Arrest of Man In Wheelchair Raises Concerns

Metro says the man was resisting arrest

By Michelle Tetu
|  Monday, May 23, 2011  |  Updated 3:16 PM EDT
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YouTube video showing Metro Police arresting a man in a wheelchair has people asking if this was justified or excessive force.

NBC Washington

YouTube video showing Metro Police arresting a man in a wheelchair has people asking if this was justified or excessive force.

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Photos and Videos

Metro Police Rough Arrest Video

Metro Transit Police arrest a man in a wheelchair on U Street. Thousands have viewed the video on YouTube. (Full video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9QbFsPO00g)
More Photos and Videos

Thousands of people have already viewed the video on YouTube (Warning: graphic language/images). It was taken by a passer-by on Thursday afternoon. It has people questioning whether Metro Transit Police were justified in subduing the man who was in a wheelchair.

The incident happened at around 3 p.m. outside the U Street-Cardozo Metro Station.

Metro Transit Police were on routine patrol at the station when they spotted the man in a wheelchair drinking an alcoholic beverage, according to Metro Spokesperson Steven Taubenkibel. 

The officers asked him to leave the area but he refused, police say. The officers attempted to give him a citation. 

When he refused to cooperate, they told him he would be arrested, according to a statement issued by Metro. 

The statement goes on to say "the patron resisted arrest which resulted in him falling out of his wheelchair."

Some say the man was thrown to the ground causing a gash over his eye that bled onto the sidewalk.

In the video, you can hear witnesses challenging the way police handled the incident.

The man was taken to the hospital. His injuries were minor, police say.  He was arrested for assault on a police officer and drinking in public. 

Metro says they are following up on this incident.

For the latest update on this developing story, click here.

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