Viewers who tuned into Saturday night’s episode of “Live PD” witnessed a disturbing scene. A frantic man is dragged out of an upside-down car, his arms clutching a squirming bundle. The man immediately wrestled with the officer who freed him. Viewers were horrified when they realized that the bundle in the man’s arms was a frightened two-year-old child.
Bryan Martin, 22, led South Carolina police officers on a long and dangerous car chase. Martin gunned his car to 95mph as he raced away. Eventually, he lost control of the car, causing it to flip upside-down. As an officer rushed to help him out of the car Martin sprang out with his young daughter in his arms.
He refused to comply with police orders and began writhing and jostling out of the cop’s grasp. The toddler’s head bounced back and forth as her body was flung around during the scuffle. Richland County Deputy Chris Mastrianni desperately tried to restrain Martin without harming the child.
“Thank you to everyone that has reached out to me with so much love and support about last night. It was a long night and everyone is safe,” the officer tweeted after the show.
Martin was arrested on multiple charges, including unlawful behavior with a child.
The young girl’s mother, Dellavia Jenkins, attempted to defend the father of her child.
“I understand where people are coming from when they say I shouldn’t be on his side but they don’t know the true story,” Jenkins told a local news station during an interview. “He is a great father. He loves his daughter. That bond is unbreakable.”
“Yea, he made a stupid decision not stopping the first time, that was the dumbest decision. But please, just re-watch the video and you can see the car is on fire and he is trying to get away from the car. He’s not trying to get away from the officer.”
Jenkins is perhaps blinded by love. Martin and the officer tangle with each other for more than a minute. At no point does he attempt to cooperate. He perhaps was rattled by the accident, but his violence was a sustained reaction. He clearly attempted to resist arrest.
The footage is among the most sickening that’s ever been aired on TV. The child flails like a rag doll while her father fights with Mastrianni. Jenkins claims that Martin and his daughter share an “unbreakable” bond but it’s difficult to reconcile that idea with the Live PD footage. The girl could have been easily been killed or injured. It’s a miracle that she walked away without a scratch.
Thugs and criminals who involve children in their evil deeds are particularly despicable. If Martin had fled from the cops on his own and hadn’t involved his toddler it would have been a routine arrest. It’s not unusual for suspects to attempt to get away, but it is odd for them to do it with people who might reasonably still be breastfeeding.
“I’ve done a lot of live television but tonight’s #livepd was definitely one of the most emotionally draining. Ever,” tweeted Live PD host Dan Abrams.
Many people were affected by the shocking incident. For some, it was the fist instance of child abuse that they’d ever seen. Officer Mastrianni is a hero for how ably he handled the situation. A less skilled or experienced officer might have harmed the young girl.
Police cameras are important, and this case exemplifies why. They protect officers. If the suspect had claimed that the police mistreated his daughter those allegations would have been hard to disprove without video evidence.