Man accused of trespass and obstruction of an officer at Masters Tournament acquitted

 

A man accused of trespass and obstruction of an officer at this year’s Masters Tournament was acquitted of both charges Monday.

A Richmond County State Court jury found Larry P. Craft, 52, of Lyles, Tenn., not guilty of committing any crime at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 10.

A video of Craft’s encounter with officers may have accounted for the quick verdict Monday afternoon.

According to a police statement, officers said they repeatedly told Craft not to enter Augusta National and accused him of acting aggressively toward patrons’ religious beliefs and dress.

On a video played for jurors Monday, Craft — wearing a white T-shirt with “repent or preach” on the front and holding a banner — is approached by an officer in plain clothes outside the gates of the club.

On the video, the officer made one statement to Craft and began pushing him into another grassy area where he and an uniformed marshal forced Craft to the ground and wrenched his hands behind his back to put on handcuffs.

“This fellow’s talking, he says stop resisting. I told him I’m not resisting, I’m just trying to keep my arm from being broke,” Craft testified Monday.

According to the sheriff’s statement, Craft was argumentative with deputies, saying he was “not going to leave.” Craft denied that on the witness stand Monday, and in the video of his arrest, he did not argue with the arresting officer, Deputy William Hulton.

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Sat, 12/03/2016 - 00:51

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