CANTON, Ohio (WJW) – We are getting a look from a different angle of a Canton police officer’s controversial arrest of a minibike rider.
Monday, FOX 8 showed you video from a witness. Tonight, we see the arrest from the view of the officer’s body worn camera.
According to a police report, on July 30, a Canton police officer tried to pull over a man riding a minibike without license plates that the officer says ran several red lights.
The officer said the driver refused to pull over until he reached an area where some of his friends were. The bodycam video shows the officer immediately get out of his cruiser and shove the driver off the bike.
According to the report, the officer did that to prevent the driver from taking off. The officer then said a man with a clinched fist approached him as he’s tried to cuff the suspect.
The bodycam video shows the officer putting his knee to the suspect’s back several times. The officer said at times, some of the suspect’s friends approached him aggressively. He admitted he elbowed the suspect, who was larger than the officer, in the back during the struggle to arrest him.
The officer also admitted he delivered several knee strikes to get the suspect to comply. According to the report, several people in the crowd grabbed the officer, who deployed pepper spray to get them to move back.
Monday, FOX 8 showed video taken by a friend of the suspect, which shows the arrest and the officer kneeing the suspect several times. The woman who took the video says she believes the officer went too far.
“We were over there asking him, ‘why you were doing this?’ That’s all we kept saying was “stop, stop, stop!'” she said. “For him to be scared of us and you are beating the crap out of him, that just doesn’t make sense to me.”
Eventually, backup arrived and the officer got the minibike rider into handcuffs.
“He didn’t even have a chance to put his hands behind him because every time he did, he would knee him into the ground again,” said the woman.
The driver is facing several charges, including a felony charge of failure to comply, obstructing official business and resisting arrest.
A “use of force” investigation is also underway regarding the officer. Canton police say they have no comment until the investigation is over.