Seventeen-year-old Christian Heath is alleging that he was assaulted at an Oklahoma towing company but he has video to back up the claim.
The National Honor Society student explained to Fox23 that he totaled his car several weeks ago and went to A&W Towing in Sapulpa to pay the bill and retrieve the things he’d left in his car. He explained to the company that his father just purchased the car for him and the title wasn’t in his name, but that the owner signed the back. The next thing he knew, an employee was “[jamming] his elbow into my stomach.”
“I just came up and I was like, ‘Hey, I’m here to get my car,’ Heath said, “and [Paul Hulbert] said, ‘OK, do you have the title?”
Hulbert said he went inside to make a copy of it. He then said that the signature was hard to read.
Heath, who was on the phone with his father at the time, said that his father told him to simply grab the title and bring it back and they’d deal with it later. Heath said that he tried to.
“He just walked off with it inside, with his copy and my title, so I just swiped it out of his hand,” Heath said. “I didn’t touch him. I made sure not to touch him.”
Hulbert has a different claim, saying the honors student pushed him to the ground.
“[Heath] grabbed the stuff out of my hand, knocked me down, knocked my glasses off,” Hulbert said. “Then, my friend, who was here, came over and helped me and held the kid down, so we could get our paperwork back.”
Heath’s friend was with him and quickly turned on his camera phone. The video shows two men holding Heath down in a chokehold.
“I can’t breathe,” Heath can be heard saying.
“I said, ‘If you’re being choked, you wouldn’t be screaming,'” Hulbert replied to the minor.
Heath said that at that point he was terrified he was about to die. The video also shows Heath saying that one of the men used a racial slur in the incident. That’s what made Heath say he thought the act was racially motivated.
“He didn’t want to do business with me whatsoever,” Heath said. “I think he thought the car was stolen.”
Hulbert swears race had nothing to do with it.
“Anyone who looks at that thing can tell I didn’t say anything to him,” Hulbert said. “It wasn’t racially biased at all. I mean, I didn’t even know he was black. He’s real light-skinned. I thought he was an Indian or Mexican.”
Heath asked his friends to call 911 and the Creek County Sheriff’s Office responded by putting Heath in handcuffs and taking him to the patrol car.
Heath and his family have hired an attorney.
Watch the video below: