Police offered William Harrigan III water from their patrol vehicle several times, which he reportedly declined “every time.”
PANAMA CITY BEACH - The Panama City Beach Police Department released an incident report Tuesday in response to a video showing police not helping a man named William Harrigan III crawling on the ground, stating they were assisting him and the man insisted on crawling.
The incident occurred Sunday and was captured on video and uploaded to Facebook by Beach resident Leigh-Anne Jeter. The video drew divided opinions, with some saying it showed a lack of compassion and others saying the whole story wasn’t given.
Police responded Sunday in reference to a male between two trash bins that was “crawling and appeared to be so intoxicated that he just gave up and had been laying there for about 10 minutes,” the report stated. The officer woke Harrigan up and explained why PCBPD received the call.
“Mr. Harrigan III explained that he was just trying to get to the nearest bus station,” the report stated. “Officer Weber arrived on scene at this time. Upon request, Mr. Harrigan III provided a North Dakota state I.D. to me.”
Police offered Harrigan water from their patrol vehicle several times, which he reportedly declined “every time.” Harrigan then requested a ride to the Greyhound bus station in Panama City, which police were approved to provide transportation to.
“After standing, Mr. Harrigan III advised approximately a month ago he obtained a leg injury to his right shin in two different places and it was difficult for him to walk,” the report stated. “I looked at Mr. Harrigan’s III right ankle and it was obvious he had injured it at some point. I asked Mr. Harrigan III if he would like for EMS to come and check his injuries and he stated he did not want EMS and only wanted to go to the bus station.”
Harrigan slowly walked using Weber’s assistance while the other officer carried his backpack as requested. Harrigan reportedly fell to the ground on his back after getting 10 feet within three minutes.
“Multiple times Mr. Harrigan III was helped up,” the report stated. “Finally, Mr. Harrigan III himself got tired of standing back up and asked if it was okay if to crawl while I still carried his backpack. Both officers on scene advised it might be better to just walk assisted to the marked patrol vehicle, however Mr. Harrigan III was adamant on crawling because he thought it might be faster.”
Harrigan put his backpack back on at one point after he requested his backpack be set down. The backpack was eventually placed inside the patrol vehicle by an officer and Harrigan got inside the vehicle.
Harrigan’s attempt to get to the vehicle is said to have lasted approximately 15-20 minutes. The Facebook video captured over a minute of Harrigan crawling.
Body-worn/in-car camera footage does not exist in the case and there was no contact information available for Harrigan.