Video of the incident emerged on social media, which shows officers forcibly pushing the man into the police car while he yells, CNN reports. The man whom they arrested, 33-year-old Mathias Ometu, was walking out of the apartment complex where officers were responding to a domestic violence complaint.
Police stopped Ometu and said they had “reasonable suspicion to believe” he “matched the description of an alleged strangulation family violence incident,” according to the police report. The report said that Ometu didn’t give them his name and date of birth when asked several times and his “demeanor became aggressive.” When Ometu refused to get inside the police car, he was “placed in the patrol vehicle” after a “long struggle” that purportedly used “only open hand techniques.” Ometu also allegedly kicked two officers during the incident, hitting one in the face, per the report.
When the victim of the domestic assault call told police that Ometu wasn’t the suspect, he still wouldn’t give officers his personal information. He was arrested and charged with two counts of assault on a peace officer.
However, the two people who witnessed and filmed the incident tell a different story. Jenny Rodriguez and Victor Maas told CNN that Ometu didn’t appear to be combative with authorities. In their videos, Ometu was handcuffed and quietly standing next to a police car for what seems to be around six minutes. That’s when two officers started to push Ometu into the vehicle.
Video shows officers trying to shove Ometu into the car, when he yells, “You’re choking me!” multiple times as the struggle ensues for a minute. When cops successfully get Ometu into the car, three more police vehicles arrive.
Rodriguez said she saw the man jogging around 2 p.m. while she was walking her dog. Police showed up and started speaking to Ometu; he was then handcuffed about 10 to 15 minutes after the conversation began. Video shows Ometu resisting officers when they try to put him in the vehicle, with the confrontation lasting about an hour. Maas said the cops used Tasers on Ometu, though it can’t be seen in the video.
Ometu has since posted bond on the charges while local law enforcement completes its investigation of the incident. San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg tweeted on Thursday that he is “seeking a full account of this incident, which is currently under investigation.”
The San Antonio Police Department also issued a statement to CNN, saying that officers were responding to a “family violence incident.”
“The suspect fled before police arrived, but the victim provided officers with the suspect's information and officers also obtained information that the suspect was also wanted for a felony robbery warrant,” the statement read.
“The individual contacted was in close proximity to the call and he matched the physical and clothing description provided by the victim. That was the only reason he was stopped and questioned as the officers legitimately believed he was the wanted suspect.”