Scuffle with Astoria PD leads to arrest, witness offers praise h - KPTV - FOX 12

Scuffle with Astoria PD leads to arrest, witness offers praise how situation was handled

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James Harley, jail booking photo (Courtesy: Clatsop County Jail) James Harley, jail booking photo (Courtesy: Clatsop County Jail)

Tense moments were caught on camera over the weekend in Astoria as police arrested a man accused of throwing produce in a store and broken class at passing cars. 

The video posted to YouTube shows law enforcement from several agencies trying to take James Clive Albert Harley into custody. 

Witnesses tell FOX 12 he appeared to be on something and when Astoria police went to arrest him a lengthy struggle ensued. 

J.D. Foster was one of those witnesses. 

Foster was in Astoria with his wife and friends for an anniversary trip. He says early Saturday afternoon they came across Harley where he appeared to be looking for a lighter. Foster says he offered his to the man but he declined. 

At the time Foster says the man appeared fairly normal but as the afternoon went on he began to show up where they were and each encounter was stranger and stranger.

"He approached us and says, 'Hey, do you guys want some fries, these things will kill you,' and at that point I knew he was on something, we knew right away, we were like oh boy," Foster said.

Police say they were called when Harley broke a hot sauce bottle and began throwing pieces of glass at passing cars. 

That's when the fight with officers began.

"You can hear him, he is very agitated he is very worked up," Foster said.

It took law enforcement from Astoria, Warrenton, Clatsop County and OSP and a few bystanders to deescalate the situation.

"It was scary because those cops get put in such predicaments in such a short amount of time and it can change so fast," Foster said.

He adds after watching the video back and hearing the news of a Pierce County, Washington deputy being killed in the line of duty, that the gravity of Saturday really set in.

"Police get such a bad rap these days in society," Foster said. "But the reality is that they, most of them are good people trying to help out and that is exactly what these guys did."

His hope is that the man in the video is able to find the help he needs what ever that may be.

"We as a society need to step up a little bit more with this drug issue with this mental health and take that a little bit more seriously," Foster said.

Astoria police say Harley was just released from jail for a car theft arrest last week. He's being held on several charges including theft, resisting arrest and assaulting a public safety officer.

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