WATCH: Austin Police Officer Caught on Camera Punching Suspect During Arrest

Mar 31, 2016

AUSTIN – The Austin Police Department is reviewing video of an arrest made by an officer in East Austin last week.

Cellphone video shows an officer lying on top of a man and punching him several times. According to court documents, an officer was pulling into a parking lot in the 900 block of Reinli Street when he saw a Volvo leaving the parking lot and the man and woman inside the car looked at their marked patrol unit “with wide eyes.” The behavior led the officer to believe the two individuals in the vehicle were concerned with a police presence in the area.

As the officer tried to catch up to the driver, the woman got out of the car and walked away from the vehicle. The officer was finally able to pull over the driver, later identified as 31-year-old Sisto Quiroz, in the 5300 block of Cameron Road. As the officer was speaking with Quiroz, he noticed a red bandana in his front pocket and gang related tattoos, according to the affidavit. During their conversation, the officer asked if he was on probation or if he had been arrested and Quiroz said “he was arrested a few weeks back for evading arrest.”

The officer told Quiroz he was free to leave, so he went inside the Auto Zone and the officer returned to his patrol vehicle to do a background check on Quiroz, which revealed a warrant for his arrest on a forgery charge. The information in the system also indicated Quiroz is armed and dangerous and is an escape risk. The officer called for a backup officer as he waited for the suspect to come out of the store. The suspect was spotted walking down the building and continued to walk past his vehicle as well as the officer’s vehicle. When the officer approached him, he said “he had a warrant for his arrest and told him to turn around and bring his hands behind his back.” The officer said he grabbed Quiroz’ left arm but he responded by “attempting to forcefully pull his arm” away from the officer.

As the officer tried to reach for his radio to say he needed units quickly, Sisto loaded his right arm, in a manner the officer thought “he was going to swing.” When the officer grabbed his arm, the two fell to the ground. According to the affidavit, the suspect continued to resist arrest. The officer, feeling like he was losing control, screamed out to people around him asking for help but no one responded. At this time, you can see in the video the officer punching the suspect. After approximately a minute or two of struggling, another cadet showed up on scene to help arrest the suspect.

An APD spokesperson says the case is still being reviewed by the Chain of Command.