A South Florida man who allegedly stole two candy bars and a bottle of ginger ale at a convenience store was shown on cellphone video, apparently being kicked by a police officer while he was handcuffed, the Sun-Sentinel reported.
Two witnesses recorded videos of the Tuesday night incident, WPLG reported. One of videos, provided to WSVN, shows what appears to be a Coral Springs officer kicking Gabriel Narcisse-Beckford, 28, as he was seated on the ground. The incident prompted the Coral Springs Police Department to place four officers on administrative leave while an investigation is conducted, the television station reported.
4 Coral Springs Police officers in cellphone video of handcuffed man being kicked are on administrative leave and under a criminal investigation https://t.co/xB9SVg1ONh— WSVN 7 News (@wsvn) December 7, 2018
Narcisse-Beckford, 28, who was accused of stealing two Butterfinger candy bars and the soda, told officers after his arrest that he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, the Sun-Sentinel reported, citing a police report. He added he had not been taking his medications, according to the police report.
The witness who supplied the video told WSVN he "could not believe that this was actually happening right in front of me."
"One of the officers tased him to the ground," the witness told the television station. "He was cooperating, everything was good, and then another officer came, and then he kicked him in the head — straight to his face."
Coral Springs police said Narcisse-Beckford was resisting at the time of his arrest, the Sun-Sentinel reported.
According to the police report, Coral Springs Detective Anabely Escarpita drove to the store and saw Narcisse-Beckford walking through a parking lot, the newspaper reported. He ignored two commands from her to stop and walked into traffic in front of a police car driven by Officer David Anderson.
We have seen the video of an incident involving some of our officers. We take this matter very seriously. Due to the gravity of the situation we are conducting a criminal investigation. At this time all the officers involved have been placed on administrative leave.— Coral Springs Police (@CoralSpringsPD) December 5, 2018
When Escarpita tried to grab Narcisse-Beckford, the man got in a fighting stance, police said. Anderson hit Narcisse-Beckford with a closed fist, according to a police report.
Anderson used a stun gun on Narcisse-Beckford, who fell to the ground and was handcuffed by Escarpita and Officer Michael Snyder.
According to the report, Narcisse-Beckford yelled, "All this for a soda?" and "Why didn’t you just shoot me? I tried to get her gun! Don’t you guys just kill people?"
Detective Sandy Gomez thought Narcisse-Beckford was trying to stand up, and kicked him in his right shoulder and neck area, the Sun-Sentinel reported, according to Gomez’s police report.
Narcisse-Beckford appeared in court on charges of petty theft, battery on an officer and resisting an officer with and without violence, WSVN reported.
Coral Springs police Chief Clyde Perry told WPLG that he contacted the State Attorney's Office after watching one of the videos of the arrest.
"I wasn't happy with what I saw," Perry told the television station.