WATCH: Iowa Police Officer Pepper-Sprays Teenage Girl At The Bus Station Then Throws Her On The Ground

Three teenagers were taken into custody Wednesday after a confrontation at Des Moines’ downtown bus station hub prompted a police officer to use pepper spray, authorities said.

The incident, about 40 seconds of which was captured by a nearby teenager’s cellphone, occurred at about 2:15 p.m. at DART Central Station, 620 Cherry St., where an officer pepper-sprayed two people, police said. Three teenagers were arrested.

One, Aaron Keys, 18, of Des Moines, was charged with interference with official acts and failure to disperse.

Authorities said officers tried to prevent fights that were brewing among a “loud and unruly crowd” of dozens of teenagers at the station. The teen who took the video, which she provided to the Register, however, said she believed one officer used unnecessary force.

Sgt. Paul Parizek, a Des Moines police spokesman, said up to a dozen officers went to the bus hub because more than 100 children and teenagers were allegedly being rowdy. He said officers tried to disperse the crowd to prevent fights similar to the ones that led officers to use pepper spray three weeks ago downtown.

Parizek said he didn’t know the identity of the police officer who appears in the video.

Amari Davis, the student who took video on her phone, said one of the girls who was arrested was tackled by an officer.

In the video, the officer can be seen taking the girl to the ground during the arrest, after which nearby youths start yelling. The officer was swarmed by other students, Parizek said.

Davis said the girl was trying to stand up for her brother after the officer put his hand on him.

The officer should have handled the situation differently, Davis said in an interview. She described the officer’s actions as “brutal and aggressive.”

The police department plans to review the officer’s body camera recordings and footage from Des Moines Area Regional Transit cameras at the station. The Des Moines Register has requested those videos, though Parizek and a DART spokeswoman said the videos would likely not be made available until the department’s review is complete. No internal police investigation has been launched; Parizek said a formal complaint is required for that to take place.

The teenagers from Des Moines schools first gathered at the station after there was “social media chatter” about a fight that was planned there after school, Parizek said.

After the students refused to leave at the request of DART staff, police were called.

At one point a male student touches a police officer, Parizek said. In the video, the officer is seen pushing the student away from him.

A female student then “interjected” herself into the situation and the officer repeatedly told her to leave, Parizek said.

“She kept jumping in his face,” Parizek said. “When he told her she was under arrest, she resisted.”

The officer pepper sprayed her, but when other teens started moving in closer, they were also hit by the residual pepper spray in the air, Parizek said.

Davis said she decided to record video because each time a fight occurs downtown an officer “does something they aren’t supposed to.”

“They are treating kids bad for no reason,” said Davis, who lives in the Beaverdale neighborhood. “He didn’t have to put his hands on her like that.”

The video had been viewed more than 28,000 times by late Wednesday on a Facebook post.

Des Moines police said they responded in late January to a large group of disruptive teenagers at DART Central Station. Officers used pepper spray when dozens of children and teenagers, some of whom were fighting, gathered near Sixth Avenue and Walnut Street, police said. A juvenile was taken into custody.

After those fights in downtown, several of the juveniles were involved in an attack a few hours later that sent a 55-year-old man to the hospital, police said. He suffered a large cut to his forehead.

Pepper spray is a common tool officers use to subdue people, Parizek said. Its effects last about 45 minutes, he said.

One or two officers are assigned to work at DART Central Station from the afternoon to about 11 p.m., Parizek said. Amanda Wanke, a DART spokeswoman, said DART also contracts with private security.

About 3,500 rides are provided to Des Moines Public Schools students each day through DART, Wanke said. She called safety a top priority for DART, and said the mass transit service appreciated how quickly officers responded to the station Wednesday.