Surveillance Video Captures Santa Ana Police Beating Burglary Suspect

Santa Ana police were looking into a recent arrest that ended with officers using physical force on a burglary suspect, authorities said on Friday.

Surveillance video captured Santa Ana police officers beating a burglary suspect on June 20, 2014.

Surveillance video captured Santa Ana police officers beating a burglary suspect on June 20, 2014.

Surveillance video captured the beating, which occurred on June 20 in the front yard of a home located in the 400 block of Sycamore Street, the Orange County Register reported.

The video showed the suspect, identified as Miguel Vargas, putting his hands up and lying face-down on the ground, appearing to surrender as police officers move in to arrest him.

Miriam Grajales, who said she witnessed the beating, told KTLA that another officer then came in and appeared to put something on his hands before proceeding to hit Vargas.

“The guy didn’t even resist,” she added.

Video then showed officers hitting Vargas with their fists and, at one point, with a baton. Grajales added that she also saw one of them use a Taser.

Olivia Arzate, the suspect’s mother, said her son’s face was all scratched and full of bruises, as were his hands, legs and back as a result of the beating.

Describing what had transpired before the incident, Santa Ana Police Department spokesman Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said the suspected burglar ran from officers, hiding in yards and jumping on roofs in the neighborhood. Officers eventually caught up to him.

Bertagna acknowledged  that officers used force during the arrest.

“As per our departmental policy, those officers documented that force… in their police reports,” Bertagna said.

He added that the officers contacted their supervisor, and an investigation was underway into the use of force.


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