LOCAL UPDATE: DeKalb cop charged with beating homeless woman surrenders

Mug Shot of DeKalb County Police Officer Phillip Larscheid
Mug Shot of DeKalb County Police Officer Phillip Larscheid

A DeKalb County police officer, indicted Thursday for clubbing a homeless woman with his baton, surrendered to authorities over the weekend.

Phillip Larscheid, 29, spent less than an hour at the DeKalb jail early Saturday morning before being released on bond. He was charged with aggravated assault and violation of oath of office by District Attorney Sherry Boston, who said last week, “If you violate the law we will prosecute you whether you wear a uniform or not.”

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The former DeKalb Officer of the Year maintains his innocence. He was initially cleared of any wrongdoing in an internal investigation of the 2017 encounter.

But the investigation was re-opened after cell phone video of the incident surfaced.

“The problem with video is you don’t see the officer’s point of view,” said Lance LoRusso, Larscheid’s attorney.

Detail of the narrative portion of the police report filed in the convenience store altercation. DeKalb police redacted the officer's name before they released the report to the public. He was later identified as Officer P.J. Larscheid.
Detail of the narrative portion of the police report filed in the convenience store altercation. DeKalb police redacted the officer's name before they released the report to the public. He was later identified as Officer P.J. Larscheid.

But prosecutors say the footage was impossible to ignore. It shows Larscheid striking Katie McCrary at least a dozen times all over her body before pinning her head to the floor with his baton. The officer was responding to a call from a Decatur gas station alleging shoplifting.

McCrary, 39, had been arrested at least seven times in DeKalb -- mostly on drug and prostitution charges -- in the years before her confrontation with Larscheid. Relatives have said she struggles with mental health issues.

Attorney Glenda Hatchett, who represents McCrary, said her client continues to suffer “both physical and extreme emotional trauma from this incident.”