MURRIETA, Calif. - Cameras captured the arrest of a man who police said tried to grab an officer's gun during a struggle at a CVS pharmacy in Murrieta Tuesday night, according to KTLA.
The incident took place about 8:45 p.m. at the store located in the 25000 block of Hancock Avenue, stated the Murrieta Police Department in a news release.
An officer was attempting to contact the man, later identified by police as Murrieta resident Alejandro Rojo, after a bystander said someone in the store was creating a disturbance and possibly under the influence of drugs.
Alejandro began fighting with the officer and attempted to grab his holstered firearm when the officer went to detain him, the department stated.
Surveillance video showed the two struggling for several seconds inside the store before Alejandro fled and was followed into the parking lot by the officer.
A second struggle ensued, when police said Alejandro again tried to disarm the officer.
More officers arrived at the scene and “attempted multiple force techniques in an attempt to stop the suspect from attempting to disarm the officer,” the release read.
Cellphone video captured outside the store showed officers striking Alejandro several times, as they restrained him on the ground.
The initial officer suffered a broken hand as a result of the struggle with Alejandro who had multiple abrasions and cuts, according to the release.
Police stated Alejandro was treated at a hospital and released after being medically cleared.
Alejandro’s family told KTLA the 22-year-old was in a hospital Thursday morning and undergoing a series of tests after being badly injured in during the arrest.
"I want people to know that he's a good kid. They can say whatever they want, but I know my kid," said Alejandro's father, Arturo Rojo.
Authorities were using the store's surveillance video in their investigation into the arrest and hoped to obtain the cellphone footage as well, according to the release.
Investigators said they later determined Alejandro had been tearing open medical supply packages and possibly ingesting the contents before he was approached by the officer, according to the release.
Alejandro was booked on suspicion of attempting to disarm a police officer, resisting a police officer causing injury, obstructing a police officer causing injury, retail property trespassing and being under the influence of a controlled substance (pending lab results), the department stated.