Felipe Fernandez-Armesto was attending the American Historical Association's convention in Atlanta last week when he was stopped by a plainclothes police officer after crossing a street in downtown Atlanta.
The former Oxford professor said the situation grew more tense when he did not immediately realize that it was a police officer questioning him.
Mr. Fernandez-Armesto, 56, said he had left his green card in his hotel room. At that point, he says, the officer kicked his legs from under him and held him down. Two other officers helped hold him down as he was arrested. The charges were eventually dropped.
"I must say I didn't get to experience the Southern hospitality I'd heard so much about," he said.