- Associated Press - Sunday, August 16, 2015

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - Lubbock police are conducting an internal affairs investigation after a dashcam video appears to show an officer kicking and punching a suspect who was accused of injuring another officer.

Police announced Friday that Chief Jerry Brewer ordered an internal affairs investigation into the actions and tactics used by the officers who responded July 29 after Cpl. Ryan Durrett was injured when a man tried to drive away in his police vehicle.

Durrett had stopped to help 19-year-old Jose Escarcega of Littlefield push a disabled vehicle into a parking lot when dispatchers said the vehicle was reported stolen, police say. As Durrett tried to arrest Escarcega, he ran. Durrett followed in his SUV and caught up to him.

Escarcega then entered the driver’s side of Durrett’s vehicle and tried to drive away, police said. Durrett held on to Escarcega while the vehicle accelerated, striking two utility poles and throwing the officer from the vehicle, causing Durrett to receive serious injuries.

Video obtained by local media outlets shows that after the crash, Escarcega was sitting on the ground when a responding officer appears to kick him in the face and punch him several times. A second officer puts his knee on the back of the suspect’s head briefly as the suspect was lying on the ground and also uses his leg to keep the suspect’s head in place while several more officers joined the efforts to handcuff him.

Police officers described Escarcega as “violently fighting and resisting arrest” in reports included in an arrest warrant. One officer reported Escarcega disobeyed officers’ commands to stay still.

A Lubbock County grand jury has indicted Escarcega on a first-degree felony count of aggravated assault against a public servant.

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