Peace Officer

Surveillance Video Captures Officers Beating Burglary Suspect

Santa Ana police officers are being accused of using excessive force after surveillance video emerged showing officers punching and using a baton on a burglary suspect who fled arrest.

Edgar Vargas Arzate, 27, fled from officers responding to a burglary call on June 20 and led police on a chase through backyards and private residences, officials said.

Police said officers caught up with Arzate around the 400 block of Sycamore Street and used force to take him into custody.

Video from a neighbor’s security cameras shows Arzate raising his hands and laying on the ground face-down after being confronted by police officers. An officer then comes to restrain the suspect, putting his knee on Arzate’s back and punching him repeatedly. Another officer is then seen hitting Arzate on the legs with what appears to be his police baton.

Arzate pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted burglary, battery on a peace officer, unlawful tampering of a vehicle and resisting a police officer, stemming from the arrest.

Police said they are conducting an internal investigation of the June 20 incident.

Court records show Arzate has prior convictions for burglary and possession of a controlled substance. He was sentenced to two years in state prison in 2006 for theft with a prior felony, buying or receiving a stolen vehicle and hit-and-run with property damage.

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