Oklahoma Sheriff's Office Being Investigated After Teen Says He Was Beaten by Officers

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) announced on Monday that they were requested by the Bryan County Sheriff's office to investigate a recent traffic stop that resulted in a use-of-force incident.

According to a press release posted on Facebook by the OSBI, a Bryan County Sheriff's Deputy attempted to make a traffic stop on Sunday evening in Cartwright, Oklahoma.

The release from the OSBI states that the vehicle pulled over for deputies but then "took off." The deputy then continued to pursue the vehicle as other officers became involved in the pursuit.

"After several minutes, the vehicle came to a stop at the intersection of 2nd and State Highway 91 in Cartwright. While the driver was being arrested, both the driver and one passenger exited the vehicle," the release states. "An altercation between law enforcement and those exiting the vehicle began."

Gage Bowman, a 16-year-old from Bryan County, was one of the individuals in the car during the traffic stop and recently told KXII news in Oklahoma that he was beaten unconscious by the deputies.

Bowman told KXII that his cousin was driving the car, along with three others and they were initially stopped under suspicion of drunk driving. As the OSBI noted in their release, Bowman's cousin drove away after the initial traffic stop but was pulled over again after driving a few miles.

Oklahoma Police
A police officer maintains a security line after a shooting in a Walmart parking lot on November 18, 2019 in Duncan, Oklahoma. J Pat Carter/Getty

According to KXII, after stopping for the second time, Bowman's cousin put his hands up and reached out the window, which is when Bowman said that deputies sprayed his cousin with mace and began to hit him.

"I hopped out the car because I was trying to help him and I was like 'that ain't right'," Bowman told KXII. "As soon as I got close to my cousin I got hit in the face and tackled."

After being tackled by deputies, Bowman said that one pulled his arm behind his back, limiting his movement and added that "They were holding my hair and they were hitting me in the face."

Bowman also told KXII that deputies did not ask for his ID or his age. "They just beat the hell out of me," he said.

According to KXII, Thomas Huston witnessed the incident and told the Oklahoma news site that deputies told Bowman and his cousin to get out of the car "three different times."

"They didn't comply with the officer, they revved their engine and they ran from him," Huston told KXII.

Bowman told KXII that after the traffic stop he was initially charged with assault and battery but the charges have since been dropped. The press release from the OSBI states that the driver was taken to a local hospital shortly after the incident to be treated for his injuries and has since been released.

Newsweek reached out to the OSBI and the Bryan County Sheriff's Office for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.