Video Shows Forceful Arrest Of Black Man Stopped While Jogging In San Antonio


Hollie Silverman CNN Expansion NYC 2017 PH: JOHN NOWAK  Paul Murphy By Hollie Silverman & Paul B Murphy

A Black man in San Antonio was stopped and detained by police Tuesday while he was jog­ging, wit­ness­es said, as offi­cers searched for a sus­pect in a near­by domes­tic vio­lence call. Video of the inci­dent post­ed to social media shows offi­cers force­ful­ly shov­ing the man into a police vehi­cle as he screams.
The arrest­ed man, iden­ti­fied in a police report as Mathias Ometu, 33, was seen walk­ing out of an apart­ment com­plex as offi­cers arrived in response to a call about a domes­tic vio­lence assault, accord­ing to a police report from the inci­dent.
Officers stopped Ometu and told him they had “rea­son­able sus­pi­cion to believe” he “matched the descrip­tion of an alleged stran­gu­la­tion fam­i­ly vio­lence inci­dent,” the report said.

The police report said Ometu refused to give his name and date of birth after sev­er­al requests and his “demeanor became aggres­sive.” Ometu refused to get in the patrol vehi­cle and was then “placed in the patrol vehi­cle” after a “long strug­gle,” the report said, “using only open hand tech­niques.”
During the inci­dent, Ometu alleged­ly kicked two offi­cers, strik­ing one in the face, the police report said.
The vic­tim of the fam­i­ly vio­lence inci­dent met offi­cers and said Ometu was not the sus­pect, but Ometu still would not give offi­cers his infor­ma­tion, the report said.
He was arrest­ed and charged with two counts of assault on a peace offi­cer, a state­ment from the San Antonio Police Department said.
Jenny Rodriguez and Victor Maas, who wit­nessed the arrest and filmed the inter­ac­tion between Ometu and police, told CNN by phone Friday that Ometu did not seem aggres­sive or con­fronta­tion­al toward the offi­cers.
Their videos show Ometu hand­cuffed stand­ing next to a police vehi­cle calm­ly for what appears to be about six min­utes before two offi­cers start to push Ometu into the vehi­cle. One wit­ness not­ed in a video that at least one of the offi­cers was also Black.
The video shows offi­cers strug­gling with Ometu to push him into the back of a police vehi­cle and he is heard yelling, “You’re chok­ing me!” sev­er­al times as the strug­gle con­tin­ues for over a minute.
As the offi­cers shut the doors of the vehi­cle with Ometu inside, at least three more police vehi­cles arrive, the video shows.
Rodriguez said she was walk­ing her dog when she saw the man jog­ging around 2 p.m. Tuesday.
All of a sud­den, police arrived and began to go towards the man and start­ed speak­ing with him, she said. About 10 – 15 min­utes after the con­ver­sa­tion start­ed, Rodriguez said, they start­ed to put him in hand­cuffs.
She said she knocked on the office win­dow of her boyfriend and cowork­er to grab the phone to start film­ing. Her boyfriend, Victor Maas, also began film­ing.
In their videos, police offi­cers are seen attempt­ing to put the man into the vehi­cle. He appears to resist the police offi­cers.
Maas said offi­cers used Tasers on the man, although it is not seen dur­ing the video.
The entire inci­dent last­ed rough­ly an hour, accord­ing to Maas and Rodriguez, but only about 20 min­utes of the inter­ac­tion was includ­ed in the videos.

Police are still investigating

Ometu has post­ed bond on the charges and the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office is wait­ing for law enforce­ment to com­plete their inves­ti­ga­tion, Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales said in a state­ment emailed to CNN on Friday.
Once the inves­ti­ga­tion is com­plete, the dis­trict attor­ney’s office will “review all evi­dence and decide how to pro­ceed with any poten­tial crim­i­nal case,” Gonzales said.
Tess House, an attor­ney who has been in con­tact with Ometu’s fam­i­ly but is not yet for­mal­ly rep­re­sent­ing him, was unable to com­ment on his behalf when reached by CNN over the phone Friday. However, she told CNN that Ometu has been released from jail but his phone is still in the pos­ses­sion of police.
CNN has not been able to reach Ometu or fam­i­ly mem­bers for com­ment.

Mayor and police department respond

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said in a tweet Thursday that he is “seek­ing a full account of this inci­dent, which is cur­rent­ly under inves­ti­ga­tion.” He has not respond­ed to a request from CNN for fur­ther com­ment.
“We have to approach this sit­u­a­tion seri­ous­ly because every sin­gle res­i­dent deserves fair and equi­table treat­ment from their city,” Nirenberg said in the tweet.
The San Antonio Police Department, in a state­ment emailed to CNN on Friday, said offi­cers were called to inves­ti­gate 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.”
The state­ment also said the depart­ment is aware of “sev­er­al videos of the inci­dent that have been post­ed online” and that the inci­dent “will be reviewed admin­is­tra­tive­ly to ensure all poli­cies were fol­lowed.”