AS TYREE Carroll sat in a cell yesterday inside the city's Hall of Corrections, his name went viral.

A video of his arrest April 4 hit more than 55,000 views just a day after its posting to YouTube was first reported by the Daily News.

Meanwhile, police officials released more information on the 22-year-old's encounter with officers that night, including an assertion that 5.3 grams of crack cocaine in his possession had precipitated his brush with the law.

Police, in an official statement, also said that Carroll - who was on probation at the time for a previous drug conviction - fought with the officers and deliberately slammed his head inside a patrol car, prompting an evaluation at a nearby hospital.

He was charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment and drug offenses.

As Carroll sat in a cell, his grandmother, Nancy Carroll, 75, sat in her East Germantown living room, speaking out for the first time about her grandson and the controversial footage.

"I looked at it, and when I saw the cops beating him, I shut my mind off," Carroll said.

She said she had visited her grandson yesterday in prison. He complained of a swollen ankle and some headaches. But they didn't talk about his arrest - Tyree didn't want to, she said.

"We just talked about him coming home."

To that end, the family has retained criminal-defense attorney Berto Elmore, whose colleague Shaka Johnson will assist him.

"I'm at a loss for words about how I feel," Johnson said as he sat next to Nancy Carroll last night. "There's nothing that you can tell me about what he did that could warrant this type of police response."

John McNesby, the president of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 5, yesterday defended the officers' actions as "typical police work."

"He wasn't going willingly; he was on probation, he had a pocket full of crack, and he didn't want to go back to jail," said McNesby, who added that he saw "nothing troubling" in the footage.

"When cops call for help during an arrest, the person at the other end of the radio doesn't know what they're walking into - if the person has a gun, if they're being shot at - so it's all hands on deck."

The five-minute clip of Carroll's arrest, posted Wednesday to YouTube by Los Angeles blogger Jasmyne Cannick, shows at least a dozen officers punching and kicking Carroll as he lies prone on Locust Avenue near Crowson Street, the block where he lives with his grandmother.

"I'm confident that we have a police chief in this town that takes these matters seriously," Johnson said. "And I'm confident that more details will come out."

In the statement released yesterday, police said the officers approached Carroll just before midnight April 4 for an alleged narcotics violation. A struggle ensued during the arrest, during which Carroll bit two officers, leaving "bleeding bite wounds," the statement said.

Court documents reviewed by the Daily News say that Carroll bit an "Officer Ellis" three times - on his left thigh, right hand and left arm - and an "Officer Middleton" once on his left forearm.

Carroll's family said he admits to biting the officers, but only did so because his breathing was being restricted.

Both officers were taken to a hospital for evaluation, as was Carroll after "intentionally striking his own head against the protective shield" inside a police vehicle, the statement said. None of them was admitted to the hospital.

Also, despite the officers in the footage threatening to tase Carroll, and at least one officer seemingly pointing the weapon at the suspect, Internal Affairs investigators said there was no initial indication that Carroll had been tased.

Reaching a "final determination" of whether the weapon was used is part of the ongoing investigation, as is identifying all of the officers involved.

Johnson said he's eager to see the conclusion of the probe and its explanation for what happened to his client.

"I recognize how dangerous policing can be to law-enforcement professionals," said Johnson, who was an officer in the Atlanta Police Department for 10 years before becoming a lawyer.

"There's no way, in my opinion, that an officer could explain that situation [in the video] - and I don't see what weight having 5 grams of crack, cocaine or marijuana would have," he added.

Johnson said he's not critical of the entire Police Department, and recognizes that the case may involve "a few bad apples."

"You can do your job and be safe doing it without a Tyree Carroll-type of situation," he said.

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