Surveillance footage has emerged from a private residence in Southern California capturing events that transpired June, 20 showing officers with the Santa Ana Police Department punching, stomping on, and striking a man with a baton.
Officers claim Edgar Vargas Arzate, 27, ran away from them after they responded to a burglary call in the area, adding that they later caught up with him in a private yard, The Orange County Register reported.
The surveillance footage clearly shows a nonresistant Arzate complying with police requests to lay down on his stomach with out stretched hands. One officer walks up and drops his knee into the mans back with his full weight before punching him in what presumable is the head and face six times.
Another officer can be seen swinging a baton wildly at his legs as another runs up and knees him in back while a fourth officer attempts to handcuff the suspect. Officers can then be seen continuing to struggle with the man before the action continues off scene.
The video was recorded by security cameras in the home of Miriam Grajales, who said one officer began striking Arzate after he dropped to the ground, the Register reported. “He started hitting him hard, with anger,” Grajales said. “The guy was yelling, ‘Help me! Help me!'”
Arzate’s mother believes her son, who has struggled with drug abuse and has a criminal record, was high that day and fled from police out of paranoia. “Yes, arrest and punish him, but why did he hit him?” she said.
Officers were aware of the surveillance camera the night of the incident but couldn’t get a copy for several weeks, so the investigation only recently began, police spokesperson Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said, affirming that an internal investigation has been launched.
Arzate, who was hospitalized, has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted burglary, battery of a police officer, resisting arrest and tampering with a vehicle. Police State Daily could not get in touch with any of the involved parties for comment Saturday evening. The identities of the officers have not been released.
Watch the raw footage: