A Texas man was detained and forcefully arrested by law enforcement for ‘jogging while black’, witnesses said, as officers searched for a different suspect in a nearby domestic violence call.
Mathias Ometu, 33, spent two days in the Bexar County Jail after he was arrested by two San Antonio Police Department officers this week.
The department has since acknowledged that Ometu was not the suspect they were looking for, and the victim corroborated that fact, but he was still charged and taken into custody.
Mayor Ron Nirenburg has now called full investigation into the incident.
Cell phone footage of the two San Antonio Police Department officers roughly shoving Ometu into the back of a police cruiser while he screams ‘you’re choking me’ several times.
Cell phone footage shows Mathias Ometu (center) being forcefully shoved into a police cruiser on Tuesday in San Antonio, Texas
The officers, including one black man, wrestle a handcuffed Ometu head first into the back seat and begin pushing him by his feet.
‘The only thing he did was not give his name. He was just jogging,’ witness Jennifer Rodriguez says in the footage. ‘I walked right past him.’
‘I can’t believe this is happening right here,’ he boyfriend, Victor Maas, chimes in as sirens blare in the background.
‘And of course, here come some more cops. I’m sure they’re going to make it worse.’
Ometu continues to scream in pain as the officers eventually detain him in the police vehicle after a three-minute struggle.
Witnesses who recorded the encounter said Ometu was not aggressive with officers and was arrested for ‘jogging while black’
According to a police report obtained by CNN, Ometu was seen walking out of an apartment complex on Tuesday afternoon as officers dispatched to a 911 call about a man suspected of punching and choking a woman.
The two officers stopped Ometu, an insurance adjuster, because they had ‘reasonable suspicion to believe’ he ‘matched the description of an alleged strangulation family violence incident.’
Mathias Ometu (pictured in mugshot) was charged with two counts assault on a peace officer despite not being the initial suspect
Officers asked Ometu several times for his name and date of birth, but he refused to respond, the police report said.
The Texas Penal Code states that a person being detained or questioned by police is not required to provide identifying information.
Ometu refused to get into the police cruiser and was ‘placed in the patrol vehicle’ following a ‘long struggle…using only open hand techniques,’ the report said.
Police alleged that Ometu kicked the officers, striking one in the face, during the struggle.
The domestic violence victim met with officers after Ometu was detained and explained that he was not the intended suspect.
Ometu was still transported to Municipal Court for ‘identification purposes,’ according to the report. He was charged with two counts of assault on a peace officer.