding into the incident, which took place outside Harrington Casino and Raceway and was partially videotaped by Devan Lake, a friend of Newcomb.

"The Harrington Police Department has contacted an independent agency and the Wilmington Police Department will be conducting the internal affairs investigation," Barlow said.

Barlow declined further comment on Wednesday about the incident, saying he didn't want to compromise the investigation. Investigators have received surveillance footage from the casino, though Barlow declined to describe what was seen in the video, citing the ongoing investigation.

Lt. Earl Brode, a Harrington police spokesman, said on Monday that officers were called to the casino to assist Delaware State Police with a fight and were talking with Newcomb when they attempted to handcuff him.

However, Newcomb refused to put his hands behind his back and follow officers' orders, Brode said.

Newcomb, Brode said, was taken into custody and placed in handcuffs after a struggle and the involvement of a police K-9 unit. 

But Newcomb has said he wasn't fighting and believes officers went too far when they took him into custody.

"You had a K-9 biting me, tearing my leg up. You had one sitting on my back, punching me," he said during an interview on Monday.

Newcomb on Wednesday declined to say if he had filed a formal complaint with Delaware's state attorney general over the incident, saying that his legal counsel had advised him not to speak with a reporter about the matter.

But on Monday, Newcomb said he intended to seek damages over the incident and picked up paperwork at the attorney general's office to file a complaint. Police said he was treated on scene for a dog bite to his lower leg.

No other arrests were made in connection to the incident, according to Barlow and Cpl. Melissa Jaffe, a Delaware State Police spokeswoman, who also noted a trooper already at the casino for an unrelated incident was advised by security staff members about a fight.

Jaffe said the trooper was not equipped with a body camera. Barlow said the agency is planning to receive body cameras later this week. 

Jeff Horvath, executive director of the Delaware Police Chief's Council, said the decision to involve an outside agency in the investigation was a good idea since it allows for a more objective look at a contested situation.

"The chief from the department that's under investigation doesn't have any control over the officer from the other department that's doing the internal affairs investigation," he said.

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