Hurst teen admits he used foul language, but denies resisting arrest

Posted Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012  comments  Print Reprints

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A teen whose videotaped arrest by a Hurst police officer prompted the officer being placed on administrative leave admits he used foul language but denies resisting arrest, saying he was hit in the head and then verbally attacked by the officer without provocation.

Andrew Rodriguez formally filed a complaint against Officer Disraeli Arnold Wednesday afternoon, Assistant Chief Steve Niekamp confirmed.

Niekamp said the department's investigation of the matter, however, had already been under way since Monday morning.

The incident occurred about 3:30 p.m. Nov. 20 at 399 Tanglewood Drive in the parking lot of Bellaire Park after another officer, Miguel Jimenez, heard one of a group of teens yell something at him.

After talking to the teens and running their background checks, Jimenez found that Rodriguez had an outstanding warrant.

Hurst police have said that Jimenez then tried to arrest Rodriguez, who kept walking away and eventually shoved the officer.

Jimenez had taken the teen to the ground, at which time a friend of Rodriguez's began videoing the encounter.

In the video, the officer can be seen struggling to take Rodriguez into custody. At one point, Rodriguez tells the officer he can't breathe.

Officer Arnold, calling in as backup, can then be seen running into the park and hitting Rodriguez with his knee, yelling, "Move and die! Move and [expletive] die! [Expletive] move again!"

The officer can also be heard telling the teen, "Sit down and shut the [expletive] up! Don't say nothing else!" and later, "Move so I can kick your [expletive]! Move so I can [expletive] you up! Shut up! Move! Stupid [expletive]. When the police are talking to you, you sit down . . . This ain't no game!"

In a two-page written statement released to reporters Wednesday and posted on WFAA's website, Rodriguez said he was unaware that he had a warrant out for his arrest, which he said stems from a trespassing offense that occurred more than four years ago when he was a minor.

Rodriguez said he became nervous upon being told that he had a warrant and indicated to Jimenez that he wanted to call his mother. He said he did not resist when Jimenez grabbed him to put him in custody.

"...I was nervous and afraid," Rodriguez wrote. "The Officer eventually put me in his control, he asked me to kneel, and I did. He asked me to lie on the ground, I did."

Rodriguez said he had been handcuffed and was "under total control" of Jimenez when he heard someone running and felt a hit to his head. He said Arnold then began calling him "vulgar and life threatening names."

"I recognized that I also used language that my mother would not approve of and apologize to my family and all those who have seen the video for my wrong use of words," Rodriguez wrote. "Again, I was scared, I was nervous and I feared for my safety at that time, starting at the moment that Officer Arnold assaulted me."

Rodriguez said drug paraphernalia noted in a police report were not his, nor in his possession. He said he will not plead guilty to evading arrest -- to which he was formally charged with a day after the incident.

He asked that Hurst conduct a thorough investigation of the officer's behavior, as well as for independent investigations by the Tarrant County District Attorneys' office and the U.S. Attorney's office to determine if the Arnold used "excessive and life threatening force," violated the teen's civil rights, and whether he should be fired and prosecuted.

Niekamp said he couldn't comment on the statement released by Rodriguez because it's an ongoing investigation.

Police have said they began the investigation after being troubled by some of what they saw on the video. Niekamp has said the department does not approve of using foul language or acting unprofessionally during an arrest.

Officials have said, however, that the arrest was justified and that Jimenez had not been placed on leave.

Deanna Boyd, (817) 390-7655

Twitter: @deannaboyd

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