RANCHO CUCAMONGA (CBSLA) — Members of a motorcycle club were outraged after one of its own was run off the road by a California Highway Patrol officer, and the biker’s family said it plans to take legal action.
Cellphone video taken Sunday shows a group of bikers stopped at a Rancho Cucamonga intersection when a person on a motorcycle passes in front of them flanked by a CHP cruiser.
The camera follows the rider, and the CHP vehicle can be seen hitting the motorcycle in the distance, knocking the rider down.
The group immediately begins walking towards the scene as the CHP officer detains the rider.
“You pushed him! You pushed him down! You slapped him down with you bike, and I have it on camera!” the person holding the phone can be heard screaming at the officer as he handcuffs the man.
At one point, the officer pushes another rider with his hand as the person tries to get access to the fallen motorcycle.
Rider Jose Figueroa told CBS2 News the biker was in a pack when the officer started being aggressive towards the man.
“He panicked, you know? Our brother panicked, and he got out the way and sped up, tried to get out the way, and the cop chased him,” said Figueroa. “We pulled up to the liquor store, and that’s when he rammed him.”
“From what I saw from the video, you know, I [saw] my husband’s brake going on,” the detained man’s wife Desiree Garcia told CBS2 News Sunday. “It looked like he was, he was trying to pull over, and the cop just hit him out of nowhere.”
Garcia’s husband was taken to the hospital and then taken to jail, but she knows it could have been much worse.
“I couldn’t have lost my husband. I don’t know what I would’ve —” Garcia said before becoming visibly upset.
The group said it will be taking legal action against the CHP.
“A lot of people believe the cop used excessive force,” said Figueroa. “He should not have done that. He should’ve done it in a more [unintelligible] manner.”
While some people commented on Facebook that the rider should have stopped before the situation escalated, the group said their friend probably was unable to hear the officer because of his helmet.
The CHP released a statement Monday, which read, in part, “For unknown reasons, the left side of the Yamaha made contact with the patrol vehicle.[…] An investigator has been assigned to investigate the cause of the contact between the Yahama and the patrol vehicle.”
The riders were taking part in the Elite Bikerz Fallen Brother Ride. The man who was knocked down was reportedly not in the same club as the person who took the video.