In shaky, dark cell phone video taken inside an apartment in Webster, Massachusetts, at least three Webster Police officers can be seen fighting with two men.
The officers used their fists and a flashlight in the video shot early Wednesday morning on Slater Street.
Police had been called to the apartment for the second time in two nights for a noise complaint.
“I didn’t think that a noise complaint would lead to all of this,” said Kasey Crombie, who lives in the apartment and recorded the incident on her cellphone.
But when police ran the names of the people inside, they found that one of them, 20-year-old Joshua Crombie, had a warrant out for his arrest stemming from a charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
“It was just an unpaid fine, I owed them $150 dollars,” said Joshua Crombie.
When Crombie wouldn’t let them in, they called his mom Michelle at work.
“They said for me to open up the door and if I didn’t they were going to bash it in, kick it in, they kind of tricked me into doing that,” said Michelle Crombie.
“Under a fresh and continuous pursuit, they could have chased him in there,” said Webster Police Lt. Michael Shaw.
We showed Lt. Shaw the nearly five minute video – first showing a relatively calm situation with Crombie, seen here in cuffs – then showing the officers using force.
“The strikes don’t look good, I agree,” said Lt. Shaw, “but I think that they were warranted at this point, if he’s trying to hit my officers, my officers are going to defend themselves and try to take him into custody.”
Lt. Shaw says what you don’t see in this video is what happened before the officers used force, as they asked for 22-year-old Curtis Hart’s identification.
“He went to hand him a wallet and the officer went to take it, he apparently grabbed on his arm, so the officer pushed him to create distance,” said Lt. Shaw.
But 22-year-old Corey Derosier says he thought his friend was being attacked.
“I simply stood in front of my friend and in front of the officer and said please don’t be aggressive,” said Derosier.
“He got on their back and they ended up on the ground somehow but one officer was on the bottom and Mr. Derosier was on top of him and then another officer came in and he had the flashlight and he was trying to get him off,” Lt. Shaw said.
“I was hit over the head, I was beaten, I have marks, I was tased for a very long time,” Derosier said.
Derosier and Hart were arrested and charged with assault and battery on a police officer.
But their friends believe the officers should be the ones punished.
“Honestly I hope they lose their jobs over this,” Kasey Crombie said.
“Maybe they need to get fired or something,” added Joshua Crombie.
“I feel what they did was right and I stand by them,” Lt. Shaw said.
Lt. Shaw says the incident is under investigation, as is standard with all incidents where there is a use of force.