Why did a police officer grab Tyler Matzek during the Braves parade? We got answers

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — A local police department is sticking up for its officer over a confrontation with a Braves player during the victory parade on Friday.

Braves pitcher Tyler Matzek was running through the street, celebrating the team’s big World Series win when a Marietta police officer grabbed him and forced his hand behind his back. The video has since gone viral.

Channel 2′s Michael Seiden talked to police about the odd encounter. Police wanted to make it clear that the officer was not trying to arrest Matzek.

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A spokesman said that around the same time the Braves pitcher was running down a stretch of Cobb Parkway, there were also some unruly fans trying to reach the players riding in the parade.


Kevin Bartz saw the whole event happen and said he felt bad for Matzek.

“I’m just like, ‘I can’t believe they’re giving a player c--p for this right now,” Bartz said.

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He said moments before, he and his sister were watching Matzek run down the street giving high-fives to the hometown crowd.

“And then all of a sudden, he’s literally right in front of me being escorted and grabbed and pushed by a Marietta police officer,” Bartz said.

Officer Chuck McPhilamy with the Marietta Police Department defended the officer.

“Certainly the rest of the world assumed that we were trying to arrest someone,” McPhilamy said. “There were no arrests that were made during the parade .”

McPhilamy said that what you don’t see in the video are several fans dressed in white Braves jerseys wandering onto the parade route and attempting to high-five the players.

There was also confusion because police were told all players would wear credentials.

“Our officer starts to walk him off from the parade route and in that moment, he reaches into his pocket and pulls out the credentials,” McPhilamy said. “And once that moment happens, both are incredibly embarrassed.”

Matzek defended the officer’s actions on social media, writing, “Officer was just doing his job trying to keep the team safe.”

Marietta Police said what is so ironic about the situation is that the officer is a huge Braves fan and would have loved to meet Matzek -- just not under these circumstances.