Surveillance video from the night of Chris Young’s arrest at a Nashville bar appears to contradict a Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission agent’s claims that the country star assaulted the officer during the incident Monday night.
In a pair of surveillance videos posted Tuesday to Facebook by Nashville’s Newschannel 5 reporter Nick Beres, Young — wearing the leather jacket in the video — is seen approaching the plainclothes TABC agents, non-aggressively touching one of the agents on the arm. The agent responded by forcefully shoving Young backward, causing him to tumble over a bar stool at the Dawg House bar.
Young was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and assault of an officer following the incident; the video does not show Young’s actual arrest and if he resisted. However, the agent claimed in the arrest affidavit obtained by Rolling Stone that Young “blocked” the agents from leaving Dawg House and “put his hands out to stop me from leaving the bar and stuck me on the shoulder,” which the video shows was overstated.
“[Young] is waiting to ask the men why they took a photo of his ID and reaches out to ask the agent to stop to talk,” Beres wrote. “The agent then shoves Young knocking him to the floor. According to Young’s lawyer all his client wanted to do was to confirm the identity of the men — who were not in obvious uniforms … and ask about the photo of his ID.”
Following the agent’s shove, Young is seen backing away from the confrontation with his hands up while his associates and a handful of other patrons surround the agents.
Beres added, “[Young’s] lawyer tells me what happened to his client in the Dawg House was wrong … that he never should have been arrested … and that ABC should drop the charges and apologize.”
The affidavit added that Young’s eyes were bloodshot and watery, and his speech was slurred. Young was booked into the Metro jail and released Tuesday morning. Young’s next court date on the charges is scheduled for Feb. 16.
In a statement, Young’s attorney, Bill Ramsey, said the singer’s arrest was “wrong” and called for charges to be dropped.
“What happened to my client Chris Young at a bar in Nashville on Monday night was wrong and he never should have been arrested and charged in the first place,” Ramsey said. “In light of the video evidence, Tennessee ABC needs to drop the charges and apologize for the physical, emotional and professional harm done towards my client.”
Young, a native of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and a member of the Grand Ole Opry, is known for such Number One hits as “You,” “I’m Comin’ Over,” and various collabs, including “Sober Saturday Night” with Vince Gill, “Famous Friends” with Kane Brown, and “At the End of a Bar” with Mitchell Tenpenny. His current single, “Young Love & Saturday Nights,” interpolates the guitar riff from David Bowie’s 1974 rock hit “Rebel Rebel.” He’ll release a new album on March 22.
This story was updated on 1/24 at 2:30 pm with a statement from Young’s attorney.
Music Country – Rolling Stone