A black teenager was placed in a choke hold at a white-owned towing company in Salpulpa, Oklahoma.
Seventeen-year-old Christian Heath told KOKI that he totaled his car a few weeks ago, but when he went to pay his bill at the towing company he was assaulted:
I just came up and I was like, “Hey, I’m here to get my car” and [towing company owner Paul Hulbert] said, “OK, do you have the title?”
Hulbert said the signature on the back of the title (by the previous previous owner) was hard to read: “So, he gives me title, and I go inside to make a copy of it, which we always do.”
Meanwhile, Heath was on the phone with his dad, who advised him to leave the car and take his titile and leave:
He just walked off with it inside, with his copy and my title, so I just swiped it out of his hand. I didn’t touch him. I made sure not to touch him.
Hulbert claimed the opposite:
[Heath] grabbed the stuff out of my hand, knocked me down, knocked my glasses off. Then, my friend, who was here, came over and helped me and held the kid down, so we could get our paperwork back.
A video filmed by one of Heath’s friends shows Hulbert’s friend using a choke hold
“I said, ‘If you’re being choked, you wouldn’t be screaming,'” Hulbert claimed, which is an old wives tale.
He jams his elbow into my stomach where I can’t breathe whatsoever, so I push him off me, and his buddy tightens his grip on my neck. Boy, that hurt so bad…
I was scared at one point I was going to die.
Either Hulbert or his choke-hold buddy was caught on video using racial slurs.
“Either [Hulbert] didn’t want to do business with me whatsoever,” Heath said. “I think he thought the car was stolen.”
Anyone who looks at that thing can tell I didn’t say anything to him. It wasn’t racially biased at all. I mean, I didn’t even know he was black. He’s real light-skinned. I thought he was an Indian or Mexican.
The Creek County Sheriff’s Office placed Heath, who was choked, in handcuffs but later freed the teen.