Two South Florida cops were caught on video beating a man with batons who is known in the area as being “mentally challenged.”
Hallandale Beach police officers Jamie Cerna and Richard Allen were suspended Thursday, one day after the incident took place.
Cerna had been with the department for 11 years and was placed on paid administrative leave.
Allen, who has been with the department for 35 years, was suspended without pay because he is actually retired, working on an hourly basis and likely collecting a pension.
Initial reports that both were suspended without pay proved to be untrue, according to a press conference Thursday with the Hallandale Beach city manager and the agency’s deputy chief.
Police say they confronted Daniel James Dundelberger, 27, at about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday after he was seen stealing a phone and charger from a parked car.
The video shows Dunkelberger standing next to a police car trying to block repeated blows to his head and upper body.
As Dunkelberger falls to the ground, you can hear the crackle of the taser gun.
One officer is heard asking, “Doesn’t that hurt?” as Dundelberger continues to scream in pain.
Police say they tasered him twice, but that did not get him to surrender, so they resorted to their batons.
Police say Daniel Dunkelberger, 27, stole someone’s cellphone and charger from a car in the 200 block of Southwest 10th Avenue.
In trying to stop Dunkelberger, Cerna fired two Taser shots.
“I then deployed my Taser, which was ineffective,” Cerna wrote in Dunkelberger’s arrest report. “The defendant then stood up and fled on foot. I was able to deploy a second cartridge, which the defendant appeared to withstand.”
Because he used both of his cartridges, he switched to his expandable baton, Cerna wrote.
“I applied several strikes to the lower area of his legs. The defendant then went to the ground, where he was restrained with handcuffs.”
He “tensed his body to impede officer from placing him under arrest,” Cerna wrote.
“The defendant was re-directed to the ground where he landed in the crawling position and braced his body to prevent officer from placing him in restraints,” the report said.
The man recording the video has to tell the cops to stop beating him. And though they appear to be annoyed at the man with the camera, they did stop.
A witness told Local 10 that Dunkelberger is “known around the area to be a mentally challenged individual.”
Carlos Miller contributed to this report.