A video uploaded to Instagram yesterday shows a man in the Bronx being punched and kneed by a police officer trying to handcuff him. But police are saying that it's only a small piece of a longer arrest that left two officers with a litany of injuries.
The video began making the rounds on social media yesterday afternoon, but NYPD spokesman Lt. John Grimpel told the Post that it's from the May 4th arrest of robbery suspect Darnell Simmons that took place in a Morris Park McDonald's. Police allege that Simmons fought Officers Billy Acosta and Matthew Wright when they tried to arrest him, biting, punching and kicking the officers, resulting in a broken nose and staples in the head for Wright and two herniated discs for Acosta according to the Daily News. The NYPD told the News they have a video of the full 7-minute confrontation but declined the paper's request to release it.
The man in the blue sweatshirt is a civilian who tried to help subdue Simmons, who's currently being held on Rikers Island awaiting trial on two counts of second-degree burglary and one count of assaulting a police officer, according to the Post. An NYPD spokesman told the News that the incident was investigated, and has already been closed, by the Civilian Complaint Review Board. The NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau is currently looking into the incident.
We reached out to the NYPD and will update when we hear back.
[UPDATE] An NYPD spokesperson emailed the following statement to Gothamist:
On Wednesday May 4, 2016 at approximately 1:45 p.m. two detectives from the Manhattan Warrants Section saw a man, Darnell Simmons, a 26-year-old male, who was wanted on a parole warrant and for a series of burglaries in Manhattan and the Bronx. As detectives approached the man inside 1820 Eastchester Road in the Bronx to take him into custody, he assaulted the officers breaking the nose of one of the detectives. A violent struggle ensued for more than five minutes. During this time several 911 calls were received by the police, seeking assistance for the officers. One of the three men seen in the video was a not a police officer, but a civilian who came to their assistance.
After the struggle and when Mr. Simmons was placed into custody, he was transported to Jacobi Medical Center with minor injuries. The two detectives were also transported to Jacobi Medical Center with several injuries, including a broken nose, two herniated disks, a torn ligament, and other injuries. One of the detectives required stitches.
The issue at the time was referred to the Civilian Complaint Review Board for review and was subsequently closed. The NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau is conducting a further review of the incident.