It looks more like a WWE wrestling match than an arrest, and the dramatic video is now causing a stir in San Diego.
It shows a police officer locked in a heated battle with a reportedly drunk fan at a soccer game. As the man resists arrest, the officer puts him in a choke hold. The officer then ends up on his back and struggles to flip the man over. Eventually the officer gets back on top and slams the man face-first into the concrete, which is accompanied by a loud slap (it's unclear if the sound is from the man's face or hand). Now, police leaders are investigating:
[Warning: contains graphic language]
The man resisting arrest has been identified as 27-year-old David Rangel. KGTV showed Rangel's arrest to the San Diego assistant chief of police, who said that they are looking into the incident, but was also quick to say that arrests aren't always pretty:
10News showed the YouTube video to San Diego police's Assistant Chief Bob Kanaski, who is in charge of the special duty officers who work the stadium.
"It's a one-on-one type of incident. That officer is trying to get him into custody. He's not getting cooperation from the individual, so his goal is to take him to the ground," said Kanaski.
Kanaski said at first glance the officer appears to be using his training properly but said a full investigation is being launched to see if there was something he could have done differently."
Sometimes what we do may not be pretty. When you're dealing with individuals who fail to cooperate, sometimes those things do happen. It may look bad to those who don't understand. The bottom line is that you still have to rely on the officer to do what he believes is the right thing to do at a particular time and in this case here, to get that person into custody," he said.
The man who took the YouTube video told KGTV that he thought it was obvious police brutality. And his description posted along with the video says as much:
When I got there, it looked like two guys (obviously drunk) were about to start fighting. So the police tried to intervene. The had one guy under control but the other one tried to get near the guy being held down. At that point the second officer, tried to push the other guy back but when he didn't do as he was told, he tried to take him down. The police guy started punching him on the face and then landed a couple elbows on this guy's face. The guy at that point looked like he was just trying to protect himself - remember he was drunk so I'm sure he wasn't processing things the same way. Then the police guy put his arm around this guys neck to try to subdue him and you can tell in the video the guy was giving up. At one point you can see the guy raising his hands to show the cop he's going to start cooperating and at that point the cop decides to smash this guy's head on the concrete (the sound that his head makes when it hits the ground was nasty). At that point the guy stops moving (his head starts bleeding immediately), the cop is able to put the handcuffs on him then he yells at him "Put your hands behind your [fu**ing] back".
But Kanaski said the video doesn't tell the whole story. Rangel and his fellow fan were removed from the stadium after throwing things at people during the soccer match, putting the public in danger, he said.
Neither the officer nor Rangel suffered major injuries. Rangel was booked into jail for being drunk in public, obstructing justice and for battery on a police officer.