SALINAS (KPIX 5) — The District Attorney’s office has launched an investigation into a violent arrest captured on cellphone video last Friday, in Salinas. Newly released 911 audio reveals the chaos on that day, as officers tried to cuff suspect Jose Velasco, who had been running through traffic.
The suspect’s mother was allegedly being attacked by her son was one of the people who called the officers, but now she says they went too far.READ MORE: Analysis: Newsom Landslide Provides Little Reassurance for Democrats in 2022
“Something’s wrong with him and he’s running through the cars right here on Main Street right in front of Sherwood Gardens. Please have an officer come,” pleads her voice on the 911 recording.
Other 911 callers told the responder Velasco was trying to throw his mother into traffic.
“Oh my gosh, no he threw her down,” says one caller.
“He’s screaming and lying on the middle … trying to detain cars and running around yelling,” says yet another.
The caller can be heard yelling, “Hey, get off of her! Get off of her! Get off her!
The cell phone video of the violent arrest that followed is extremely disturbing. The suspect is on the ground and officers are beating him repeatedly with their batons.READ MORE: Firefighters Working to Save Giant Sequoias Forced to Flee Advancing Flames
“I had an emotional response to that video,” said Salinas Police Kelly McMillan. “I can’t imagine how anybody could watch it and not have an emotional response.
Just released toxicology reports reveal Velasco was high on meth. Police said he also has mental health issues.
“We now know Mr. Velasco has been diagnosed with specified drug-induced psychiatric disorder,” said McMillan.
Velasco was treated for a fractured leg and bruises.
Three of the five officers who responded were trained in crisis intervention, including the officer seen at the end of the video beating Velasco.
That officer is on restricted duty and no longer out patrolling the street.MORE NEWS: San Mateo Deputies Arrest Man Suspected in Stabbing Attack With Wood Stake
Velasco’s mother said police crossed the line in dealing with her son. Her family has hired an attorney.