WARNING: The video below contains explicit language and graphic images that viewers may find disturbing.
SAN DIEGO – Body-worn camera footage released Monday shows a San Diego police officer firing two rounds and Tasering a 44-year-old man suspected of committing sexual battery and then threatening officers this month in the Bay Terraces neighborhood.
The edited 13-minute release details the time right before officers were called just before 7:30 p.m. July 7 to the 300 block of South Meadowbrook Drive to the moments when multiple officers tackled and subdued suspect Maurice Dwight Littlejohn near the intersection of Meadowbrook and Brookhaven Road.
The agency was alerted about a sexual assault in progress by a victim who claimed Littlejohn was “high off of drugs” when he entered their unit and “stood over my bed and tried to flip me over to sleep with me.”
The victim said Littlejohn was standing in the parking lot screaming, which is where he was located by the agency’s Air Borne Law Enforcement, or ABLE, helicopter. Aerial video appears to show Littlejohn, wearing a red St. Louis Cardinals hat, a red T-shirt and holding a cane, in a dispute with a woman as he repeatedly waves the cane in the air.
Bodycam footage shows two unidentified officers arriving at the complex at 7:27 p.m. when they confront Littlejohn in the lot. He is seen strolling toward them with the cane in his right hand.
“Hey, drop the cane,” one officer says, repeating the command six more times as Littlejohn shouts back.
A woman then approaches the scene when officers ask her to stand back.
“That’s my husband,” she shouts.
“That’s OK,” the officer responds. “He’s about to get Tased if he doesn’t drop the cane.”
Littlejohn soon drops the cane, but argues with officers before backing up toward the complex. The officers follow him with Tasers drawn when Littlejohn says, “I’m not being detained. I’m not being detained, homie.”
He then removes his hat, holding it in his left hand as he pulls what appears to be a knife from his pocket.
“That’s a knife,” one officer says. “Stay lethal, stay lethal.”
Littlejohn is heard three times telling the officers to shoot him and after the third time, they use their Tasers on him. He falls to the ground and screams after it happens, but then appears to pull out the probes and backs away from the officers before running away from them.
The next scene in the video shows officers pursuing Littlejohn on foot. He runs a short distance through the complex, crosses over a parking lot and near another series of apartment units. That’s when officers say Littlejohn was seen reaching into his waistband.
One officer yells loudly for him to “Stop reaching,” before firing two shots in his direction. Neither struck Littlejohn and he continued to run.
Around the corner, police say Littlejohn pointed his cell phone at officers and then tossed it to the ground.
Three officers ultimately caught up to Littlejohn near the intersection with one bringing him down from behind as two others worked to subdue him. Police say it took officers about two minutes to place him in handcuffs “due to his resistance.”
No officers were hurt in the incident. Littlejohn suffered minor injuries and was taken to an area hospital for treatment, San Diego County sheriff’s Lt. Chris Steffen said the following day.
Jail records show Littlejohn was booked July 12 into San Diego Central Jail on a total of eight charges, including six felony charges for attempted first-degree murder, burglary, assault during a first-degree burglary, assault with a deadly weapon that’s not a firearm and resisting arrest. He also has two misdemeanor charges for sexual battery.
Littlejohn has two listed court dates, the first of which comes Thursday, records show.
The incident is being investigated by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. It will see several layers of reviews including by the county District Attorney’s Office to determine if officers bear any criminal liability for their actions and the Shooting Review Board to review the tactics of officers.