Collier County, FL – A motorcyclist is saying that police used excessive force when apprehending him after a high-speed chase. The dashboard camera footage seemingly corroborates the claim, as it shows an officer beating him up while he pleads with him to stop.
Mateo Falconi, a 22-year-old engineering student, was going 67mph in a 45mph zone when he was spotted by deputy Robert Lewis III, reports MSN. Instead of pulling over, Falconi increased his speed to 110mph in an attempt to escape. He finally stopped his motorcycle and put his hands in the air, but Lewis pushed him to the ground, threatening to kill him and punching him repeatedly.
He also reportedly shot Falconi with a stun gun while other officers surrounded him.
Falconi gave the video to the News-Press, after it was obtained through discovery in his criminal case. After being released on bond, Falconi was treated at Lee Memorial Health system for contusions on his hands, chest wall, hip and arms. He also suffered a neck sprain and a head injury.
In the video, you see Lewis shouting at Falconi to put up his hands, which he does. Lewis comes into view with his gun out, screaming obscenities and punching Falconi in the jaw. Falconi falls to the ground, and Lewis continues punching him. Another officer, Cpl. Robert Parker, joins Lewis in the beat-down.
The Sheriff’s Office declined to comment because of the ongoing investigation. Still, a spokeswoman said that the “Deputy’s actions appear to be justified and in line with CCSO policy.”
Though he is pressing charges against Collier County police, Falconi admits that he was wrong for leading officers on a high-speed chase. “I panicked,” he said of why he sped up after seeing the police car. “It’s destroying my whole life for a mistake I made.”
You can watch the video below and judge for yourself. Warning: the video is NSFW.