A Lakeland, Florida man was pepper sprayed, restrained and arrested at Orlando International Airport Thursday, after allegedly acting “erratically,” and “frothing at the mouth,” according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Jeffrey Epstein, 59, a licensed medical doctor in Lakeland, was confronted by police at OIA on August 16. When he refused to cooperate, Epstein was thrown to the ground and pepper sprayed. He can be heard shouting: “you’re treating me like a f–king black person!” while police attempt to restrain him.
A bystander taped the incident, which you can check out below:
According to the Orlando Sentinel, police responded to OIA just before 6 a.m. after a call from airline employees about a disorderly traveler, who was allegedly yelling obscenities while standing in a ticket line.
When Epstein saw officers approaching, he “threw his hands in the air” and yelled that “police had come to arrest him,” according to an arrest affidavit. Epstein refused officers’ orders to leave the airport, and “continued to yell and say to arrest him,” police reported.
He can be heard shouting “do not hurt me, you understand? Do not hurt me,” several times in the video, while police continue to try to restrain him.
Epstein was eventually taken into custody, but ended up in the hospital after complaining about chest pain. While on the way to the hospital, Epstein said he “created a very big disturbance and I did it on purpose,” according to the affidavit. However, when he arrived at the hospital he refused to speak to a doctor, so he was taken back to the Orange County jailhouse.
Police found a bag of marijuana on Epstein after searching him. He was arrested on charges of battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting officer with violence and trespassing after warning.
The video made its rounds on Twitter and was shared nearly 17 thousand times. Many users were outraged that he would shout about being “treated like a black person,” claiming if he really was treated like an African American, he would be dead right now.
NebraskaDNA wrote: “If he were really being treated like a black person his name would be followed by a hashtag today!”
Another user wrote: “I won’t go as far as stating the obvious, but if this is deem ‘treating me like a black person’ then please treat us like this. I think I speak for the majority of us when I say we’d prefer this method of treatment over death.