Police in Victoria, Texas, placed an officer on administrative duty pending an investigation after an altercation with a 76-year-old man who didn’t have an inspection sticker on his car.
Victoria resident Pete Vasquez pulled over at the Adams Auto Mart, where he helps with mechanical work, when the officer, 23-year-old Nathanial Robinson, got out of his patrol car and confronted him. The 76-year-old is seen on dashcam video pointing to the dealer license plate on the back of the car.
The Victoria Advocate newspaper reported that Vasquez told Robinson the vehicle was exempt from requiring an inspection sticker because it still had dealer tags. Police chief Jeffrey Craig later confirmed to the paper that the vehicle was, in fact, exempt.
Robinson appears to have tried to take something out of Vasquez’s hand but failed to do so. That’s when Robinson twists Vasquez’s arm behind his back, eventually landing the man on the ground out of view of the dashcam. Moments later, Robinson is seen standing in front of the patrol car holding a stun gun, which he used on Vasquez at least twice, police told the Victoria Advocate.
“He just acted like a pit bull, and that was it. For a while, I thought he was going to pull his gun and shoot me,” Vasquez said, according to the Advocate.
Another man, sales manager Larry Urich, emerged from the auto mart, appearing to shout at the officer, “What in the hell are you doing? This gentleman is 76 years old.”
Urich told the Advocate, “The cop told me to stand back, but I didn’t shut up. I told him he was a godd**m Nazi Stormtrooper.”
“Public trust is extremely important to us,” Craig said, according to the Advocate. “Sometimes that means you have to take a real hard look at some of the actions that occur within the department.”
Craig later apologized to Vasquez, the Huffington Post reported. Additional officers later arrived on the scene and asked Vasquez for his side of the story and whether he was hurt in the scuffle.
“Are you hurting anywhere?” one of the officers asked Vasquez.
“Not yet,” he said. “Probably later on. I’m 76 years old.”
Vasquez was taken to the hospital, but was not cited by police.
District Attorney Stephen Tyler said he has not been contacted by police. However, Tyler told the Advocate that if authorities determine Robinson committed criminal wrongdoing, moral wrongdoing or violated department policy, he could face a variety of charges including official oppression, injury to elderly, aggravated assault or assault.
The Associated Press was not able to reach Robinson for comment, Huffington Post reported Monday.
(H/T: Huffington Post)
Follow Jon Street (@JonStreet) on Twitter