Officer Abuses, Tases Elderly Man Over Expired Inspection Tags

Officer Abuses, Tases Elderly Man Over Expired Inspection Tags December 16, 2014

Here’s a stunning video of a cop in Texas pulling over a 76 year old man for having expired inspection tags on his car, for which he would get nothing but a ticket. The man was showing that the plates were from a dealership so they didn’t need the inspection tags when the cop suddenly, and inexplicably, grabs him, throws him to the ground and tases him twice.

Vasquez said that he explained that the car belonged to a car lot, and that the dealer tags made it exempt from having an inspection.

But dashcam video obtained by the paper shows Robinson using force to arrest Vasquez for what should have been a Class C misdemeanor. In the video, Vasquez pulls his arm away from Robinson, and the officer slams him into the hood of the patrol car. The two men disappear from camera range as Robinson places Vasquez in a hold, and then forces him to the ground.

According to police, Robinson shocked Vasquez with a Taser twice while he was on the ground.

“He just acted like a pit bull, and that was it,” Vasquez recalled. “For a while, I thought he was going to pull his gun and shoot me.”

Vasquez was placed in the patrol car, and then transported to Citizens Medical Center for treatment, where he spent the next two hours in police custody. He was eventually released with out being charged or cited.

Chief J.J. Craig offered a personal apology to Vasquez on Friday.

“Public trust is extremely important to us,” Craig explained. “Sometimes that means you have to take a real hard look at some of the actions that occur within the department.”

“You want to make sure you give the right kind of person a badge and a gun,” he added.

So prove it. Not only should this officer be fired, he should be prosecuted for assault. There is absolutely no possible justification for what he did.


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  • My thought before the fold: “So was he black? Hm. Texas. Or maybe Hispanic?”

    My thought after the fold: “Vasquez. Ah.”

  • DonDueed

    At least the chief is more or less admitting his officer acted like a thug. That’s already far better than the usual circle-the-wagons response.

  • garnetstar

    Yes, you can hear the Hispanic accent.

    I love the guy who comes over and tells the officer off.

  • blf

    Please stop calling these tribes “police”. They are goons, gangs or tribes of goons, and very much neither civil nor civil servants. They have nothing whatsoever to so with policing, law enforcement, or public safety; they have more in common with fermiers généraux (though not so much with the “tax”-gathering pre se) then any recognized or recognizable consent of the people / public.

  • bachalon

    This happened less than half a mile from me.

  • U Frood

    Yes, I’ll be waiting to hear that Chief Craig has decided Robinson is not the right kind of person to give a badge and gun and fire him.

  • dugglebogey

    Since when can you arrest someone for expired inspection?

    This just seems like gross incompetence.

    Fire him for not knowing his job. Then prosecute him for assaulting an innocent person. Then add some time for his victim being elderly.

  • dugglebogey

    The only amazing part of this story is that the guy that called him a Nazi stormtrooper didn’t get stomped or arrested.

    How do you explain that? Oh right. White guy.

  • “Not only should this officer be fired, he should be prosecuted for assault. ”

    Whoa, whoa whoa! We said we’d take hard LOOK at the situation. Not DO anything about it!

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Not all the cops are bad. Afterwards, when Officer Testosterone goes over to intimidate the eyewitness, the female cop inserts herself into the situation.

  • Doc Bill

    Twenty-three year old tough guy rousts 76-year old senior.

    Yeah, real tough guy.

  • To be fair, he couldn’t take a chance. Old people are more than a little rowdy after the Early Bird Special. “Buffet Buzz”, they call it.

  • smrnda

    The chief’s apology better be backed up with some actions. It’s sad that an apology for police brutality seems like progress when it should be the absolute minimum. Put the thug behind bars,.

  • D. C. Sessions

    Since when can you arrest someone for expired inspection?

    Do RTFM. It’s worth it. As it happens, not only isn’t it a primary offense to have expired inspection tags, the vehicle had dealer plates and therefore didn’t have to have current ones anyway. Which, in fact, Mr. Vasquez pointed out to Officer Friendly — and that’s when Officer Friendly decided to “straighten out” Mr. Vasquez.

  • Sastra

    Not only is there video footage, that angry eyewitness looks like he’s taking photos. There’s so much light here there better damn well be a fire.

  • Synfandel

    “Buffet Buzz”, they call it.

    Yeah, that’s a misnomer. It’s not buffets per se; it’s just the spiciness of the boiled cauliflower that makes them get a bit crazy.

  • moarscienceplz

    Mistakes were made on both sides. The officer overreacted just a teeny, tiny, little bit, and Mr. Vasquez made the mistake of Driving While Hispanic.

  • U Frood

    We can’t expect our Law Enforcement Officers to know the laws they’re enforcing, can we?

  • Pianoman, Church of the Golden Retriever

    Can I invoke the No True Police Officer argument?

  • What likely happened is that the officer stopped him for expired tags. When he explained to the officer that the law didn’t apply to the kind of plate he had, the officer had to do something. He can’t admit he was actually wrong, so he had to do something forceful to cover his shame.

    As they say, “ignorance of the law is no excuse,” and that goes double for police officers.

  • typecaster

    Pianoman – blf already took care of that @4.