Anaheim's long, hot summer continues...
A cell phone video posted to YouTube that has gone viral showing a man punched numerous times with his head being smashed into the ground while being restrained has been verified as happening in Anaheim, and a federal lawsuit against officers and the Anaheim Police Department is forthcoming.
Steven Paul Perez is named as the 21-year old shown on the floor audibly saying "I'm afraid" and "I quit" numerous times before additional police arrived on the scene.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
The incident took place on Western Avenue near the Lincoln Avenue intersection in West Anaheim on the night of August 27. The iron gate designs and colors of the Anaheim Villas apartment complex definitely matches that of those shown on the video.
Bruce C. Bridgman, an attorney representing Perez, tells the Weekly in an interview that his client was intoxicated that night, came home and got into an argument with his brother. Their mother then placed a call to the police to intervene. Initially, Perez had been escorted back into his home. He then vomited, dirtying one of the officer's uniform. At that point, Perez was taken back out and beat up.
The lawsuit will allege excessive force and a clear violation of civil rights. Perez was taken to the hospital after the incident and his attorney lists his injuries as minor: bruises, cuts, and lacerations. Perez was charged with domestic violence, but no family member is following up on that front.
In fact, his mother, who can be heard and seen in the cell phone video, yelled at the police when her son was visibly being struck.
"The officer who did most of the beating went over and checked the mother to see if she had taken pictures of what happened and took the phone away from her," Bridgman says of what happened afterward. "But they didn't realize that a next-door neighbor had a phone and had taken video."
This, of course, comes after residents of Anna Drive in East Anaheim alleged police officers offered to buy their cell phones from them after they fired projectiles at a crowd that had gathered following the fatal officer-involved shooting of Manuel Diaz on July 21. The growing concern over police conduct is not lost on Bridgman. In preparing the suit, he says there has been well over a dozen witnesses interviewed who have been described as compelling.
Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!