Laval, Quebec CAN – An officer whose hand was severely injured during an altercation with a violent suspect ultimately resorted to head-butting and kneeing him in order to take the man into custody, police said (video below).
Cell phone footage of the fight that ensued after the officer was injured has gone viral since it was posted to social media over the weekend.
The incident began at approximately 3:30 p.m. on Friday, after Laval Police Department officers received a report of a home invasion in the city’s Chomedey district, Laval police spokesperson Genevieve Major told Global News.
“Officers were responding to a break-and-enter in a private residence,” Major explained. “It’s a serious offense.”
When the two officers arrived at the scene, two suspects took off on foot.
One officer chased after them, while his partner stayed behind to take a third suspect into custody, Major said.
But as the officer was wrestling the suspect into handcuffs, the man managed to pull his hand away and grabbed onto the handcuffs.
“He tried using it as a brass knuckle to punch the officer in the face,” Major said.
The officer tried to protect himself from the blow by blocking it with his left hand. The resulting injury left his hand useless for the duration of the fight.
At that point, a bystander began recording the remainder of the altercation.
The video showed the injured officer as he head-butted the assailant, knocking him to the ground.
The officer then subdued his attacker by delivering body strikes with his knee and right hand before he secured him in handcuffs.
Witnesses alleged that the officer used excessive force during the encounter, and claimed he assaulted the suspect without provocation.
“As soon as he came to the guy, he started hitting him,” Muaz Zaman told CTV News. “So we were like he’s already on the ground, he’s already complying with whatever they asked.”
“He lifted the guy up and that’s when we see the head butt – that’s when I started filming,” Zaman added.
Witness Mohamed Kheder claimed that the suspect assured the officer that he wasn’t going to resist arrest.
“The police…chose to start punching him, kicking him,” Kheder continued.
Major said that the officer acted appropriately given the totality of the situation, and that the department will not open an investigation into his actions during the arrest, Global News reported.
“With all the context, the officer reacted well – in the sense that he had to defend himself for his security,” she explained.
“No, generally you don’t use a head-butt, but he was injured, he was alone without anyone to help him, his partner was in pursuit,” Major said. “He used necessary force. He didn’t even use a weapon.”
The officer was transported to a local hospital for treatment of the injury to his hand, and will need to be on medical leave for five days while he recovers, she said.
The suspect in the video had a laceration to his lip as a result of the altercation, and was treated at a local hospital.
Police also apprehended the two suspects who fled the scene.
The three suspects, all of whom are between the ages of 20 and 21, are well-known to Laval police, Major confirmed.
They have been charged with plotting, resisting arrest, theft, possession of stolen goods, and breaking-and-entering, and are due in court on Monday.
You can watch footage of the officer’s encounter with the violent suspect in the video below: