Arthur Velazquez was riding his bike in Arizona when two police officers stopped him because he allegedly “fit the description” of a suspect due to the hoodie he was wearing.
As he was being questioned, Velazquez whipped out his cellphone to call his sister, Vanessa, because he felt unsafe around the officers who stopped him.
Mesa police ended up beating him, claiming they were in fear for their lives.
“I had a feeling that with these two officers something bad was going to happen,” Velazquez told ABC 15 Arizona. “I’m thinking about my own safety.”
According to Detective Steve Berry from the Mesa Police Department, Velazquez made a threating mistake when deciding to call his sister while the stop was in full affect.
The local enforcement officers who detained Velazquez also claim they feared for their lives when they saw him making the call, thus prompting them to get violent and severely beating him up.
“You have additional people coming to the scene, and you are in fear,” Berry said, adding that the cops involved in the incident were afraid Velazquez was calling others “who might be armed” and were “showing up to assist.”
The incident, which was captured on video thanks to the body camera the arresting officers were wearing, left Velazquez with a concussion, severe bruises and five stitches in the face.
“There was no need to punch me in the face, closed fists, as hard as you can,” said Velazquez. “I’ve never had problems like this with officers. For this to happen [it] was a big slap in the face.”
The disturbing video shows Velazquez attempting to call his sister and one of the officers attempting to yank the phone from his hand. When he tries to explain that he was only calling his sister to tell her where he was, he is quickly tackled to the ground before getting a beating.
Velazquez’s sister Vanessa did show up and did not hesitate to take photos of the unsettling injuries left on her brother’s face. Velazquez and his family told ABC 15 Arizona they will be pressing charges.
“Even seeing the tape it was uncalled for,” she said. “Totally uncalled for. “
Velazquez was then issued a citation for allegedly not having the proper lights on his bike.
“Taking five minutes and complying and calling your sister when you got done, would have gone a long way,” Berry added. “He could have moved on for the evening.”