A police officer was filmed punching a driver and a bystander on July 4 in Conroe, Texas (video below).
The incident, captured on a police car dash cam and on a cell phone, shows the cop demanding that Adrian Salazar get out from under his pickup truck, notes KPRC.
Salazar obeys the cop, and scoots out from under the pickup truck. The officer walks over to Salazar, grabs him and tosses him on the ground. The two fall into a ditch where the officer is seen punching Salazar.
Bystanders become alarmed by the officer's actions and walk over to the scene. The officer is seen punching witness Luis Pineda, and knocking him to the ground, reports The Free Thought Project.
Salazar described the incident to KPRC: "I wasn't even cussing at him. Nothing. I didn't give him no reason to start hitting me. ... He started punching me, and he wouldn't stop. The officer looked like he had so much anger towards me without even me doing nothing to him."
Salazar said he hid underneath the truck because he was scared. Salazar's family, who filmed part of the incident on a cell phone from inside the truck, accused the police officer of using excessive force.
Conroe Chief of Police Philip Dupuis insisted that the officer was simply minding his own business when the situation happened to him:
That officer was just minding his own business, answering a call for service to protect the citizens of this community, and the next thing you know he's in a fight. And I think he handled himself professionally.
When he grabs him to detain him, he spins out of it and comes at him. He grabs him and they roll into the ditch. The officer did what he was trained to do. He did an open hand, pushed him back.
Dupuis, who was not at the accident scene, said that the witnesses lied about anyone else being involved in the accident, and tried to interfere with the arrest.
The officer suffered some injuries to his hand, according to Dupuis, but it's not clear if the injuries were the result of punching Salazar and Pineda.
Salazar faces charges of resisting arrest and driving while intoxicated. According to police, Salazar confessed to consuming four drinks before the incident.
Pineda was also arrested, but it's not clear if he was charged.
Dupuis said that no one has filed a formal complaint about the arrest, which Dupuis has already strongly supported.
Dupuis did not identify the police officer.