Last Wednesday, April 21, a Ring doorbell system filmed a police officer in Vacaville throwing a 17-year-old boy with autism to the ground; the officer during the incident also allegedly punched him in the head.
In a time defined by technology — which has given birth to smartphones and WiFi-enabled home surveillance systems — episodes of police brutality are easier to capture than ever before. This was such the case last week when a Ring camera captured a California teenager being tossed to the ground and beaten by an arresting police officer.
As reported by CBS News, Adam Wolf, Preston Wolf’s father, wrote on Facebook, his son was "aggressively approached" near Casa Verde Court around 2:30 p.m by a Vacaville police officer.
The video — originally published by NBC Bay Area — shows Preston standing with his scooter on a sidewalk in a suburban neighborhood when a police officer exits his vehicle and begins walking toward him. It's this time when footage of the incident shows the officer aggressively yelling at Preston to sit down.
Preston in the footage can be seen abiding by the officer's demands, sitting down with his legs crossed. But Preston's compliance in the manner was apparently insufficient.
The officer continues to berate the teenager in the footage, at one point asking him to put his legs out; Preston does not immediately do so — which was then followed by the officer throwing his scooter several feet away. Things began escalating quickly after Preston visibly flinched after the officer attempted to grab him.
Soon after the teen recoiled, Preston can be seen running away when the officer who again attempts to lay his hands on the teenager, but this time he was successful; the teenager was swiftly pushed to the pavement and allegedly punched in the head.
"You punched me in the fucking head," Preston is heard yelling at the officer. Before two other officers arrived, but now before the arresting policeman replied to Preston that he was "gonna get hurt."
"Don't make me hurt you more," he added. "Don't make me hurt you more."
Preston, who is described by his father as suffering from both attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism, remarks that “a child with autism, he doesn’t like to be touched and has that child confront him with no explanation.”
"When he backed away, that officer felt the need to grab him and throw to the ground and climb on top and punch him in the face," Adam adds.
Vacaville police have now said there was a reason for the officer to stop the teenager.
“Vacaville police responded to a stabbing or assault with a deadly weapon reported to be a knife or a pipe,” said officer Katie Cardona of the Vacaville Police Department to NBC Bay Area.
According to the news outlet, Preston had allegedly engaged in a fight with a 16-year-old boy; that teenager had apparently called authorities on him. Preston was eventually arrested on “assault with a deadly weapon” and was detained for one hour — on the scene — before he was released to his stepmother with a citation for resisting arrest.
Per the Chronicle, the Vacaville Police Department is looking into “all aspects” of the incident.
“Not all cops are bad but there are bad apples in every bunch and the behavior that I saw in that video was disturbing and sickening and it shouldn’t have happened,” Adam added in his conversations with NBC Bay Area about his son’s arrest.
But anyone who's ever accidentally kept a rotting apple among otherwise healthy fruit knows how that decay can spread rather fast— and attract unwanted fruit flies.
Image: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons