Officer seen on video beating homeless woman with baton is charged

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A prosecutor has announced felony charges against an Atlanta-area police officer who was captured on video hitting a homeless woman inside a convenience store.

Cellphone video forced prosecutors to reconsider the use-of-force case involving DeKalb County officer Phillip Larscheid from two years ago.

Larscheid turned himself in Saturday morning on aggravated assault and violation of oath charges and was released on bond.

The officer was called to a Decatur gas station for a shoplifting and loitering call involving Katie McCrary but when she tried to leave and push past the officer, he beat her with his baton.

Larscheid was initially cleared but after the video surfaced, the use-of-force case was reopened and sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to investigate.


The GBI then turned over its findings to the DeKalb County District Attorney's Office.

"We determined that the case warranted proprietorial action and presented the case today to the grand jury for one count of aggravated assault and one count of violation of oath of office, both felony charges," said DeKalb County district attorney Sherry Boston.

McCrary was arrested and taken to jail but her injuries looked so severe the jail wouldn't take her, and sent her to the hospital instead.

The charges against McCrary have been dropped.

Larscheid has been with DeKalb police more than five years and in that time he used force 14 times, including euthanizing a deer with a firearm in 2011, according to the personnel file obtained by Channel 2 Action News. Use-of-force doesn't always mean a complaint was filed.

Larscheid's attorney sent Channel 2 Action News a statement Thursday night, saying:

“Master Police Officer Phillip Larscheid is considering his options going forward. He was Officer of the Year for 2014 for the entire Dekalb County Police Department and has received more than nineteen commendations during his eight years with the department. He certified with an ASP baton in the Dekalb Police Academy and seven times after that during annual training. He is understandably deeply concerned and taking these charges very seriously.”

DeKalb County confirmed Thursday that Larscheid is still "currently employed with the DeKalb County Police Department and has been on clerical duty since July 11, 2017."