A recently surfaced video showing a man striking a woman and repeatedly insulting her has ignited controversy on social media.
Social media users are criticizing the perceived insufficient action from Phoenix police, who, after the assault was documented, arrested and subsequently released the man involved.
The man in question is Brent Michael Hospelhorn, 46, identified by the police. Public records reveal that Hospelhorn is the proprietor of a construction firm in Scottsdale named BPH Construction LLP.
This event occurred at approximately 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, at a property in the vicinity of Deer Valley Drive and 56th Street in northern Phoenix, as per police reports. The video demonstrates Hospelhorn displaying aggressive behaviour and utilizing vulgar language towards a woman, whom he accuses of damaging some cabinetry in a construction site.
Within the video, Hospelhorn is seen physically assaulting the woman, coercively commanding her to evacuate the building, and issuing threats of termination.
Initially posted on TikTok by Guadalupe Solano, the video of the assault is accompanied by a Spanish text stating “no one can treat you like this, even if they’re the owner simply because the cabinet was scratched.” TikTok users have disseminated the video, urging for police accountability and questioning why Hospelhorn was not arrested.
Responding to the allegations on Wednesday, the Phoenix police released a statement stating that the narrative propagated by social media users was “inaccurate,” and that the officers had acted without any deficiency. Hospelhorn was taken into custody for assault, cited and subsequently released on site, following recommendation for charges, as per the statement.
Phoenix police spokesperson Sgt. Robb Scherer, speaking to The Arizona Republic, clarified that the assault was considered a misdemeanor. He emphasized that Hospelhorn had not been let off the hook, but rather issued a court citation to attend.
Assault charges in Arizona, distinguishing between misdemeanor and felony, are determined based on a variety of factors such as the level of force utilized, the seriousness of the injuries inflicted, and whether the assault involved weaponry. Lower-level assault charges could potentially be escalated if they are targeted against certain professionals like police officers or firefighters.
According to Phoenix City Court records, Hospelhorn is presently facing an assault charge and is slated to make a court appearance on May 26.