A 15-year-old skateboarder was arrested on Sunday in downtown Tampa and a video taken of that arrest is creating a stir on social media.
- Tampa Police say teen skateboarder resisted arrest after caught skating near city hall
- Arrest was caught on video
- Tampa Police say officer's actions were justified
The video shows a Tampa Police officer trying to handcuff the teen and they both fall to the ground.
"These police officers literally forced a minor onto the ground without saying anything," said Sly Sullivan, a friend of the teen who shot the video.
But Tampa Police spokesman Steve Hegarty offers a different account of what happened.
"One of the teens was going away from the officer. When the officer reached out to arrest him, he pulled back and resisted," he said.
Police said it started when officers warned a group of skateboarders not to skate near police headquarters or downtown.
They said a short time later they saw the 15-year-old, who was part of that group, doing a skateboard manuever by City Hall.
Officers said when they tried to handcuff him, he pulled away.
"There's a very brief struggle where the teen is going one way and the officer is going another way. The officer brings him down but the officer goes down, as well," said Hegarty.
However Sullivan said his friend was scared and confused about what was happening.
"He had no idea what was going on. Nobody was saying anything. He was just being thrown around like a rag doll," he said.
Officers said they restrained the teen on the trunk of the squad car while they asked his friends to leave the area.
Police said there were no serious injuries but Sullivan said the teen has bruises.
Officers said the teen did complain about the handcuffs hurting and they removed them for awhile after he was detained.
Sullivan said he and others would like to see an investigation into the officer's actions but Hegarty said at this point, the officer's actions seem to be justified and no investigation is underway.
The teen is being charged with resisting arrest without violence, which is a misdemeanor.