SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — A teenage girl was hospitalized following a physical struggle during her arrest on Market Street Monday afternoon, San Francisco Police said.
Multiple witnesses said the girl was pushed hard against a police car during the arrest.
According to a statement by SFPD spokesman Robert Rueca, a plainclothes officer first noticed a female juvenile suspect at 1 p.m. on the 1000 block of Market Street.
Rueca said the young woman was wanted on a burglary warrant. As officers tried to arrest her, Rueca said the girl resisted, which resulted in a physical struggle.
“During this struggle, the subject assaulted two officers by spitting in their faces,” Rueca’s statement said. “A use of force occurred to prevent the subject from spitting at the officers again.”
Cell phone video obtained by the San Francisco Examiner shows paramedics placing the suspect on a stretcher and putting her in ambulance. Police say she was treated at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital.
“I just saw the cops pulling this girl towards their car. They had her hands behind her back and they slammed her on top of their car hood,” said Eric Dyer, who did not see the events that preceded the arrest.
Dyer said he was disturbed to see officers push the girl hard against a police car.
“She was pretty much just laying there as they were forcing her down on to the hood,” Dyer said. “After about two or three minutes, she was completely limp.”
When asked if it appeared the police needed to use force in order to effect an arrest because the suspect was resisting, Dyer replied, “I would say no. Me, personally, I don’t think anyone should be slammed onto the front of a car hood for what I saw what was going on.”
Cell phone video from across the street shows a firefighter placing a bag called a “spit hood” over the suspect’s head.
“She was resisting strong,” said Motaz Altwal who saw the suspect struggling hard as police tried to cuff her.
“He was grabbing her hands like this and she was shaking back and forth all the way from inside the smoke shop. He had to push her onto the police car,” Altwal said.
Police say the suspect is a juvenile, so they can’t release her name or age. Rueca’s statement said she has recovered from her injuries and is now in custody, charged with resisting arrest and assault on police officers. She also faces previous charges from the arrest warrant for multiple counts of burglary.
“An adult male was also arrested for obstructing police from their duties,” Rueca said.