Police in San Joaquin County, Calif., say they’re investigating after video posted to social media Wednesday shows a man ignoring an officer’s commands, shrugging off a stun gun that is fired at him – and chasing after the officer in a terrifying confrontation caught on camera.
Now the woman who shot the video is speaking out to local media after the clip went viral.
“I was in fear and shock for my surroundings and the people that were around me and that police officer – and for the guy,” Jewel Armstrong told KCRA News on Thursday. “I didn’t want anything bad to happen to anybody.”
Armstrong, a security guard at the Mountain House Costco near Stockton, says the incident began when the suspect parked his car on store property. Armstrong says she asked him to move and he complied – however the man then parked in front of the store’s loading area and refused to leave, prompting a call to police.
“As a security officer, everything that I did, I tried to observe and report and give, to the best of my abilities, the knowledge to the police officers beforehand,” Armstrong said.
According to her, the man became combative shortly after a deputy arrived to deal with the complaint. That’s when she decided to pull out her phone.
When the video begins, the suspect is lying on the ground but quickly jumps to his feet, ignoring the officer’s repeated calls to get back on the ground.
When he tries to get into his vehicle, the officer attempts to restrain him before firing a stun gun, striking the suspect in the shoulder.
With a scream, the man simply removes the prongs from his shoulder, then runs full speed at the officer.
At one point, the man even enters the officer’s police vehicle while Armstrong calls for the officer to “shoot out his tires!”
“He could have killed himself or really hurt somebody else.”
Later in the video, we see the man now behind the wheel of his own car, ramming into the police cruiser as the deputy continues to call for him to desist.
The video ends as more police – including a helicopter – arrive on scene, with the suspect fleeing on foot with deputies in pursuit.
Late Thursday, a spokesperson for the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department confirmed the authenticity of the video, praising their officer for the restraint he showed in not using deadly force.
“Upon seeing the video, we are grateful that no one suffered significant injuries in this incident,” Det. Dave Konecny said in a statement to media. “Our deputies must routinely make split-second decisions on the use of force.”
“In this instance, the deputy made an assessment that it was not required. As in other cases, on-scene video does not necessarily reflect the true story however we will look into the matter further.”
Police confirmed that Yaroub Assad, 22, was arrested that night and booked into San Joaquin County Jail on charges of vandalism, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Police say they’re not releasing any more details of the incident at this time as they are still considering pressing more charges.