Police in Arlington, Texas, have begun an investigation after an incident at Thursday’s Cowboys-Panthers game. An AT&T Stadium security guard was filmed putting a Panthers fan in a chokehold while attempting to escort the fan out.
The fan, John Small, alleges that he did nothing wrong. Smalls stated, "He jumped up on my back, put his arm around my throat and tried to pull me to the ground.”
Video obtained by FOX 4 shows the stadium guard putting the fan in a chokehold. In the video the guard can also been seen tussling with Small in the aisle as other fans attempt to intervene. At the end of the video, Small can be seen being escorted away by stadium security.The incident took place in a lower level section in the corner end zone of the stadium.
Small filed a police report with the Arlington police and officers are investigating the incident as a possible misdemeanor assault.
The guard stated to FOX4 that there had been several complaints from both team’s fans about Small's disruptive behavior. When the guard and his colleague came back for a second time to ask Small to leave, the fight took place.
The security guard further stated that no one with Arlington police had talked to him about the incident.
Bart Terrell, a retired captain with the Dallas Sheriff's Department says the guard appeared to be attempting a retired police tactic called the carotid restraint, or the sleeper hold. The move was routinely employed by officers, but the practice has been generally stopped because they're very dangerous, according to Terrell.
"A lot of times your throat will be blocked, the windpipe will be blocked, and it can cause serious injury or even fatalities,” said Terrell. “That's why a lot of departments don't use that anymore."
Both the Cowboys and Arlington police declined to comment on the video or the investigation.