BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - A taxi cab driver captured cell phone video of what looks like a Bossier City police officer punching a suspected drunk man in the face, before arresting him.
Police confirm they arrested 37-year-old Cassius Gay of Benton, Louisiana after they were called to the Margaritaville Casino Sunday evening in reference to a disorderly intoxicated man.
According to police spokesman Mark Natale, security staff told police they had already made several attempts to have him take a cab home for his safety, but he refused.
After a brief scuffle with police, Gay was arrested and charged with disturbing the peace, drunk in public, battery on a police officer and resisting an officer with force. He was booked into the Bossier Maximum Security Facility on a $75,150 bond.
However, the cab driver, Randy Rupert, who witnessed it all doesn't agree with how the situation was handled.
Rupert was working Sunday evening when he noticed Gay surrounded by security staff and police officers in the parking lot.
"The guy had his phone and the officer started slapping his phone for no apparent reason," said Rupert and explained he only thought of one thing to do. "So I got my phone out and said I'm going to video tape it."
The video first shows police talking to 37-year-old Cassius Gay. Police say because of how drunk he was, they asked him to call a ride to take him home, but he chose not to. Then as police try to arrest him, he reportedly tried pulling away from them.
Several bystanders can be seen in the video watching the scene unfold.
"Yeah he was resisting, saying hold up, hold up, but he's also highly intoxicated, they knew that," said Rupert.
After exactly 10 seconds of resistance, the video shows one of the officers take a step back and it appears he swings at the man.
"The officer had no reason to punch the man in the face," he said.
Natale confirms they are looking into the situation.
"The Bossier City Police Department has initiated an internal investigation regarding this arrest after the person who took the video filed a complaint with the police department this morning. The investigation will determine if reasonable force was utilized to overcome the resistance of the suspect and effect the arrest in accordance with departmental policy," said Natale in a statement to KSLA News 12.
For Rupert, he doesn't need to know what the police will conclude because he has his own opinion.
"As far as I'm concerned, they handled it wrong," he said.
Rupert believes the officer should face consequences.
"I feel like he should be fired, simple as that because that is just unnecessary," he said.
Police tell us they do have dash cam video of what happened, but can not release it due to the pending investigation.
The Bossier City Council will decide soon, whether to move forward with a body camera pilot study for the police department.
The ordinance allocates $100,000 to conduct the study. It would involve 9 police officers testing out cameras from three different manufacturers.
The final vote will happen May 19.