A California police department is investigating the beating of a suspect in a video the police chief has called "horrific" and "inflammatory."
Grainy cellphone footage, taken by a passing driver, shows two Salinas cops beat 28-year-old Jose Velasco as three officers pin him down on North Main Street Friday.
The 1-minute 42-second video does not show what prompted the beating.
"The video alone is horrific and inflammatory," Police Chief Kelly McMillin toldKSBW. "Anybody who looks at that video without context would have concerns, because it looks terrible."
Police said they were called to the scene for reports that Velasco was screaming, running into traffic and jumping onto cars.
When the first two officers arrived, Velasco was throwing his mother into traffic and slamming her against the pavement, they said.
"As officers tried to get Velasco off his mother by pulling him away, Velasco began to violently resist and attacked the officers," police said in a press release.
During the struggle, Velasco grabbed one of the officers' tasers, making them fear he could reach for their firearms, McMillin said. They did not know whether he had his own gun, he said.
The video opens as Velasco was Tasered. It's unclear from the shaky footage whether he writhed on the ground or rolled from the blasts.
Velasco was not affected by the shocks because he was under the influence of methamphetamine and alcohol, McMillin said.
The struggle continued as Velasco grabbed an officer's leg, the video shows. That officer began hitting Vekasco with a baton as the other held Velasco down.
Three more officers arrived on scene, with one jumping in to hit Velasco and two pinning him down, the video shows.
The video cuts after the beating ends.Velasco continued to resist arrest even while he was pinned to the ground and three more officers arrived, McMillin said.
"This was a very violent man beating a woman in a public street, tearing weapons from police officers' belts, trying to bite them, trying to headbutt them," McMillin said.
Velasco was transported in an ambulance, where he tried to bite and headbutt a paramedic and an officer, police said.
With a doctor's authorization, the paramedics sedated Velasco, "which finally brought him under control," McMillin said.
The beating left Velasco with bruises and a possible fractured leg but he was not severely injured, McMillin said. He was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, assault on an officer causing injury, resisting arrest and violating parole.