A sheriff’s deputy in Harris County, Texas was caught on camera punching a teenager in the face last Friday (March 26). The teen, Carlos, was fueling up his ATV at a gas station when the deputy approached him.
A video, which was published by ABC 13 and recorded via another teen’s GoPro, showed the unidentified deputy walking out of a Shell gas station. As the group of teens filled up their ATVs, the deputy walked straight toward them carrying his drink.
The deputy can be heard asking, “Remember me?” as he approached Carlos and asks for his ID. The deputy looked at Carlos’ license briefly before the confrontation turned violent.
“He just looked at my ID for like two seconds and said to put my hands behind my back,” Carlos told ABC 13. “That’s when I panicked a little and pulled away from him and he grabbed me.”
As the deputy told Carlos to turn around and put his hands behind his back, he yelled, “Don’t run from me boy. I will beat your [expletive] right here.”
Carlos backed away slightly and the deputy grabbed his shirt.
“Turn around and put your hands behind your back before I beat the [expletive] out of you,” the deputy screamed in Carlos’ face. “Don’t be [expletive] stupid!”
Shockingly, the deputy then yanked on Carlos’ shirt and punched him in the face. As a crowd gathered, the deputy tackled the teenager to the ground and continued to scream at him while putting his hands in handcuffs. Carlos said he was detained for a few hours and authorities took his fingerprints before he was released to his parents. ABC 13 reports that the teenager was charged with evading arrest.
The sheriff’s deputy may have tried to confront the teen and his friends before, Carlos told the outlet. Carlos said he and his friends knew their ATVs weren’t legal to drive on the road and he believes they may have driven away from the deputy in the past. However, he says he doesn't remember ever meeting the deputy face-to-face.
“I just don’t think I should be treated in that manner for riding on the street,” Carlos said of the arrest. “A lot of 16-year-olds got ATVs ... [they] want to have fun with their friends.”
His mother, who was also interviewed by ABC 13, said she was disturbed by the video of the incident.
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez has since responded to the video and said the deputy has been placed on desk duty.
“We are aware of an incident in which one of our deputies used physical force and unprofessional language against a suspect at a convenience store on Friday,” Gonzalez tweeted. “The incident is under internal investigation and the deputy is being placed on administrative duty.”
SHOCKING VIDEO: The Harris County deputy seen on video punching the teenager in the face and putting him on the ground is now on desk duty following the incident. HCSO says they are investigating the incident internally. https://t.co/dRP6LvNBxj pic.twitter.com/kRqMYoikeI— Mycah Hatfield (@MycahABC13) April 1, 2021