An investigation is underway after a police officer allegedly punched a suspect several times as he was being taken into custody in Phoenix on Thursday.
YouTube video shows a man being held on the ground by at least two officers when another officer begins punching him in the head.
Police identified the man as 40-year-old Juan Carlos Arizmendi.
According to Mesa police, Arizmendi faces charges of kidnapping, assault and resisting arrest for the situation that actually began on Wednesday afternoon.
That’s when, according to police, Arizmendi tried to cash a forged check in Mesa around 3:30 p.m.
The suspect ran into a nearby business where he barricaded himself. At one point he reportedly told police he would not be taken alive.
Police were able to take Arizmendi into custody with the help of a police K9. The suspect suffered wounds during the arrest and was taken to a Mesa hospital.
Mesa police say around 5:40 a.m. on Thursday, Arizmendi was able to escape from the hospital.
An attempt-to-locate bulletin was issued for Arizmendi and detectives began conducting surveillance in an attempt to locate him.
The vehicle was spotted on Main Street in Mesa with three people inside. Arizmendi was identified and detectives made a traffic stop on the vehicle in Tempe near 48th Street and Broadway Road.
Police ordered the three out of the car but the front seat passenger, identified as Arizmendi, leaned over to the driver and yelled “go-go.”
Detectives eventually got Arizmendi out of the car after breaking out the car window and police said he was “tased two times and brought to the ground.”
It appears that’s when police began punching Arizmendi.
Police said Arizmendi continued to resist arrest by refusing to put his hands behind his back. He was eventually handcuffed.
Drugs were found in the car and in the driver’s pocket. A loaded flare gun was also found in the vehicle.
Police say they learned the male driver and female passenger had been held at gunpoint and ordered to drive Arizmendi to Phoenix.
Arizmendi was again taken to the hospital where he was interviewed. He reportedly admitted to detectives that “he was not fully compliant with officers’ commands, but stated that the officers used too much force when apprehending him.”
Police added in the report that Arizmendi was found to be a convicted felon, with several felony arrests or convictions out of California, most recently in 2007. He also admitted to serving prison time in California.
Mesa police told ABC15 they are looking into Arizmendi’s complaint of excessive force.