“This happened last night, right in front of me, while I was Ubering, in College Station, TX. I was aghast. Yes, aghast, and I don’t think I have ever used this word in any sentence in my entire life. Aghast is the word that came out as I saw this.” That statement is from the individual who posted these videos to Facebook. They appear to be taken from his vehicle while a violent arrest unfolds in front of him.
College Station Police Department issued the following statement, along with a video of the suspect’s alleged criminal activity, citing their justifications for the officers’ use of force:
A video depicting an officer using force during an arrest has been circulating on social media today. The video is about a 20-second snippet of what transpired. Attached is a video of the preceding assault. Violence of any kind, including an officer’s use of force, is often disturbing for most people to view. While we train on de-escalation techniques and other alternatives, using force is sometimes necessary to achieve a lawful and safe outcome. One such circumstance when using force may be required is when attempting to capture a resistant person who has just attacked someone else and who might attack others, especially when the attack appears to be a straight unprovoked act of violence on another citizen. While the necessity for an officer to use force, especially in a bar district, is not extra-ordinary, an unprovoked act of violence committed by one citizen against another is rare. This is what transpired last night.
On October 31, 2020 officers from our Tourism & Entertainment Policing Unit were on routine patrol of the City’s Northgate District when they witnessed a man “sucker punch” another and run away. This assault was described in the officer’s report as follows:
“I spotted a group of 3-4 men casually standing in the Promenade, near the Backyard. Nothing about their demeanor appeared particularly alarming, and none of these men displayed aggressive body language or anything to suggest they were about to engage in fisticuffs. Among this group was a white male, in his early 20’s. He was about 5’10”, with a slim build. He was wearing a white ball cap, a maroon sweater, black jeans, and white tennis shoes. That man was among those casually standing. He was NOT in a fighting stance.”
“I also spotted a white male, in his late 20’s or early 30’s, walking away from this group. I would later identify him as [the suspect]. I made a couple initial observations about [the suspect], among them that he was substantially bigger than the man in the maroon sweater. [The suspect] appeared about 6’3″ and about 190 lbs. [The suspect] took a few steps away from the men. He suddenly turned around, stormed back to the group, and abruptly punched the man in the maroon sweater referenced above. [The suspect] punched the man 1 time about the face. The punch was not a looping cross or a ‘haymaker’, but a straight right jab. …. He immediately fell to the ground, splayed out.” The victim appeared to have been “knocked out.”
The officer began to chase after the Suspect and attempted to detain him, but the Suspect ignored the officer’s commands to stop. After a Good Samaritan tackled the Suspect and the officer took over. The officer continues in his report:
“[The suspect] was lying on the ground as I approached him from behind. I told him “Put your hands behind your back”. [The suspect] did not give any verbal acknowledgment of this command. I grabbed [the suspect’s] hand to pull it behind his back. He pulled his left hand away from me. I had just watched [the suspect] knock a man to the ground and now he was resisting my attempt to take him into custody. [The suspect] was not a small man and it was obvious he was able to throw a punch with a great deal of power. I was not going to let [the suspect] get into a position where he could throw a punch at me.”
“I struck [the suspect] about the side of his neck with a palm heel brachial stun. This is a motor disruption technique taught by Pressure Point Control Tactics (PPCT). The brachial stun IS NOT a strike to the face. The point of the brachial stun is to stop resistance and aggression, so that an officer can remain safe and take a person into custody. The brachial stun DOES NOT rely on damage to the body’s systems in order to be effective. It targets the brachial plexus nerve that runs along the neck. It DOES NOT target the mouth, head, nose, or eyes. [The suspect] continued trying to pull his hand away, and also began trying to stand up. It was obvious that [the suspect] was trying to get back on his feet so he could either fight off my attempt to take him into custody, or continue his flight from justice. I delivered another brachial stun to the left side of [the suspect’s] neck. I was able to get [the suspect’s] left hand behind his back, and he immediately yanked it away from me and used it to brace himself.”
“I continued giving commands to [the suspect] to put his hands behind his back and submit to handcuffs. [The suspect] continued trying to stand up and did not A) place his hands behind his back or B) allow me to move either of his hands behind his back to apply handcuffs. I was mounted on [The suspect] back at this time, and [the suspect] was pushing me up as he attempted to stand up off of the ground with me on top of him. I delivered a 4th brachial stun to [the suspect’s] neck as I told him “YOU ARE UNDER ARREST. PUT YOUR HANDS BEHIND YOUR BACK.”[The suspect] did not comply, and still kept trying to pull his left hand away from me.”
