A Texas police officer was placed on administrative duty after a dashboard camera video emerged showing the 23 year old officer aggressively detain and tase a 76-year old man after pulling him over for an expired registration sticker.
The Victoria Advocate reported Officer Nathanial Robinson pulled Pete Vasquez when he noticed the registration. Vasquez pulled into a car lot to attempt to get the manager to explain to the cop that the car was exempt from inspection because of the car dealer tags.
On the dashcam video Robinson can be seen arresting Vasquez. As the elderly man exits his vehicle to show the officer the plates are exempt, Robinson grabs him by the arm before shoving him onto the hood of the police car. As Vasquez attempts to escape the assault the officer wrestles him to the ground. The two men move out of the frame but Victoria police confirmed that at this point Robinson used the stun gun on Vasquez twice while he was on the ground.
Vasquez told the Advocate that the officer “just acted like a pit bull, and that was it. For a while, I thought he was going to pull his gun and shoot me.”
Sales manager Larry Urich can also be seen on the video coming out to inform the officer of the exemption. Urich said the officer told him to stand back, “but I didn’t shut up. I told him he was a goddamn Nazi Stormtrooper.”
After Vasquez is placed in the back of the police vehicle he can be heard talking to another officer. The officer asks him what happened, to which Vasquez states, “He came over here and got nasty with me. I’m not going to put up with that. I don’t care who it is.” When the officer inquires whether Vasquez was hurt after the scuffle he responded, “Not yet. Probably later on. I’m 76 years old.” He goes on to say that “I hit my knees and my back and everything else. My shoulder and everywhere else.”
The following day Vasquez told the Victoria Advocate that his body was aching, but more than that, “I feel like my rights were violated.” Chief of Police J.J. Craig personally apologized to Mr. Vasquez for the incident. Officer Robinson’s actions are currently under investigation.
“The police department is supposed to train their police officers to be more conscientious and use common sense. I don’t think he had any.”