Vallejo, CA – Vallejo Police Department (VPD) officials are defending officers’ use of force in arresting a man who had been holding a 14-year-old girl in his car on Friday night (video below).
The incident began when police received a 911 call from a teenage girl at about 9 p.m. on Aug. 24, the Vallejo Times-Herald reported.
The 14 year old told the emergency dispatcher “that she was stuck in a man’s car and that he would not take her home,” Vallejo Police Captain Lee Horton told the Vallejo Times-Herald.
She was able to tell police where the car she was in was parked, and officers responded to a shopping center parking lot on Plaza Drive and located the vehicle.
“As officers approached the vehicle, the suspect ran away from the scene and officers gave chase,” Horton said. “The suspect ran to the front of Mod Pizza, 163 Plaza Drive, where he stumbled on the sidewalk as the officer started taking him to the ground to effect an arrest. As the suspect went to the ground, he hit his face on the front of the business. Other officers arrived to assist taking the suspect into custody.”
Witnesses inside the pizza restaurant videotaped the arrest through the windows, and posted it to social media.
In the video, the suspect – later identified as 22-year-old Angel Bagos – was face down on the pavement with one officer sitting on his legs, while another officer hit his arm and back with a flashlight as they attempted to take him into custody.
After a few blows, the suspect brought his left arm out from under himself, and was handcuffed, the video showed.
In the video, the officer stopped hitting Bagos the second he began cooperating with officers.
The video showed an officer pulled Bagos to his feet to walk him to the police car, and the man continued to passively resist, forcing officers to carry him by the arms as he let his legs drag behind him.
He can be seen putting his feet down as they neared the police car, but appeared to remain uncooperative in the video.
Witnesses could be heard on the video complaining that the police were beating the man.
They seemed more concerned about the fact the door of the restaurant had been damaged than the fact that Bagos might have committed a crime that resulted in his arrest.
Many on social media were quick to attack the Vallejo police officers when the video went viral.
“Right before this happened he was tackled into the 2-3 inch thick door head first and it broke, keep that in mind,” 21-year-old Dietrich Krous captioned the video when he posted it, according to the San Francisco Gate.
Capt. Horton stood up for his officers and said the video doesn’t tell the entire story of what happened prior to when Krous began filming.
He told the Vallejo Times-Herald that officers were trying to handcuff Bagos and he was resisting arrest.
“But the suspect would not remove his left hand from under his body. Officers ordered the suspect to release his hand but he did not comply,” Horton said.
The captain carefully explained what can be seen in the video.
“One officer then administered multiple strikes to the suspect’s back area and left arm using his flashlight as an impact weapon — this was effective as the suspect then released his hand and officers placed him in handcuffs,” he said. “Officers did not use any further force on the suspect after he was handcuffed.”
Capt. Horton said the department was investigating the incident and would review bodycam, as well as any other witness video provided to them, the Vallejo Times-Herald reported.
After the incident, the 14-year-old was returned safely to her parents, and Bagos was transported to the hospital.
“The investigation is not complete, however, the officer’s use of force appears appropriate for these circumstances. VPD would like the public to know that we review all uses of force to ensure they are lawful and in compliance with our training and procedures,” Capt. Horton said.
He said detectives would meet with the Solano County District Attorney’s Office on Monday regarding charges for Bagos.
Watch officers trying to take the man into custody in the video below: