The Colonial Heights man involved in a brawl with police at Shamrock the Block in Shockoe Bottom is now facing felony charges. Friday, Jason Dotson says he was shocked when he was charged with assaulting a police officer.
This wasn't what was scheduled to happen Friday. Dotson was only supposed to be in court for a short procedural hearing on the original summons. But when that ended, deputies detained him. They explained they have a warrant on file for his arrest for assaulting an officer.
The YouTube video of the fight captured the attention of the city and has stayed with Jason Dotson in the month since the violent incident.
"Honestly I'd rather people know me for something different than the kid who got into it with police at Shamrock the Block," he told us in an exclusive interview.
"I should've known this was coming," is all he could blurt out in shock as deputies took him out of the courtroom. It took hours of processing before he was released.
"That right there took me by surprise I guess for a second but then I'm not surprised because I think they're trying to cover themselves," Dotson alleged.
NBC12 alone was there to hear his version of events.
"I can honestly say I had one beer all day," Dotson maintained.
He says he rushed over when friends told him his brother was in trouble after a fight.
"He's bleeding from his face just laying on the ground in handcuffs and they haven't really apprehended the other individual that was involved," he recalled. "So I went up to him and I said 'you know, if my brother is sitting on the ground arrested, you all need to do something with this kid.'"
Then, everything escalated.
We asked Dotson in the altercation who touched whom first.
"He touched me," Dotson answered. "As he was saying 'get back' he kind of stuck his arm out. I didn't go towards him he just came and pushed me. He proceeded to hit me in the ribs and then that's when he grabbed my neck."
After the video surfaced, police said they started an internal investigation. At the time, we were told they didn't have enough information to pass judgment as to whether or not the officer used excessive force and who was at fault.
We asked Dotson if the fact that he could get in trouble for fighting with an officer was running through his mind.
"Of course, of course it was but I think at the same time from any man's point of view if someone is sitting there assaulting you and you know you've done nothing wrong, I mean, just because someone has a badge, they're still held accountable for their actions," he replied.
Dotson says he's thinking about filing suit against the department.
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