Man arrested after punching Temple Police officer

Nineteen-year-old Rodney Ganbrell was arrested Wednesday, Jan. 25, just after 4:30 p.m. after punching a Temple Police officer, Ray Betzner, assistant vice president of university communications, said in an email.

The altercation occurred on the 1800 block of North 16th Street after two Temple Police officers on bike patrol came across a group of juveniles and teens. While riding by the group, one of the officers was contacted by an unknown male. The officer then approached the male at which time Ganbrell punched the officer on the right side of the face, Betzner said.

The officers then attempted to arrest Ganbrell, who resisted arrest and refused to comply. The unidentified male who made the initial contact later intervened by pushing, pulling and grabbing the officers.

“During the struggle the group fell to the ground and the Temple officer felt one of the males grabbing for his gun,” Betzner said. “The officer drew his gun in response.”

No shots were fired during the incident.

A video of the events was uploaded to Wednesday. According to the website, the video has had more than 198,000 views. Information on the website suggests members of the crowd were of high school age.

As backup officers arrived at the scene, the suspect was subdued and onlookers dispersed. Ganbrell was taken to Central Detective Division and charged with aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy, terroristic threats, simple assault and resisting arrest. The other male involved has not been identified.

Becky Kerner can be reached at

1 Comment

  1. So much to say. Cell phone videos are inherently poor visually, but what strikes me is the laughing and joking that we hear around the camera, while this drama unfolds. No one helps the officers. Where are the Philadelphia Police? And what is the person holding the camera saying? It is not English that I understand. OMG this is North Philadelphia urban reality. Frightening!

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