A man was being held on suspicion of attempted murder of a peace officer after a sidewalk scuffle between an LAPD officer and motorist was caught on cellphone video, authorities said.
The altercation occurred about 11:30 a.m. just over the Los Angeles border in Beverly Hills, where a motor officer had stopped a driver, according to Officer Liliana Preciado of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Media Relations Section.
Witnesses heard the driver saying “I’m going to kill you” to the officer, according to Sgt. Christopher Kunz, the LAPD investigating supervisor on scene.
The motorist was disorderly, punching the unidentified officer in the face several times, Kunz said.
The man's pants came down at some point, and there were conflicting reports that suggested he either pulled them down himself, or they came down during the scuffle.
Cedric Roach, a security officer who worked in a nearby building, was among several people who recorded video of the tussle.
"I saw the suspect and the police officer wrestling, and the suspect was punching the officer, 20 to about 30 times, in his face," Roach said. "They fell to the ground. The officer cried out, ‘I’m hurt.'"
Roach said he heard the man shout “That's what I'm here for, to kill you guys.”
The officer was hospitalized with injuries that were not life-threatening after the incident at Wilshire and San Vicente boulevards, Preciado said.
He was treated for injuries on his hand and left shoulder before being released, according to LAPD's West Traffic Division.
The driver, who was taken into custody at the scene after backup arrived to help the motor officer, was being held on suspicion of attempted murder of a peace officer, according to LAPD.
Before the altercation, officers had been called to the driver's home twice in the 8 a.m. hour Tuesday for a dispute between neighbors, Beverly Hills Police Department Sgt. Max Subin said.
A witness who recorded two cellphone videos of the altercation from the office building above -- at 8383 Wilshire Blvd. (map) -- did not catch the driver punching the officer but was able to capture the fight that ensued.
The first cellphone video, recorded from a building above the scuffle, shows a man in a light-colored shirt wrestling with a helmeted motor officer on a wide sidewalk near a line of parked cars.
The man initially appears to have the officer in a headlock, and a pair of sunglasses flies off onto the sidewalk.
After a witness rushes out and seems to push the motorist’s head down to the ground, the officer gains the upper hand, straddling the man, whose arms splay out.
The man seems to try to continue to resist the officer, who eventually pins the man’s arms down, the video shows. Then, a second video shows two other officers arriving and getting on top of the man, while the motor officer limps away, grasping at his neck.
As other officers arrive, the motorist is handcuffed, lying on his stomach, and the original motor officer sits down nearby with his helmet off.
The cellphone video frame moves back to a different officer on top of the now-handcuffed motorist, who kicks his shoes off and circles his bare feet in the air.
Another officer arrives, pats the motorist down, and then pulls him up onto his feet. The man, between two officers, is walked away as sirens scream in the background.
Investigators were on scene for several hours interviewing witnesses, including numerous people who shot video that will be considered as evidence, Kunz said.