“He just acted like a pit bull”
The incident occurred in Victoria, Texas, a suburb of Houston. A dash camera captured officer Nathaniel Robinson tasering 76-year-old Pete Vasquez.
Vasquez was driving a vehicle owned by the car dealership where he works. Officer Robinson pulled him over when he noticed the vehicle’s inspection sticker had expired. When Vasquez exited the car and attempted to show Robinson the dealer plates—which would’ve exempted the necessity for up to date inspection tags—that’s when the altercation happened.
“I don’t know what his deal is,” Vasquez told an officer that arrived on the scene later. Vasquez went on, “he came over here and got nasty with me and I’m not going to put up with it, I don’t care who it is. Then he grabbed me and threw me on the pavement there and I almost knocked my head on that damn poll and then he start [sic] Tasing.”
The Victoria Advocate reported:
A Victoria police officer is under investigation after a 76-year-old man accused him of using excessive force during a traffic stop.
The officer, Nathanial Robinson, 23, was placed on administrative duty Friday pending the outcome of an internal investigation into whether he violated the use of force policy when he tased Victoria resident Pete Vasquez, said Chief J.J. Craig. The officer was hired after graduating from the police academy two years ago.
The incident happened Thursday after Robinson saw an expired inspection sticker on the car Vasquez was driving back to Adam’s Auto Mart, 2801 N. Laurent St., where he helps with mechanical work.
Vasquez got out of the car, which is owned by the car lot, attempting to get the manager. He pointed out to the officer the dealer tags on the back of the car, which would make it exempt from having an inspection.
Police dashboard camera video shows Robinson arresting Vasquez for the expired sticker.
When the officer first grabbed Vasquez’s arm, the older man pulled it away. Robinson then pushed Vasquez down on the hood of the police cruiser. The two fell out of the camera’s video frame, but police said the officer used the Taser on Vasquez twice while he was on the ground.
“He just acted like a pit bull, and that was it,” Vasquez said. “For a while, I thought he was going to pull his gun and shoot me.”
Vasquez was handcuffed, placed in the back of the police cruiser and taken to Citizens Medical Center, where he remained in police custody for two hours.
Craig said the police department’s dash cam footage “raises some concerns.”
He decided to open the investigation after viewing the footage and has personally apologized to Vasquez for the incident.
“Public trust is extremely important to us,” Craig said. “Sometimes that means you have to take a real hard look at some of the actions that occur within the department.”
[h/t ABC 13 News]
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