TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The viral video of the day sweeping the Internet involves police, guns, and a toddler putting her hands up during an arrest.
It happened in Tallahassee, Florida on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. near the parking lot of the Bealls Store on Capital Circle Northeast. The video is just now exploding.
Tallahassee Police say they received a 911 call that there were shoplifters in the store, and that one of the employees said one of the men had a gun.
Officers arrived quickly and surrounded the suspects’ pickup truck.
The encounter was caught on cell phone by a local woman and her daughter.
You can hear them on the video saying, “She’s trying to get out. Oh, my God. She’s trying to get out but she can’t because she’s little. Ooh, she’s holding her hands up. Oh, my God.”
And who walked out of the pickup truck? A toddler with her hands in the air, slowly making her way toward police.
A spokesperson for the police department, Damon Miller, said the officers didn’t know what they were walking into. Given the information they’d gotten about the suspects being armed, they approach the truck as if that’s what they were going to encounter.
“It’s just for safety because we don’t know who else is inside the vehicle. If you look at the video, there are multiple that actually did come outside of the vehicle. It’s very important that our awareness is very heightened on a situation like that,” Officer Miller said.
In the video, you can hear the people recording it express their own confusion about what’s happening.
“They’re still holding the gun at the baby. No, they’re holding the gun at the car. There’s nobody else in there, though. Yes, it is,” you can hear them say.
Moments later, police officers walked over to the toddler and picked her up. She was not hurt. At that point in the video, you can hear the daughter of the woman recording it again:
“Wow, that baby, oh my gosh, she is so small,” she said.
Chad Bom, 34, and James McMullen, 38, were both arrested, reported WCTV. They are charged with petty theft.
Police say neither had a gun. It’s unclear whether either is a parent of the toddler.
Officer Miller says the Tallahassee Police Department is reviewing the video that was posted to social media along with the officers’ body cam video.