Witnesses speak about alleged altercation involving JSO assistant chief

By Scott Johnson, General assignment reporter, sjohnson@wjxt.com
News4Jax.com Staff, webteam@wjxt.com
Published On: Mar 14 2014 10:19:50 PM EDT
Updated On: Mar 15 2014 01:07:05 AM EDT

VIDEO: Another man witnessed the alleged altercation between Assistant Chief Leonard Propper and a Jacksonville man at an Eagles concert last month.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

As the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office continues to look into the actions of one of its own supervisors, Channel 4 is now hearing from more witnesses at an Eagles concert last month.

Channel 4's Scott Johnson spoke to witnesses of the alleged altercation between JSO Assistant Chief Leonard Propper and a Jacksonville man who wants to remain anonymous.

The stories the witnesses told Channel 4 remain very different. One witness said the night Channel 4 broke this story that Propper was doing his duty and calming down an unruly concertgoer.

But Friday night, Channel 4 spoke with a man who said Propper was the aggressor and he thinks Propper went way too far.

The man, like others in this story, didn't want his face shown on camera because he's concerned about backlash for how he said Propper acted.

"Officer Propper, I guess he was trying to control the situation, but he went overboard," the man said.

The man said when police approached the Jacksonville couple and asked them to stop taking pictures, no one had any idea that the fan in front of them was a JSO assistant chief.

RELATED: Asst. chief investigated in concert ejection

"I was thinking he was trying to get in a fight with them because they were being a little noisy," he said.

The man said that it looked like Propper physically threw the other man.

"Oh yeah, definitely. He grabbed him and flung him over, or forced him to lose balance -- one or the other," he said.

But other witnesses told a different story. One woman Channel 4 talked to earlier this week who also saw the incident insisted Propper did nothing wrong.

"At one point I was just sitting, and I see Leonard looking down and his head jerks forward because the guy hit him in back," said Kristy Dutton, who attended the concert. "Then I see security come up and he's taking pictures with a flash. You can't have that. It was just chaotic at that point and that's when Officer Propper stood up and said, 'Just calm down,' talking to him and the guy was pushing Leonard, and I had my arm on him because they were almost falling over on us."

"I wasn't quite sure what to think. What I saw was him grab him and police escort him out," said a witness. "I'm not sure what happened after that."

Dutton did tell Channel 4 she is a friend of Propper's. The man Channel 4 spoke to Friday night is friends with the other couple involved.

However, Channel 4's Scott Johnson also spoke with a woman in New Jersey -- a big Eagles fan who was also at the concert -- and doesn't know any of the people involved. She told Channel 4 she had no idea Propper was an officer while any of this was going on, and doesn't think his behavior was justified.

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