Parents to file complaint after teen's arrest
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (WSVN) -- The parents of a South Florida teen are accusing police of using excessive force while arresting their son.
The arrest happened on Aug. 14 at Phippen Waiters Road and Dixie Highway in Dania Beach. According to a police report, Hollywood Police chased 17-year-old Alexis Cabrera when he refused to pull over after a police tried to stop him for switching multiple lanes and using a license plate that was not assigned to the vehicle.
Monday afternoon the parents met with internal affairs officers at an undisclosed location. The teen remains at the juvenile assessment center, the parents said, with two black eyes.
Surveillance video shows Hollywood Police officers handcuffing the 17-year-old, while one officer pinned the teen's neck to the ground. When the teen stands up and adjusts his pants another officer is seen kneeing him. "For them to be that physically violent when he was laying on the ground with his hands behind his back and handcuffs and continue to kick on him is ridiculous," said the teen's mother, Michelle Surgeon.
Raelin Storey, spokesperson for the City of Hollywood said, "We didn't wait to see the video. We went ahead and initiated an internal affairs investigation. All of those individuals involved would be interviewed and statements taken from them."
The video comes from a camera mounted on a resident's home. The homeowner witnessed the arrest but wanted to remain anonymous. "They used a lot of excessive force. He did not resist at any time, but they beat him down and held him down by his neck," the unidentified man said.
Agustin Cabrera saw his son shortly after his arrest and said the teen had injuries to his face consistent with what happened on surveillance video. "This side of his face was swollen and his neck was kind of hurting, I guess they must've beat him in the back of his neck or something, and he had couple scratches," said Cabrera.
The 17-year-old faces a slew of charges including fleeing from police, resisting officers and possession of marijuana, which cops said they found his car.
However, the teen's family said the officers' actions were over the line and plan to get an attorney to file a formal complaint against Hollywood Police on Monday. "I understand if he got himself in trouble and he has to get arrested for that, I understand that, but you clearly see them punching and kicking, and it's beyond what they needed to do," said Surgeon.
According to paperwork at Joe DiMaggio's Children's Hospital, where the younger Cabrera was taken, the teen did suffer contusions to his face.
Hollywood Police said they are aware of the video, but they are not commenting at this time. Meanwhile, the City of Hollywood has said it is taking the allegations very seriously. Officials would like to hear from any witnesses who think they saw what happened.
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