The retired Hartford police officer purportedly seen kicking a handcuffed suspect laying on the ground in a dashcam video linked to an investigation into possible excessive force said the man refused to stop spitting blood, according to reports.
Sgt. Sean Spell said Emilio Diaz had been spitting blood that was leaking from a forehead wound onto another officer during his arrest, Spell wrote in his incident report.
"Diaz was spitting out blood out of his mouth towards me," Spell wrote in the report, filed the day after the arrest of Diaz and Ricardo Perez. Diaz was kneeling and handcuffed when Spell approached the suspect, the report said.
"I told Diaz to stop spitting blood and to lay down prone, or I would force him down, which he refused to comply," Spell wrote in the report. "Not being in possession of latex gloves, I used my right foot forcefully onto the back side of Diaz's head, and forced him to the ground."
The incident reports details the accounts of all officers involved in the arrest of two men who had stolen a Toyota Camry and led police on a chase from Hartford to West Hartford on June 4.
The driver sped off after loudly honking his horn on Zion and Glendale Streets, ran stop signs and led officers through several residential streets before the chase ended on Flatbush Avenue in West Hartford when officers deployed "speed sticks," according to Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley and a Hartford police report.
A dashcam mounted in a West Hartford Police cruiser appears to show Hartford officers kicking or stomping one of the suspects, who was in handcuffs, according to police.
Spell said he "detected a strong, distinct odor of PCP emanating from Diaz, which usually involves violent behavior."
Officer Stephen Barone wrote in his incident report that after the arrest, police found PCP and marijuana while searching the Camry.
Hartford police obtained the dashcam videos from the state's attorney, who is investigating the incident to avoid any conflict of interest.
Police identified the driver they arrested as Perez, 34, of Hartford. As officers approached the car after the chase, Perez hit a Hartford detective with the car, according to police, and hit four Hartford Police vehicles during the pursuit of the vehicle.
Perez and Diaz, 38, of Hartford, had to be hospitalized and Hartford Police said they launched a preliminary investigation the next day when the suspects' bruised and cut faces appeared in mugshots and raised concerns in the department.
The report from Hartford Police said Perez violently struggled with officers and a West Hartford officer, Carlo Faienza, used a stun gun, but it did not affect the suspect, so an offer punched Perez in the torso.
Faienza wrote that Perez "appeared to be under the influence of something and was showing signs of enormous bursts of strength by keeping his hands underneath his body."
Perez's mug shot shows a swollen eye and bandages, while Rivera's shows a gash in his head.
Police also said the car Perez was driving was stolen and they found PCP and marijuana inside.
The state attorney has not determined whether criminal charges are warranted but an investigation is ongoing, Hartford police said.
Later in June, attorney Corey Brinson filed notices on behalf of Perez and Diaz the two men, alleging police used excessive force when arresting Diaz and said they were physically beaten and mentally traumatized.
Brinson told the Hartford Courant that his "client denies spitting blood at anybody."
Spell was part of the department for 20 years retired following the pursuit. Foley said there are no laws in place to prevent an officer involved in a case like this from retiring.