5 Jun 2013
MESA, Ariz. – A police take down is caught by a cell phone camera. The video shows a dramatic and physical altercation between an officer and a man who refuses to do what he’s asked. But there are two sides to every story, and we’ll show you both.
A concerned citizen who was at the Circle K where this all took place filmed the take down. Well it turns out the officer was armed with a camera as well.
“I didn’t know what I was seeing, really I was shaking, just hot out there,” says Kameron Babbitt, who shot the video.
Kameron Babbitt was at the Circle K located at Center and McKellips in Mesa last Thursday around 2 p.m. When he noticed something was wrong, he immediately pulled out his cell phone to capture the ensuing brawl.
“There was no swinging involved until the officer tried to sweep him, when they got around the corner and that’s when you hear the car accident.”
Video: “Down down you’re going to get tased!”
That is what Babbitt saw. But this is what the Mesa Police officer saw.
“You’re not getting kind of a one-sided view with someone narrating who really has no background information, who isn’t in the fight,” says Mesa Police Sgt. Tony Landato.
Landato released video captured by a camera in the officer’s glasses. The crash you hear in the background, says Sgt. Landato, is from an off-duty officer rushing to help. The collision was a minor accident with no injuries.
According to Sgt. Landato, Circle K reported the suspect because he was milling around the store and apparently trying to pick up his prescriptions. Police say he refused to comply with the officer or answer questions, and that’s when things got ugly.
But Babbitt says it didn’t have to reach this level.
“Everyone needed to see it. Man, the guy’s face was in the asphalt. 106 degree weather. I don’t care what you did, you know. You still got rights. You’re still a citizen,” says Babbitt.
The on duty officer’s taser was thrown to the ground, as was the off duty officer’s gun. police say they were both concerned innocent bystanders could be injured.
Both officers suffered minor injuries like bruising and cuts. The suspect was arrested and faces a number of charges including resisting arrest. Mesa Police told FOX 10 he was only going to cite him and never planned on arresting him.
Meanwhile, Matatangi Sentituli Tai is being held on charges of aggravated assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, criminal trespass and criminal damage.