JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Region 8 News obtained the dash cam video showing Jonesboro police officers arrest a man, after police say he tried to eat the evidence.
According to a Jonesboro police incident report, a patrol officer saw 43-year-old Lawrence Cannon riding a bike in the roadway near Melrose and Cedar Heights.
The officer pulled Cannon over because his bike was missing a light and the officer was concerned for his safety.
When the officer ran his information through dispatch, he realized Cannon had a felony warrant through Poinsett County.
When the officer asked Cannon about it, he denied it. The officer then asked if he could search Cannon and he started pulling items out of his pockets and stuffed something under the patrol car's hood.
The officer asked Cannon to give him the item and he tensed up and resisted arrest.
According to the report, the officer placed Cannon on the ground to "try to safely effect an arrest and try to get the item out of his hand."
Instead, Cannon continued to resist and stuff the item in his mouth. The officer ordered him to put his hands behind his back and spit out the item but Cannon kept saying, "I don't have anything."
The pair's struggle continued and the officer was able to identify the item as a bag of meth. Fearing that swallowing the object could seriously injure Cannon, the officer tried to get him to spit it out.
According to the report, two other Jonesboro officers arrived at the scene for assistance and one of them "deployed his taser" to pry Cannon's mouth open.
Officers then saw a bag of meth fall out of his mouth and they placed him under arrest.
"We view that as almost a life-saving measure," Lt. Steven McDaniel said. "When someone tries to put drugs in their mouth or ingest drugs, we know that could potentially have a very deadly outcome."
Lt. McDaniel said he can remember two similar cases he worked that turned deadly.
"One that overdosed on the drugs that he swallowed and died," McDaniel said. "Another that actually choked when he was trying to swallow drugs."
McDaniel said that's why the Jonesboro Police Department takes these cases so seriously.
"They did not know whether he [Cannon] was successful with swallowing some of the drugs so they did take him for medical treatment just to get him checked out," McDaniel said.
After the emergency room visit, officers transported Cannon to the Craighead County Jail on possession of meth, tampering with physical evidence, resisting arrest and a warrant from Poinsett County.
His bond was set at $15,000.