'Do you want to go to jail?' Video shows driver claiming former Texas City officer threatening him

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Saturday, September 9, 2023
Texas City officer out 5 months after questionable arrest at Buc-ee's
Scott Harrell is out as a Texas City police officer five months after an interaction with a driver at a Buc-ee's drew an internal investigation.

TEXAS CITY, Texas (KTRK) -- A Texas City police officer has been terminated over a viral traffic stop at Buc-ee's nearly five months ago.

Officer Scott Harrell is already fighting to get his job back.

In body-worn camera footage from April 19, which the Texas City Police Department released already blurred, Harrell approaches a man at the pump and accuses him of speeding through the parking lot and driving across parking spaces.

The video above is the ABC13 Houston's 24/7 Streaming Channel.

The driver said he didn't do anything wrong. The encounter goes on for more than 20 minutes.

In a portion of the video, the driver questions whether stopping him is really a priority.

"There's a lot better things for you to be doing," the man, whose face is obscured in the video, told Harrell.

"Do you want to go to jail?" Harrell is heard asking. "You could go to jail...You can do what you want to do."

Harrell claims not wanting to take the driver into custody, calling it a waste of his time. But he reminds the driver that the backtalk is pushing things to the edge.

"The attitude is not necessary," Harrell says in the video.

In another part of the video, the driver takes Harrell to task over the threat of an arrest.

"I think this whole thing is ridiculous - that we're even talking about. Nothing happened, and you're threatening to take me to jail. I shouldn't be getting upset? That is a threat," he's heard saying.

That exchange leads to handcuffs hitting the driver's wrists.

"Go ahead, put your hands behind your back," Harrell commands.

"Wow," the driver says in disbelief before being cuffed and loaded into the back of a police car.

An internal investigation was launched in May, and on Friday, the Texas City police chief penned a letter to the community announcing Harrell's termination.

"The decision was made after a thorough review of the circumstances and is in line with our commitment to maintaining the highest standards of professionalism, ethics and community service," Chief Landis Cravens wrote, in part.

ABC13 reached out to Harrell for comment, and he told Eyewitness News to contact his representative.