An Arizona man is accusing a police officer of using excessive force when he was knocked off his bike before he was shocked with a Taser and handcuffed.
Body camera footage obtained by ABC News showed the Aug. 14 confrontation between 31-year-old Joshua Dombrowski and a Mesa Police Department officer as the bicyclist is violently pushed to the ground.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Joshua Dombrowski told KNXV-TV. “I kind of went on minding my own business and then next thing I know, I have a bunch of cops jumping on me.”
A Mesa Police Department spokesperson told the Daily News that the incident is “an active internal internal investigation,” but couldn’t comment further on whether the officer would face possible suspension.
The incident occurred when Dombrowski was riding his bike on the sidewalk along Main Street. A police report states that Dombrowski “forced two pedestrians to move off the sidewalk” to make room so he could ride his bike. The officer yelled at him to stop, but he took off “at a high rate speed,” the report stated.
Dombrowski claimed he didn’t think the shouting was directed at him.
The officer wrote in the report that Dombrowski refused to put his hands behind his back. More officers came in assistance as the video showed the man struggling with them.
A Taser was then used so officers could place handcuffs on Dombrowski, the report stated.
Attorney Anthony Ramirez said the officer turned on his camera about 35 seconds before the encounter, which contradicted the police report.
“To come at him and push him down like that and then continue in that matter is excessive,” Ramirez told the station. “Especially when he was only riding a bicycle on the sidewalk. I would give the officer the benefit of the doubt if it was a dangerous crime but it wasn’t.”
He argues that his client’s backpack made it difficult for officers to handcuff him, and attributed his resisting arrest to his reaction to the stun gun.
Other footage showed an assisting officer asking a witness to make a statement.
“I don’t know what the guy did wrong,” the witness said in the video.
When the witness cited police brutality issues, the officer then warned him that the body camera was rolling.
“Just write pretty much what you saw. Don’t make anything up,” the officer said.