Punches were thrown after a police officer responded to a noise complaint at a Mesquite, Texas apartment complex — but it was all in fun, a video shows.
Officer Winston Bowen was responding to a noise complaint at Hillcrest Apartments on Monday and was invited to face off against one of the teenagers — after they turned down the music of course, according to CBS Dallas-Fort Worth.
“There’s this perception that police officers have guns, we have a badge, but we can’t fight,” said Officer Bowen, who’s been boxing since he was 13, the news station said.
The video shows one person putting a pair of globes on Bowen while his opponent gets himself ready for the fight. Someone can be heard saying "you better win."
Once Bowen’s gloves are secured, he hunches down and gears up for battle. He gets several shots in while others stand atop a car and watch, record the fight on their phones and jeer in the background. After less than a minute, someone stepped in to stop it by shaking Bowen's hand.
Bowen, who’s nicknamed Blade because he looks like the superhero played by Wesley Snipes, told CBS Dallas-Fort Worth he “hugged” his opponent afterward.
A department spokesman says Bowen left and came back with chips and soda to give to the teens, the New York Post reported.
The video was posted Monday on Facebook by the Mesquite Police Association, and on the police union’s website and YouTube channel the following day. It's gotten more than 1 million views. “We are so proud of our officers and their level of involvement in our city,” the Facebook post said. “Mesquite is so fortunate to have officers like this that fully engage with the communities they serve!”
Some commenters on the union’s page applauded the fight, which they said demonstrated Bowen’s friendly and familiar presence in the community. “It’s a great thing to see the men in blue interact without youth, the future of our communities, our government,” wrote one user.
A user said Bowen’s decision to fight in his uniform set a bad example, but others rebuked him, saying it’s clear that Bowen is well known among the teens.