The Vallejo Police Department says the repeated hitting of a restrained man with another officer sitting on him on Friday “appears appropriate.”
The response comes after a Facebook video capturing the arrest was posted on Friday, which has amassed more than 500,000 views. In the video, one Vallejo officer can be seen straddling a man lying facedown on the sidewalk outside a MOD Pizza shop as another officer hits the man about nine times around the shoulder and back area with a flashlight.
People inside the restaurant where the video was filmed can be heard yelling, “Why are you beating him?” while the man cries out in pain and blood drops on the sidewalk. Another officer joins the arrest early in the video to hold the man’s legs.
The video does not show what happened in the leadup to the arrest, but the Vallejo Times-Herald reports that it began around 9 p.m. a 14-year-old female called 911 to report that she was “stuck in a man’s car and he would not take her home.”
When officers located the car, the suspect ran away his face struck the ground when tackled to the ground outside the restaurant, police say. The officer hit the man when he wouldn’t release his left hand.
“The investigation is not complete, however, the officer’s use of force appears appropriate for these circumstances,” Vallejo police Capt. Lee Horton told the Herald.
The 14-year-old was returned home to her family and the man was transported to the hospital for his injuries.