YUBA CITY (CBS13) – A cop punched a man in the face, and the video has gone viral.
It’s unclear who threw the first punch, but Ron Ybarra said it certainly wasn’t him, and just minutes before his arraignment, the district attorney had not filed charges.
“I was free to go home,” Ybarra said. He was originally charged with resisting arrest.
On Monday he was caught on camera being hit and forced to the ground by a Yuba City police officer, but what you can’t see is what happened prior to the punch.
“I said, ‘Whoa, Is that Ronnie?’ I thought it was Ronnie. I was like, ‘No way.’ I just couldn’t believe that that cop did that,” said Ybarra’s friend, Donna Cheatham.
He said the altercation was unexpected.
“The next thing you know I’m on the ground being belted twice and I thought he had only hit me once; it just happened so fast, I can’t tell you,” Ybarra said.
The incident took place in the parking lot of the Taco Bell on Bridge Street.
Ybarra said he is the one who called police after a man on a bike ran over his foot. He said he was not armed and never hit the officer.
“[He] just hit me in the face. Come on, that’s not a police tactic as far as I know,” he said.
The Yuba City Police Department has now launched an internal investigation.
“Our officers are equipped with body cameras, and the cars are as well,” said Lt. Jim Runyen with Yuba City PD.
However, that video is not being released because of the ongoing investigation and police ask citizens to be patient.
“There’s a very small clip on the Internet and I would tell people, wait until you see the full investigation and don’t make a judgment on 10 seconds. There’s more out there,” Runyen said.
While the officer was not hurt and remains on active duty, Ybarra said he suffered scrapes and bruises from the officer, and the attack was unwarranted.
“He had me on the ground burning me, and I kept telling him, ‘You’re burning me,'” he said.
Ybarra is now considering a lawsuit and hopes the department takes action against the officer.
“He needs a suspension, and he needs to think about it and have his job looked at and let him understand that you cannot treat the public like that regardless,” he said.
A spokesperson for the district attorney’s office said they are waiting until the investigation is complete before deciding to place any further charges.