Pinellas County Sheriff’s Sgt. Bryan Bingham had his hands full with drunken, combative
Spring Breakers convicted felons. He stayed calm and appeared to use as little force as he could to control both suspects while awaiting back-up. It would have been nice to see some of the kids give him some meaningful help earlier in the fracas, but at least they did not attack him.
The first suspect, Joshua McMahan, punched and spat on Bingham at the beginning of the incident. McMahan was released from prison in 2014 for armed robbery. The second suspect, Justin Lewis, was also released from state prison last year on an aggravated battery charge. Both have many previous arrests.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri cleared the sergeant, saying he did his job in a dangerous situation. Bingham had responded to a fight involving 15-20 persons on the beach. “When you got a big crowd and you got somebody who is fighting, you’ve got to take action and that’s what Sgt. Bingham did,” Gualtieri said at a press conference.
Nice job, Deputy! Glad you were not seriously hurt.