ONLY ON 3 UPDATE: Police explain why they used Taser on fan at basketball game


WHITEVILLE, NC (WWAY) — It was video you saw ONLY ON 3 Friday night: police using a taser on a fan at a Whiteville High School basketball game.

Today we’re learning more from police about exactly what happened.

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For years Whiteville Police Sgt. Andre Jackson has spent his Friday nights at Whiteville High School working crowd control for the Wolfpack home games.

“It has always been pleasant,” Jackson said. “We have never had many problems. Just little minor stuff. I don’t know what happened friday night to make this guy act the way he did.”

Friday night when Whiteville took on conference rival South Brunswick, a questionable call made 37-year-old Michael Kelly’s emotions erupt. According to police, Kelly began screaming obscenities at players and referees. After the referees ejected him from the game Kelly refused to leave, and that’s when law enforcement stepped in.

“They tried to talk to him, and with the language that he used, they still didn’t do anything else, but he pushed them, and then took his elbow and tried to take a swing, and that’s when the officers used the correct thing and used the minimal force necessary,” Jackson said. “The referee wrote a statement that the officers were very professional in the way they handled it, and the principal said he was pleased with the way they handled themselves.”

Police arrested Kelly and charged him with resisting arrest, assaulting a law enforcement officer and disorderly conduct, which are all misdemeanors.

This is the second incident involving Whiteville fans this year, after Brunswick County Sheriff’s deputies cleared the stands during a game at North Brunswick earlier this season. Still, Whiteville Police say they have no plans to change their policies for crowd control.

“Usually we have the same amount of officers. We had five officers working the game, so we were very equipped to handle that, and that’s something that don’t happen here,” Jackson said. “It was just one of those things, but we were able to handle it.”

Police say they could have peppersprayed Kelly, but then they would have had to clear the gym.

We’ve tried to track down Kelly for comment, but have not yet found him.