Society

Texas Police Hold Man While Cop Punches Him (Video)

| by Michael Allen

Surveillance video (below) obtained by KTVT shows two police officers holding suspect Noah Lofquist while officer Donald Fernandez beats him at a detention center in Garland, Texas, on Oct. 1.

"The next thing I remember, I was just getting beat," Lofquist, 37, told KTVT, according to a May 31 news broadcast. "It kind of seemed a little surreal at the time."

In surveillance video from the Garland Detention Center, Fernandez is seen removing Lofquist's handcuffs and attacking him in full view of other officers, who aid Fernandez in the attack.

"On the way to the jail I was kind of taunting the officer little bit," Lofquist told the news station.

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According to Lofquist, he challenged Fernandez to a fight while drunk, which Fernandez apparently took seriously at the detention center.

"I was sober enough at that point to know not to do anything because I didn't want my situation to get any worse," Lofquist recalled.

An internal affairs investigation revealed audio recordings of Fernandez and another officer bragging about the on-the-job violence.

The Garland Police Department suspended Fernandez for 56 days, the longest suspension in the department's history, but did not charge the officer with a crime for the brutal attack.

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Lofquist stated: "I have a lot of respect for the good police, but the bad ones like him, he gives them all a bad name."

Garland Police Spokesman Pedro Barineau said: "This type of behavior is obviously unacceptable. The expectations of our officers is very clear to do what’s right."

After the gang-style attack, Lofquist was locked in jail for a week.

Lofquist said: "I feel bad about the things I said ... I wasn’t in my right mind at the time I was raised better than that."

Fernandez resigned days after his unpaid suspension ended as he faced another, unrelated internal affairs investigation.

The police department gave Fernandez's unidentified partner a written reprimand, and suspended a supervisor for three days. They are presumably still on the force.

Former Cockrell Hill Police Chief Catherine Smit-Torrez told KTVT that Fernandez committed assault and should have been charged with a crime:

Law enforcement are not allowed to be offended with someone's words or being flipped off or something like that. That's our training. You don't get offended over it. People are going to get mad, that's part of being a cop...

...Ninety-nine percent of law enforcement would never do this, and they get very upset when they find an officer does do this...

...For an officer to go into a full-blown fight mode with a suspect -- it’s uncalled for. He has someone standing right there that had he said something that they could easily detain him without assaulting the man. In my opinion this is an assault.

Smit-Torrez said she would’ve fired Fernandez, and recommended criminal assault charges against him to the Dallas County District Attorney’s office.

The Garland Police Department refused to say why Fernandez was not charged with a crime or fired.

Sources: KTVT (2) / Photo Credit: ErgoSum88/Wikimedia Commons

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