A Taser-brandishing Atlanta mall cop who gained notoriety for his string of crime-fighting YouTube videos was arrested Thursday after allegedly tackling a Metro Mall customer.
Darien Long, who was reportedly let go from his security job at the mall this week but allowed to work until the end of the month, was seen on surveillance footage running up and tackling the victim to the ground, Atlanta Police Department Officer John Chafee told MyFoxAtlanta.com
Long claimed he previously warned the victim not to return to the mall, but police could not verify that, Chafee said. Long was charged with battery and transported to Fulton County Jail. His first court appearance is scheduled for Friday.
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Long, who carries a firearm and a stun gun, became something of an Internet star for his series of YouTube videos on his channel, "KickAssMallCop," which document his encounters with mall-goers. After one of the videos went viral on Reddit last month, his fan base crowd-sourced a fundraising campaign for new gear for Long. More than $23,000 was ultimately raised via Crowdtilt.
But his strong-armed style has drawn criticism and is reportedly one of the reasons he lost his security job.
"He was instigating the arguments and fights, putting his hands on people, pushing them when there was no reason for it. He tazed (sic) the one guy for no reason," Reddit user "philhouse64" wrote in response to one video. "Just goes to show what a little power and fame can do to a person. He was security guard, not a cop."
Broadcast news program Right This Minute interviewed Long and a representative from the show told the Huffington Post that Long lost his job because of the bad publicity generated by the videos.
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But Long himself says his dismissal was because of financial factors.
"[The mall] lost three vendors. They can no longer afford to pay me. So that's why they're letting me go," Long told MyFoxAtlanta.com.
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