San Antonio Police officers stopped and detained a man while he was jogging as they searched for a suspect in a nearby domestic violence call.
While the victim of the domestic violence corroborated that the arrested man, identified as Mathias Ometu, was not the suspect the police are looking for, the officers still took him into custody and charged him with two counts of assaulting a peace officer.
Ometu was seen walking out of an apartment complex when officers arrived in response to a domestic violence assault call.
According to the police report, the officers stopped Ometu and told him they had “reasonable suspicion to believe” that he “matched the description of an alleged strangulation family violence incident.”
The man the officers were supposedly looking for is Darren Anthony Smith Jr., who is a suspect for domestic violence and robbery.
The report also states that Ometu refused to give his name and date of birth after several requests, and that his “demeanor became aggressive.”
He was then “placed in the patrol vehicle” after a “long struggle, using only open hand techniques.”
Ometu allegedly kicked two officers during the incident, striking one in the face.
Witnesses Jenny Rodriguez and Victor Maas, who filmed the interaction between Ometu and police, said in an interview that Ometu did not seem aggressive or confrontational toward the officers.
The video they recorded shows Ometu handcuffed and calmly standing next to a police vehicle before two officers start to push him into the vehicle.
It also shows officers struggling with Ometu as he yelled “You’re choking me!” several times.
While the incident lasted roughly an hour, the witnesses was only able to record about 20 minutes of the interaction.
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg called for the public release of the body camera footage on Friday.
“We’ve got to make sure we understand the facts before we can speak clearly on what happens next,” said Nirenberg.
“We have to treat this issue seriously and the outcomes have to be from a basis of equity for every person.”