“At this point, [the suspect] had been actively resisting my attempts to arrest him for Evading Detention for around 10-15 seconds. I believed this was far more than just [the suspect] being upset at being handcuffed. I believed [the suspect] was going to do everything in his power to escape, even if that meant resorting to physical violence again. However, his resistance had slowed, and this allowed me the opportunity to retrieve my Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) Spray. This is colloquially known as “pepper spray”. [The suspect] had his arms out in front of him, still not heeding commands to give me his hands/place them behind his back. He was still trying to stand up. I sprayed [the suspect] about the eyes with OC spray. [The suspect] tried to crawl away as I told him again “YOU ARE UNDER ARREST. PUT YOUR HANDS BEHIND YOUR BACK.” I delivered a 5th brachial stun to the side of [the suspect’s] neck.”
“[A second officer] had now arrived, and [the suspect] had been actively resisting arrest for about 25 seconds. Again, [the suspect] tried to stand up with both myself and [the second officer] mounted on his back. [The second officer] tried to retrieve [the suspect’s] right arm to secure it in a handcuff and [The suspect] responded by pulling his arm away from [the second officer]. I delivered a 6th brachial stun to [the suspect’s] neck, same side as the others.”“FINALLY, after about 35 seconds, the OC Spray began to take effect, and [the suspect] stopped his resistance. While I believed my strikes had slowed his resistance, they certainly had not overcome it. Even with 2 officers on scene, [the suspect] was trying valiantly to stand up and push away from officers. It was not until OC Spray was used that the resistance was able to be overcome.”
“After about 40 seconds, [the suspect] finally lay flat on his stomach and stopped tensing his arms. [The second officer] and I were then able to handcuff [the suspect] within a few seconds. I had radioed during the melee that [the suspect] was resisting, that OC Spray had been deployed, and that I needed more officers to assist me.”“Within 50 seconds, [the suspect] was in handcuffs. [A sergeant] and [a third officer] arrived on scene very quickly. [The sergeant] was apprised of the situation. The College Station Fire Department had paramedics deployed on bicycles in the Northgate District. A team of bike medics heard my call go out that [the suspect] was resisting and showed up as well. [The suspect] was sat on his side and his breathing monitored by [the second officer] and later [the third officer]. The CSFD bike medics immediately began tending to [the suspect], consistent with any use of OC Spray. They found no reason [the suspect] needed immediate transport to a hospital or further medical attention. For his part, [the suspect] did vomit and showed effects of OC Spray, including pain to his eyes and not being able to open his eyes. I looked at [the suspect’s] face and noted no bloody nose, lacerations to the eyes, or blood from the mouth that would indicate I hit him in the mouth. I noticed no bruising or swelling to [the suspect’s] eyes or mouth or nose consistent with being hit about the face. I noticed the left side of [the suspect’s] neck was red. This was to be expected given I struck him about 6 times with brachial stuns. [The suspect] refused further medical attention.”
The suspect was arrested for Disorderly Conduct by Abuse, Evading Detention, and Resisting Arrest.
Regarding our agency’s use of force, we average about 100,000 citizen contacts each year, which lead to the use of force about 100 times. As an accredited agency, the College Station Police Department has a robust Use of Force Policy. An officer’s determination for using force and the level of force used is based upon the officer’s evaluation of the situation considering the totality of the circumstances known to the officer at the time the force is applied. An officer is authorized to use approved less-lethal force techniques and department-issued equipment to protect the officer or others from immediate physical harm, to restrain or subdue someone resisting or evading arrest, or to bring an unlawful situation safely and effectively under control. Each incident is individually reviewed for policy compliance by the supervisory chain of command.
The mission of our agency is “To Protect and Serve with Excellence.” We are committed to that mission and strive to serve all with dignity and respect. The safety of all citizens, including suspects, is of the utmost importance for the College Station Police Department. We use validated practices, seek continuous improvement, hold our officers accountable for their actions, and require adherence to the highest of professional standards. To learn more, please visit: https://cstx.gov/departments___city_hall/police/transparency