Sugar Creek Police arrested a man with several warrants who claims to be a sovereign citizen following a short chase Monday morning, and when the man's friends posted video of the incident on social media, police later released body camera footage of the incident.
Both videos show police breaking the window of Aaron Fletcher's driver's side door after he refused officers' commands to step out of the car. Fletcher cried “I'm being kidnapped!” several times as officers pulled him out of the car, then said “Oh, he's beating me!” as he tried to pull away from being handcuffed.
The police body cam video is on The Examiner’s Facebook page. It contains some profanities.
Police arrested Fletcher after a short chase that followed an incident at City Hall. According to police, officers went there for a subject causing a disturbance and identified Fletcher, whom police knew claimed to be a “sovereign citizen” – they claim the government has no authority over them – and is usually armed.
Fletcher had requested information on an officer's personnel file and was advised how to obtain that information, police said in a release, and officers left after Fletcher said he had additional business at City Hall. Police then learned Fletcher had six arrest warrants – traffic warrants from Kansas City, police said – and a revoked driver's license. He had been arrested two other times since December for driving without a license, police said.
Seeing Fletcher drive away from City Hall, police followed him and tried to pull him over, and he initially refused. Police said he could be seen using his cell phone as he was driving. As Fletcher stopped near his house, police could see two residents standing outside the house ready to record the incident on their smartphones.
The video posted on social media begins with Fletcher and police coming atop the rise before stopping in front of the house.
Officers asked Fletcher more than once to step out of the car, but Fletcher said “I'm not armed; I'm not opening the door.”
The officer whose body cam recorded the incident tried to open the driver's door, but it was locked, so he used his baton to break the window and then opened the door.
Officers pulled Fletcher out of the vehicle and subdued him despite his resistance, hitting him twice on the leg with a baton. Fletcher claimed several times he was not resisting, and then could be seen on body cam video refusing for a short time to put his feet in the police car.
The social media video ends with Sugar Creek Chief of Police Chris Soule asking those recording to go back inside – which they do.
Police said that as of 11 a.m. Thursday, Fletcher was refusing to be booked, photographed and fingerprinted, saying that police have no jurisdiction over him and he only answers to God.
Fletcher is being charged with driving with a revoked license, fleeing police, resisting arrest and failure to obey a lawful order, police said, and is being held on a $4,000 bond.
Police said they released the body cam video in response to the social media video and “to show transparency.” The video, police said, “shows the suspect failing to follow officers lawful orders and actively resisting and refusing to be handcuffed.”