RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — CBS2/KCAL9 has obtained cellphone video from a man who says deputies pointed service weapons at him while he recorded his friend’s arrest.
Alejandro Natividad says he was unarmed when he began recording a deputy in La Quinta, who then turned his service weapon on him Sunday.
Natividad was a passenger in a car when a deputy tried to stop the vehicle after noticing the driver was disoriented and unresponsive. Authorities say Natividad’s friend drove off but quickly stopped.
Both men got out of the car and were ordered to the ground at gunpoint.
Natividad challenged police, saying he had done nothing wrong.
“We have no weapons. We are not a threat to you. Why are you pointing a gun at me? I am not a threat. I got out of the car and surrendered to you,” he’s heard saying in the video clip.
The deputy says he smelled marijuana, and the driver, seen on the sidewalk in the footage, was arrested for driving while impaired by drugs.
During the four-minute video, Natividad is heard crying.
“I served in the United States Army, OK? I am scared for my freaking life right now,” he says.
Natividad tells KCAL9 he was in the Army and was medically discharged for a personality disorder.
“I was scared. I was under the influence of fear, that’s it,” he said.
According to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, which polices La Quinta, all of this could have been avoided.
“We encourage the community to remain inside the vehicle and not to exit the vehicle unless they’re directed to do so by a police officer,” Capt. Andrew Shouse said.
According to authorities, the deputies in the video were not out of line.
“I’m not saying it’s all completely their fault. And it’s not completely mine. The situation could’ve been handled way differently,” Natividad said.
Natividad was detained and released at the scene and says he was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.