CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — An investigation is underway in Chesterfield County after a Chesterfield County Sheriff’s deputy was alleged assaulted by a Richmond Police officer on July 2.
Officer Shwarlyn E. Arriola was arrested Thursday afternoon, in connection with an incident that reportedly occurred while authorities were responding to a deadly shooting earlier this month on Ironbridge Parkway. He was charged with felony assault on a law enforcement officer and misdemeanor obstruction.
According to a Richmond Police Department (RPD) spokesperson, Arriola was hired on Dec. 7, 2020, and has been placed on leave without pay.
“That means his police powers are suspended. His badge, gun and credentials are taken from him so he cannot hold himself out as a police officer, and he’s told that he has no authority to do so,” retired police chief and current security consultant Michael Jones said. “That’s an abundance of caution to protect the public from a situation that should not have occurred.”
According to a spokesperson with the Chesterfield County Police Department (CCPD), the charges stemmed from a July 2 incident. Officers had responded to the 6600 block of Ironbridge Parkways at approximately 10:30 p.m. for reports of a shooting at a party where more than 100 people were reportedly in attendance.
On scene, officers said they found a juvenile male in a bathroom with a gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
A Chesterfield County Sheriff’s deputy was also providing security at the party and went to investigate before police arrived, authorities said. The deputy reportedly confronted a person with a handgun and fired their weapon. The armed individual was hit, and taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Details about why Officer Arriola was on the scene have not been publicly released. RPD has confirmed that Arriola was not on duty at the time of the incident.
“The sheriff’s department, they get hired to do off-duty security, and that’s nothing unusual,” Jones said. “Now, as to why the Richmond police officer went out there off-duty and got into an altercation, assault a police officer, that’s a very big mystery.”
Following his Thursday arrest, Officer Arriola was released on his own recognizance.
“The chief of Chesterfield and the chief of Richmond are very professional, and they’re very concerned about this, and so am I. The facts will be found and the public will be notified appropriately,” Jones said. “All of us who are police officers and police commanders, a little bit of us goes out on the street every day with every officer that works for us. So we take it personally.”
Authorities have not provided details about the reported exchange between Officer Arriola and the Chesterfield County Sheriff’s deputy.
“If you put your hands on a law enforcement [official] who’s engaged in performing their duty and you try to impede them, based on the type of touching or grabbing, that could be everything from obstructing a law enforcement [official], which is a misdemeanor, or actually a physical assault, which would be a felony,” Jones said. “The law does not take a very good view on people who try to attack or impede police officers, and of all people to know better, it would be a police officer.”
Jones noted that Arriola is innocent until proven guilty, and that local authorities likely wanted to gather as much evidence as possible before filing charges.
Officer Arriola has a pre-trial hearing set for Wednesday, July 20 in Chesterfield County.