Pueblo, CO – Police arrested a wanted felon after a chase through a residential neighborhood on Sunday. Video on social has prompted critical responses as well as praise (video below).
Pueblo police told KKTV that 19-year-old Brian Purcella was wanted for an armed carjacking that took place on Dec. 7 when police spotted him in that stolen vehicle at about 2 p.m. on Dec. 9.
Officers attempted to stop the stolen vehicle near Norwood and East 12th Street, but the driver fled, leading police on a chase for about seven blocks.
At that point, police said Purcella jumped out of the stolen vehicle with a gun in his hand and took off running, KKTV reported. Two other teenage suspects fled from the stolen vehicle, too.
Neighbors watched as police chased the suspect through yards and across streets before Purcella ran into a parked vehicle.
A witness captured the last seconds of the chase and Purcella’s arrest on cell phone video.
The video showed that a split second after Purcella slammed into the hood of a parked truck, officers tackled him to the ground and recovered his weapon.
Purcella violently resisted arrest and one of the officers delivered several blows to the suspect during the struggle.
The video showed it took multiple officers to bring Purcella under control, take away his handgun, and eventually put him in handcuffs.
In the video, the officer who got Purcella’s gun can be seen holding it out to the side, away from the struggle.
Police said the weapon recovered during the incident turned out to be a stolen handgun, KKTV reported.
Some people were quick to criticize the arrest on social media, questioning the officers’ tactics in taking the suspect down.
“The thing that you have to realize is at one time this was an armed suspect with a firearm that had just carjacked somebody,” Pueblo Police Sergeant Franklyn Ortega told KOAA.
“When the suspect driver left the vehicle he had a handgun in his hand and officers arrested him,” Sgt. Ortega explained.
The sergeant said the incident was under investigation and that the officers’ tactics would be reviewed as part of that process.
KOAA reported that court documents revealed Pueblo Police Officer Clay Klipfel thought Purcella was still holding the gun that another officer had just taken away from him when he delivered “closed fist strikes to Brian’s head and upper body while giving him loud verbal commands to stop resisting…”
Purcella was ultimately arrested and is being held at the Pueblo County Jail.
Police also arrested one of the teenagers who fled the stolen vehicle, and that suspect – a juvenile - also remained in custody.
The juvenile had an outstanding warrant for burglary, KKTV reported.
Officers also caught the third suspect; however, that person was not charged.
Police believe that the suspects they arrested are connected to a string of unsolved crimes in the area, KKTV reported.
Watch video of the arrest below: