Our CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE is free, but producing it is not. Please help keep our newsroom on the job by subscribing now.

Meriden officers seen punching suspect on video were ‘within policy,’ spokesman says

Meriden officers seen punching suspect on video were ‘within policy,’ spokesman says



MERIDEN — Police officals do not expect to conduct an internal affairs investigation after a video on social media showed a suspect being punched by officers last week. 

David Michael O’Brien, 30, of Higganum, faces charges that he drove recklessly and interfered with police during an arrest made Friday afternoon after police say a car driven by O’Brien struck another vehicle. 

O’Brien was in the hospital Monday and could not attend his scheduled arraignment, according to statements in court. The case was continued to Tuesday. His bond is currently $100,000, police spokesman Sgt. Christopher Fry said.

A brief video posted to social media appears to show one officer lying on O’Brien’s back, pinning him to the ground, while another officer repeatedly strikes him. 

Officers can be heard telling O’Brien to “put your hands behind your back” and “stop resisting” in the video, which was recorded by a passenger of a car driving by at the time. The video indicates the incident happened just outside of Lincoln Plaza on West Main Street. 

Fry said on Monday that it doesn’t appear as if the two detectives involved violated the department’s use of force policy and no internal affairs investigation is planned. Fry said if new evidence or information comes forward, “anything’s possible.”

"Our department has a track record of willingness to hold those accountable who are in violation of our policy. It is just as important to support our officers when they are performing their duties within policy."

-Sgt. Christopher Fry

“Our department has a track record of willingness to hold those accountable who are in violation of our policy,” Fry said. “It is just as important to support our officers when they are performing their duties within policy.”

O’Brien’s mug shot, released by police Monday, shows extensive injuries to the left side of his face.

Knives seized

According to the criminal clerk file, multiple knives were seized during the incident, including a 13-inch fixed-blade knife, a fixed-blade knife with a white handle, a fixed-blade knife with a brown handle and a green-colored knife. Police also seized $207, several prescriptions and 18 Xanax pills, the file said. 

In a statement Saturday, Fry acknowledged and addressed the video posted to social media, saying it only captured one perspective of the arrest. 

According to Fry, the arresting detectives observed O’Brien’s white Nissan “maneuvering in and out of traffic, recklessly, negligently and in complete disregard for the safety of others.” The two detectives were performing surviellance in connection with an unrelated matter, Fry said Monday. 

“From a considerable distance, the detectives witnessed as the Nissan struck another motor vehicle which did cause injuries,” the statement read. “The extent of those injuries is not available at this time.”

It’s unclear from the statement where O’Brien was seen driving recklessly or where the collision occurred.

O’Brien was charged with possession of a controlled substance, interfering, reckless endangerment, reckless driving, possession of weapons in a motor vehicle, misuse of plates and theft of plates.

Police have not said which officers were involved into the incident. The arrest blotter lists Det. Erik Simonson as the arresting officer.  

According to Fry, the department reviews all use-of-force incidents and “will reserve any judgment until such time is appropriate.”

mzabierek@record-journal.com

203-317-2279

Twitter: @MatthewZabierek


Advertisement
 
Our CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE is free, but producing it is not. Please help keep our newsroom on the job by subscribing now.

More From This Section

Latest Videos

Advertisement